the legendary klopeks

#822: Record Store Daze – Gallery #6

As time goes on, old photos are more and more fun to dig up.

This batch dates back to 2004-2005.

First up, I have a feeling a marillion.com order came in!  I was one of thousands who pre-ordered the double Marbles album and got my name in the credits.  In the following picture it’s the singles for “You’re Gone”!  Two CDs and a (UK) DVD.  I had to have them all even though I couldn’t play the DVD back in 2004.

 

Ahh, this is a good one.  Sarge from Metal Fatigue in Bournemouth, England was visiting his friends The Legendary Klopeks in Canada.  That’s Josh “Sweet Pepper” Klopek holding my hand.  Hey man, I’ll take any support I can get when a bald British dude is shoving a needle through my flesh.  Sarge did the piercing in my home, the first and only time I have had such a comfortable piercing experience!  Josh has a black eye because of the onstage punishment he took nightly.

These two photos were taken with cardboard standees with webcams, but for the time, they looked pretty good.

Just some goofing around.  I was doing some live streaming, it looks like.  And the Wheaties box may have been done by Sarge!

WORST.  MASCOT.  EVER.

 

Finally, these last two pictures are really special.  They were taken the day before I met Jen.  It’s strange that they are the only ones timestamped.  But I would have known the date regardless.  The Bob Marley and Slash shirts are obviously new (you can see the tag) and I bought those shirts the day before I met my wife.  I bought them at St. Jacob’s farmer’s market, on a date with another girl.  It was memorable because it didn’t go well.  She was really hurrying me along when I was looking at shirts.  I knew it wasn’t going to work out.  The next day I met Jen.  She wrote about her side of it in Getting More Tale #434:  The Man in the Bob Marley Shirt.  If I had chosen the other shirt to wear that day, maybe the story would have been called The Man in the Slash Shirt!

 

 

RECORD STORE TALES Part 171:  Record Store Gallery
RECORD STORE TALES Part 279:  Record Store Gallery Deux
RECORD STORE TALES Part 280:  Record Store Gallery III – Furry Friends
RECORD STORE TALES Part 311:  Record Store Gallery IV (Shite Photies)
GETTING MORE TALE #607:  Every Picture Tells a Story

REVIEW: The Legendary Klopeks – Straight to Hell (2002)

STRAT

Happy Canada Day! Here is your Can-Con for this holiday: The Legendary Klopeks. According to bassist Mike Lukacs, “We used to always play Shannon [Larratt]’s Canada Day BME BBQ every year. Always liked that.”

For a review of the Klopeks’ first album Homicidal Suicidal Klopekticidal by Aaron at the KMA, click here!

THE LEGENDARY KLOPEKS – Straight to Hell (2002 Pink Skull)

Once upon a time, in Niagara Falls Ontario, there was a band.  This was a band unlike any other.  They were fronted by future Guinness’ World Record holder Sweet Pepper Klopek.  Sayeth the Huffington Post, “Sweet Pepper Klopek…has set many Guinness World Records [and] managed it again by lifting a 5.4 kilogram, or 12-pound, sledgehammer suspended from two huge fish hooks plunged through his cheeks.”  Mixing punk rock, wrestling and humour, their best album is the 24 track Straight to Hell.

Every song ends with the words “fuck you!” and almost all are under three minutes.  There are also several tracks only a few seconds in length, and yes, even they end with “fuck you”!  Some sample song lyrics:

“Where’s my soup?  Fuck you!” (“Where’s My Soup”, 10 seconds)

“Touch my dink in the ditch.  Fuck you!”  (“Touch My Dink in the Ditch”, 12 seconds)

“Turtlenecks and armpits.  Fuck you!”  (“Turtlenecks and Armpits”, 20 seconds)

For the record, “Where’s My Soup” has long been this writer’s favourite Klopeks tune.  For a while I considered getting a “Where’s My Soup” tattoo.  A tattoo shop in St. Catharines Ontario used to offer free tats to anyone getting Klopek ink.  And I did consider it, but ultimately decided against.  After all, how did I know that in 10 years time, my favourite song wouldn’t be “Terry and the Ass Pirates”?  Or “Bush Party Hand Job”?  Or “She Fell Off the Couch” which has an actual guitar solo?

