DRYWALL's new CD "BARBEQUE BABYLON" will be available for purchase at this show as well as other brand new Drywall swag, posters and novel items. 20 free copies will be given away at Largo to the first 20 patrons in the door. The show will also include a drawing for additional prizes.
For those not able to attend, the new CD will be available for purchase on the web at http://www.stanridgway.com the following week. You'll recieve an announcement by email at that time. Sorry, no pre-orders can be taken.
LARGO / DRYWALL is Stan Ridgway, Pietra Wexstun and Rick King
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Jul 21, 2005
Voodoo Doctor: Stan Ridgway?s self diagnosis helped him survive the ?80s with his nerve and unorthodox instincts intact.
Back in 1976, Stan Ridgway never intended to pursue a ??career in rock and popular music. After all, these were the ??days when lightweight pop like Kiki Dee?s ?Don?t Go Breaking ??My Heart? and Gary Wright?s ?Dream Weaver? ruled the airwaves. ??Instead, Ridgway opened an office on Hollywood Boulevard and ??set about creating movie scores for low budget movies. He ??called his company Wall of Voodoo.
Ridgway ended up doing some work for the Harry Novak Film ??Company, purveyor of sophisticated drive-in fare like The ??Sinful Dwarf and Caged Virgins . ?The Harry Novak ??Film Company was a few rungs below [legendary B-movie ??director] Roger Corman,? Ridgway admits by phone from Los ??Angeles.
While Ridgway was sitting behind a desk with a rotary phone ??at his Wall of Voodoo office, the burgeoning punk rock scene ??was making music exciting and dangerous again right across the ??street, where a music club called The Masque was hosting bands ??like X and The Germs.
After Ridgway started jamming with guitarist Marc Moreland ??at the office, Wall of Voodoo morphed from a film company into ??a new wave band that started performing at The Masque. ??Eventually, the four-piece band released a self-titled EP ??featuring a keyboard-laden version of Johnny Cash?s ?Ring of ??Fire.?
Ridgway had big expectations for his nascent outfit. ?The ??whole idea was to build something different that had never ??been played before,? he says.
In 1982, Ridgway and his group achieved their goal by ??recording ?Mexican Radio,? a dark but catchy number that stood ??in stark contrast to sunny hits of the day like Olivia Newton ??John?s ?Physical? and Toni Basil?s ?Mickey.? Ridgway says that ??even the song?s lyrics were born from the band trying to ??escape the banality of pop radio at the time; the words are ??about the south of the border stations he and Moreland would ??seek out on their car radio while driving to their recording ??studio.
With ?Mexican Radio? becoming a radio hit and its ??accompanying video being broadcast regularly on a new cable ??television station called MTV, Ridgway says the group started ??to spiral out of control.
?We were destroying ourselves,? he says. ?We were all on ??drugs. We were rushing down the highway in our vans.?
Eventually, the situation came to a head when Wall of ??Voodoo performed at 1982?s US Festival, a huge concert ??organized by Apple Computers co-founder Steve Wozniak in San ??Bernandino that featured bands like The Police and the Talking ??Heads. Following their performance, Ridgway says he left the ??group when one of his bandmates freaked out and squashed a ??bowl of potato salad on a scantily clad female?s head ??backstage.
?I was pretty much having a walking nervous breakdown as ??well as everyone else,? he says of the experience.
After Wall of Voodoo, Ridgway embarked on a solo career, ??which started to take off when the single ?Camouflage? became ??a hit in Europe. Despite having an ?80s keyboard dominated ??sound, the number was a story about a dead soldier that ??unfolded more like an old blues number or the kind of story ??song done by country artists like Johnny Cash.
His latest CD, 2004?s Snakebite: Blacktop Ballads & ??Fugitive Songs, has its fair share of story songs, like ?King ??for a Day,? which slowly divulges information about the ??narrator, a crack smoking car thief. ?I sometimes feel like ??I?m updating this song and story tradition,? Ridgway says.
Ridgway admits that one common aspect in a great deal of ??his songs is an unreliable narrator. ?When characters start to ??develop, I let them do what they are going to do,? he says, ??possibly referring to the narrator of ?King for a Day,? who ??crashes the stolen car he is driving into a house and ??announces, ?Daddy?s home,? at the end of the tune.
To accompany his off-kilter lyrics, Ridgway plays music ??that evokes country blues artists, Tom Waits and arty ??electronic bands from the ?80s. Throughout the album, strange ??instruments accentuate Ridgway?s surreal stories. On ?Into the ??Sun,? a harp shimmers like a mirage in a desert landscape ??where ?the coyote walks the toad?; meanwhile, a farfisa organ ??creates the circus freak show sound of ?Runnin? with the ??Carnival.?
Some songs like ?Crow Hollow Blues? meld traditional ??Americana instruments like banjo with modern contraptions like ??tape loops. ?I like the juxtaposition of putting elements ??together that don?t seem to mix,? Ridgway says.
For Tuesday night?s show at Monterey Live, Ridgway says he ??will perform as part of a ?gothic folk noir acoustic trio.? ??The eclectic artist admits that he might play ?Mexican Radio,? ??but he confesses that it would not be a straight take on his ??biggest hit.
?What we do is deconstruct the old Wall of Voodoo material,? he says.
Stan Ridgway plays Monterey Live, located at 414 Alvarado ?St. in Monterey, Tuesday at 8pm. $10/advance; $12/at the ???door. 646-1415.
LIVE CD released in Italy. Stan Ridgway "Live at Mercury Lounge June 17, 1996" in New York City!!
17 tracks CD bonus with the Italian Magazine "Mucchio Extra" released in 2005. Buy the mag - get the CD!
A Stan Ridgway "music news" segment on the "EXTRA" TV Show will air this weekend!
In this short "Music News" segment, Stan discusses his new CD "Snakebite" and his career so far, along with a performance with Pietra Wexstun (keyboards) and Rick King (guitar) on a song or two. Strange but true. Ridgway on "Extra".
In Los Angeles, EXTRA is on KNBC Channel 4 and will air this Sat. night June 11 at 7:00 PM and again at 1:00 AM that night.
In the USA - Check your local times here for when this "EXTRA" show will air in your area.
Strange but true. Ridgway on "Extra". Video now available here!
Also, in a break from recording, Stan and Trio will play Largo in Los Angeles Sat. May 7th and June 4th at 9pm.