I Can Recall It All
Just started reading David Todd’s Feeding Back, a collection of interviews with a host of great “alternative” guitarists, including Tom Verlaine, Michio Kurihara, Lydia Lunch, Zoot Horn Rollo, many more … it’s an impressive list! The missing interviewee is the late great Robert Quine, who passed on in 2004. In the intro [entitled “The Quine Machine”], Todd says: “[If] the alleged ‘alternative rock guitar tradition’ can be encapsulated as what funnels into bands like the Stooges and then funnels out of bands such as Sonic Youth, Quine is at the center of the intervening pipeline.” I think this is pretty right on! So let’s listen to some early Quine! Here he is with Richard Hell & The Voidoids in early 1977 at Max’s Kansas City, tearing it up on ten tunes. His solos on “Love Comes In Spurts,” “Betrayal Takes Two” and “I’m Your Man” are brutal, concise masterpieces. But actually what comes across most in this recording is the awesome interplay between Quine and the other Voidoid guitarist Ivan Julian. Check out the mutant, chicken scratch scrawl they work up on “Another World” — it’s like “Sex Machine” meets Agharta. They were quite the dynamic duo, way the hell ahead of their time. And speaking of Hell, he’s cool here, too. I like how his in-between song patter suggests Jonathan Richman’s smack-addled younger brother.
Yeah. Quine’s amazing.