Wild Planet Revisited – Johnny Alien

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Yet another very obscure artist, recording only one known track, that I haven’t been able to track down. Nigel Ayers confirms on his website that he is an old friend who now lives in the USA and performs as ‘Big Bad Bollocks’.

This biography appears on Discogs:

“Johnny Alien began his discography with a release for Sterile Records in the early eighties, with an inclusion on the compilation Standard Response. The track was called ‘Without Measurable Damage’, production was assisted by Chris Vine – an experimental guitarist who has worked with New York avante jazz impressario Elliot Sharp. Since this brief dalliance with experimental electronica Alien went on to form, what was initially, a folk-punk duo with Patrick Owens of Detroit. This project soon grew into a seven piece Folk-Punk Orchestra which in turn revolved into a four piece ‘Electric-Acoustic, Folk-Punk, Rock Band’…this is Alien’s current performing status. Though more and more he is performing solo with a spoken word/squeezebox show he calls ‘Gobsmacked’ mostly in his adopted Massachusetts. He’s originally from northern England where he grew up a close friend of Nigel Ayers of ‘Nocturnal Emissions’. His show ‘Gobsmacked’ is a rant about those wet, cold years up north and his obsession with Americana…From cowboys and indians (this can be observed from his paintings featured on the cover of Ayers and Storey’s ‘The World Turned Gingham’) through American realism in painting to Andy Warhol and Martin Scorsese. Alien is a hopeless romantic who lives pretty much in some invented past which he prefers to his reality. At his performances it is clear that there are others who feel the same way. He works a crowd like a seasoned carnival barker – amusing, challenging and entertaining…and quite funny! He is currently working on a book which will compliment his live solo shows, tracing and formulating life and pop-culture as an ongoing formula for who he is and in turn who some other people might be. He’s interested in pop-culture’s folkloric imprint on our lives. More than anything he’d like to own a pub in Cornwall and be able to sit around and reminisce with his old mate Nigel and his family who he misses very much.”

As well as being part of Big Bad Bollocks, Johnny Alien, aka John Allen, recorded with the Dropkick Murphys and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones



Wild Planet Revisited – After Dinner

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Probably one of the most obscure artists featured in “Wild Planet”, I confess to never having heard them until researching this piece. After Dinner’s recorded output is minimal; 2 albums, a live cassette and a 7″ single over a period from 1982 to 1989. They appear to have toured in Europe in both 1987 and 1989. Haco, the vocalist, has gone on to have a prolific solo career, as well as in a number of groups including Acid Mothers Temple & Melting Paraiso UFO. Her most recent release was a collaboration with Toshiya Tsunoda “TramVibration” in 2013.

Here’s a track from the 1989 album”Paradise of Replica” called “I’ll Just Go Birdwatching”




Wild Planet Revisited – Abwarts

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Kicking off, we have 50 words on Abwarts, the German post-punk group who actually hailed from Hamburg, not Berlin. The connection with Berlin’s “Die Geniale Dilletanten”, which encompassed Einsturzende Neubauten, Die Todliche Doris and others, was the dual membership of Abwarts and E.N. by FM Einheit and, later, Marc Chung.

Forming in Hamburg in 1979, and releasing their first recordings on the Zickzack and Rip Off labels, the group signed to Phonogram for their second LP “Der Westen Is Einsam” (The West Is Lonely) and started to get linked with the German music industry’s attempt to create a movement “Neue Deutsche Welle” (New German Wave). This spurious industry technique lumped together bands such as Trio and Ideal alongside more innovative groups like Palais Schaumburg and Yello (yes, they were Swiss!) to try and break this “scene” in the UK and USA with a number of compilation LPs.

Marc Chung left the group around 1983 to concentrate on Einsturzende Neubauten, whilst “Mufti” Einheit continued to link with the group for several more years.

Abwarts have released 15 albums and 13 singles with Frank Ziegert the only remaining original member, their most recent being the “Krautrock” album in 2014.

Here is “Computerstaat” from their first EP in 1980