Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Blank Generation-Providence Version



How many once-upon-a-time-scenesters have promised themselves that they were going to finally sit down and get it right—and do up an insider’s chronicle of the once hallowed but long dead, crusty, adrenalin-filled, dream-breaking, deliciously sick, perpetually twisted, hilariously stupid, anecdote-stacked, paradise lost burgeoning years of punk rock in whatever burg they were ensconced during that time period? Everybuddy, right? Certainly every fired drummer, retired bass player, collegiate dj, record store clerk, badboy boyfriend, put upon girlfriend, wanna-be manager, inveterate groupie, rock scene drug dealer, local yokel rock scribe, clubtime photographer, rabid dog fanchild, special-friend-of-the-band, every-night-clubster, bankrolled-the-single buddy, punk fashionista, punk graphic artist, punk idealist, and punk philosopher who managed to retain most of their brain cells and can hold a pen by the right end or two-finger tap out a keyboard.

Well, the first official memorist of the Providence punk cosmos is 
Diane Beauvais Dyal, with her self-published Punk Rock Chick in Providence. Her all-too-brief tome, while slightly amateurish, is heartfelt and sincere, and a seemingly honest and slightly raw backwards glance at a truly fertile period for local rock in Providence and Rhode Island. It’s highly personalized of course, and Dyal makes the mistake of spending a bit too much time delving into her attempts at a career in graphic design, ultimately causing the book to be more of a personal memoir than a truly penetrating look at the fascinatingly lost world.
Dyal ‘s focus is mainly on the legendary DC Tenz (called the 747z) and the not forgotten Rash of Stabbings (Rash of Murders), and their two respective leaders Tommy (Timmy) and Carlotta (Carmella). Sucked into the scene by the charismatic Tommy Tenz, she paints a portrait of him as an archetypal rock and roller that is viciously amusing—he spends most of a large settlement on drugs, continually pawns and buys back his instruments, attempts to shoot up Southern Comfort, leaves her off the guest list, kicks her out of the band van, manipulates her into paying the rent, pisses in the trash barrel, never gives her an iota of credit for her promotional abilities or design work, never holds a job, and is downright awful at sex. All so true, all so comically absurd, all so common to anyone who’s been there in Anytown, USA.

As forthright as Dyal’s retelling is, one only wishes that she went beyond guilelessness and set her authorial sights on a more expanded landscape. The book never tries for a minute to explain the thrill, the pull, the magic of any of the music, and it never delves into any of the too-many-to count peripheral ( but highly memorable) characters of that particular rock mini-universe, nor does it depict the various bands ongoing fissions of rivalry, friendship, style or substance. Still, it’s her version, and she is dancing with herself, and maybe I’m just grumbling because I, a fellow scenester, didn’t make the cut even though my own hazy-dazy yet still intact memory links myself and the author together for at least one memorable close encounter of the third kind. But that's another story...

7 comments:

Sir Rockingham said...

Tommy Tenz may not have rocked her in the sack (or maybe he did and she's just jaded) but he still rocks out today as the bassist for the legendary Dopey Lopes. Some things never change. Rock on, punksters.

thomas said...

why did you do this,what did i do to you,it was 30yrs.

thomas said...

im sorry for whatever ive done to you

Dopey Lopes said...

It should be noted that this work is not authorized by Tommy Tenz in any way. Mr. Tenz strenuously objects to the way he is portrayed in this book. After a complete review of the tome, Mr. Tenz plans on issuing a formal rebuttal. He's continued to ROCK as mentioned in the post by Sir Rockingham of Kimfer Magazine. Mr. Tenz along with Dopey Lopes still packs em in and has sold out venues as recently as 2 weeks ago. What appears to be a "memoir" to Ms. Dyl is in reality OUR LIFE as ROCKERS...

Dopey Lopes said...

I've just completed the book. Not difficult since it is only around 100 pages and has 1 1/2 inch margins on both sides of the page...

This effort is obviously not by a polished writer and seems to have undergone no formal editing process. Changing the names to ones that are so similar as to be easily figured out (i.e. rash of murders) for Rash of Stabbings is LAME. If the author truly wanted to avoid pissing anyone off she would have more appropriately masked the identities of the principal characters. On behalf of Tommy Tenz, we categorically deny the content of this book. Mr. Tenz DID NOT do the things attributed to him in this work and re-states the fact that it is not authorized by him in any way. Beyond this he will have no further statements at this time - direct further inquiries on this matter to Dopey Lopes or Rockin' Rob George.

T said...

Read the book...interesting comments.

Also knowing Tom....great musician, always was...as is J now.

Anonymous said...

Although I haven't read the book, the brief comments from the review sound exactly like the Thommy I knew so well back in the 80's. But seriously it was 30 years ago in Little Rhody, so who cares?