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EXCERPTS - From "SCREAMING FIST: WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO KILL"
The memoirs of STEVEN LECKIE - VILETONES© 2015:
As yet unpublished...

"I was born in Toronto the same year as the birth of Rock 'N Roll, 1957. My grandmother Naomi was raised in Hollywood California and worked on the MGM lot, training the lions used on their logo. Her father, my grandfather, William Smith was an assistant director to Louis B. Mayer in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Grandma moved to Toronto in her mid teens, she then graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music when she was just 16. She married Russ Leckie and had my father, David, who grew up in Riverdale, Toronto. Dad was 20 when he had me, my mother was 18. Dad was a successful advertising executive, and then V.P. of Benson and Hedges in Montreal, then started his own successful P.R. company called Agenda, and now lives in Mexico. My brother Scott was a bodybuilder who was trained by Lou Ferrigno in Venice Beach, then in the mid-80s became Mr. Junior Toronto.

I knew school was for squares and didn't go to too much high school. I started Viletones in 1976 at age 17, I wanted much more than to be a singer, so I helped set the template for Punk Rock. I wrote a song called "Screamin Fist" that William Gibson would use in his Hugo award-winning book "Neuromancer". This song was covered by Nirvana live and many more.

Working in New York City, I saw what I wanted, that R N R was easily the most dangerous career in the world. Before my drinking pals Stiv Bators and Sid Vicious died, I'd already been stabbed by a "fan" onstage at CBBG's, been barred from Max Kansas City, and drove around looking to kill Son of Sam.

I was on the cover of over 25 magazines by the time I was 19 and introduced to the works of poet Rimbaud by Lenny Kaye. I was seriously determined to change R N R, even if that meant ending my own life onstage, but R N R won, and like millions, I was saved by it. Mutiny showed it's face when Viletones broke up, and that hardened me even more than jail did five years later. My feelings then are also expressed by Rimbaud's poem "Parade".

On writing this now in 2012, I can barely access the true savagery of my feelings then, partly I think because as I said, it's the most dangerous career in the world..."

(C) 2012 STEVEN LECKIE- VILETONES



MY LOVE ECLIPSED

My love is an ancient warrior,
Leafed gold, and trophied in oaken rooms.
Chimed oh so celestial and sudden,
Eclipsed on a dry night, and gone for forty more years.
My love has inspired madness,
and as an inspiration, she is beyond compare.
She wanes and glows, she moves the sea,
As all lovers wait for her to praise her name.
To be a true love to her my arms must be bare;
Not a hand to hold or quartered or half,
For each part of my love is the whole of her eye.
Although her love has mirrored in despair,
I've not seen at night that I wasn't aware-
More than night that eclipsed her hair.
A sounding board of memories, eating rice
I summon up the long ago
and see my childhood's Eden rise
Golden with springs it used to know,
A smile with lilting reveries
and virgin hopes. But now...
Now you are dead, my lost desire,
My Muse of all the golden things;
It is from you, this torturing fire;
For you there rises from the strings
Of your fond lovers bitter lyre
The symphony of sorrowings.
Calmly in the twilight made
Lofty by the night clouds above,
Let the silence hear pervade
With profundity, our love.
Let us join our souls, our senses,
and our hearts in ecstasies
Among the uncertain languishments
Of the pines and strawberry trees.
Cross your arms upon your breast;
With your eyes half closed,
Let dreams from your heart that sinks to rest
Chase forever all its schemes.
Let's convince ourselves,
As sweet and lulling little breezes pass,
Making ripples at your feet
The russet billows of the grass.
And when from the dark-the oak falls
and solemn in evening down the air,
Then will sing the nightingales,
Like the voice of our despair.
Sometimes I crave a sister, sweet and good,
An angel sister with a quiet smile:
One who will teach me in her gentle style
To hope, to wait and to pray as I should.
So pure a wish! A timeless sister-friend,
Companion in the realm of art, who'll wait
Beside me in the lamplight working late;
and on me like the sky her gaze she'll bend.
Sometimes she'll take my hands between her own
and whisper words of guidance, perfect ones,
and the winged charm of music in her tone.
And I shall bring to flower, if I find fame,
A garden full of lillys and of suns
In a bright azure poem to her name.

