Brian Jones"We’re talking classic American alt.psychedelia that’s right up there with the very very best"
We did quite a lot with the BJM back in the 90's. The Brian Jonestown Massacre first came to our attention via our mid 90’s association with The Dandy Warhols (back in the Warhols' early days – yeap, the Dandy’s started their UK invasions on ORGAN bills in Camden pubs as well as Organ front covers). That 20 track BJM single we released introduced the BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE to loads of excited new people over here in Europe - the BJM vs Dandy Warhols battles on XFM (see Dig!), the Peel sessions, the smashed tambourines and Joel worship at the Camden Crawl, the tracks on the Organ Radio compilations.... 

A total nightmare of a band to work with but hey, it was the music that mattered and the music that had excited us in the first place (although if we’d know before we’d started then we probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere near it!). We tried to do more after the single but TVT (who they were by then signed to in the USA) wanted the Brian Jonestown Massacre to be on a bigger label over here. No problem, we left them to get on with it and waited hopefully for new music. We’ve never been about holding on to bands here at ORG – release the record and watch them go on to bigger better things with people who have more money to make it all happen if that’s what they want.... we waited for new music…… nothing..... still nothing.. end on the century, lots of disturbing rumours but still no music (indeed, we got more than one message about Anton O’ding andbeing dead on some floor). 

So come 2002 when no one else would work with them (and TVT had dropped them bythen) they came back and via their latest manager begging us to do more (by then half of the people had jumped ship to form other bands - see Organ reviews of early BRMC demos, Warlock gigs and such). So start of 2002 and Anton's latest new excited manager was wanting us to give them another chance - we were happy to despite all the poisonous stuff from Anton that we'd seen floating about the web (it’s never the band’s fault when they mess it up – it’s always the fault of people like us – the ones who support the bands, put out the records, put in the hours and the money that allows them the space and time and support to create in the first place). So despite everything we were (admittedly rather easily) persuaded by the latest (already harassed) manager to work with them again – we got together and made plans for a new single and compilation of recent recordings. We started work, brought them to the attention of Teepee amongst other things (the plan was that Teepee were going to release the new ORG album in the US once we had done it here in Europe). So over a year later and by now it was Summer 2003 and we were (still! despite all the frustration) getting ready to release a retrospective BJM album - old songs and lost songs and rare songs re-recorded for us, as well as the new single…

Millions of e.mails and phone calls later we were still waiting from the artwork – we had the master recordings, we had the agreement, we had the publicity happening, we had people caling asking for copies to play  – no artwork! We heard stories about Anton telling the crowd at South By South West that our rejecting of the artwork was holding up the release! We hadn't had the artwork! it was lost in haze of acid or crack or something! There was suddenly a lot more activity over in their U.S homeland where the BJM had started working (and still are) with the excellent TEEPEE label. Suddenly they had a new single and new set of recordings out with them. The band came over completed a UK tour with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (one of the bands who had evolved after escaping the cult of BJM – everyone forgives Anton, he gets away with so much!). We were still waiting for artwork, We'd been waiting for Anton to clean up his drug crazed bulshit all the way through 2002/2003 - dealing with his bulshit was a total nightmare, his then manager was pulling out most of her hair (she quit after the Texas crap - thank for trying E), the guy doing the artwork now claimed he’d lost it all moving house and wanted more money and the moon was the wrong shape and blah blah (then we got calls from their agent’s office telling us we weren’t welcome at their UK shows - even though we’d introduced the agent to the band in the first place!). Suddenly other things were coming out on other labels, not a problem, we had a simple contract agreement but we only wanted to get them moving again, we’d been actively trying to get other labels lined up for future releases… The bulshit increased, we considered just releasing the album and single with our own artwork – nah, not worth it, we gave up…. 

The masters are still here collecting dust.  We don't run a record label to deal with this kind of crap, we gave up on it all - damn fine band, total nightmare of a band leader……  can’t even listen to the music these days, sold all his oldalbums onebayand went to the pub…  sometimes it’s just not worth it.

 Meanwhile here's the biog we wrote in 1999 when we did that (now legendary) 20 track single here on ORG 

There's lots and lots to tell you about THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE, a mysterious San Francisco cult of a band with a shedload of albums out in their native USA - their latest album "Strung Out In Heaven" is out in the U.S right now on TVT (remember this is the biog we wrote in '99) - there's a number of Web sites out there that'll will tell you more than enough about their big back catalogue of albums and such (there’s lots of albums to catch up with) so we don't really need to go in to great detail here, we should tell you a little bit about our involvement with Anton and co..... We'd heard quite a lot about BJM in underground zines like Freakbeat, from U.S Organ readers - interesting whispers, good vibrations, there certainly appeared to be something interesting going on over there in the UsofA. We finally came in to direct contact with them via our mutual friends THE DANDY WARHOLS and we're pleased to say that contact resulted in us releasing the debut Brian Jonestown Massacre UK three track single - well actually, seeing as they have such a back catalogue of cool cool sounds, we took the opportunity of hiding another 17 tracks at the end of the CD single so in reality it was a twenty track affair  (it sold out rather quickly of course)  - What do they sound like? Well kind of like a lot of early Stones things, The Pink Floyd's first moves, The kinks at their creative best, the more psychedelic moments of T-Rex, a lot of those Brit invasion bands of the late 60's all mixed up with the strange cult of the Massacre - and of course some healthy 90's vigour..... You really should take to the time to check out B.J.M - go search their sites and feed your head. They're something special.....

