Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ralph Alfonso Punk Book - Finally!

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


* I will autograph all advance books orders (thanks Dan Husband for the suggestion).


- pre-orders thus far are at 50
- you can pay with cheques, cash, or money orders or interac-Transfer (
- 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 (808 Atwater, 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, let me know

Ralph Punk Photo Book

Monday, July 11, 2016


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).

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.


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)

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....

Monday, September 28, 2015

RALPH back on tour! Ottawa, Toronto, Quebec City and more!


The tour continues for me: Ottawa, Quebec City & Toronto (3 times over 4 weeks). Make your requests and I will bring them to the following shows (yes, I have some Diodes beer left). If there is a cool event in YOUR town that you think I should be at, let me know.


04 - OTTAWA - Ottawa Record Show

18- TORONTO - Toronto Record Show

25- TORONTO - Kensington Arts Fair
The Punk Photography of Ralph Alfonso (Ramones, Diodes, Damned, Patti Smith, etc). A booth with ALL my photos & related cool stuff.

14- QUEBEC - Foire du Disque de Québec

22- TORONTO - Flipside Record Show

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mr. Ralph's Record Player : The Zombies - Odessey And Oracle

. .

april 04 avril / Vendredi / Friday

Mr. Ralph's Record Player / Le Tourne-Disque de Monsieur Ralph

THE ZOMBIES : Odessey and Oracle (includes/incluant: Time of The Season) 

 We will play this album on vinyl. Ralph Alfonso and his special guest Rishi Dhir (vocals,bass & sitar, Elephant Stone) will discuss the influence and importance of this album. Rishi has actually toured with The Zombies with his band, Elephant Stone. 

 Nous allons jouer cet album sur vinyle. Ralph Alfonso et son invité Rishi Dhir (Elephant Stone) discuteront l'influence et l'importance de cet album. 

 7pm/19h - $15 (includes two beverages/deux boissons incluse or/ou one beverage and one vinyl from the $5 Box / une boisson et un vinyle de la boîte $5)

 It is recommended to arrive early to not only get a good seat but also to mingle and meet and enjoy some snacks (mmmm.... snacks!). 

 Il est recommandé d'arriver tôt pour avoir une bonne place, mais aussi de rencontrer des gens et profiter des collations (snacks mmmm. ...!). 

 Remember; your choice of drinks can be anything from our menu OR conversely you can pick out two vinyls with a $5 price tag - it's pretty flexible. 

 Rappelez-vous, votre choix de boissons peut être quelque chose de notre menu ou à l'inverse, vous pouvez choisir deux vinyles avec une étiquette de prix de 5 $. 

 ---------------- PRESS RELEASE -------------- 

 We are proud to present a new monthly series curated by BBAM! owner Ralph Alfonso. Every month, we will play a classic album from any genre (jazz, punk, metal, hip hop, rock, francophone, etc) in its original vinyl pressing. Ralph Alfonso will present an overview of the album's history and importance and a special guest musician will go over the musical aspects to pay attention to. Ultimately, we will eventually have some of the actual artists and/or producers as our guests to discuss and answer questions. Maybe we'll have guest performers.... it's wide open.

 But one thing is for certain, the BBAM! intimate ambience is the perfect situation for music lovers. "We are in a magic era of re-discovery," says Ralph Alfonso. "There is an over-abundance of new and old music being discovered and shared but, sometimes, not a lot of context to properly place things on a timeline of musical and cultural history. Yes, we know things are important, but why? So much has been appropriated that sometimes listening to the original can be a revelation." Join us for an exciting musical adventure. and... where else will the admission get you a vinyl lp of your choice??? 


 Nous sommes fiers de vous présenter une nouvelle série mensuelle organisée par Ralph Alfonso, le propriétaire de la Gallerie BBAM. Chaque mois, nous allons jouer un album classique de tous les genres (jazz, punk, métal, hip-hop, rock, francophone, etc.) dans son pressage vinyle original. Ralph Alfonso présentera un aperçu de l'histoire de l'album et un musicien invité expliquera les aspects musicaux de prêter attention. Nous espérons à terme, certaines des réels artistes et/ou producteurs comme nos invités pour discuter et répondre aux questions. Peut-être que nous aurons des artistes invités... on ne sait jamais. 

Mais une chose est sûre, l'ambiance intime du BBAM est la situation parfaite pour les mélomanes. « Nous sommes dans une ère magique de re-découverte, » dit Ralph Alfonso. "Il y a une surabondance de musique nouvelle et ancienne qui est découvert et partagé mais, parfois, il n'y a pas beaucoup de contexte à placer correctement les choses sur une chronologie de l'histoire musicale et culturelle. Oui, nous savons que les choses sont importantes, mais pourquoi? Parfois, l'écoute de l'original peut être une révélation. » Rejoignez-nous pour une aventure musicale passionnante. et ... où donc va l'admission vous obtenez un vinyle de votre choix??


