Talkin’ Greed With Helios Creed
By: Beky Hayes
Rank & Revue Volume 3 Issue 47
January 2005

Helios Creed was in Austin for a week to record a CHROME album at The Bubble, with locals Jerry Page (guitar), Jeff Pinkus (bass), Paul Della Pelle (drums), and Blair Bovbjerg (theramin). Fabienne Shine sings on two of Pinkus’ songs- Sandbox Jungle and a banjo song – and a Velvet Underground cover, All Tomorrow’s Parties. Helios played Room 710, and a party at Tommy Mansfield’s lakeside house put on by ToxCyn Productions (Krazee Cyn and Toxic Tommy, Helios management since 2002).

I heard he was staying at the Super 8 Motel. I called down there and nosed around. The attendant transferred me to “the room with the musicians.” A sultry French woman answered: “I am Fabienne. Yes I am with Helios, he is here.” Soon I was on the phone with Helios, who was more interested in a secret beer delivery than an interview. So, I bombed down 12th Street with a bag of Lone Star, and there I met the godfather of space-tech acid rock. He towered over me in the doorway, poked his head out, looked left and right, like Vincent Price feigning paranoia. “I thought I heard someone at the door.” It took me a minute to get his humor. Then we got down to business.


BH: About your UFO sightings, did you see any creatures or just aircraft?

HC: Just your standard saucers, round….mostly lights.

B: What did it feel like, could you feel them?

H: Yeah! It was like electricity.

B: You’ve made tons of records – how many, total, since the 70’s?

H: Ah, I don’t know… first record was 1976 – Alien Soundtracks, with Chrome. I did Chrome till ’82 then in ’83 I made a Helios solo record that didn’t come out till ’85. It didn’t make a big splash, but I just kept making them. I wasn’t in it for the money – if I was I’d be a doctor or a lawyer.

B: How’s business now? You’ve dealt with a lot of different labels, have any of them helped you? Chrome worked with Germany’s Dossier Records for what, 15 years?

H: Nah, I’m not doing anything with Dossier anymore. Nobody’s ever been loyal to me to the extent that they take care of me. They find somebody else that sells better and you get put on the back burner. It’s understandable, if your product isn’t making money. The independents have limited money. Although, Brian from Cleopatra Records – he released Chrome Anthology, and it’s selling thousands and I’ve been getting huge royalty checks. All of a sudden Chrome is taking off. There was talk that the new Chrome wouldn’t be any good without Damon (Edge, R.I.P.), but we did a tour and it was better than anything I did with Damon. There are a lot of Helios haters, because I took over. A lot of people wanted it to die with Damon. But I didn’t want it to die. Nobody’s ever gonna risk thousands of dollars to put out our shit. That’s one problem with Helios Creed and Chrome. It’s happening now, because it’s time for it to happen, not because anyone promoted it. At least that’s what my psychic says.

B: And who is this Fabienne?

H: She’s doing vocals with me!

F: I was Damon’s wife. We recorded with Chrome together. I started as a punk rocker, played with the Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash. I was on CBS with my band Shakin’ Street (debut album Vampire Rock, 1978). Damon said, “The metal scene is so cool, there’s so many people! You gotta go!” I played in Austin 20 years ago – I opened for Black Sabbath, it was a club on Sixth Street.

B: And what’s your deal with Helios?

F: I haven’t seen Helios in 24 years. I’ve been in LA. Helios is not even looking for a contract. He needs help! Financially. Dark Side Of The Sun – I said, this album is beautiful. It should be distributed by a decent record company. He should be able to make a decent living. This album is so good, I can’t believe you’re not looking for a record company.

H: I’m not the business man – THEY…

F: Musicians are not business people.

H: Damon and I would show up with carloads of records and it took up all our time!

B: What about Frank Kozik?

H: Yeah, he had that record company, Man’s Ruin, and the famous posters – there’s a real famous one with Helios opening for the Butthole Surfers, but the funny thing was we never opened for the Butthole Surfers. I made Activated Condition and a Chrome album, Tidal Forces, for him. He said he had some Chrome money coming, but I never got it.

B: Jeff Pinkus is on your new album. What have you done together before?

H: We did Activated Condition, he did a few songs on Nugg The Transport. I played on Independent Worm Saloon (Butthole Surfers) – on The Annoying Song, and Clean It Up – which, I never got my name on the record, but you know, my guitar is on the record.

B: That’s not right

H: Yeah I bitched at him about it. I said hey Paul (Leary), you didn’t put my name on the record… and he said yeah, we never give credit on our records. Then he said they forgot. He’s a good guy, they’re all good guys. But he’s a Texan. You know that song, Naked Man, go back to naked land…. that song makes fun of California culture. They were recording at the Site – in Marin where the Dead used to make their records, really nice studio – with John Paul Jones producing. One of the guys was in the Jacuzzi, and a California dude jumped in all naked and it freaked them out. So they made that song “go back to naked land.” But I was like, you guys are in California, you’re IN naked land!

B: I heard you got arrested fir “terroristic threatening” – what’s become of our country? And why are you living in KANSAS?

H: It’s the American version of… that cold place in Russia where they send you…Siberia. I was banished by society to the American Siberia to pay dues and suffer… and never get laid for years because people there think it’s evil. According to the Catholic Religion there are seven gates to Hell; two of them are in America. The pope will not fly over Stole, Kansas, because of that. They herded everybody into the church and burned them. And that created a gateway to Hell.