The fact of the matter is, every song is fast, brittle, vulgar and incredibly fun.  The lyrics are fuck-laden beyond conception.  The Big Lebowski himself has never dropped so many F-bombs in just 33 minutes. Nothing is taken seriously. Most songs start with bass noodling via Lemon Kurri, moving on to Sweet Pepper screaming like a man possessed. Regardless, these are actually really good punk songs! There is nothing polite or safe on this CD — that’s why they called it Straight to Hell!  No apologies.  “When it’s all said and done and I’m dead and gone, life’s a fuckin’ game, and fuck you I won!”

5/5 stars

Scan_20160622 (3)

Part 279: Record Store Gallery Deux

RECORD STORE TALES Part 279:  Record Store Gallery Deux

I found another whack of old photos going back to the record store days.  Allow me to take you on a guided tour!

Gallery #1:  This would have been 2002.  The tragus was the most painful piercing I experienced.  It was the only time that somebody said, “he’s turning white, get him some juice to drink.”  The piercer was my friend Lois who works at Stigmata in Guelph.  She was apprenticing, with me as a test subject.  She even gave me the labret stud that they pierced it with, so the experience was free!  Note that Marillion shirt, and my then-sveldt shape!

Gallery #2:  A variety of sushi and fancy dinners with our Niagara Falls store owner Lemon Kurri Klopek, Guinness’ Book alumnus Sweet Pepper Klopek, the British piercer Sarge, and the mysterious man known only as Mr. Lebowski.

I look like a goth Leprechaun.

Gallery #3:  New arrivals! My birthday 2004! The Paul Stanley interview picture disc was from a friend in York, England named Kim. The Marillion singles were a birthday gift from a guy in France named Charly. And the Marillion Marbles deluxe edition was a gift for me, from me, that happened to arrive at the right time!

 

Last Words:  I love that this photo gallery contains three completely different facial hair styles:  A simple goatee, my Ian Paice mutton chops, and finally a full beard.  Cool!

Gallery: Christmas Haul 2013

Music, movies, and books! I’ve been very occupied these last couple days.

I get the Guiness’ Book of World Records, and the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not books every year. I imagine my surprise when I discovered a friend of ours in both books! Apparently, Sweet Pepper Klopek holds the world record for “Most Baking Sheets Buckled Over the Head for One Minute.” This is a guy who has been on my living room couch!  Lemon Kurri says:

“He’s in there a couple times. Most mouse traps sprung on a tongue in 1 min too.”

 

Part 240: Lemon Kurri Klopek – Living the Dream! (On the road with Steve Earle)

RECORD STORE TALES Part 240:

Lemon Kurri Klopek – Living the Dream!  (On the road with Steve Earle)

I immediately liked Lemon Kurri upon meeting him.  I was introduced to LK (who also goes by the excellent real name of Mike) as our newest franchise owner and fellow Kiss fan.  I spent a lot of hours training him, and he was one of the best people I met through the record store.  He was easy to work with, and genuinely appreciated my help.  One thing I will always remember, is that Lemon Kurri and his business partner Greg sent me notes of thanks for my help, and even cool records or CDs that I wanted.  It was Lemon Kurri who gave to me a treasured copy of Bruce Dickinson’s 12″ single for “All the Young Dudes”.  He also gave me Thin Lizzy’s “Gary Moore album”, Black Rose: A Rock Legend for my birthday one year.

When I eventually left the company, Lemon Kurri was supportive of my decision.  We stayed in touch and remained friends.  Two years later, LK himself moved on to new horizons.  I’m pleased to report that he is now living the dream, working for one of my own idols, Mr. Steve Earle himself.  Lemon Kurri is Steve’s “Merch Guy” and “unofficial drum tech” today.  He travels the world, and gets to hear one of the true greats playing at night.  Hard work but somebody has to do it.

Lemon Kurri has given me permission to share with you a selection of snaps of his life on the road with Steve Earle.  Enjoy.  Each picture tells a story!  Click a pic to enlarge and read the description.  Thanks letting me use these photos, Mike!

Part 197: What’s on the Menu?

KS

RECORD STORE TALES Part 197:  What’s on the Menu?

Record store people have a wide variety of paletes.  We had omnivores.  We had vegetarians.  We had some like myself that subsisted on pepperoni sticks and Red Bull.  Some of them did come to work with healthy snack choices, such as fruit or carrot sticks.  But carrot sticks aren’t very rock n’ roll.

