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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ralph Alfonso Punk Book - Finally!

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Hi folks - as you know, I have been selling signed prints of my 1977 and beyond punk photos for the last little while at various book and zine fairs, concerts, and art galleries.

These are unique images from my time as a music journalist for Cheap Thrills, New York Rocker, Bomp! and other publications.

All the photos were usually accompanied by interviews with the artists involved (Patti Smith, The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, The Damned, Richard Hell, Dead Boys, Diodes, Viletones, Mo-Dettes, Barracudas, etc etc). I kept all the cassettes with all the interviews, in addition to copies of the final articles as they appeared at that time.

Over the years, I had thought about creating some kind of book but always kind of left it on the backburner as life carried on and I became engrossed with other projects, including publishing the ground-breaking Treat Me Like Dirt book by Liz Worth and initiating the genesis of what was to become Trouble In The Camera Club by Don Pyle.

At every fair or art exhibit where I have my photos, people enjoy my stories behind the images and ask about a book. Well, life is short and if I don't get this going, it may never happen. Thankfully, technology exists today that I can finally involve outside services to help transfer the interview cassette audio to digital and then transcribe them to text that can be edited properly.

I hope to expand my original articles with further quotes from the original interview tapes.

Scanning the photos is the most time consuming and needs extra care and attention.

The whole process will take a few months but worth the wait.
Once we have everything ready, we will either self-publish or partner with an established publisher.

You can contribute to making this book a reality by helping me with the costs. I cannot do this by myself.

Any contribution under $25 will get you a PDF of the final book, while $25 will get you a physical copy of the final book. NOTE: these are CANADIAN DOLLARS (good deal for USA and Euro folks).

I don't have a name for it right now but as it unfolds, I'm sure it will reveal itself.

This is an important work for me and I welcome you along for the journey.
Please share this page with friends you think would be interested.

Thank you.

Ralph Alfonso

NEWS AND UPDATES:

* I will autograph all advance books orders (thanks Dan Husband for the suggestion).
* PRE-ORDER GOAL IS: 300 (as of Oct 14, we're at 17); 

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Nov 28 Update:

- pre-orders thus far are at 30
- you can pay with cheques, cash, or money orders or interac-Transfer (ralph@bongobeat.com)
- mail cheques (payable to Ralph Alfonso) or cash (well-hidden) to: 2049 Melrose, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H4V 2T1
- you can also see me in person at BBAM! Gallery in Montreal (3255 St Jacques, Lionel Groulx Metro)
- there is interest from a European publisher for a co-publishing situation
- if you have an idea for an exhibition of my photos in your town for 2017, let me know




Ralph Punk Photo Book

Monday, July 11, 2016





RALPH: KOVERS KINKS

and listen now on Spotify (also on Apple Music, etc) to my Kovers Kinks EP with the great Tom Harrison on vocals (I'm in the middle and on backgrounds).

"Ring The Bells" adds my little ode to Foyles Books.

On "I'll Remember" - we added the Nicky Hopkins piano that ISN'T on the original (courtesy of Tracy Marks).

https://play.spotify.com/album/5qTSVX4d87MrGmtcWk7bxq

Gene Vincent Rocks Jack Kerouac!







Gene Vincent Rocks Jack Kerouac!

This is a little digital compilation that I put together that finally marries my fixations with Gene Vincent and Jack Kerouac into one tidy collection of tunes.
After some delivery hiccups, it is finally available on Spotify and Apple Music.

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This EP is the musical accompaniment to issue #52 of my RALPH zine where I wondered if Gene Vincent and Jack Kerouac ever met up and maybe had some drinks (or 5 or 20). Tom Tommy Bagley​ drew an amazing illustration of the two of them riding a freight car lost in their own melancholy. Over the course of my musical adventures, I would return to Jack and Gene many times and I've compiled those moments on here.

Private Detective is a great story song from 1964 written by by Gene Vincent under the pseudonym of Shelly Ann. This was always a fun tune to play live.

Gene Vincent Died In My Arms Last Night was written after I read the incredibly sad The Day The World Turned Blue, the Britt Hagarty biography of Gene Vincent, and especially how he died and the details of his funeral. The mighty Ron Radar Stelting​ on the drums. Britt Hagarty himself died a sad death; sideswiped by a car in Vancouver.

Goodbye Jack Kerouac is trying to condense the whole Kerouac vibe in as few words as possible. This was recorded late one night in Blair Packham​'s home studio with a lightning in a bottle rag tag gang of players including Dave Rave on guitar, Blair on bass, John Hamilton on snare, the mighty Kevin Quain on keyboards and the accounts guy from Long & McQuade on sax. Dave and I rode around in his old green van for the next two hours listening to a cassette of the mix. Jazz, garage rock, beatniks; it doesn't get any better.

Pull My Daisy. Recorded at 3 in the morning, live on the street in Hamilton, outside Catherine North studios. Written by David Amram, Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg, with a nod to a line from the actual film. 3am - the magic time when all energies converge.

You can listen to it all here for free (there might be an ad inbetween tracks)

https://play.spotify.com/album/2IhHNFiPF7j2vuvOMCxHkj

16 Years Ago - This Is For The Night People

It's occurred to me that not many of you are aware that I put out some great albums in my heyday as a beatnik jazz guy. 16 years ago, we dropped this cool oeuvre into the world. It was difficult to create and even more difficult to top, so I didn't.

It was Top Ten on BravoTV and Top Ten on the college charts and fabulous reviews from the UK, USA, France and a national tour with Lee Aaron and all kinds of stuff (my second book came out at the same time and we had the Raincoast Books machine behind us as well). It was even available via the Columbia House Record Club and made it on to the flier of cds you could have for 99 cents! That alone was the pinnacle. You can't really top that. And I didn't.

There's been bits and bobs in the years since (EPs, digital only releases, free downloads - the scattered bits of a 4th album that never got done). Well, THIS year, I've decided to get it together and see if we can coax lightning in a bottle one more time. If you're a musician friend, the call may come sooner than you think (but more likely in October - everyone goes home in October).

The concept is cool. Can't jinx it.

But in the meantime. It's late. Coffee's on. Storm's about to hit. Wind is sweeping out the streets and balconies and .... there you are.... in a car... somewhere....

https://play.spotify.com/album/7sQAeW7FREXwXOXxGWTxPO