Flashback 8-8-88: Interview Excerpts from forthcoming book 'Phantoms: The Rise of Deathrock from the L.A. Punk Scene.'
Flashback to 8-8-88:
Today marks thirty years since Zeena's first public collaboration with music group Radio Werewolf, which led soon after to her becoming co-director as composer, musician, lyricist, singer, artist and art director.
Music historian Mikey Bean interviewed Radio Werewolf for his forthcoming encyclopedic volume, 'Phantoms: The Rise of Deathrock from the L.A. Punk Scene.' The Radio Werewolf chapter covers a vast amount of yet unknown information about several key points in the bands development, from all members involved.
Thanks goes out to Mikey Bean for granting permission to share a peek of this book, prior to release.
The following passages are specifically in reference to the 8-8-88 rally at the Strand Theater in San Francisco.
To follow updates on the 'Phantoms' release, go to this Facebook page:
Phantoms: The Rise Of Deathrock From The La Punk Scene https://www.facebook.com/mikeys.book/
Original, Vintage Radio Werewolf Merchandise available on this site under:
VINTAGE, ORIGINALS & COLLECTIBLES
Radio Werewolf begin working on The Norse Eddas shortly before 8-8-88
Zeena: In Summer of '88, a couple of months after we'd met, Nikolas mentioned that he and Kirby were planning on doing an album of the Norse Eddas.
Nikolas Schreck: …on rehearsing the adaptation of the Elder Edda, which formed the centerpiece of Radio Werewolf's second album Songs For The End Of The World.
Zeena: He said, “I'm looking for a strong woman to play the role of a Valkyrie and you just might be the one I've been looking for.”
Nikolas Schreck: Her artwork and creative writing, which she read to me, and her skills as an improvisatory keyboard player with a gift for haunting medieval melodies, her experience in theater as ritual, these were the many things we had in common as far as the mutual artistic approach that blossomed into our collaboration in the next phase of Radio Werewolf.
Zeena: He knew I'd done theater pieces and had acting experience, and asked if I'd be interested. Now, the funny thing is, between '87-88, I'd been having a pleasant dalliance with King Diamond. Right around the time Nikolas asked me to participate in the Eddas recording, Kind Diamond said he'd like to find a way to bring me on tour with him but in order to do that, he would have had to work me into his act to justify my travel expenses. At that time, King Diamond had a stage act that involved a haunted house story with a scary old grandmother character and he asked if I'd consider wearing a latex mask to play the grandmother. Well, given the choice between playing a Valkyrie or playing an old grandmother in a latex mask, which would you choose?! (laughs) So obviously Nikolas, Kirby and I began working on what would become Songs For The End Of The World fairly early on. We were artists who would’ve collaborated as equals on something anyway, regardless of whether or not we got romantically involved, and regardless of Nikolas's then involvement with the first cast of Radio Werewolf.
8-8-88 rally at Strand Theater SF
Nikolas Schreck: Then in August, the 8-8-88 concert happened, the anniversary of the Manson murders. Zeena came to San Francisco from LA at my invitation, to do a reading at this concert to which Boyd Rice and I had agreed to several months before.
Zeena: I was supposed to arrive at the venue with Boyd and Adam Parfrey. I wanted to get there a little early, as I usually do, but they wanted to wait until the last minute and opted instead to kill time eating dinner in Japan Town. Meanwhile, Nikolas and his girlfriend were still running around getting everything together for the performance, obviously with no help from the three of us.
Zeena: The 8-8-88 rally was the only time the old line up of Radio Werewolf and the yet-to-be new line up of Radio Werewolf worked together. It would be the only performance that Nikolas, the original percussionist Wilhelm, and I ever performed live together. That marked the transition point spanning three phases of Radio Werewolf: 1) the Nikolas Schreck/Evil Wilhelm collaboration, 2) the solo Nikolas Schreck/The Fiery Summons, and 3) the Nikolas Schreck/Zeena collaboration.
Zeena: During the performance my cue was a particular organ chord that Nikolas would play; Boyd's part came before mine and when Nikolas played the cue Boyd was to step away from the podium to make room for the next in the line-up, me. When the time came for my part Boyd just stood there, I kept looking around wondering when he'd get it, his part was finished, but he stood there an interminably long time, just sort of zoning out. Judging by Boyd's and Adam's jitteriness that they expressed at dinner over the Geraldo crew filming it, I think that must have been what panicked him, they weren't yet used to that level of national attention.
Nikolas Schreck: When the Geraldo Rivera [U.S. TV show] film crew had arrived at the theater they asked me in all seriousness if they could film my Satanic wedding ceremony with Zeena LaVey; they were very disappointed when I told them there was no such wedding planned!
