Wednesday, January 28, 2009

VA - Lonely Planet Boy (Back of a Car - Big Star fanzine comp, 1995)

Once upon a time there were these neat little self-published/self-printed "magazines" lovingly put together in someone's bedroom or basement, specific to the "publishers" interests and whims. Fanzines are what they called 'em, but by now they have all but fallen by the wayside, due mostly in part to *gulp* BLOGS! There was even a short running 'zine called Back of a Car, a tribute to the band Big Star, whom I've recently dedicated a post to. I never held a print copy of BOAC in my hands, but I did obtain an original copy of a zine sponsored compilation CD, Lonely Planet Boy, released in 1995.

The centerpiece of this disk is arguably the first track, an up until then unreleased Chris Bell song, "Country Morn," later re-written as "Watch the Sunrise," with virtually the identical arrangement, but new lyrics. According to the liner notes, the song was issued on a flexi-disc with BOAC #2. Bell of course was one of the co-founders and lyricists for the pioneering, proto-power pop Memphis quartet.

The rest of the disk is germane to Big Star, if only aesthetically. Featured are a clutch of contributions from Big Star "disciples," including such small-of-fame, underground pure-pop acts Tommy Hoehn, The Scruffs, and Outrageous Cherry. Sister Lovers flew the Big Star flag so damn high they christened themselves after the band's third album, while Norway's The Chairs penned a tribute song to Mr. Bell himself. There are some stunning relative unknowns on LPB too, namely Yuji Oniki and Mystic Eyes to further sweeten the pot.

For your reading pleasure, I've scanned the entire zine booklet (essentially a double sided piece of paper) which provides pertinent band and zine info. Check out the links in my intro paragraph too.

01. Chris Bell - Country Moon
02. Outrageous Cherry - Boxtop
03. Paranoid Lovesick - Feelin' Alright to Drive
04. The Knobs - Cut Out Bins
05. The Chairs - Christopher Bell
06. Tommy Hoehn - Cuba
07. Van Duren - Nothing's Too Good For My Baby
08. Sid Selvidge - Torture and Pain
09. The Scruffs - Number One
10. Yuji Oniki - Cover
11. Sister Lovers - Radiator Girl
12. Big Ray - Evergreen
13. Mystic Eyes - Turn and Kiss Me Goodbye


Neilantman said...


John Devereaux said...

Zines live on in Halifax, Nova Scotia!

Monkey Flinging Poo said...

Downloading now, but regardless of the quality I appreciate this kind of thing!

evr said...

no love for Buffalo's very own Mystic Eyes!?!?

Dee said...

Thanks for posting this great comp with Buffalo's dazzling Big Star lovers Mystic Eyes!!!! And I have always loved the Chairs tribute to Chris Bell - a true classic!!!! Irving Klaws and Vores at the Mohawk tonight!!!!Andy Hummell at the Mohawk tomorrow!!!!

spavid said...

Wow, didn't realize the Mystic Eyes were from Buffalo. Before my time my friend...

Zach said...

Nice choice.. I recommend esp the version here of Sid Selvidge's 'Torture and Pain', infintely better than one on 'Waiting for a Train'

Robert Cass said...

Wow. I love the Big Star/Lemonheads/Replacements-related stuff you post. I never thought I'd get to hear that Replacements tribute album again that you posted last summer, and now I have an MP3 of "Country Morn," for which I still have the flexi-disc -- I ordered Back of a Car issues #1 and #2 in 1996. (I still haven't read #3, which I've had for 11 years now.) I even remember trading a few e-mails in '96 with Judith Beeman, who published BOAC, using my very first e-mail address, which I was given as part of an English class at the beginning of that year so our teacher could give us a few assignments that way. (I didn't truly become addicted to e-mail until '98. I still miss sending and receiving actual lettersm -- or fanzines -- in the mail.) In fact, that e-mail address still exists 13 years later on the Web at this address: BOAC led me to Todd Rundgren, who became my next big musical obsession after Big Star and Alex Chilton.

Thanks again!

Robert Cass said...

I was going through some old letters the other night and found one from February 11, 1998, that came with my copy of BOAC issue #3. In it Judith Beeman wrote, "The BIG news tho, is I've just released *lonely planet boy* a BOAC compilation featuring the Chris Bell cut, a few originals written for the disc, 5 Memphis acts and other 7th-degree-of-separation material in the Big Star realm. It's great she sez shoving modesty aside. And a mere $8.00 will land a copy in your mailbox."

She also mentioned returning home to Vancouver after attending the Poptopia event in Los Angeles. "Top bands I saw were BMX Bandits, Imperial Teen and 'Groop' who consisted of the rhythm section of Velvet Crush, Matthew Sweet, Tommy Keene and Parthenon Huxley, doin' a bunch of covers."

Judith Beeman said...

YOW! Spavid thanks for putting up the Lonely Planet Boy CD and the kind words and link to my BOAC page.

I am so ashamed to have let the page get to such a state with missing links, eons out of date material and, er ZERO mention of the 4th issue of BACK OF A CAR (or BOAC) which was "memories of being a teenager in the late 70's." The final issue had a companion CD "Teenster" with a whack of bands given the assignment to contribute a song with an am 70's sound.

Spavid your name definitely seems familiar. I def recall Robert Cass (shame on you for not reading the 3rd issue, dude. That's just wrong!)

If anyone wants a complete set of BOAC and/or the 3 CD's (cheap)please contact me for all the gory details.

regards, Jude

Robert Cass said...

I just saw your comment from March, Judith, after finding out that Rhino is going to put out a Big Star box set featuring all of the bootleg material featured here:

Nice to see your name and your comment. Sorry about not reading the third issue after 11 years -- I'm a really slow reader, I promise! -- but I will contact you about getting a copy of the fourth.

Robert Cass said...

By "here," I mean HERE, of course:

Jeff said...



ShawnMHardy said...

Thanks for posting this--just seeing it now, but better late than never, eh?

I also own a copy of this fabulous cd--obtained for free while working at the record store Desireable Discs in Dearborn, Michigan many moons ago. It's one of my favorite treasures.

It is very sad that 'zines have fallen by the wayside. There is something wonderful and exciting about having a tangible item that you can run your fingers over and smell and place up on the shelf. I find it sad to imagine a future of book-reading and music-listening to be an online-only thing, but I get the feeling that we're headed in that direction more and more.

Anyway, to those of you who don't have this little gem, it is worth every penny. I think it's one of the best compilations out there.

Most Big Star fans probably already know the Chris Bell track, but some other real standouts for me are "Boxtop," by Outrageous Cherry (I seem to be the only person I know in Michigan who has even heard of OC--and they're from Michigan), Yuji Oniki's "Cover" (my personal favorite), "Number One" by the Scruffs, and "Radiator Girl" by Sister Lovers. The rest are all great as well--there's no way you can go wrong.

bglobe313 said...

Can't believe I didn't comment here on this. In the present day after finding out about this from the site, I wrote (ok, emailed) to Judith and got the whole collection. Very well worth getting. A classic zine with stuff you would not find elsewhere (of course) and comp CD's of a quality many labels don't come close to.

Thanks again for pointing me toward this.


Unknown said...

Hey guys! Judith Beeman again. It's been a few years. My email changed some time ago. If anyone wants any BOAC stuff I'll give ya the Wilfully Obsure discount. I am here:

Really enjoyed the Big Star documentary and Holly George-Warren has compiled a biography about Alex coming out at the end of March. Can the band get any hotter?!

Worth Wagers said...

Here's one that was recorded in 1993 that would have fit.

The Moviegoers - Sister Lovers