A Conversation With Freezer (pt 2)

Image appropriated from here.

It looks like the fine folks at New Orleans Punk Rock /New Wave Scene 1976-82 finally discovered my published correspondence with one Arthur AG Parr aka "Freezer", who had passed away in June 2012.

He seems to be described as very intelligent...and cranky / ill-tempered, maybe did not suffer fools gladly and had his own twisted sense of honor / justice.

This is all very strange 15 years on (10 years on from the writeup) looking back how I got hooked in, as I had shared a Sex Pistols recording that you would have thought was his, with the voluminous commenting at his end about it, but turns out to have been taped by someone else....who is very much still around and sharing their reminiscences.

Someone says "Throw something at him" before the start of GSTQ handily identifies the trio of recordings that are up on YouTube being from the same (only known circulating) source...

This particular rendition featured right below sounds better and has more before the start...being posted about 8 years ago, it doesn't have the interview the newer one above does, but that has nothing to do with being contemporaneous to the show, and is sourced from vinyl to boot (so to speak)...

Or you can just grab the one I posted to DIME from back in the day, which I'm sure the Youtube share is sourced from.  Had it on a DVD-R that I pulled out from where I had it stashed and upped it to a filesharing site.  As ijwthstd believes, everything is copied from everything else...and will get reposted, eventually.

Anyway, as much as I can stomach to, not really just due to Art being mad mad mad at RH and *especially* Skull, but also because of all the other correspondence that I never really fully, properly processed, I'll see what else I can scrounge up.  

First of all, think there are a couple of Skul(l)s here....I found this message from 2009-02-28 which should help identify the Skull in question...this actually was posted in the (part 1) post but am resharing it here as it may have gotten buried in the lede, so to speak.

Going to see if I can get the DIME PM look going too.

This is from 2009-02-28....

Hiya Sam,Yes - I know all of the aforementioned people except this "Freezer" guy, who turns out to be a real jerk (unfortunately).I worked with both Skull and Tom Martin at a record store on Decatur Street in the mid/late '80's. Jerry Schumacher should have the master of that Siouxsie show. I haven't seen/heard from Tom in some time, but I believe I have his addy somewhere. I saw Reed when I went back to NOLA last year during Jazz Fest, at the Roky Erickson show.I doubt Skull taught at Tulane; perhaps that is someone else. The Skull I (and Tom Martin) knew was in a band called Skin Sect and before the record store worked at a clothing store called BONGO (on Royal Street).Anyways, it was good to hear from you. Let me know if you have any other information...-Matt

Okay, before finding more Parr vitriol, here's one such message from 2008-04-14, completely unrelated to this, except that I was trying to look back from 2009-01-17 when the long message from Freezer was shared. 

I miss this aspect about DIME, what I don't miss was the 16-bit repost requests when sharing 24-bit or people sending your their long lists of stuff you had no interest in...I went back to look for more messages, and realized I may have just cleared them out, though I may have archived them *somewhere*...maybe this will be part three.

I went into my old messages to actually get your name to ask you a recording question, and I found this message that I don't think I ever saw.

I'm guessing Manson doesn't have much to do with recording restrictions, as he's said in the past he doesn't even mind if people share the official stuff - he just doesn't like that that leads to songs being heard out of context. Manson shows and events (like the book signing he did downtown about ten years ago) tend to have pretty tough security, I guess because he's had a lot of violent threats over the years.
The band I was in was called Convalescent Surprise. We broke up awhile back and no one noticed. It was fun while it was lasted. I'm not sure if there's anything to listen to online. Probably somewhere. A radio station in Davis kept playing us long after we broke up.  

[ed note: Probably KDVS and Artful Spastic]
The recording question I wanted to ask was - have you had trouble losing parts of a recording made with the Tunetalk? I had no trouble transferring one full cassette and no trouble recording Flipper at Amoeba, but the Manson show had a handful of jumps in each song (as one person said, it's like a heavily scratched LP) and I had the same problem when I recorded the Counting Crows last week. That one really pissed me off - it was a show for a couple hundred people, two and a half hours, and I don't know that anyone else really tried to record it, and I kept it recording beginning to end and ended up with about an hour and fifty minutes. Where the extra 40 minutes went, I have no idea, and it's very frustrating having a song suddenly jump ahead to a completely different part. Is this something you've experienced, and do you know how to prevent it? I heard using low quality would work, but it didn't. I'm wondering if just going to a show with an empty ipod is the answer. I haven't had a chance to try that idea yet.


The smartass answer in order to prevent it would have been "use a real recorder!"...probably what was really going on is his phone was running out of space and the remaining flash was fragmented...not sure if that's what I actually told him.

Here's another message from peyotero (in blue, italicized) with my responses underneath in green.

Hi Sam, I seem to recall that guy Freezer doing the same thing over a Zeppelin recording of his from New Orleans, there was (& probably still is) reams of pages of it on the Traders Den, disputing lineages, claiming the tape had been stolen from him etc.