Zeena: Because of Boyd's stage fright, it left me about half the time I needed for what we'd planned for me to read…so I just hurriedly did my part and moved on. It was also tense during the performance because shortly before we went on, we learned of a call-in threat from someone with the intention of stabbing the participants on stage with syringes filled with AIDS infected blood.
Zeena: I was not at all comfortable with the atmosphere immediately after the show and wanted to immediately leave, as was the original agreement. There was supposed to be a car waiting for me, which never materialised so I was stuck in the backstage area with a bunch of dips wanting to ape for the camera. There were some group photos taken and if you notice I'm at the far outer end…why? Because I didn't even want to be in the photos at all. I was the only one standing off to the side watching the others take photos but the ‘Anton LaVey fan-club’ all whined that I should be in the photos with them and that's why I'm actually half in, and half out, of those shots.
Nikolas Schreck: Me and Wilhelm gave an interview to Geraldo, and if you watch the interview you can already see the tension that comes across from us sitting together.
Evil Wilhelm: During the show I looked around in disgust and said “this is just not fun anymore…”.
Zeena: You could cut the tension with a knife, because on the one end of the spectrum you had these goofy newcomers to the CoS, getting off on their 15 minutes of media high, and then on the other end of the spectrum you had this silently smouldering Radio Werewolf drama between Wilhelm and Nikolas unfolding behind everyone else's drunken giddiness…as for me, I just wanted to go home.
Fastforward 30 Years
Zeena: Although we haven't collaborated on musical projects since Radio Werewolf ended in 1993, there are still a lot of similarities in theme and content to what we both do.
Nikolas Schreck: These days, Zeena and I focus on solo performances and individual writing/art projects; we purposely don't attend each others' gigs for a variety of practical reasons, mostly having to do with maintaining respect for each artists' autonomy, and to dispel the moronic ‘Mommy and Daddy of Satanism’ idea which originated primarily from both the US Fundamentalist Christian AND Satanic factions.
Zeena: We live and work entirely independently of each other these days. On a practical level, we learned long ago that it's very difficult for two very focused artists, who are always working on a continuous stream of projects, with unpredictable schedules, to attempt to live any sort of conventional co-habitation or ‘coupledom’ lifestyle. In addition to that, I've taken Buddhist Bodhisattva vows and am a yogini, which also necessitates specific ways of living.
Nikolas Schreck: I’m flattered that [more than] thirty years after I started [Radio Werewolf] people are still enthusiastic and excited about it. I saw from the beginning that it’s something beyond…I can’t get away from it, but it isn’t ‘me’; I feel like I have a younger twin brother who did all this stuff and I have to deal with the consequences, that it’s like a child I brought into the world and I have to accept the responsibility of it.
Zeena: For me, the most powerful, valuable and enduring lesson of all that came out of my Radio Werewolf years is the message of our final album: Love Conquers All.
[End of excerpt]
Vintage clip from Radio Werewolf's 'Songs for the End of the World' 1991 German tour.
Music video clip from the Zeena Schreck/Radio Werewolf Archives: Concert footage from early 90s.
More vintage Radio Werewolf from the Zeena Schreck/Nikolas Schreck European collaborative years will be featured regularly on this site and Zeena's YouTube channel.
Genre categories: #performanceart #postindustrial #soundscapes #experimentalmusic #avantgardemusic
#darkambient #neoclassical #postpunk #darkwave #nikolasschreck #zeenaschreck
Zeena's Magical, Musical, Mystery Reunion with Legendary Swiss Event Promoter Arnoldo Steiner of 'Magic Circle'
A Message from ZEENA:
"After twenty six years, I'm thrilled to have just reconnected with the very dear Arnoldo Steiner, who was the event organizer of Radio Werewolf's final concert "The Zürich Experiment." He recently posted a collection of his images from that night and, with his permission, I'm featuring them in my Photo Gallery on my website as well.
My memories of the event are entirely positive and wonderful. Without a doubt, Arnoldo was the most gracious host I'd had in all of my music experiences.
Arnoldo has always had, and still does have, an Old World charm which one expects of the Goth sub-culture, but in recent years is often lacking. A true emanation of Shelley-Byron style Romanticism at its best. As a result, his events' decor, his personal presence and classic style had a positive influence on the Zürich Goth scene which, to my recollection, were an ideal audience that particular night! It's safe to say that Arnoldo has had a longstanding reputation as 'The Source' for such alternative entertainment as what Radio Werewolf represented. Best described in the advertizement of the Radio Werewolf performance he organized (also in English below):
' GOTHIC OPERA
The commitment to youth culture of Zurich's Arnoldo Steiner dates back to the 'Halbstarken' era of the 1960s [Halbstarken def: Americanization of post-WWII Europe via pop culture].