Shoot forward from that 1999 biog to the start of 2003 and we were ready to release an album called YOUR SIDE OF OUR STORY on ORG. So what happened since we released that single over here in the UK?  Well somewhere over there on the U.S West Coast the BJM have been enjoying lots of adventures, there's been so many different rumours flying.  We can't work out the fact from the fiction and the strange releases. We do know that somewhere along the line Peter jumped ship and formed a band called BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB that got kind of popular, we know that some of BJM are now involved in The WARLOCKS, hey, it's a totally confusssssing soap opera where band members get beaten up and left in trashcans - people leave, stories of people being shot on stage by Anton, like I said already people forgiving Anton for almost everything 

18th APRIL 2004 - Ah look, THE BJM are a fine fine musical experience - when Anton's head is in the right place he's a creative guy, a potential genius - most of the time his head is in the wrong place and he's a total drug crazed nightmare who shoots bands members, trashes friend's houses, thinks the whole world is there just to worship him and treats those who take a moment to care with utter evil nastiness. There's bad vibes where ever he goes, his karma is black and we finally gave up dealing for him sometime at the end last year..... over and completely out..... sometme it really really isn't worth it

Ah there's loads everywhere these days, go look elsewhere - here's am Organ review of the most recent album written back towards the end of 2003 (despite all the crap we were etting at the time off Anton).....

BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE "And This Is Our Music" (Tee Pee) - Hey look, he may be a bastard and half of America may want to shoot him, but Anton Alfred Newcombe can almost get away with it all when the band he leads makes albums this good….  He gets away with so so much (or maybe he never has got away with any of it? Maybe he knows the answer when he ings ‘why do bad things come my way’?). He’s reportedly shot band members on stage, dumped them is trash cans, he’s been chased out of a hundred towns, he’s done a million bad things, it’s hard separating the fact from fiction. Most of his musicians leave/get fired and then form great bands themselves – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Warlocks… and as for those of us who have at one time or another put records out for him and his band –we’re at the front of the  queue to bark and scream at him. Yeap, that girl yelling at his answer machine at the start is for real, she’s one of the many – there should be support groups for those who got entwined with the BJM. Sometimes it’s hard to work out where an old song ends and a new one begins as familiar riffs come and go but hey, when The Brian Jonestown Massacre really hook it up then they really can touch the sky. And this is their best album yet… there’s already a back catalogue of a dozen or so, and they never made a bad one – Strung Out was the weakest and that still does it. We’re talking classic American psychedelia that’s right up there with the very very best – The Byrds, The Stone Roses, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, we’re talking The Beach Boys at their most out there, we’re talking classic soundtracks to great psychedelic movies that should have been made in the early 70’s, we’re talking the trip in Easy Rider, we’re talking real classic moments…. Believe them, they’ll touch you…. It really does sound like cult music, beautiful (evil) drug fuelled cult music that could have you shaving your head and proclaiming yourself a child of Manson and going on a murder spree before sun up. It sounds like 1969 and bad shit at an Altermont speedway track/good shit in a Californian field, yet it doesn’t sound the least bit dated, no no, don’t let them tell you this is retro – this is now. Beautiful psychedelic music with just a hint of danger underneath it all so you don’t quite want to shut your eyes and let it take you just in case, beautifully dreamy psychedelia that just drags you in as you shut your eyes…. Now don’t go thinking the BJM are clones or anything - no, they have a sound all of their own, a unique and very special sound.
Why is this album even better than all the others? This time it sounds like Anton really knew it had to be, he knew this had to be the one, he knew he had to take it just that bit further out….. and I’m almost loathed to say it, the guy is a genius and he’s damn well done it. Hey Anton when they give you enough rope to hang yourself this time, don’t do it again!  Just listen to the beautifully soaring simplicity of Here it Comes or that classic BJM start to Prozac Vs Heroin while he asks why do bad things always come his way and will he ever know why, or the pure pure haunting beauty of Tschusse or Pregnancy Test. Classic Americana, classic psychedelia, a classic band, goddamn you Anton A Newcombe, you damn well did it again and you did it even better than all the other times. A brilliant album – it should come with a warning. (Sean Organ)

org047    3 track cd single: This Is Why You Love Me/Lantern/Maleka (plus an extra bonus 17 tracks not listed on cover - Bad Baby/Satellite/Servo/It Girl/Take It From The Man/Fucker/It's Summer/Cold To The Touch/In India You/No Come Down/To Crazy To Care/'Cause I Love Her/Whoever You Are/I Love You/Supersonic/Ananome/My Man Syd - Linited to 1000 and long since sold out

ORG051    track on ORGAN RADIO 5 CDalbum Satellite
ORG220  track on ORGAN RADIO 15 CDalbum Not If You Were The Last Dandy In The World

ORGXXX - OUR SIDE OF YOUR STORY - Withdrawn due to drug crazed nightmare band leader.

Releases elsewhere on other labels: Oh, there's loads and loads, best go check the websites over there in the U.S.A, links down there....

OTHER WEBSITES - for latest US releases