ARSON have been invited to play the 2012 North By North East (NXNE) Festival this year! The showcase is slated for Thursday, June 14th at 11:00 PM at The Rochester (formerly The Plaza Flamingo) on College and Bathurst (next door to Sneaky Dee’s). Hope to see you there!!
Live from the Cherry Cola’s, the CIUT Radio Benefit/Ugly Pop Vinyl Release Party. Thanks to Simon Harvey for introducing punk pioneers Suicide (Dream) Dates and ARSON through their vinyl releases on the Ugly Pop label.
Yep, coming your way, March 15th, The Ugly Pop Record Release party/benefit for CIUT with ARSON, Suicide Dates, TV Freaks, Don Pyle, Liz Worth all for one night and one price, $5!
See you there!
…….and still, life is cheap but livin’ ain’t!
Resurrection © & ® 2011 - R. van Steenes & M. La Fleur/GLAMATRON! Publishing - All Rights Reserved. Recorded radio broadcast in January, 2011, CIUT Radio, 89.5 FM, Toronto, Canada.
by Jeffrey Morgan
authorized biographer of Alice Cooper and The Stooges
In 1977, at the height of the punk rock pandemic that was effortlessly engulfing the globe, vocalist and composer Rude van Steenes fortuitously joined forces with guitarist Marcel La Fleur to begin a musical friendship that has spanned more than three and a half decades and spawned the incendiary band ARSON.
Ask anyone who’s ever heard them live and they’ll tell you that ARSON sonically sutures the Detroit destruction of the Stooges and MC5; the New York noise of the Velvet Underground and New York Dolls; and the British brainpower of the Stranglers and Clash. I could go on, so I will.
ARSON has independently toured all across North America and played countless concerts in a myriad of notorious rock ’n’ roll breeding grounds like New York, Detroit, and Chicago while sharing stages with—and stealing spotlights from—such influential legendary luminaries as the Dead Boys, Misfits, Suicide, Troggs, Destroy All Monsters, John Otway, and Ollie Halsall.
ARSON’s first self-produced and self-financed single “Livin’ With The White Folks” b/w “Coho Coho” was pressed in a limited edition of a thousand copies, all of which promptly sold out in a mere six days.
ARSON recorded the Animals standard “We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place” for the Chameleon Records compilation No Pedestrians. After hearing it, the music critic for Shades magazine was so impressed that he had to confess: “ARSON’s recorded the best version of this song that I’ve ever heard in my life.”
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However, by 1980 disco had already begun its slow maturation into all forms of hybrid dance music. Punk, meanwhile, proved to be far too raw and radical for mainstream tastes after all. Accordingly, it was immediately castrated by the major record conglomerates who called their new neutered version new wave.
ARSON found itself releasing records into a rapidly changing marketplace where their kind of music was floundering as a viable commodity. Everyone was feeling the effects as rock music underwent yet another transformation. It was during these turbulent times that ARSON elected to go on hiatus—a welcome respite which also allowed the band the opportunity to lay back and assess the situation.
During this extended evaluation, author Frank Manley published his essential reference book Smash The State: A Discography Of Canadian Punk 1977-92 which featured a four song EP that included ARSON’s recording of “Coho Coho.”
Then a companion album titled Smash The State: A Compilation Of Canadian Punk Rock 1979-81 was released featuring three ARSON tracks: their above-noted debut single and the previously unreleased song “Pretty Girls.”
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Meanwhile, van Steenes and La Fleur continued to douse ARSON’s smoldering ashes with new songs until the time was right to finally tap their past and craft a contemporary sound containing the unflinching fury of their earlier incarnation.
Aided and abetted by Shawna From Torawna (Outbred Inlaws) on bass and David Quinton Steinberg (The Mods, Jitters, Dead Boys, Stiv Bators, Strange Advance) on drums, ARSON recently recorded an in depth profile for Toronto radio station CIUT which featuring two hours of music and interviews that took listeners on a wild ride through the band’s storied history. Even better, eleven new tracks were recorded live in the studio, all of which can be heard on the CIUT website.
Recent concerts at the Bovine Sex Club, the Cameron House, the El MoCambo, etc., have garnered a whole new generation of rave reviews such as this one from rave-and-roll.com which succinctly states: “It’s lucky for fans of the original punk and post-punk scene that ARSON has risen from embers that never stopped glowing!”
That not hyperbole, that’s a fact—and you can take it from me because I actually was there back in 1977 at the height of the punk rock heyday.
So who you gonna believe: me or your own ears?
JEFFREY MORGAN is the authorized biographer of both Alice Cooper and The Stooges. He has been the de facto Canadian Editor of CREEM: America’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Magazine ever since Lester Bangs personally invited him to write for the legendary music publication in 1974. His award-winning column Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout can be read exclusively at: www.jeffreymorgan.info