NY Rock Confidential By Didi Delicious

True Tales from the Steamy Side of Manhattan
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NY Rock Confidential, Friday, January 30, 1998

Had the pleasure of speaking with Fred Norris of the King Norris band – and perhaps more notably, of the Howard Stern Show – after his performance at Under Acme on January 8th. It was a little difficult, at first, since some nice, middle-aged lady decided to engage Fred in an extensive conversation about cable television. "Who ever knew, 10 years ago, that I'd be paying to watch TV," she said, in bewilderment, as she finally strolled off to the women's rest room.

I asked Fred about King Norris's touring schedule, which has included gigs on the West Coast, including LA and Las Vegas. "It's great," he answered. "Going to these places and being there for the first time is always exciting. And doing what we love to do – it's so much fun. The only part that sucks is when you're not playing."

Still, I wondered how someone who juggled appointments between daily appearances on the Howard Stern show and playing in a band was able to avoid becoming fried potatoes. Didn't things get a tad hectic for him? "Ohhh yeah," he said, with a heartfelt sigh. "Sometimes it can mean nuclear meltdown. But then you get up there and you start playing. You go, this is what it's all about. It takes you to a place that nothing else can."

Fred's a really nice guy, as are the other band members: Robert Boyd on bass and vocals and Frank Fallon on drums and vocals. Their enthusiasm about their music shows in their performance. King Norris has some very cool tunes and can really jam. See them.
Didi and Fred Norris
Photo: © 1998 Theo Wargo Jr.

On the following night, January 9th, the winter weather was uncharacteristically agreeable (must be global warming), so I headed out to catch the "Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black" at Don Hill's. As I walked in, local band Echodrive was wrapping up their set. Bassist Eric Peterson and lead vocalist Lucy say their influences range from the psychedelic '60s to the disco '70s, which gives their garage punk and rock'n'roll sound an interesting twist.

After their set, I spoke with Eric who told me he hadn't eaten in days. I offered him half of my Kit Kat bar – which is hard to resist even on a full stomach – but he refused, which led me to question his sanity. It did, however, save me an additional trip to the corner newsstand for a refill.

The place began to fill like sardines (which, unlike Kit Kat bars, only taste good on an empty stomach). While everyone was waiting for Karen Black, Sir Lancelot came up and handed me a flyer for his trailer park party on Tuesday featuring Sandi Kane "the world's funniest stripper," and fetish model and S&M magazine publisher, Kate Fallon asked me if I would consider working with her. As much as I love to give an occasional spanking to deserving individuals – and flattered though I was – I thought cross-dressers Veronica Blaze and Evangeline Conversion at the other end of the bar were better fit for the job, so I politely refused.

DJ Miss Guy, who was spinning the sounds of Led Zep, Ramones, Oreos and Ozzy, lowered the music, and the lights finally dimmed as Karen Black's dancers emerged on stage in costumes designed as enormous hands. Big black fingers with yellow fingernails jetted out from behind their shoulders and necks. Their bodies were unclothed and painted yellow, orange, blue and green. Needless to say, the audience went wild.

Kembra Pfahler
of Karen Black
    With a large spider web as their back drop, lead vocalist and lyricist Kembra Pfahler and guitarist Samoa performed tunes such as "Bundle of Joy" and "Oh Diane" to a frantic crowd. The band, rounded out by Teddy Gonzalez on bass (previously their road manager) and Joe Darkside on drums, was founded eight years ago by Kembra and Samoa. They have since garnered an increasingly large following. Samoa describes their music as, "Simply rock. Meat and potatoes." Influences include AC/DC, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. Catch this band if you can, they create an unforgettable theatrical experience – mark my words. Next gig is February 11th at Life. Samoa mentioned that it will be an "extra fancy show."

Till next time, keep warm and don't worry about your aerosol cans piercing the ozone layer – they're obviously doing a hell of a job keeping us New Yorkers cozy and comfortable during an otherwise chilly winter season.


                              More NY Rock Confidential Installments:
• 09/01/98: Hellfire '98 with Go-Go Pups and Double Dong
• 07/28/98: Mad Daddys, Nina Hagen, Blondie
• 06/04/98: the first annual New York City Tattoo Convention
• 05/02/98: Didi's S&M Special with Flesh Fetish
• 03/28/98: No More Tears and Soft Parade
• 02/27/98: Ace Frehley, Sebastian Bach, Mick Rock, Lenny Kaye,
ex-Foreigner Mick Jones, ex-Hanoi Rocks Michael Monroe
the new Max's Kansas City, Joy Ryder, Misstress Formika
• 12/26/97: Ramones, The Dictators, The Undead, more
• 11/29/97-12/11/97: Sexus, Princess Superstar, more
• 09/19/97-10/16/97: Blowtop, Crazy Raymond & the Watchdogs, more
• 05/21/97-08/17/97: Toilet Boys, Nashville Pussy, Turbo A.C.s, Waldos,
Sisters Grimm, The Independents, more
• 01/18/97-03/30/97: Sea Monster, Speed McQueen, Bombshell,
Dee Dee Ramone, Jayne County, more
• 09/19/96-12/19/96: Coyote Shivers, The Living Daylights, more
• 07/23/96-09/09/96: Electric Frankenstein, The Wild Bunch, more


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