VON LMO

The legitimate CD reissue of the legendary 1981 debut album by Von LMO and band

Von LMO - electronic guitar, lead vocals and special effects

Juno Saturn - electronic saxophone and backup vocals

Bobby Ryan - drums

Mike Gee - electronic guitar

George Matthewson - electronic bass



Von is an American genius. His pioneering work in the destruction of musical form and instruments spans back to the late '60s with his combo Funeral of Art (featuring Roxy/Milk 'n' Cookies/Hilly Michaels Band member Sal Maida). His next major contribution to culture came in the form of the band Kongress during the mid '70s. Originally a synth/drums duo with erstwhile Aleister Crowley buff Otto Von Ruggins 666, the combo grew into a larger conglomerate incorporating bizarre spear-chuckin' Australian cleric Geoffry Crozier amongst others. The prime Kongress sound is akin to the Velvets at their two chord-wildest (more balls and less AHHHT, albeit) with Eno's synth operating itself on a cyborg compote of 'roids and PCP. After Von left the group Von Ruggins continued on with a more gothic Magma/teutonic sort of drone. In '77 Von joined forces with anti-social guitar shredder Rudolph Grey to form the legendary combo Red Transistor. At their first gig, Von donned a straightjacket and proceeded to chop up a lot of stuff with a chainsaw. RT bit it after a year and Von went on to form the Von LMO Band - a later incarnation of this unit recorded "Future Language" and vintage tracks from '80 make up the bulk of the outstanding Variant Records release "Cosmic Interception". Von went into "suspended" animation after losing his ass on a few self-sponsored, under-attended stadium shows in Manhattan. He resurfaced in the early '90s and released the cataclysmic "Red Resistor" CD on Variant a few years ago. Hats off!!!

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>Perhaps Ian Christe might tell us all >about the last Von LMO show he saw in Manhattan a few months ago???

Sure thing, though "a few months" is more like a year and a half. This is a verbatim paste-job from Nameless 3/28/98:

* I kinda stumbled into seeing this crazy old coot Von Lmo smash his Fender-type guitar to pieces at the Cooler last night. This original NY punk weirdo has been reactivated and playing shows for a few years now, but, like a fool, I never camped outside of CBGB to reckon the summoning.

>From his records, I was counting on a muscular kind of insect music, like Devo, Chrome, Residents, Suicide, or Silver Apples. The truth was a little louder. Von Lmo ripped up heavy punk loops with really abrasive feedback and high-end hurting; a formula borrowed from him by Sonic Youth. He looked like George C. Scott towards the end of HARDCORE, demented and shellshocked. His dyed black hair was parted right above the ear, creating a creepy waxed helmet. He and most of the band were wearing black leather and medallions. There was a guy sitting in a chair in front of the stage wiggling a laser on Lmo the whole night, punctuating his inspired gyrations with squiggly lazer noize.

The rest of the band consisted of: A hare krishna on 7-string bass; a foxy blonde stripper on tambourine and back vocals; a man with one tooth on massive bongos; an Al Sharpton lookalike on drums; and a smiling clean cut guy with a Marshall half-stack. For the last couple songs, the actual factual James Chance honked his screeching saxophone, which didn't help make any of this seem like it was actually happening.

Lmo really is at least 70; when he had something to say he'd kind of go: "this is punk rock, baby, and this is the universe, this is the future, yeah" A couple osngs I recognized were "Cosmic Interception" and "Radio World"; a great one called "Mass Destruction" goes:

[start like 'Born to Be Wild']
Revolution
Revolution
Revolution
Revolution

Mass Destruction!
Mass Destruction!
Mass Destruction!
Mass Destruction!
[end in piercing chaos]

It was pure rock from the rock of sincerity, and today he's back in his cryogenic chamber. It's hard to imagine that at one time, the swinging club scene in New York revolved around this kind of weird intensity. It's definitely a worthy soundtrack for fucking up your life all sorts of ways. Of course, last night, no one was really there. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: paul LaPlaca Date: December 22, 2000 I stumbled across your site and would like to make an addition to it- I was the smiling clean cut guy at the Cooler show playing guitar with Von. I don't remember that band line-up having a show at the Cooler but the other musical units you describe have prompted a match in my memory organ. Exposure to Von and his interdimensional vortex of energy has many effects on humans around him and I was was one severely effected. The first show I played with Von was at the Cooler and was probably a year before the one reviewed. We had been rehearsing for several months and finally the show date arrived. There were many people there to see what the next step in human and musical evolution was going to be. Seconds before we were to go on there was an electronic failure of some sort. This is a common occurance when you are around Von. Decades of interplanetary travel and abductions have left him with a bizarre electrical field that fucks up machines, amplifiers and people's brains. Our well planned set of "pop" music soon became a sonic squall as Von vented his rage on his unsuspecting guitars. We followed him as best we could in the great tradition of James Brown or Chuck Berry but instead of standard Blues progressions Von was cueing us on the sounds of his mind, the emptiness of space, the terror of abduction, the rage and frustration of things going wrong and it was utterly beautiful. One guitar lay in splinters and he reached for the other, brought it high above his head like a lunatic lumberjack and my mind screamed "NO!" We had another gig in two weeks. "Not BOTH guitars!!" I screamed at him. He looked at me in a daze and nodded in agreement. He then moved behind the drums and began to tear into a viscious solo that we once again had to follow as best we could. I spent almost 2 years with Von and I can say without question that he is one of the most singular and unique individuals I've ever come into contact with. There is a new CD on the way and I can't wait to hear what he sounds like in 2001. I have moved on to be the singer of a progressive metal act and though it is not the high art that Von has brought the world, I like to think that I've taken his influence and put it into our music in some small way. Paul LaPlaca October Thorns http://www.octoberthorns.com