(C) 2012 Steven Leckie - VILETONES




LISBON

Hopping on the sad rocks on the shore forever, just like it did in lonesome Lisbon, with me leaving behind the shrugging of shoulders desperate looking overgrown kid in the mirror.
Who was left wondering: "Who the hell are you?", in some pension not far from Black Horse Square.
My eyes were bright on the beach and the women not too beautiful, it was mid February and European sunny warmth. Easy moving folks talking with the fishermen working by their traditionally painted glowing yellows and red boats. The sky so blue it's made the seagulls look whiter than they were, and when they land, a group of little dogs would chase them back to low circling flight.
You could smell the cork, and the mossy ocean freedom breeze was in the air, as the breeze that makes you turn your face towards it, the breeze that whispers contentment. Awing me.
Time could stand still here, and by the fishermen's ancient nets you knew in most ways it has. This afternoon, things could roll on forever and no child in Lisbon would cry. Their mothers hanging out the family wash with no regrets of the night before. Sad Fado music heard through the almost too narrow old stones streets, but makes no one sad, the way an old picture of Jesus can fill you with duty, not despair.
There is something in those streets, something ghost-like, something precious and unseen, of feeling, drowsy but alive, mystical and full of melancholy remembrances, but still not there.
The smell of fresh lobsters, cooked or otherwise left with clams from a big dinner the night before filled the air along with the love of lonesome Lisbon, proud to Lisbon and all bloodless streets at night.
Bloodless revolutions, not to-the-death bullfights. Antique lithographs and ancient chessmen and boards for sale in closed but not wired-in window'd shut shops that themselves are antiqued, looking older by the down-at-the-heels inches of soot and Latin city grime caked around the now soft wood frame.
Election posters everywhere, muraled hammer and sickles. Ah, democracy's-a-coming, signs of Portugal revolution still to be seen.
Night roaming dogs check me out as I walk alone exploring now wet Lisbon streets. Yet it never rains but angels cry. Baby's breath drizzle making misty over old great cities foggy half moon night streets.
Finally died not-to-be-sold roses packed neatly on vegetable oil slicked cobblestones for early-morning pickup in front of sad rundown florist. Flowers eternally for liberated Lisbon.
Crazy cats meowing down some night back alley nearby, confessing to the saints, making the foggy air precious, letting the heavens know this crazy cat's white angel cheered St. Valentines back alley street.
Quick dash out across my path, now soggy but famously rebellious crazy cat lets me know this is his night, still, it could be part mine, only if I learn to share it. Lisbon is not to be conquered, little teeth lets me know. Ah, the sacred seven! Little cat sees no blackbirds of darkness that is not nave to where it flies.
But quickly I'm left "Just beat it!!" chilled. Reflected on stone and what street lamp light asks: "Where do you live?" Go there.
My endless rainy night walking has taken me to where the saints don't spread satin surrounding silent sorrows.
Dimness eerily is what and all that's reflected, no neat bundles for early-morning pickup here - gutters run garbage trash out to river into ocean sad waters. No feeling of outright danger but worse. Some frailties exposed, an unveiling of limits and loneliness - night rain saying "You needn't be here".
But still, just beyond every street there is something telling me about me and this dankness needs to be understood not confronted. Steps are retraced as I walk the flow of the gutter. Syringes and despair bubble up in the lava flow of debris forgotten in the river by morning, some disease of man and poverty that rain here can't rinse clean. Just angels.
Understanding and quick walking gets me back to familiar territory of crazy cat's funny streets in no time, and crazy cat lets me know that it isn't rain but only the river bound tears of the angels. I see it all in Lisbon and make my way to pension beds through so many wet city streets to Black Horse Square.
It's cool now in the night... Lonesome Lisbon night.
I felt tremendously depressed and threw myself right on the ground and cried:" I'm gonna die!" Because there was nothing else to do in the cold loneliness of this harsh inhospitable Earth, and instantly the tender bliss of enlightenment was like milk in my eyelids and I was warm and this was truth, and I knew more than could be learned in most lives, and I could hear the golden enlightenment song, I was like a snowy sparrow to land on a cross or to land on a thorn, I was unafraid.
Ah, forget it!
What is my obligation here? Why have I come back here where the rocks are only a remembrance of my flight from bitterness? Where memories of Lisbon shores laugh at me like an idiot.
And the rocks here are the stone walls they only looked to be. Where the mediocrity can suck you pristine and dry.
