On August 10 Cheryl Eagan-Donovan interviewed the BGN for the movie she is doing on the Real Kids called All Kinda Girls. In self defense and not to be outdone, we interviewed her. This is the first interview we have done in twenty years and frankly we're sick of it already..............JOKE.
Don't skip Part Two where we talk about The Boob and The Creeper...Folks where else could you read about this crap ?
Did everyone wear BLACK ?
Pros know black is slimming and always chic.
Why The Real Kids?
I was really inspired by John Felice as a character. I was working on some memoirs about the local music scene and realized he was a major player. He is a writer's ideal character because he is truly complex, not just complicated. His is a great story with real emotional power. As a writer, I could relate to John's struggles with being alternately prolific and blocked, being misunderstood and perceived as somewhat eccentric and dealing with self-imposed pressure to succeed. I also felt strongly that the Real Kids' failure to succeed as a band was emblematic of the collective lack of commercial success of Boston rock bands.
Even to other punks the Real Kids never seemed very chummy. I wouldn't invite
any to my barbecue. Am I wrong ?
Yes. The truth is, they are all lovely people. Everyone who knows them says how "sweet" they are. I think they have acquired reputations as bad boys based on some adolescent behavior from the early days that grew to mythic proportions with each retelling. Also contributing to their bad rep were the biker types who embraced the band and came to every show. Perhaps this has created a perceived obligation to continue to live up to the reputation. For John it has developed into a persona. Several people who know John well told me that his aloofness is really a result of being shy. That was a big surprise.
Regarding barbecues, John's sister Mary Jo had several BBQ birthday parties where the Real Kids played and there were no incidents. You have to remember that the band got its start playing block parties where John's mother would bring the burgers and grill to the gig in her station wagon. I also had the opportunity to shoot the band at a wedding, where, although they came dressed in punk performance attire, they were extremely well behaved guests.
Short Bio, please.
I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1958, the year Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan show. In 1961, my family moved to the suburbs, which like Felice, I found "creepy." My parents were hippies. My dad went to Woodstock (he's in the movie doing Tai Chi), saw Janice Joplin at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, knew Richard Alpert (aka Baba Ram Dass) and Timothy Leary. My mother was an anti-war and civil rights activist, went to the big marches in D.C., and was a delegate for McGovern in 1972. Like John, I am the oldest in my family. In the seventies, my friends were all into the Grateful Dead. We went to Watkins Glen and saw the Dead, the Band and the Allman Brothers. My first concert was Grand Funk Railroad at the Boston Garden. I got my first guitar when I was ten. It was a five dollar kid-sized acoustic.
I went to high school with George Condo of the Girls. He introduced me to the music of Jimi Hendrix, told me to buy "Cry of Love." We went to see Beck Bogart & Apice at the Music Hall together. I went to a hippie college in Vermont (Goddard.) Majored in writing & literature. I moved back to the city (Arlington, MA) in 1978, and met Clint Conley of MOB when he was a bartender at Jack's. He introduced me to Lou Miami, Kitty Litter, and Human Sexual Response. In 1979, I started managing my first band, the Frantics. We rehearsed at Jack Griffin's Music Complex in Cambridge and that's how I met John Felice and Billy Cole, in their Taxi Boys incarnation.
Hey, this is real obvious, was Penelope Spheeris an influence on you ? OR
I loved the original DECLINE, but I am much more of an aspiring D.A. Pennebaker (DON'T LOOK BACK, MONTEREY POP, ZIGGY STARDUST.) I'd love to document all the different subgenres of Boston punk rock. I have already talked to Willie Alexander about collaborating on a film, and of course I'd be remiss not to do at least a short subject on the inimitable Kenne Highland.
My influences include Truffaut, Godard, Fellini, John Waters (the American Fellini), Hal Hartley, Greg Araki, Whit Stillman, Gus Van Sant, Pedro Almodovar, Lena Wertmuller, and as a producer, Christine Vachon. For documentary, also Wiseman, Fuller, Maysles.
Rita Rat.....Linda Leather....'loco' ...Blowfish.... where's your punk moniker Cheryl
Music scenesters and GB bands alike know me as Miss Management, thanks to my listing in the Boston Phoenix Band Guide. I am always on the lookout for the next Piranha Brothers, Buzzsaw Frizbees, Leisure Demons, Sin City, Assassins, Jumper Cables, Toetag, Mung or Devotions.
Despite the film name (All Kinds Girls.), your movie deals with the whole punk scene.Did it develop
that way or was that the plan?
Yes and no. See question #2. You can't tell the story of the Real Kids without placing them at the exact moment in time and the very specific physical location where they emerged full-grown from the brain of Felice. The film could be subtitled "ALL KINDSA GIRLS: An American Evolutionary Tale. Remember the PBS series THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGED? I contend that the Real Kids were a force that took a musical genre (garage pop) and spun it into an entirely new direction, creating a truly unique and original genre (garage punk) that could never have existed before that time and was the direct result and culmination of everything that preceded it.
We really loved the early punk days, but outside of us does anyone care?
It remains to be seen. If by "us" you mean everyone who was around in "the day" and lived to tell about it, the possibility exists that "we" are the only market for my film. But I am optimistic that once the mass audience is exposed to depth and beauty of Boston garage/punk and its creators, the film will become a catalyst for a marketing frenzy, not unlike OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? and BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB, creating demand out of thin air. I have always subscribed to the Malcolm McLaren school of marketing.
Anyone in the media show any interest in the film or the idea of the film ?
Yes. Each celebrity interview (yours included) adds cachet to the project and helps to convince other name acts to contribute. The local media have been tremendously supportive and enthusiastic. The entire community has been really great. We had an excellent turnout at the fundraiser at Charlie's Kitchen, thanks to Mike who does the booking, all the bands that generously donated their time, the music press and the fans that turned out in droves. We need to do more of these events to raise money for post. ALL KINDSA GIRLS has tax-exempt status through our sponsor BFVF, so every dollar donated is tax deductible. In addition to cash donations, we could really use production assistants, fundraising assistants, and donations of services such as printing and website design. (We are so retro we do NOT have an official website!) On-screen credit is available and the Executive Producer position is still open…I have received inquiries from film festivals around the country who are interested in screening the film, and Gary Adelson at the Regent Theatre in Arlington has invited us to screen there. He is doing a great job of bringing film and music to the community in new contexts.
The BGN always has a Willie 'Loco' fixation. How did that interview go?
The interview with Willie was fabulous. He opened his home and his heart to us. He was a truly gracious host. He has tremendous presence, exudes sensuality, and he looks great. I was so impressed that I suggested we do a book AND a film.