In recent years, he has organized unusual gothic and rock parties, with fans from all over Switzerland. This will also be the case on 30 December, the day before New Year's Eve. For the first time, the cult group Radio Werewolf from L.A., based in Vienna, will perform in Switzerland. These prophesies of doom offer more than just an ordinary concert. Their performance is an opera, a ritual, a magical work of art. Before and after the midnight spectacle, the original -Big Apple- DJs Walky, Andy and Arnoldo will spin wave and gothic rock classics.'
It was wonderful to have had an organizer who not only totally got what we were doing musically, but also made everything so pleasant! (In 1991, being a vegetarian was not an easy thing to add to the rider! )
Many thanks to Arnoldo for providing these images and fun memories from Radio Werewolf's past !"
Go to PHOTO GALLERY for the images from RADIO WEREWOLF's final concert courtesy of Arnoldo Steiner - thanks again Arnoldo !
San Francisco is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. This week also marks the dark-side of the city's history. On May 23, 1967 Zeena made her international debut as performance-artist at the first public satanic baptism, orchestrated by her parents' in-house carnival show. She has commemorated the event by creating a personally charged meditative ritual in the form of a soundscape and video collage.
An Excerpt from a 1992 film by Zeena Schreck originally titled "GERMANIA: The Theory of Ruins". Filmed 25 years ago today at crossover from Walpurgisnacht to May Day, at the top of the Harz Mountains in Germany, home of the original Walpurgisnacht.
In this clip, the personification of the May Queen ushers in Springtime with a speech of rejuvenation for the Pagan New Year, the day after Walpurgisnacht.
The raw footage of "GERMANIA: The Theory of Ruins" is being digitally rescued from old VHS master tapes for re-release in a series of theme-oriented short films and sound art recordings by Zeena Schreck.
The subject matter will focus on the history of German music, cinema, art, pagan lore, natural landscapes and architecture.
For more info, sign up to the mailing list on this site
Zeena Schreck performing Kali Invocation at Neurotitan Schwarzenberg Gallery Berlin, January 14, 2017
Presented by Viviana Druga for Urban Witches not Bitches#2 Exhibit.
Percussion and shruti box: Brandon Rosenbluth
Background Artwork: Shaltmira
Filmed & edited by
Thorium Heavy Industries
Audio/video engineering by
The Man with the Green Gloves.
ZEENA SCHRECK will be the very speical Mistress of Ceremonies who will open the exhibition URBAN WITCHES NOT BITCHES #2: A PAGAN WHEEL OF THE SEASONS in Berlin, Germany at the Neurotitan Gallery.
Description: Undamaged by the rational mind, the New Feminine inhabits a new realm of uncivilized norms in which the Dark Feminine, so feared by patriarchy, emerges transformed.
Conceived by Vivana Druga, Urban Witches is composed of an exhibition and calendar. Eight women artists have been invited to create installation, performance and sound-based work for the exhibition.
The printed calendar, featuring eight photographic portraits of eight artists (performance artists, sculptors, costume designers and illustrators), forms the basis of the exhibition.
Each portrait symbolizes a festival or 'sabbath' in the Urban Witches 2017 Calendar / A Pagan Wheel of the Seasons, and is represented by an artist fitting the transformative energy of that season. Each portrait was created as part of a ritual during the year 2016.
The Urban Witches 2017 Calendar / A Pagan Wheel of the Seasons is based on the eight seasons of the neo-pagan 'wheel of the year' and its cycles of birth, death and renewal. The wheel of the year developed out of cross-cultural awareness in early modern Europe, influenced by Celtic traditions.
The exhibition runs from Jan. 14-28, 2017.
For more info go to http://www.neurotitan.de/EN/archive/2017/170114_urbanwitches2_en.html
Twenty-five years ago today, Radio Werewolf ceremonially concluded its seven year sonic-magic cycle with The Zürich Experiment, held at the historic Kaufleuten concert hall, Zurich, Switzerland at Midnight, December 30, 1991. The live track in this post is from that event, digitally remastered in 2012, for The Vinyl Solution - Analog Artifacts: Ritual Instrumentals and Undercover Versions. Video collage by Tony Sokol.
Text to "Prologue: Turn Off, Tune In, Drop Out" :
[Voice: Master of Ceremonies Wolfgang]
Willkommen beim Zürich Experiment.
Sie sind hier zusammengerufen worden, um an einem historischen Experiment in akustischer Magie teilzunehmen. Während der nächsten Minuten wird Ihr Verstand von vielen Jahren Programmierung, Fehlinformationen und gesellschaftlicher Kontrollmechanismen gesäubert und befreit werden.
Heute nacht haben Sie aus freiem Willen eine andere Dimension des Denkens betreten. Am Ende des Experiments werden Sie nicht mehr dieselbe Person sein wie bei Ihrer Ankunft an diesem Ort.
Welcome to the Zurich experiment.
