Punk Rockers can make it big. Many have. But few have remained as relevant as Billy Idol. Yeah, this guy brought new life to Mony Mony but it’s his original songs, “White Wedding” and “Rebel Yell”, I’ll remember. But before our guy had a big solo career as a generally pop rock musician, my man was a punk with the British Punk band “Generation X”.
He was in NYC last night and I had to make time to see this guy. He’s pushing 60 by my math but man, he looked great up there. Shirt off, strutting his stuff, snarling at the crowd and thanking them for their part in helping him have a “great BLEEPING Life”. There were youngsters and old timers, themselves, looking in their 60s. It was mixed of a crowd as I can remember seeing at a concert. I love NYC.
Here is a short clip of Rebel Yell from last nights show. We’ll see how long it is allowed to stay up.
The Republicats is a punk band made up of some of Manila’s movers and shakers in the Punk Music Scene. These guys were kind enough to not only hook up an entire evening of Filipino punk music for our cameras but to sit down with us before hand and tell us how the scene developed and what it’s like to be a punk rocker in the Philippines.
Thanks to the magic of television, you can see more of the Republicats, if you tunein this weekend to Raw Travel’s Magical Manila premiering May 9th-10th all over the U.S. Visit HERE for tune in info.
Thanks to the magic of Manila, if you ever get to visit, you are in for a treat. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can get an idea of what it’s like by watching our exclusive interview of the Republicats below. Enjoy!
40 years after the fall of Saigon, we went to Vietnam to check it out. It was wild.
I’m glad I was born when I was and instead of going as a draftee in a cargo plane to fight a vaguely defined and scary war in a jungle I was able to go as a tourists.
The Vietnamese were great people and showed not a bit of animus towards us.
The punk music scene in Vietnam is kind tame by U.S. and Latin American standards but we stumbled upon this cool band KOP Rock Bandwho put on a show for us at the Acoustic Bar down a side street in Saigon (now known as Ho Chi Minh City)… Yes, Vietnam is, gasp, communist, but I didn’t see anyone begging in the street, or that much crippling poverty. Everyone seemed fairly well off in comparison to say the Philippines, a decidedly more Western & American Influenced culture where kids sniffing glue and sleeping on the street was a normal occurrence.
KOP Rock Band at Acoustic Bar
Vietnam has it’s issues, I know. but the people are war weary and that typically makes for, at least in my estimation, for some people who enjoy some good rock and roll. And KOP Rock band gave it to them.
Here’s a music video from our travels to Vietnam and our pals KOP rock Band and if you want to see more of them, then watch Raw Travel this weekend (May 2nd-3rd). More info on the show HERE.
The punks in Chiang Mai, Thailand are cut from a slightly different cloth than those in Bangkok, or so I’m told. Since we were in Thailand during the extended New Year’s holidays we weren’t able to hook up with any of the punks in the famous Bangkok scene, though I did, finally hear back on some emails I sent out when I had moved on to other locales in Southeast Asia. I do hope I can get back to Thailand under less stressful circumstances (camera crew filming on deadline and really get to know this place and meet some Bangkok punks finally.
In the meantime, as a first time trip goes, it was quick and I was pretty much beyond jet lagged the entire time, but I am appreciative of the punks who played for us at the 7 Pounds bar on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. These guys Stomper 191 didn’t speak too much English and I didn’t get a ton of insight, but what do you need to know? They obviously love and live the lifestyle.
Enjoy this cover from a Stomper 191, appropriately enough, it sounds like they may have stomped the sound system before going on.. True punks indeed.
So the U.S. and Cuba are friends again? Thank you President Obama for listening to me, though as in most things, it took the U..S Government 5 years too long to act. Now, at least, a few hundred old Cuban-Americans in South Florida no longer dictate policy for a nation of 300 million. Finally, things are beginning to make sense.
Yes, after a trip to Cuba, it was the only logical conclusion any rational human being could come to. It was time… indeed past time, to change policy towards Cuba. See my 1st blog post on the subject HERE ?
But as I saw first hand, the Cuban government is as corrupt (and I believe incompetent) as it gets. I witnessed this when they arrested some of the punks or “Los Freakies” (The Freaks) as they are often referred to in Havana, when speaking with me on camera.
It’s been almost exactly 5 years since I was in Havana, interviewing these punks and some were carted off to jail for God knows how long.
Now, today, the U.S. has announced they will begin to “normalize” relations with Cuba. Great!
I thought it would be a good time to remind you of this video back when this blog was just getting off the ground.