Only in the night and in my dreams am I free from here. Here were bubbles and commercials, two cars and lawsuits mark your success.
The mirror in Lisbon pensions who asked,"Who the hell are you?" Here asks "WHY the hell are you?"
But my obligation shall be sought, 'till then I tell memories of both mirrors...Fuck you!!!
Yes, and I too am a master of phantasmagoria, it of course doesn't belong to "one", it's for those who seek, mutilation is just one of the findings... The first step in the whole to be found. And like a fallen angel, life goes on, I'm wearing a stolen halo, is that so wrong?.... Then to look where no one dares, to stare where no one stares....It goes on and on.
The once open sores on my arms are now long white lines that never go away, that always remind, that we get me from the mouth of a volcano, that shout out long-winded stories of a sea of broken hearts. A sea that I've belly flopped in, and after gulps were swallowed, got out on my own and willingly let tied my ankles behind horses, who then dragged me across desert, and all the rocks there... The very ones I now hopped!
Ah, where angels fear to tread, insanity is a stranger.
After my ride's dragged me over the rocks, but of course with my poet's permission, I'd howl for alms for Allah.
And the young girls put roses in my hair.
Oh, the mercies of the young girls...
I was the rifle and the target, the convict and noose...The pity and the pitiable.
For 10 years I sang my song. I deplored beauty and silence.
But who to say sorry to? And thank God it's over, see, the blood is no longer caked under my fingernails.
Only the long white lines remind. I've never tripped . When now I hopped over the rocks... I already know where the holes are.
I am down by my hometown rocky city shore to remind me of European breakthroughs, personal discoveries - in and out of lunacy, I wish I could go back, before Europe, before I knew, and talk to my yesterdays, communicated all, laugh, and go "Hey, look here!"
It's inconceivable industrial truck-wide roads, all union and full of macho, criss-crossing heavy before the Great Lake, letting you know this is a place of routine and irons in the fire sad career, freight yards and shipping docks, greedy city seagulls and grayness.
Here there is no romance in the shore waters, only lost oil.
Buzzing electric hum of big hydro plant is the constant sound.
Punch clock... tock... ticking... tock... punch that clock...Fuck this!...Fuck my boss!.... Fuck the long ride down here... do my goddamned time...get the Fuck out... pay some Fucking bills... watch the Fucking baseball game... get drunk.. go to work the next goddamned day...Yeah!... Clock punching punch-drunks... Fuck it...Fuck it all...goddamned Fucking factory job...Yeah!
The guys walking around down here make me wannna puke.
Not twisted envy of lazy writers secretly admiring work-a-man's thought to be a somehow romantic hard life. Big deal!.... Big Fucking deal!"
Passed a cop car by the side of the factory road - two cops in uniform going at each other in the, they think, not seen backseat. This is the big tough city shore, what a joke.
Mostly a bunch of big sad fags. Already best described by Jack London, all the world of real men!
Poor old Jack, molested in early century Buffalo city jail. Where's my boyhood heroes? In another time? What can I, for once, believe in?
You want to reach out and grab the world, ya better be able to cope with others' sickness, you better be able to look it in the eye, you better be tough and never be fooled. You gotta have the power that kicks shit outta evil.
You gotta be your own person, you gotta walk in the light. And see beyond each other's greed.
I know. For a decade I couldn't, couldn't see beyond the great holy hole of nothingness, doom fried in bad blood and menace, saying "Ah come on, talk to me God, if you are there, give me a sign, show me there's something better than all this."
I ain't talking about a Jesus freak for only-on-a-Sunday church going mama's boy, no, no, no, nothing like that.
No, it was when my gratefulness couldn't have been more pronounced, and so what? I held up the joy that I thought would be possible to me and spat on it.
Almost against my very will I called up, until it became much larger than me, bigger than any goodness a purer angel could show, until, with a groan, the white light was snuffed.
Ah, here we go, jackals of torment, from a light not meant to be seen reflected off the black badge and into my inner eye, as a movie beings screened on the back wall of my head.
I saw it over and over: the oil paints were melting, dripping off, gone from the wall of my head, out through my pores.
Even the smell, the ether, garlic and a trench, yeah, revel in it all!
Dumb witted, via the not even seen a spike like kick of an animal not known in non-dream veiled realities.