Yes, I've read much of that thread and it's a downright mess. I'll say that Freezer (Arthur) is very atypical, and may have other issues in his life going on. So best to leave it at that.

It may well be that when he saw the Pistols they weren't that good, Matlock had gone, the band was starting to fall apart, and they were often dealing with hostile audiences., the Lesser Free Trade Hall gig however was of a band at the start of it's career, eager for success & putting everything into their performance. The audience at this gig were enthusiastic even though most were not punks, many were fans of bands like the Stooges, MC5, Elevators etc (myself included)...

What's striking to me is the sense of continuity between what had gone on before and what the Pistols were doing...all the cover songs are a good clue to attest to that. The separation from preceding eras of music (the whole 'Year Zero' concept) seems to have been more retrospective...or maybe it developed as "Punk" ethic developed, with the battle lines getting drawn. Looking back now it's probably pretty silly but back then people were getting beat up over it.

As well as interest in this era of music, I also knew Pete McNeish as we were at school together in Leigh, and still saw him & Howard regularly at the BIT students union on Saturday nights which used to put gigs on every week - if only I'd taped some of those bands! - Arthur Browns Kingdom Come, Judas Priest (pre 1st album) Wild Turkey, Fruup etc. Given the connections it was inevitable I would go to this gig, The recorder came along as there was nothing available by the Pistols at the time, so I decided to record something for myself, never thinking that 34 years later I'd still be talking about that tape!!!

Cool. I was reading that the tape of this show became the first Pistols bootleg in August '77...and I think even by then their album hadn't come out yet. I bet the original bootleg only contains the first 10 songs due to having to fit the songs onto the platter...but there must be later bootleg issues that have 12 or all 14 songs. I bet all the remastering was probably done by the silver CD compilers...

I'm curious if you taped other things onwards or if your Pistols effort was a one-off...I'm an active taper myself, but have the luxury of using compact digital recorders and cardioid mics tucked underneath the shirt rather than the gear you guys had to cobble together. :)

The tape was the first ever Pistols release, it came out very quickly and I soon worked out the route by which it reached the pressers, as my vinyl copy came from the guy who passed on the 2nd gen!! with hindsight its fortunate that that 2nd gen was done as otherwise we could have lost the recording completely. At the time I was a bit annoyed to find I'd bought an album of my own tape, but also rather pleased to have it on vinyl.

I did tape quite a number of gigs back then, almost all of which are in circulation, the only ones that come to mind that haven't gone out are a couple of Johnny Thunders, Ted Nugent at Reading Festival with a classic mistake on the Intro ... Hello London!!! whoops wrong city!! A couple of Hawkwinds & a Pink Fairies. I gave up recording in the mid - late eighties, but about 3 years ago I went to see the Stooges in Leeds & the bug bit again, I had a phone with the ability to record in wav, so I decided to test it out & got half of the gig in listenable but not great sound, this soon led to me purchasing an Edirol R09 and I'm back taping again, the last things I got were Acid Mothers Temple in Oxford & Wilko Johnson in St Helens.

Cheers John

Okay...here's another message which is actually from Freezer...brrr...dating from 2009-09-16...some months *later* than what I had shared...I can imagine him going to the reunion and then returning to DIME, thinking "I'LL SHOW EM..." when most everybody (including me) had moved on months ago...

Hello Sam.....

There was a reunion on the anniversary of the founding week of WTUL at Tulane.

NOBODY there knew "Skull" or "Reed". Nobody remembered either. (at least on the nights I was there)

However, I can send you a link to a site

here 'tis:


I'm mentioned by name.

AND: I have agreed to be in a new band/project now with the Normals' drummer, Chris Luckette (whom you postulated that "Reed" might have gotten recordings from -- of the Normals' 9/8/79 show at the Warehouse.)

From my conversation with him last week: He doesn't know either Skull or Reed either, so he says.

Your copy of the Sex Pistols tape may be even further removed from the master than we earlier suspected.

Now you know why I don't trust anyone whom I never traded with when they claim to have a specific lineage on one of my recordings.

Especially someone who doesn't want to converse with the taper, as "Reed" didn't want to clear the issue about his bogus lineage?

How many people are now passing around a copy of the Sex Pistols show with bogus lineage thanks to "Reed"? Wanna hazard a guess?

oh well.........

best regards,

For what it's worth, I now think Freezer must not have realized or been in abject denial that the taper may have made other first generation copies (why would he not?), one of which went to "Skul(l)" which then made it to RH.  

In listening back to this as I type this up, there's no way given the age and circumstances this is much worse than a copy of a copy...  I just didn't want to have our frozen friend remain in a twist over it, so I eventually "corrected" the information therein.  Would love for the original taper to evaluate this.

And all I would have to say to Freezer is "better a show with 'bogus' lineage heard than ones rotting away on tape, unheard".  About the only legitimate reason(s) to withhold material involve pre-release live recordings artists haven't even *recorded* yet or something that would embarrass them greatly due to being in a bad state.  I've encountered both scenarios and have done the human thing and honored their requests.

The recording of this show just finished...and so have I....for now...

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