F: I think Helios should be famous and he should get a record label in Austin and move here.

Yeah Helios, move to Austin.

H: Even big artists don’t get shit for record sales. I don’t like the music business. And there’s nothing credible about being big anymore. We’ve all experienced having our SUVs and Jacuzzis and big fucking deal, it doesn’t mean anything.

F: At least you don’t have to suffer having a job. You can do only music.

It’s a lot harder to tour now, too.

F: It’s finished, huh.

H: Ever since CD’s (the invention), there hasn’t been a music scene.

F: You make money here, in Austin? You don’t make money in L.A.?

H: No I don’t make money in L.A. That’s why I don’t play L.A.

On the horribly tragic death of Damon Edge, who allegedly lay dead in his home for 10 days before he was found:

B: Did you see him going down? Did you feel responsible to make him stop using? Is it our responsibility, as friends? How do you feel about drug use, and drug laws?

H: Yeah, I observed the decline. No, I didn’t feel any responsibility. It was his choice. I was making my own decline – his was heroin, mine was speed, which I quit years ago. I think we should be like Holland and take care of them like anybody with a disease, and show them there could be happiness and community without drugs. I don’t think they should criminalize people for having a drug problem. But I can also understand when a crackhead kills an old lady and steals her purse… The problem is the GREED of the drug makers – they made cocaine more addictive. The government is going about it all wrong. They should legalize pot. Crack and heroin problems should be in hospitals instead of prisons. People take drugs because they’re in pain – physical pain or emotional pain – and that’s something society should feel responsible for, because society made this Wal-mart, Lexus type of world that nobody’s happy in if you don’t have a million dollars. But I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who took drugs, I’m a guy in pain. People just wanna feel good, and normal life just isn’t making people feel good. I’ll keep making records as long as I have the health for it. I have barely any liver left. But I’m a Scorpio, we survive all the odds. Unless we want to die. I hope people start appreciating music. To me psychedelia is the only counter culture that has never disappeared. There’s over 20,000 people in jail for selling acid at Grateful Dead shows, But they can’t stop it, the shit comes in from Canada, everybody’s on mushrooms. People were taking psychedelics for thousands of years and it never will go away. The priests and witchdoctors of ancient tribes did them so they could communicate with the gods and tell people what was going on. Of course there’s Art Linklater’s daughter who took acid and jumped out a window…. But nobody talks about how many people alcohol kills.

B: Your manager Krazee Cyn says there are three good labels interested in you. Are they just glad-handing or is there a Helios resurgence in the wind?

H: Yeah, we do a show in Texas and it’s packed. It seems like somebody would want to get the shit in the stores. Nobody ever calls me back! But my psychic says all that’s gonna change, and I believe her. Her name is Yolanda Garcia, and she’s always right, ninety percent of the time. Helios Creed and Chrome are gonna get real popular. It’s the political climate. It’s culturally…. Uncontaminated with commercial success. And I think this year people need more… they’ve lost faith in the government… they want somebody else’s perspective. People that are inclined to react to the current political situation, which is totally fucked- they got people believing that it’s OK to go to Iraq and blow the shit out of everybody, in the name of Christ… I think politically, the Bush administration is going to collapse and be revealed for the corporate greedy entity it really is.

B: Do you believe these last two elections were rigged?

H: Yeah. I’ll tell you a story. I got arrested for something I’m not proud of- getting drunk and fighting with my wife. I got pretty cleaned out in jail, and I had a dream (before Bush was elected) and I told my cell mate that I dreamed Bush won but he paid off Gore to lose. Then it happened. My cell mate walked in and said ‘how did you know?’ I didn’t know, it was just a dream. But I knew Bush is a corrupt dude- my spirit guides told me that. I have no doubt the second election was rigged too.  And I know a lot of people that will swear to it (but we can’t talk about them). The majority didn’t want Bush to be president. The voting machines were built by the Christian Republicans who voted for Bush. When all that comes into play- their military rightwing Christian corporation- what comes to mind is the story of Barabus. He came up to Jesus and said ‘I know who you are, you’re the king of the Jews. I have an army and we could take over the Romans.’ Jesus told him, ‘I don’t want an army. I want you to go to your enemies and tell them you love them.’ What does Jesus have to do with any of the shit they’re doing?

F: Bush is the anti-Christ.

H: Most European countries are more free than we are. Freedom in this country is a joke. They’re taking away our freedoms-Patriot Act? That means it’s illegal to protest- they can haul you away and throw away the key. Who knows whats happening to our freedom of speech, freedom of the press. We’re not even hearing about these massive protests that should be major news. We’re not free. Bush most definitely is an anti-Christ. I don’t feel good about five Iraqi families dying every day, more than our soldiers- we’re killing more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein did, but we have a right, because we’re bringing democracy. We wanna make sure there’s a Walmart and a McDonald’s and maybe even a Disneyland for them. Have we not figured out that not all countries want to be a “democracy?” Maybe they want to be a religious country? Anyhow, that’s what the Christian right religious dogma is doing here- you’ll lose all your rights. You’ll be arrested for having kinky sex, arrested in the name of Christ. It’s a scary thing.


Images appearing in this interview:

Helios Creed and Jeff Pinkus

Jerry Page

Fabienne Shine (note the George Bush 666 clock in the background happens to don a Hitler mustache at the time)

L to R: Fabienne Shine, Helios Creed and Jeff Pinkus