This was the vision I traded for natural clearness of thought. For me, here there was nothing to see without thoughts of everything being a farce. Old women falling down flights of stairs brought on nearly a smirk, I wouldn't laugh bellows at such minorness of misfortune, those were saved for the true pathetic natures of man. Like hope.
Am I forgiven? I hope so.
See that boy? It's falling on the knees, by the pyramids and knowing, ah,deeply knowing, that mystery too.
Once upon a time and in Egypt, I knew it all to be true, damn, I knew so much more than I even wanted to know.
And across North Africa to Moroccan moon, when it all hit me hardest in Tangier, thinking of some writer riding idol, at least of sorts, to say the least, I meant St. Kerouac of Lowell, and then laughing at myself for knowing.
Know what?..What?...Hey! -A-WOP-BOP-A-LOO-BOP-A-LOP-BAM-BOOM...!!!
Tangier. Tangier without my own version of an Old Bull Lee to run to, no needle man for me here, thank God, still, I think of someone like Sal Paradise, I even think of Old Sal Paradise the father we never found, I think of Sal Paradise.
I don't mind at all, hell, I wear my forever and newfound purity like an angel's wings, look homeward angel, but, you can never go home again!
Hotel something-or-other, and seeing it all come across the sky from the night starred patio, grinding up at the night, and just knowing, bright blues and golden baby stars, forever mine, hey you, memory of what might have been, lookie here, it's come to be, and ain't nothing can take it away, metaphysics? Hell, metamorphosis!
No regrets on the Moroccan patio, those old feelings just didn't come, didn't ask myself, and wasn't filled with thoughts of all I might have been, where I would would have gone, and, what I could've done. I saw the streets, really saw 'em.
Just me and my tattoos, White's lines arms and a cigarette. A stolen halo and an orange moon in my eyes.
Still singing a song or two I wrote in Rome, and somehow a feeling I really knew my Father, or, at least it was okay he might not have always understood me. But mostly, what the fuck did anything from the past really matter anyway? What good could it do live in regret and feeling sorry?
Some of the understanding about my Father came when I forgaive him.
So, chop it up, and throw another log in the fire boy, a new cool night is here.
And that last night in Tangier I felt like a giant.
I could almost grab a palm tree like a toothpick, hollow it out and suck in a star or two from the bluey black night sky.
Wearing an ornate mosque door as a belt buckle, railway tracks being the belt proper.
"Hey! You snake charming wolf head! Better run down a hole if you don't want me to step right on ya!"
Then I realize... wait, wait, wait just a second, one second, if I go to sleep like a giant they'll rope me down just like Mr. Swift's hero, villain, thing monster, they'll have a mock trial, then kill me! Just like that! Kaput! Lights out and without even getting a decent translator to tell me what the hell it is they're saying in this monkey court.
But I know if something like that ever happened I'd know what to do.
I wouldn't even wait for the trial part of the whole thing instead, while I was hopelessly tied with that real super-strong kind of rope, more like a space-age plastic really, I began to whistle the strange haunting ditty that only the snakes could understand as most of the notes would be inaudible to human ears, but snakes as far away as Casablanca knew they were being called, summoned, even beyond land! Atlantic water snakes heard the shrill! Came on land and joined the traveling herd of snakes making their way to Tangier for the unjust trial of the giant.
There were literally millions of 'em heading our way, eggs were hatching early, the whistling prompted back, and even a few hundred lizards - at least six different types - joined the uprising.
All this whistling power really fed my ego, and it's true, I did try to for a few bars to the way of the locusts, but, nothing came of it so obviously locusts can't hear, or, maybe they were on the courtside with the whole thing, anyway I didn't really care, I don't like the bugs, can't stand 'em.
The trial was being held in French, very aristocratic French, they brought down a judge from Paris. I didn't even need to hear his name, I could smell a rat...especially a Paris judge rat!
"Ha Ha" I laughed to myself.
"Just wait 'till the snakes come you mother fuckers!"
I could hear dogs barking, sheep bawing, donkeys hee hawing, birds chirping, babies crying and catfish jumping mixed in with the men's voices of this monkey trial.
I couldn't see too much really, well, if I force my eyes to the side, but who can do that for long?
Anyway, I had to keep squinting against the sun overhead, ha!
Shows what kind of people I was dealing with, didn't even put anything over my eyes!
And just like Gulliver my clothes also, somehow grew giant size too. To give you an idea of just how giant I mean? Well an average size man would be.... no wait... what's that?..Yeah!
Hear that?..Here they come! S...N...A...K...K...E...S...!!!!!!!!!
Really, millions of 'em.
(C) 2012 STEVEN LECKIE - VILETONES



NAZI DOG

"The story of the strange and violent assassination of an ideological punk rock rebel and his reconstruction of musical culture on the world stage. This story pertains to 1977 only - which was the end of the outlaw known as Nazi Dog.

Even I can't pretend it was (something like) love I always got.
Who, me? You pays your money & you takes your chances.
Surely even the baby-sweetly and innocent Nazi Dog knew more about love through a chain link fence of hate than was always admitted to.
But then, at eighteen years old, and a few years longer, bleeding from deep self inflicted wounds on the stage, a change did take place.
I cried out over and over, in the throes of the fever dance, stranded in this shameless defilement of abuse:
"I pledge myself". My red muse called...
"Oh, in the name of this spectacle, please take me."
"I've only fallen on this lickerish debauch because of a dejected little, broken up, heart..."
"And yes, it is only a weak winded hopefullness that calls out..."
And the night shall be mine!!!
In the dawn, I'll cry out, wailing for solace...
Just for a reprieve, an aquittal...
You must see I'm not so guilty.... do you see it?
Then, pardon me, recommend me to mercy...
Take my hand, I must be free of these tangles.
Let loose, and freed, on my own...heartless...

In my crystal clear memories, I breathe out hard, really let it out, And in my best, faked Marlon Brando, grandiosely wipe drops of sweat from my truth-saying, tortured mouth with the back of my hand that still shows where a nail was driven into it, proving just how martyred and saintly I had become, not to mention very, very drunk.
A sad, and forever yet lost, glorious reminder of my days as a black, misunderstood, archangel of nothingness.
And my lessons are too many to tell, of my season in Hell. But I'll try. Is it the truth, that antihero same journey learning is not a now and forever thing? And you don't break a butterfly on a wheel?
But it all had monumental importance than, and sometimes even greatness to its urgency. And of course I know it had greatness, because I read all the reviews, every damn one I could get my hurt little hands on. Some of the reviews were even framed in glass by an old girlfriend, adding fuel to my fire. And everything we read or hear through the media must be true. Right?

Reviews? Reviews of what? What am I talking about? Oh, calm down. You're just not as smart as you think you are.
I am talking about my days as a singer of great ballads of the most sordid type. So grovel no more for the meaning.
But please know that the reviews were always glorious. As accidents make for glorious news. Young man, bleeding in the public, shirtless, tight muscled, under some bright stark white light. Baby, just killing myself.
Charting my course on the drunken boat with heroes of another time as shipmates. Crossing into dream life as real life. Rock 'n roll can do that. Something speak!

