The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

After The Flood: The 13 Favourite Albums Of Howe Gelb, Aged 12-16
Stewart Smith , June 11th, 2012 08:21

In a neat twist on our 13 favourite albums feature, Giant Sand's Howe Gelb talks Stewart Smith through his formative records from his teenage years in Pennsylvania

Add your comment »

David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie was right there, Ziggy Stardust was the last record right before the flood. The sound of that record, besides the songwriting, was so exceptional. That record sounded like a rock opera to me. In my head I put it together as if it was a story, from the beginning to how it ends with 'Rock & Roll Suicide', it just all somehow made total sense to me. I could see the whole movie in my head. It was a rock opera, it just wasn't so bold to say it was a rock opera.

The funny part is that the cover, when he's standing there in front of the red time capsule? I thought obviously it's a time machine, because he looked so futuristic, and I had no idea that that was just a normal British telephone box. Our payphones did not look like that, so when I saw that red thing there on the cover I just thought, 'wow, what's that thing that just came out of out that capsule, look at him!'.

One of the first things I recorded in 1978 was a rock opera. It was very bad. It's probably left over from how I began, it just seemed that in my head I had a storyline. It had a very weird title, I called it, and I have no idea why I called it this, Z.E.Q.E. 24.0 88. So Ziggy Stardust just set my imagination for the rest of my sonic life. And then about eight minutes later a massive flood destroyed my home.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.

Rabbit Fighter
Jun 11, 2012 3:23pm

Now that's a goddamn list! Compare to the utterly lazy and inane offering from Butch Vig recently...

Reply to this Admin

Jun 11, 2012 5:51pm

coolest thing this summer would be a dozen by El-P. or Greg Sage. and that Cactus record is beinhart. thank you

Reply to this Admin

Jun 11, 2012 7:23pm

For a kid in Bumfuck, Pennsyltucky... right on! More dueling keyboards!

Reply to this Admin

Stavros P. Leibowitz
Jun 11, 2012 7:46pm

Boy, Howe sounds like a barrel of laughs, doesn't he? The list might be good but it's hardly insightful stuff, is it?

Reply to this Admin

Jun 14, 2012 6:40pm

In reply to Stavros P. Leibowitz:

...Or perhaps he prefers to keep his mouth shut when he has nothing to say, unlike most of the whimpering gobshites on here? Anyway, his anecdote about Bowie's space capsule is fab, & I'm going to track that Cactus LP down IMMEDIATELY on the basis on the hilarious sleeve... OK duck?

Reply to this Admin