Kicks Books is part of the Norton Media Empire that includes Norton Records, Kicks Magazine and the boss raunch and roll combo The A-Bones, and is run by our friend Miriam Linna—a fine example of a human being that The Boogalboo Bag writers have been acquainted with since 1975. The books division has published fabulous and important works by such writers as Harlan Ellison, Royston Ellis, Nick Tosches and Charles Plymell. Also, Kicks Books has given printed vent to bonafide musical types: Andre Williams, Kim Fowley and Sun Ra.
It was for this latter personage that a gathering of hep cats and kittens, curious onlookers and finger poppin’ daddies were gathered on the Friday evening of April 25. Kicks Books has just issued Prophetika, the lost writings of Sun Ra, and a launch event was in order and it duly took place in the meeting room of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery under the kind auspices of The Poetry Project.
Sun Ra, who is known widely as a far-out jazz musician and bandleader, was also a poet, philosopher and interplanetary traveler of some note. Prophetika is being published in the centennial year of Mr. Ra’s birth. For the event, Ms. Linna rounded up some of Sun Ra’s most fervent fans in order to read his work aloud to the faithful, perform music inspired by his, and to celebrate the spirit of a singular individual whose like will never appear on this world again. Readers were Kicks Books author Charles Plymell, musician/writer Mike Edison, guitarist Mick Collins (Gories, Dirtbombs), Boston rock ‘n’ rhythm shouter Barrence Whitfield and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, who also served as the master of ceremonies. Through much of the night, The Rocket Train Delta Science Micro Arkestra (Mr. Edison, who played Solar Space Theremin and percussion, and the esteemed bongo player Bob Bert) added aural punctuation in all the appropriate places.
A confirmed Sun Ra follower since having been initiated as such in high school, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus read from an interview he conducted with Sun Ra back in the late eighties and then recited Sun Ra’s poem “The Universe Is Out There Waiting,” and blew his C-melody saxophone while the lovely Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner shook her maracas and interpreted the words with artful choreography. Dig that action HERE!!!!
Although Sun Ra has been physically absent from Earth for about 20 years, his presence was most definitely felt in the room.
When the festivities were over, many of the Sun Ra devotees made the scene at a super-boss after-party at Home Sweet Home, where our pal Jonathan Toubin was in full swing with his Shakin’ All Over Under Sideways Down night of rockin’ R&B records. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus played a few records, as did Norton Records head honcho Billy Miller—many picked by Miriam Linna—as Barrence Whitfield was seen ripping it up on the dance floor!
Here’s a list of the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus—some of them even had Sun Ra involvement:
The Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale–Batman Theme (Tifton)
The Batmen–Batman (CBS; Germany)
Combo Kings–Batman A Go Go (Jamie)
NRBQ–Rocket Number 9 (Columbia)
Les Boozers—No, No, No (CBS; Belgium)
Hank Blackman & the Killers–Itchy Koo (Brent)
Johnny Talbot, His Band and the Four Rivers–Whatcha Wanna Do Part 1 (Red Fire)
Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez–Hurricane (Clock)
The Artesians–Tick Bag (Norton)
The Rolling Stones–She Said Yeah (Discos Peerless; Mexico)
Ronny Kae–Swinging Drums (LEO)
Little Bob–I Got Loaded (La Louisianne)
The Cat–Do the Watusi (Arc)
The American Four–Luci Baines (Selma)
None of these records are for sale.