 Ralph Alfonso 

 Ralph Alfonso is a Montreal native with a pop culture history that could fill a book (it fact, there are two), journalist, poet/musician, publisher, manager, label owner, record company executive, graphic designer, photographer - he has worked at Attic Records, EMI Canada, Warner Canada, Nettwerk, iTunes and managed Canada's first punk club in 1977 in Toronto in addition to working with Anvil, Blue Rodeo, Tom Cochrane, Corey Hart, Plastic Bertrand, Katrina and The Waves, Platinum Blonde, Brighton Rock, Honeymoon Suite, The Damn Truth, The Diodes, Loverboy, The Payolas, and countless others. As a musician, he has toured across Canada and performed in San Francisco, New York, Rome, London and even the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool. 

His videos have aired on Much Music and were Top Ten on BRAVO! while a documentary on his life played the Montreal Film Festival before airing nationally on CBC and BRAVO! Ralph's liner notes for Montreal's garage rockers The Haunted (the 80s re-issues on Voxx Records) are still referenced over 20 years later. Needless to say, Ralph's multi-discipline pop culture experiences and insider knowledge will make this series an eclectic and informative journey. 


 Ralph Alfonso est un Montréalais avec un fond de culture pop qui pourrait remplir un livre (en effet, il y a deux), journaliste, poète, musicien, éditeur, gestionnaire, propriétaire de maison de disque, exécutif, graphiste, photographe - il a travaillé à Attic Records, EMI Canada, Warner Canada, Nettwerk, iTunes et il était le gerant du premier club de punk du Canada en 1977 à Toronto - en plus de travailler avec Anvil, Blue Rodeo, Tom Cochrane, Corey Hart, Plastic Bertrand, Katrina & The Waves, Platinum Blonde, Brighton Rock, Honeymoon Suite, The Damn Truth, The Diodes, Loverboy, The Payolas et innombrables autres. 

 Comme musicien, il a fait des tournées partout au Canada et jouée à San Francisco, New York, Rome, Londres et même le légendaire Cavern Club de Liverpool. Ses vidéos ont été diffusées sur Much Music et étaient "Top Ten" sur BRAVO! alors qu'un documentaire sur sa vie a joué au Festival de Film de Montréal avant diffusion au niveau national sur CBC et BRAVO! Les expériences et les connaissances de Ralph feront de cette série un parcours éclectique et instructif. 


 Rishi Dhir 

 Montreal’s Elephant Stone was formed in 2009 by sitarist/bassist Rishi Dhir. As one of the most highly sought out sitar players in the psychedelic music scene, he has recorded and toured with the Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Horrors, the Soundtrack of Our Lives, and many more. 

 In 2009, Elephant Stone released their Polaris Music Prize-nominated debut, The Seven Seas. 2010/2011 saw the release of The Glass Box EP, a supporting slot on the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s North American tour, multiple European/UK tours with sold-out dates in London and Berlin, and festival appearances at the Iceland Airwaves, Osheaga (Canada), and SXSW. 2013 has seen the band release their sophomore long-player, perform at both SXSW and the Austin Psych Fest, as well as tour North America with both the Zombies (She’s Not There, Time of the Season) and the Black Angels. 

The followings months will see the band continue to spread their psychedlified hindie-rock mantra throughout North America and then the world. 


 Elephant Stone a été formé en 2009 par le sitariste / bassiste Rishi Dhir. Comme l'un des joueurs de sitar le plus fortement recherchées dans le monde de la musique psychédélique, il a enregistré et tourné avec les Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Horrors, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, et beaucoup plus. 

 En 2009, Elephant Stone a sorti son premier album, The Seven Seas (nominé pour le Prix de Musique Polaris). 2010/2011 a vu la sortie de l'EP, The Glass Box, et une tournée avec Brian Jonestown Massacre, plusieurs tournées européennes / Royaume-Uni avec des dates à guichets fermés à Londres et à Berlin, et des festivals (Iceland Airwaves, Osheaga, et SXSW). 2013 a vu le groupe sort son deuxième album, et effectuer à la fois SXSW et l'Austin Psych Fest, ainsi que tournée nord-américaine avec les Zombies (She's Not There, Time of the Season) et les Black Angels. 

Le groupe continue de se propager leur mantra psychédélique en Amérique du Nord et dans le monde. 


 For all Elephant Stone news and details on their June European tour, please go here: 
 Pour toutes les nouvelles et informations sur Elephant Stone et leur tournée européenne en Juin: aller ici: