ZODIAC MINDWARP & THE LOVE REACTION
still remember very well, when I first saw this band playing live, back in
1988 in London. I also remember exactly every single minute of my first
interview with this dark looking guy, who sized up and down on me with a,
- I'm not really in the mood - attitude. Almost close to a heartattack,
with wobbeling knees, I was sitting there intimidated, trying desperately to get my
questions about the music and band done. Although I couldn't help the
feeling, that nobody in here took me seriously. And thanks to the
spectacular appearance of this group, I had the impression not to get
outta there alive. Jesus wept with all fivedimensionals Jack The Rippers
meets Stephen King's tommyknockers. At this very moment I wished myself
in the most far away galaxy of the andromeda fog just to get out of sight
biting sarkasm of a Mark Manning.Only the circumstance, that Zodiac
Mindwarp & The Love Reaction had shot like a rocket through the
milkyway, oh sorry, I mean the musicbusiness, and the chance of a decent
salery, let me stay to the bitter end.
Even my female espirit was useless, whatever reasons for. But it was probably due to the fact that I never owned a Claudia Schiffer beauty & slim shape, and I will definately never have one. But I did love this rockband from the very start. On one hand because of their straight-ahead-dirty- Rock'n'Roll, what you can easily sing along with, the real bad Image, which seemed so ultra cool to us, or was it this - 'kiss my ass' - attitude, which left the conservative society far behind. Anyway, these 30 minutes backstage at the Marquee (I think it was the Marquee - not quite sure anymore) had been digging deeply into my memory and gave me some influence on to my further path as a music journalist. At least what was up to strategy and empathy. And if guitarist 'Cobalt Stargazer' hadn't encouraged me with a funny smile from time to time, which seemed to say: everything is half as bad, - those 30 minutes would most probably have got down to only 10 and I would have fled shattered with a ground zero selfconfidence. But instead, I left the backstage area in a victory mood and with the feeling I had given contra to the biggest macho in this entire universe. With an interview I would earn a 200 quid and the fact, and I had interviewed my favorite band, topped by a cheeky grin of Cobalt.
Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction were quite popular at these days. With a fiction name, borrowed from a comic-mag., a Bruce Springsteen Song, and an outfit, that would have got the Hell's Angels troups jealous, the band, consisting of Zodiac, a former graphic designer, Cobalt Stargazer, Flash Bastard, Trash D. and Slam Thunderhide, had conquered the heaven of Sexism Macho-Hard-Rock'n'Roll. It dropped in like a bomb. And even Motörhead, who had always been on a high level refering to popularity went into the shade of Zodiac Mindwarp. The group tasted their success beyond the limit. And if you read the autobiography of Mark Manning/Zodiac Mindwarp you get the impression, Klaus Kinski's lifestory is a fairy tale compared to that. Bloody hell! If everything is true, written in this book, then I'm surprised, that this good men haven't ended up in a madhouse yet or haven't changed their complete life-attitude within the following years. (Maybe they have now, I don't know!) But it was probably a healthy portion of indifference which saved Z from going insane. With three kids from three mothers, endless affairs, booze excesses and other extremities, there is nothing left in Mark Manning's life, which could lift him out of this indifference. Yeah, maybe another no. 1 smashhit in the english charts. But even that, he'd probably react with a shrug of his shoulders.
|But let's go back to these glory days of "Tattooed Beat Messiah" . In the end Zodiac Mindwarp was shaken by the same problem like many other successful artists. . For everything what follows after the first highpoint The expectations for so-called shootingstars are generelly very high whether it's from the fans point of view or from the media side. Zodiac was hip, their videoclips scandelous 'till kitschy weird. They let nons heads explode within the clip for Prime Mover and turned behaved school girls into rock bitches. And the clip for Backseat Education beat everything what's up to kitch so far, but - par'exellence. No, they couldn't fulfill the just mentioned expectations, but it wasn't really because of a lack of musical quality. It was more the difference of the sound demands. After the waves of "Tattooed Beat Messiah" had calmed down, and some bandmembers had called it a day, Mark Manning and Cobalt Stargazer a.k.a. Geoff Bird brought the band back to life in 1991. With some new bandmembers they released the album "HoodlumThunder" with the smashsong "Elvis Died For You". Indeed, it was a record, which went even one step further, what was up to these just mentioned musical demands. But actually this was the reason why fans didn't accept it. The result was a drop off with a longlasting aftermath. They gave it another try in 1994 putting out "One More Knive", which contains the excellent track "Evil Jesus" and my all-time fave-song "Dr-Jekyll & Me".|
that, the band had to face a legal battle against
one former bandmember. They decided to quit, rather than to get sued an
awful lot of money. Mark Manning had started to get into poetry, by
writing columns in papers and books accompanied by Bill Drummond of
music hasn't changed over the years, neither has the individual look,
what's up to Zodiac. But the image has done in a way. It used to be an image
which had been timeless. But the effort to keep it ahead and alive was
tiring. They still do wear leather jackets. But those are not black
and covered with stuts. The nowadays- jackets are brownish in a rather
commercial normal-every-daytime-style. Cobalt Stargazer is still the funny nice guy, only his
formerly slim shape has improved towards a slight brighter
silhouette, which reminds me more of a modern Hip Hop meets rapstyle
cowboy. However, the style of music hasn't changed in that direction
fortunately, neither has the attitude. The image you can still find
the music, where the sex-macho-impulse is still given, - with a
little eye twinkle of course.
the most important
it?!"We don't do all these things for other people",
"we do it mainly for ourselves. If you like it, - fine, if not, - I
Z has become older in his mind, I have found out.
The wild egocentric of
the Eighties has moved to make space for an excentric ignorance, which has
got nothing to do
anymore with the overwhelming Rock'n'Roll-Sex-Monster-Type. No, I don't
feel insecure anymore, interviewing this guy. I'm not scared to death
anymore to get killed or whatsoever. And I'm not shy to stand the stinging
honestly, I even start developing a little bit of what you'd call symphathy for this
the way, this here now, is already my fourth hinterview I have done
with this guy over all those years!)
the meantime the chapter „I Am Rock“ is done.
The tours have been completed, whereby Z ensures me, that he rather prefers to play anywhere
else than in England. The band has finished the next
album. "Yes we've got pretty much everything ready.
I wanna dedicate this story to Cobalt, who helped me to keep my
selfconfidence 15 years ago in London, and who once again helped me to get
back my selfesteem 15 years later. Though this time, he probably
hasn't got the slightest clue why........
last but not least h
e r e
you can view a few pictures more....
publ. may 2003 Unipress/Westpoint West-Austria
World Nature Festival Gig 14th and 15th of August 2003 in Munich click : H E R E
Wacken Open Air Festival 5th of August 2004 click . H E R E