The keel, hammered and forged together from the jawbones of six hundred and sixty six murderers and orphans.
The hull, as carefully and divinely built, has an Ark in Hell itself. My colors, the red and black.
Cutting across the waters and deep pools of tears at a funereal pace. But whose tears? Who cares on this slaver?
Nailing up on dark wooden walls, the reviews of another performance.

Executed with virtuosity...
A blood drenched rhapsody...
In perfect harmony...
With madmen in a plague...

And I fully believed that stuff, the other side tempted, so sweet.
Yeah, I believed in the back of the band's van. Dodging falling guitars at every bump in the road, swinging down the highway to get to the next town.
My boyhood ambitions of adventure came true there, and my fantasy. For it never really was just a van. It was a pirate ship, and somehow I was Arthur Rimbaud's slam dream revisited.
Towns weren't towns, but conquerable ancient villages that had to be pillaged....the women raped...the black and red flags hoisted... and the drinks drank...

All reviews were holy notices of my chimera existence.
Traveling far and forever to get to my next pigsty of a dressing room, where the mirror would tell me I was beau ide'al. Who's complaining? It was tainted and decrepit enough to suit me just fine, besides, what was I to have to call a dressing room? My only shortcoming then was that I didn't piss on those walls more often.
All over in rock 'n roll, there was nowhere to look without being taken by shabby money grubbers. Everywhere, lick-pennies, and the only thing anyone answers to is their own vice.

God damn you to the bittersweet strains of the old serpent's flute if you can't take it.
And like my early childhood memories of a baby on fire, I played the game till I was sore, and then beg for more.
But Nazi Dog? While I so cherish the look on their faces when it did become quite clear to them I was from the other side of their madness, they're reeking horror at realizing it would be me, and my like, for a long time to come.
I smacked my hands together and rubbed them like a fly: "So, let's play!"
Ah, what an illustrious to atmosphere to work in, creating, show my art to the world in.
In that world, it's the game of wits that I love.

Who plays in the fire with potent virtue and the most venditation wins!
In my youth, I won many victories. But even blended with my debauch and downfall some fools I encountered played the flute nearly as sweetly as their master, who barked and grunted encouragement louder to their ears than to mine, but not often enough to completely pull the rug from under me, and then if I did fall, I'd still be at the peak of so many underling's vices, I'd laugh in counting, if I was down you would have to look up, and then only to make my spit.
But it changed, the music just became my forum, my twisted circus of no importance in itself. The backdrop.

It was at ALL times I thrived in the abuse, hardly enshrining any traditional abstract respect for the stage.
There was never any reservation in personality, there was but one face, and I wore it fiercely and without thought or care of offence. I had become free, but also condemned to both loath, and worship, the baseness of my ground.
And if in the mud, I'd crawl up and dry myself in the breath of the foul, flutest air, tricked into thinking I had been fortified and later inspired, all for a profane pious fraud, then so be it.

Oh, the moral turpitude of the justification.
Always with the constant dilemma of the question of conscience:
What poetic quest is this?
The very name I took on some and the attention of purity, but it also summoned the other side, for then I'd hear the other ones call out- "Spare me your defilement!" And tease, to say: "I lick the cinders from the ovens of another time, for your amusement only, dear Sir, are you not pleased?"
From that I'd get the inspiration I needed again.

A resounding hmmn from Hell, heard to the stratosphere, to drown out the call of the angels.
I've cried in public too many times, and never to know I love my slavery, washed out and spared a beating from thugs who didn't get the joke, then froze and laughed when asked:
"Who will brave the darkest nights alone?"
Literally slamming and taunting buffoons...
Give me a backstreet thing any day, going from coast-to-coast, and bar to bar, all for poetic inspirations of bravery, somehow knowing if I played with them, safety would still be mine.
But a broken heart would be the price. And the wonder is, I never felt the break."

©2015 STEVEN LECKIE - VILETONES- FLEURS DU MAL©