Some places in the world are known for their cuisine.  Nebraska, for example, is known for its “Hot Beef Sundae”.

The hit single “Hot Beef Sundae” dedicated to Nebraska’s state food

Likewise, record stores have their own cuisine.

Tom enjoyed a hearty dinner of baked beans and KD.  I’ve also seen him eat chicken bones, but I don’t think that was for nutritional value.  Here are some more record store classic dinners:

  • T-Rev and I had differing tastes.  I liked fish, his slogan was “nothing that swims”.  We could always agree on Taco Bell.  But no tomatoes for T-Rev.
  • I will always remember that Lemon Kurri Klopek taught me how to eat sushi.
  • One of our store managers enjoyed “taco sauce sandwiches”.  Take any meat (he liked roast beef) and add Taco Bell mild, or hot sauce.
  • Wiseman learned as a Subway Sandwich Artist.  He liked a two-meat sandwich:  turkey bacon with lots of onions.

You didn’t want to be working the same shift as Wiseman on turkey bacon onion night.  Believe me.

Next time on record store tales…

Promos…Part II.

Part 155: Sarge

RECORD STORE TALES Part 155:  Sarge

As I mentioned in an earlier chapter, I had once explored the world of piercings.  It was a part of record store culture and I’ve since moved on, but I did make many friends in that world.

One of those friends was Lemon Kurri Klopek, who I also mentioned earlier.  Lemon Kurri was the bass player for the Niagara Falls based punk band, The Legendary Klopeks.  Through the magic of the internet, Lemon Kurri and I befriended a guy named Sarge, “the best piercer in all of southern England”.  Sarge came to visit Canada on a couple of occasions, and in fact helped the Klopeks play their first overseas gigs.

Sometime in the 1990’s, Sarge opened his shop, Metal Fatigue, in Bournermouth.  His reputation grew and he became quite successful.  “I can’t move in my local rock nightclub for people the shop has pierced, the running joke is about the scrap value in titanium every Saturday night!” said Sarge.

On one of Sarge’s visits, I had the chance to witness his work up close and personal.  And not just something standard like an ear or nose piercings, I had the chance to witness a really unusual one.

A local girl had seen Sarge’s clavicle piercing on the internet and was interested.  It’s a very unusual piercing that involves going underneath the collarbone.  Yes, underneath.  There’s a piece of jewelry made of flexible plastic and two metal balls, and that’s how it’s done.  Sarge was one of very few people who did it.  This girl eventually emailed Sarge about getting one done, not realizing he lived across the ocean.  However, Sarge was planning on coming and visiting his Klopek friends that summer.  The Canadian could have her clavicle piercing after all.

It was quite a sight to watch.  “The clavicle piercing (under the collar bone) is probably my ‘trophy’ piercing now, its really dangerous,” says Sarge.  “If I hit anything untoward, someone may die.  I have had loads of criticism from various piercers for even thinking about doing one. Saying that, I have now done 8 and they all love them so much!  I have stopped doing them now, as we are into unknown territory, watching them heal, working around possible problems with them.  So far everything has been hunky dory.”

I still have some pictures from that day.  The gentlemen in the photos are Lemon Kurri and Sweet Pepper Klopek, the bassist and singer from the Legendary Klopeks.  I have no idea why Sweet Pepper is all bruised in the face.  With them was a Scottish chap named T-Bone who took photos.  And of course Sarge and his client!  And Sarge’s boots.

To get us back onto the subject of music, Sarge tells a great story of some rock encounters in his travels across the pond.

“I met Jon Anderson from the band Yes when I was working at a hotel once!  Had a beer with him after work, he was doing some book signing thing, I think I still have his autograph somewhere, he signed a copy of a (Yes cover artist) Rodger Dean art book for me!”

But my favourite story involved his meeting with one of rock’s most notorious frontmen.

The year was 1986.  Sarge was out at the bar.  Although he had no way of knowing, Philip Lynott from Thin Lizzy had died that day, and the bar was playing his music in tribute to the fallen rock hero.  Sarge, however, was not a fan.  When he openly criticized the music of Thin Lizzy with some choice words, a large man with “bad teeth, long black hair and a low gruff voice,” told the young Sarge to fuck off.  This was Sarge’s first and last meeting with the infamous Lemmy Kilmister!