You have been summoned here to participate in a historic experiment in acoustic magic. During the next few minutes, your minds will be cleansed and freed from many years of programming, misinformation and social control mechanisms.
Tonight you have voluntarily entered another dimension of thought. At the end of the experiment, you will not be the same person as you were when you arrived at this location.
[Voice: Alpha She-Wolf Zeena]
Good Evening. You've tuned into Radio Werewolf, the Voice of Terror, broadcasting at a frequency of 666 megahertz. The following is a Transmission of the Nightmare Network.
Prologue: Turn Off, Tune In, Drop Out
The Vinyl Solution
Live at The Zurich Experiment, Dec. 30, 1991
Vocals: Zeena & Wolfgang
Sound recordings: Zeena
Copyright 1991 All Rights Reserved
Visual Choreographer: Tony Sokol
The Guardsman student newspaper interviews Zeena on a little known period of her life as an arts student at City College of San Francisco & teenage single-mother. During the run up for local election to reinstate CCSF as a free college, Zeena shares her memories and recommends young art students to also explore opportunities in foreign countries that offer state support for the arts and universities. Read the full article HERE
THANKS TO CLAUS LAUFENBURG for these rare and legendary concert stills from Radio Werewolf's early '90s European "End of the World" concert tour . These stills are from concert footage Herr Laufenburg filmed for Video Werewolf music documentary videos.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE NEWS ON THIS THEME: A massive video-to-digital transfer project is currently underway to save many of Zeena's archived VHS video cassette tapes for posterity. Plans are to re-release the videos that the stills in this gallery are from, as well as many other vintage Radio Werewolf videos and formerly lost TV and film appearances of Zeena from the 80s and 90s! This will be a laborious, time intensive project. So please have patience. We will keep you posted as new additions to the archives are available.
CLASSIC ROCK online magazine has listed RADIO WEREWOLF as #4 weirdest band of all time, topping other such notorious groups as Roky Erickson, Father Yod & Yahowha 13, The Monks, and the '60s topless all girl band The Ladybirds!
Classic Rock describes Radio Werewolf as:
Formed during the height of “Satanic Panic” hysteria in mid-80's America, Radio Werewolf was once considered “the most dangerous band in the world”, largely due to the notoriety of their vocalist, Zeena Schreck.
Read the full article and list here http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-06-28/the-25-weirdest-bands-of-all-time
COMING SOON: A live track from Zeena's 2015 WGT Sonic Magic Performance, featuring John Murphy, will be included on the forthcoming John Murphy memorial compilation and tribute album, "All My Sins Remembered - The Sonic Worlds of John Murphy," released by The Epicurean:
"This compilation is a tribute to the Australian musician John Murphy (who died 12th October 2015) and at the same time a charity project with all proceeds from the sales go be given to his widow. It features almost all of the project he was involved with - whether as solo musician, contemporary contributor, full band member or session musician - it covers a wide range of genres and styles, and allows a wonderful insight into John Murphy's rich and complex legacy."
For a listing of other major contributors to this compilation, please refer to the illustration below.
A big THANKS goes out to Thorium Heavy Industries for lending their amazing videography talents in the filming and editing this remarkable video of Zeena's performance last month at Kantine am Berghain. [Video is at the end of this post.]
Performing Sonic Ritual Concert
at Kantine am Berghain Berlin
February 28, 2016
Special Guest of
Filmed and Edited by
Thorium Heavy Industries
1. Introduction 0:33
2. Kali Mantra 8:40
3. An Untitled Protest (Country Joe and The Fish, Together 1968) 16:00
4. Sethian Dream Oracle Mantra 22:35
5. Trinity (Radio Werewolf, Songs For The End Of The World 1991) 27:08
6. Amitabha Mantra 40:28
Message from Zeena:
"Big thanks to King Dude for inviting me to join him on the last night of his tour through Germany this year!
It was a wonderful evening and great being among an eclectic gathering of gods, beasts, fiends and friends.
Until we meet again.....
"Would You Know Yet More? "
Om Ami Dewa Hri,
[Items which will be for sale at the event are shown below in this post.]
In the words of THE KING himself:
"I am thrilled to announce that Zeena Schreck will be joining me as my very special guest in Berlin on February 28th at the Kantine am Berghain. The picture below is from when we met in 2014 on Halloween in Berlin a night I hope to remember for the rest of my life.
At my concert Zeena will perform a ritual of magic and sound that you will not want to miss! Also this is likely to be one of my only solo performances this year. I will play for you some old songs, some brand new ones you've never heard before, and some covers of some of my favorite songs of all time... Expect some other surprises too!
I hope to see you all there! Until then I send you all my Light and Love,
OFFICIAL ZEENA FB LINK: https://www.facebook.com/ZEENA.Official.ZeenaSchreck/
Below are some of the items that will be for sale at Sunday's performance.