There comes a time when nothing else but a brain-hammering session with Pussy Galore‘s 1989 album Dial M For Motherfucker will do. And not just to clear the house of your so-called friends who’ve been sloshing cheap wine on your expensive new carpet all night. (Although it might work for that, too.) Jon Spencer, the man who shocked and awed the world with the noisiest band in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, went on to form three more exhilarating combos: Boss Hog (with his wife Cristina Martinez), Heavy Trash (his most recent band) and, of course, the stunning Blues Explosion, whose recent career-spanning compendium, Dirty Shirt Rock ‘N’ Roll (Majordomo), tells you plenty about the DNA of the man in charge. (The label is reissuing expanded versions of out-of-print Blues Explosion albums Now I Got Worry and Controversial Negro this week.) Spencer is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with him.
Spencer: The Flamin’ Groovies‘ Teenage Head is one of my favorite records of all time. Probably one of the greatest-ever rock ‘n’ roll bands and criminally underrated. My favorite period was when they had Roy Loney, the earlier phase. I wasn’t so crazy about them when they went to England and hooked up with Dave Edmunds. I think they were carrying a torch alongside the New York Dolls. They were hip. I’ve never seen ’em, they were before my time. I don’t know who turned me on to Teenage Head, but it was recorded in New York City, I think at Bell Studios, and Jim Dickinson played piano on it. I’m looking at this record and you begin to put things together. And it’s such a great sounding record. They’re really drawing on a lot of great roots elements: blues, rockabilly, country music, Stones stuff. That song “Slow Death”—that’s one of the best things they ever did. Also, the album cover from the version of Teenage Head that I had was the inspiration for the cover of Dial M For Motherfucker.