Tag Archives: Craig Bell

RFTT to play Cleveland

2 Jul

Rocket From The Tombs plays the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland on Friday October 12. Other regional shows are anticipated. See Calendar Page for details ubuprojex.net/calendar.html,

Likely shows in Hamilton and Rochester. Stay tuned.

European Tour Completed

2 Jun

All band members have returned home from the European tour, pleased that the band performed brilliantly and the tour dates that were played were received so enthusiastically. All are agreed that it was a pleasure playing with Mudhoney in Munich, who are themselves all big fans of RFTT. The band apologise to all fans who had tickets for the dates that were forced to be cancelled. There are ongoing discussions to reschedule these dates.

RFTT hope to do some recording over the Summer and are hoping to put some US dates together for the Fall.

David is close to being fully recovered and he thanks all of the promoters and production staff for being so accommodating during his illness and he especially thanks the band for their loyalty, perseverance and patience through the chaos.

Announcement: European Tour starts here…

16 May

After the unavoidable cancellation of some of the earlier dates on the tour (see announcement below), Rocket From The Tombs will be landing in Paris, Friday 18th, for their gig at the Centre Pompidou. See HERE for tickets.

The tour will then follow as planned until 24th May, Munich.

Sat, May 19 Lyon, Hotel Dieu
Rue Bellecordière, 69002 Lyon
Nuits Sonores Festival
Tickets: http://www.nuits-sonores.com/
Sun, May 20 Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy (F), Centre Culturel André Malraux
rue de Parme, 54504 Vandoeuvre les Nancy
Musque Action Festival
Tue, May 22 Zurich, El Lokal
Wed, May 23 Stuttgart, Schocken
Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.de/event/Rocket-From-The-Tombs-tickets/AVD2305A
Thu, May 24 Munich, Feierwerk
With Mudhoney
Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.de/event/Mudhoney-Rocket-From-The-Tombs-tickets/BAN2405


More Euro Dates for RFTT

23 Feb

Two more shows for the May tour of Europe by RFTT have been confirmed, both festivals: Lyon on May 19 and Nancy on May 20. The Ubu Projex calendar page, http://www.ubuprojex.net/calendar.html has details of all confirmed dates.

Extermination Night

7 Feb

The February release on www.hearpen.com is the 1974 debut of the classic version of RFTT (actually v.3.1) at Special Extermination Music Night at the Viking Saloon. The event was the first and last time all three of the legendary Cle Underground bands,RFTT, The Electric Eels and Mirrors, appeared together.

Three previously unheard songs appear in the RFTT set, including the long lost Peter Laughner song, Gasoline.

RFTT this night played as a four-piece: Thomas, Laughner, Cheetah and Madansky. Craig Bell, who had been with the band for a month or so, was forbidden to play in the band by his other band, Mirrors. It is the first performance of So Cold, Down In Flames, Ain’t It Fun, and Never Gonna Kill Myself Again.

John Morton designed the cover art for the release based on his original poster.

A PDF of liner notes is included in the download.

Butcherhouse 4

17 Aug

OK. Think of it as a Robert Calvert dystopian sci fi romance.

“I don’t like…” In a re-entry vehicle returning to earth on leave from a job in an ersatz food manufacturing station somewhere out in space, Butcherhouse 4.

“The air smells way too greasy…” He’s landed and is drowning in a whirlpool of Smell.

“I’m happy living…” He yearns for the sterile cocoon of his space pod.

“I don’t want to hear…” Visits his girlfriend; the air is hot; outside he hears flies and a thousand other insects.

“I smell your body…” The epiphany.

Now the question is, which “life” is the total lie?

Butcherhouse 4

I don’t like, uh, tiny bodies.
I don’t like, uh, small hands.
I don’t like, uh, round shapes.
I don’t like coming down here…

The air smells way too greasy.
All the food is grown in dirt & feces
What the rain won’t wash away –
it’s what they call ripe and I call decay.

I don’t like, uh, tiny bodies.
I don’t like, uh, small hands.
I don’t like, uh, round shapes.
I don’t like coming down there…

I’m happy living in a state of grace,
bits of foil floating all over the place.
I’ve got a wrench. I see the stars.
All is clean. All is klar.

I don’t live on the moon anymore.
I’ve got me a pod out on Butcherhouse 4.

I don’t like, uh, tiny bodies.
I don’t like, uh, small hands.
I don’t like, uh, round shapes.
I don’t like coming down there…

I don’t live on the moon anymore.
I’ve got me a pod out on Butcherhouse 4.
I don’t live on the moon anymore.
I’ve got me a pod out on Butcherhouse 4.

I don’t want to hear the flies
then look around and realize
I’ve been living in a total lie,
I’ve been living in a total lie.

