Mal Thursday

The Chunk Records Story

 

 Chapter One: Chunk Records is Born

Back in the Spring of 1986, I had just graduated from Hampshire College with a largely useless Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and Theatre. I split up with my cute L.A. girlfriend, who promptly went home and started dating some dickhead whose video was getting played regularly on MTV (for the record, it was one of the guys from David and David -- I think his name was David). After six years as a college student, I was thrust into the real world with no girlfriend, no job and no prospects. I could have applied to grad school or gone out and gotten a real job. But I wasn't having any of that.

I was in a rock n' roll band.

The Malarians had formed in the Spring of 1984 as an homage to the mid-'60s garage bands that I dearly loved. Clad in black turtlenecks, specializing in four-chord rave-ups and crude lyrical motifs, the group evolved from an art project into a working band over the Summer of '85...

 

Surreal Cinema: The Complete Series 2006-2007

 

Once upon a time, I was the friendly Friday night movie host with the most on good 'ol Channel 22 WQXT, a local TV station in Northeast Florida. Because the name "Mal Thursday" was deemed "too radio" by the station owner, I was renamed "Michael West."

Below is a list of movies we presented during my tenure on the ultra-low budget movie series 'Surreal Cinema,' home of the "wildest and weirdest movies that time forgot to remember to forget."

SURREAL CINEMA
with Michael West

2006-2007:
Abbott & Costello Go to Mars
Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein
Abbott & Costello Meet the Invisible Man
Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff
Alphaville
The Amazing Transparent Man
The Angry Breed

Attack of the Giant Leeches
Atom Age Vampire
Beast from Haunted Cave Before I Hang
Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla
Billy the Kid vs. Dracula
The Black Cat
Black Friday

 

Garage Days Revisited

 

  Originally published in The Orlando Weekly

We The People and the Rise and Fall of Orlando's Garage Rock Scene

By J.M Dobies  

Summer 1966. At places like the Orlando Youth Center, Leesburg Armory, or the Coconut Teen Club, the scene is the same. Hundreds upon hundreds of teens are dancing to the beat stomped out by one or more of the top local bands. The group onstage may be the Rockin' Roadrunners or possibly Nation Rocking Shadows or Daytona's Allman Joys with Gregg and Duane Allman.

But for our purposes, the band in question is We The People, a group of long-haired high-schoolers whose latest single, "You Burn Me Up and Down," is getting mucho airplay on the city's biggest rock station, WLOF-AM. A fan favorite, the song contains all the classic garage rock ingredients: wild drums, buzzing fuzztone guitars, swirling electric organ, and a hormonally charged lead vocal by 16-year-old Tommy Talton that's a cocky hybrid of Jagger and Dylan. On Monday morning, the band members will be back in class, subject to being hassled by teachers about the length of their hair, but on the weekends, they are rock & roll stars.

Although they enjoyed only regional chart success in their time, We the People has come to be regarded as one of the finest "lost" bands of the '60s. This reputation is due primarily to the recordings they left behind on a handful of singles, both on RCA and on smaller labels like Gene Autry's Challenge (home of The Champs)...

 

The Ballad of Bill Lee

 

                 

The Ballad of Bill Lee 

The former Boston and Montreal left-hander on the Sox, Fenway, and smokin’ with Dubya

By J.M. Dobies

 

 

 

THEN: 1973 saw Lee playing for a poor Sox team, and drowning his sorrows puffin’ down with W.

To longtime members of the Red Sox Nation, William Francis Lee III, a/k/a “the Spaceman,” is either one of the most beloved players to have ever worn a uniform for the Boston nine, or that guy who threw the blooper pitch that Tony Perez crushed for a home run in the seventh game of the ’75 World Series,  who was once fined $250 by Major League Baseball for saying he sprinkled marijuana on his buckwheat cakes “to absorb the toxins.” One of the Red Sox’ best pitchers from 1969 to 1978, the self-professed “Roman Catholic Zen Buddhist” has been immortalized in song by Warren Zevon, featured extensively in Ken Burns’s epic documentary Baseball, and has had his autobiography, The Wrong Stuff, optioned for the movies by actor/hemp activist Woody Harrelson.

Lee made the wire services last fall when he was quoted in the Montreal Gazette as saying that he supported George W. Bush for President because he was “the kind of guy you can party with. Back in 1973, we rolled a couple of doobies and smoked them together. And I can tell you — he definitely inhaled.” Although the Bush camp neither confirmed nor denied the story, Lee says he remembers it clearly. “It’s a moment that stands out in my brain, because I remember thinking ‘What am I doing at a fundraiser for Senator Brooke? He’s a Republican.’ It was like Fear and Loathing at the Museum of Science.”

 

Daredevils of Drink: Drunk Stuntmen Cheat Death at Ralph's

 

Originally published in the Worcester Phoenix

DAREDEVILS OF DRINK

Drunk Stuntmen Cheat Death at Ralph's

by Mal Thursday

When the Northampton-based Drunk Stuntmen – guitarists Steve Sanderson, Al Johnson, Terry Flood, bassist Scot "Bau Bau" Brandon, keyboard player Scott Hall, and drummer Dave (no relation to Fred) Durst – play Ralph's this Saturday night, it will be the band's first area appearance in over five years.

"Last time we played Worcester was at Ralph's, with a band called Chillum, as in the marijuana-smoking device," recalls Sanderson. "We ate cheeseburgers with 'em in the back room. They were good hippies: good band, and they ate burgers." Sanderson struggles to recall the band's only other Wormtown appearance. "We used to play the metal circuit back when we were a hippie band. We played this place with a bunch of pictures on the wall, what was it called?"

"Sir Morgan's Cove!," Johnson interjects.

"Yeah, we played to two people. The soundman and his girlfriend. But she wanted us."

 

Vladimir Guerrero Music Video Directed by Mal Thursday

 

Here's the "Vladimir Guerrero" music video I did for the Montreal Expos in 1999 for which I retain the copyrights. Song by Mal Thursday and Paul Rocha, sung by Amy Sullivan.