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The Mid-Week Beat: Nik Turner of Hawkwind, T.S.O.L. and Lee Fields!

283112-250A great week of music coming up here in the Brown Paper Tickets’ universe. Here are a few of the ones that we think you’ll dig. Enjoy!

TOMORROW! Thursday, October 17 I Nik Turner (of Hawkwind)Denver, Colorado

Hawkwind are the kings of UK “space rock” which is a driving, hard-rocking version of psychedelia. Formed in November 1969, Hawkwind have gone through many incarnations but Nik Turner was one of the original members and certainly one of the most memorable. Turner plays saxophones, flute, sings and is a composer and while with Hawkwind, Turner was known for his experimental free jazz stylisations and outrageous stage presence, often donning full makeup and Ancient Egypt-inspired costumes.

He originally approached the band offering his services as roadie, given that he owned a van and was a fan. Once the band found out that he played saxophone, however, he was recruited into the fold. He was a member of the band during their most commercially successful and critically acclaimed period, writing or co-writing some of their most popular songs such as “Brainstorm” and “Master of the Universe.” However, complaints about his playing over other members of the band despite numerous requests to modify his behaviour eventually led to his dismissal in November 1976.

In 1982 during the recording of Choose Your Masques, founding member Dave Brock invited Turner to the recording sessions and he was asked to front the band for the album’s tour. Turner’s second stint in the band lasted just over two years and although some live albums and videos were released, the band did not undertake any studio recording. At the end of 1984 while preparing material for The Chronicle of the Black Sword album, he was fired once again.

Since then, Turner has been involved with a number of projects including Sphynx, Inner City Unit, Nik Turner’s Fantastic All-Stars, Galacticos and Space Ritual. All share the tripped-out, heavy, forward thinking approach that Hawkwind is known for, so Hawkwind fans are sure to dig Nik’s performance happening tomorrow night at the legendary Lion’s Lair in Denver, Colorado. Amazingly, there are still some tickets available right over here.

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The Mid-Week Beat: 1-2-3-4! Happy Birthday Dee Dee!

DeeDeeRamoneChelseaHotel2Today in 1951, a punk rock icon was born.

Born Douglas Glenn Colvin in Fort Lee, Virginia, he was better known by the name he adopted in the band that would make him famous, Dee Dee Ramone. Dee Dee was a founding member of the Ramones, the band’s chief songwriter and bass player from 1974 to 1989. He would continue to write songs for the band even after he left, penning at least three songs for all subsequent albums leading up to their eventual breakup in 1996.

Dee Dee is best remembered for his signature count-off shout of “1-2-3-4!” and you can still hear this shout echoed in punk bands today. In fact, many of the bands that we’re featuring today owe quite a bit to ‘da brudders Ramone! It’s a shame that Dee Dee doesn’t get more credit as a songwriter considering he penned most of the Ramones’ timeless tracks: “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Rockaway Beach,” “Chinese Rocks” and “Rock and Roll High School” to name a few.

I know for me personally, the Ramones were one of the bands that changed my life and sent me down a punk rock path. As a kid, I loved the harmonies of bands like the Beach Boys and early rock and roll and the Ramones were the perfect combination of classic American pop hooks and menacing punk rock noise. I became obsessed with the band and was lucky enough to see them in 1990 at The Paramount Theater here in Seattle. Unfortunately, this was their first tour without Dee Dee. Their new bass player CJ Ramone did his best Dee Dee impersonation but he was no Dee Dee, that’s for sure.

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The Mid-Week Beat: Happy Birthday to Geezer Butler and Ron Asheton!

Today marks the birthdays of two men that are, in no small part, responsible for the creation of both heavy metal and punk rock. Both are considered titans in the world of heavy rock. One is still with us and one, sadly, passed away a couple years ago.

The two men I’m talking about are Geezer Butler, original bass player and chief lyricist for what is largely considered to be the first “heavy metal” band, Black Sabbath and Ron Asheton, guitarist of the legendary Stooges, the band credited with creating the attitude, aesthetic and sound that would become known as “punk rock.” Separated by only a year these two men represent a musical generation who were brought up on the peace and love of 60s rock, but who opted for a darker and more aggressive style. They are proof that a new rock and roll revolution was under way on both sides of the Atlantic and the sound that these two men helped form would provide the groundwork for two genres that would dominate the 70s and 80s and continue to influence fans of heavy music for decades to come.

Geezer Butler was born in Birmingham, England on July 17, 1949 and formed his first band Rare Breed as a teenager with his friend John “Ozzy” Osbourne in the autumn of 1967. Eventually they incorporated local guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward to form the blues band Polka Tulk, who eventually changed their name to Earth and then to Black Sabbath in 1969 when it was discovered that another band called Earth was already playing gigs in their small English touring circuit. Black Sabbath’s debut LP was released on Friday, February 13, 1970 and reached number 8 on the UK album charts, signalling a successful run of releases that would have Sabbath packing arenas throughout the 70s and into the 1980s.

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Two Legendary Punk Bands Hit the West Coast!

Many of us here at Brown Paper Tickets came up in the punk rock scene. The sense of community and DIY aspects of the punk scene still ring true in many of our company policies and you can often wander by any given desk here in our offices and hear punk music coming out of the computer speakers, see punk fliers on office walls and of course, catch many of our employees sporting a t-shirt of their favorite punk band.

So, while I was perusing upcoming events that we are ticketing, I was thrilled to see that we’re ticketing shows by two punk rock legends, UK street-punk band The Business and Northwest hardcore legends Poison Idea.
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