Part 128: VIDEO BLOG – Mike & Aaron Go To Toronto! (now with Store Report Card!)

Join Mike and Aaron as they hunt for rare albums!

REPORT CARD

Sonic Boom, 782 Bathurst St – 5/5 stars

BMV, 471 Bloor Street West – 3.5/5 stars (Mike) 4/5 stars (Aaron)

Rotate This, 801 Queen St. W – 3/5 stars  (no rating from Aaron)

Pauper’s Pub,  539 Bloor Street West – 3.5/5 stars

Paradise Bound, 270 August Ave – 4/5 stars * note I got the name wrong in the video

Moonbean, 30 Saint Andrew Street – 5/5 stars

Sonic Boom Kensington, 201 Augusta Ave – 4.5/5 stars

HMV, 333 Yonge Street – 1.5/5 stars

Sunrise, 220 Yonge Street, 1.5/5 stars (no rating from Aaron)

 

See what Aaron bought by clicking here!

FINAL NOTE:  I procured a the Japanese import from eBay a week later, October 27, for $41, free shipping.

Part 64: Niagara Falls

 

RECORD STORE TALES Part 64:  Niagara Falls

I never was the traveling kind, so when I had to spend a weekend working Niagara Falls, I wasn’t too thrilled at the prospect.  I warmed up to the idea after I met Mike and Greg, the new owners of our latest franchise.

I packed the Deep Purple box set in the car, a box of pepperettes, and hit the highway.  I arrived at the store on a bitter cold Saturday morning, and we worked the day away.  It was a tiring day, as we bought and shelved a lot of merchandise that day.  We were constantly pricing discs.

The best thing about Niagara was the co-owner Mike.  He was a funny guy.  Great stories.  Massive Kiss fan.  Great stories about meeting Gene and being promised all sorts of things on the forthcoming Kiss box set.  Mike also played bass.  He was a long, long time Record Store Guy.

Mike was in this insane punk band called The Legendary Klopeks.  He wore a blonde pigtail wig and went by the name of Lemon Kurri Klopek.  The lead singer, Josh, was Sweet Pepper Klopek.  He is quite legendary today as an extreme…well I dunno what you call it but he bleeds a lot and he wrestles and he is a Guiness’ Book record holder for something that nobody should really do.

Their lyrics were hilarious.  Take, for example, “Ric Flair”:

I wanna (something something?)

I wanna do a “woo” (“WOOO!”)

I wanna be like Ric

’cause he’s so fucking cool

I want a son

who doesn’t suck

That’s the only thing that’s wrong with Ric

So who gives a fuck?

He’s the king, the king of the ring,

He’ll fuck you up just like it ain’t no thing.

Every song on the sophomore album Straight To Hell ends with the words, “Fuck you!”  Even the short ones, like “Where’s My Soup?”  The lyrics to “Where’s My Soup?” are as follows:

Where’s my soup?

Fuck you!

The other owner, Greg, did merch for Blue Rodeo and in fact when he said this, I realized I’d seen him at the last Blue Rodeo gig that I attended.  I bought a shirt from him!

Because of the Legendary Klopeks, Niagara had a bit of, I don’t know how to put this…an entourage, maybe?  All interesting characters.  The most interesting was Gary James Dean. Otherwise known as The Deaner.

Photo of Gary James Dean

The less said about the Deaner, the better.  But I will say this.   He liked to tell people that he masturbated with his Justin Timberlake doll.  And he phoned about 25 times a day.  Not even exaggerating about that.

Anyway, Niagara was a fun store to work in.  They always played good music, and they had great stories.  Today Mike tours with Steve Earle, doing his merch, and I am insanely happy for him and jealous at the same time.  He’ll post a picture on Facebook like, “Me and Steve eating sushi.”  Stuff like that.

The best score that I got from that store was actually a gift from Mike.  It was the Bruce Dickinson CD single for “All The Young Dudes”, the Mott the Hoople cover.  (B-sides:  the acoustic “Darkness Be My Friend”, and the AC/DC cover “Sin City”.)

I’ll always remember good times in the Falls:  Rock n’ Roll, the Klopeks, sushi, and the Deaner!