I smell your body with you inside,
inside is watching me.
I smell your body with you inside,
inside is watching me.

I don’t live on the moon anymore.
I’ve got me a pod out on Butcherhouse 4.
I don’t live on the moon anymore.
I’ve got me a pod out on Butcherhouse 4.

Barfly vinyl now available from Ubutique

17 Aug

The Smog Veil 12-inch vinyl release of Barfly is now available from Ubutique, the mail order shop for Ubu Projex. Go to either http://www.ubuprojex.net/ubutique.html#barfly or http://www.ubuprojex.net/barfly.html.

Pre-release EXCLUSIVE!

15 Aug

Barfly Release Date: Sept. 13

Above is the cover art for the Fire Records release on cd (World) and 12-inch vinyl (World, ex-North America). Below is the cover art for the Smog Veil release on 12-inch vinyl in North America.

Barfly Press Release

15 Aug

Think about waiting for 37 years. Standing at a bus stop. Sitting by the telephone. Looking out the window. Waiting for the postman. Day after day. Year after year. Thirty-seven years…

The legendary Rocket From The Tombs, born in 1974, flamed out in 1975, have finally recorded a studio album, delivering Barfly, and closing the circle on an incredible journey.

The received wisdom (at least in America) goes that punk rock was invented in New York by the Ramones who reconfigured midwestern hard groove rock and 60s garage singles into a formula that defined punk: short, fast, catchy, and unstoppable. But in some weird parallel universe, punk might have traced its roots to Rocket From The Tombs, a Cleveland band that lasted less than eight months and never made a studio recording.

Three things went wrong for Rocket From The Tombs: a level of drug and alcohol abuse to worry even Keith Richard; a band volatility that rivaled that of The Troggs; and a turnover of drummers that would’ve flummoxed Spinal Tap.

One thing went right: in those eight months they wrote songs that would become punk anthems: “Ain’t It Fun,” “Sonic Reducer,” “Final Solution,” “So Cold,” “What Love Is,” “30 Seconds Over Tokyo,” “Amphetamine.” And they played them like there was no tomorrow. There was no tomorrow. They’d used up tomorrow. The band blew apart in July 1975 after an apocalyptic soundcheck that scared the bejeebers out of headliners Television. One faction went on to create the avant-garage rock group Pere Ubu, the other punk stalwarts The Dead Boys.

That might have been the end of the Rocket story except that over the next 25 years a frantic international trading of bootlegs bestowed on the band a legendary status. An album of live and rehearsal tapes, “The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs” (2002), led to a nervous reunion in 2003. The core of the band – David Thomas, Cheetah Chrome and Craig Bell – remained from the old days. They were joined by Television’s Richard Lloyd who replaced Peter Laughner (died 1977). Pere Ubu’s drummer Steve Mehlman was drafted.

The fire still burned. For good and bad. Two tours produced extreme, brutal concerts, but also plenty of late night dust-ups in the parking lots of cheap roadside motels.

“We got that bad attitude thing in our blood,” singer David Thomas said. “Can’t shake it. But at least we’re not young, loud and snotty anymore. We’ve moved on. Now we’re old, loud and snotty.”

Taking that attitude in the studio produced “Barfly,” an unreconstructed, unapologetic re-affirmation of the power and glory of guitar rock: guitar solos traded between two masters of the craft, an inventive rhythm section devoted to midwestern groove mania, and a singer who learned all there is to learn from channeling Rob Tyner and Don Van Vliet. “I will amblify you,” Thomas growls in the middle of the album’s fierce opening track “I Sell Soul.” And whatever that might mean… he means it.

The bitter irony of “Romeo & Juliet,” the Cleveland / Detroit nexus of “Sister Love Train” / “Love Train Express,” the manic-obsessive drive of “Maelstrom,” the Robert Calvert sci fi dystopian romance of “Butcherhouse 4,” and the Bukowski grunge of “Pretty” reflect the 70s revisionism that is at the heart of the album’s production.

“Barfly” delivers a sound that’s not dated or restricted to any passing fad or marketing infatuation. These men are ugly, old, and have not mellowed in any conceivable way. They’ve devoted their lives to raging against the boundaries, and they have been willing to pay the price.

“Barfly” dismisses the last 37 years as a waste of time. Cuts it away without a second thought. That, in itself, makes “Barfly” worth the wait.

NB. The 45rpm vinyl and audio download release of “I Sell Soul” / Romeo & Juliet” on Smog Veil in April 2010 were different mixes and “I Sell Soul” was partially re-recorded for “Barfly.”

Footnote: Strictly speaking the 2003 release Rocket Redux was a studio album in that it was recorded by Richard Lloyd in his rehearsal studio but it was essentially a live recording of old songs as performed by the new band.


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