I love this song, but his make-up and outfit does give the performance an unfortunate “sad clown” vibe. He should have a teardrop painted on his cheek.
I assume Ace made some other records but it would have been better if after recording this one they’d said to themselves “Right, we’re not topping that so we might as well quit” and then broke up.
Nice to see Talking Heads before they became a multimedia art project.
When Easy Listening achieves transcendence.
The Motors: Walking the thin line between New Wave and Status Quo.
Once upon a time, two little boys in France named Guy and Thomas saw this on the television and decided that when they grew up they too would be pop stars wearing space helmets. But when they told their friends of their dream all they said was “Don’t be daft, punks!”
It’s Thanksgiving here today so I thought I’d start the weekend early with this marvelous clip. Another one to come tomorrow.
Notice there aren’t any girls trying to jump on Ron Mael. I think one does near the end but she probably just felt bad that his brother was getting all the Teenybopper action.
Originally posted April 2007
“They are the first band not to shrug off their political stance as soon as they walk out of the recording studio. The first band with sufficient pure, undiluted unrepentant bottle to keep their crooning necks firmly on the uncompromising line of commitment when life would be infinitely easier — and no less of a commercial success — if they made their excuses and left before the riot.”
Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons
“The Boy Looked At Johnny” (1978)
It’s hard to overstate what a ballsy move it was for Tom Robinson to follow his catchy, radio-friendly Top 5 pop hit “2-4-6-8 Motorway” in 1977 with the strident anthem “Glad To Be Gay” but that was a time when lines were being drawn all across Britain and a lot of people felt they had to declare which side of the barricades they were on. It’s a lot easier being openly gay these days, cool even, than it was back then when homosexuals were often thought of as either perverted kiddie fiddlers or John Inman. A mate of mine at school told me he threw away his copy of “Motorway” in disgust when he found out Robinson was “a bloody shirtlifter” — but he joined the Young Conservatives when he left school so I guess he had issues.
Their third single “Up Against The Wall” is one of the most blistering records to come out of punk, a riot of guitars and pulverizing drumming (the terrific Danny Kustow and Dolphin Taylor) that hits you like a boot in the groin — or a truncheon over the head. This led off their classic 1978 debut album Power In The Darkness which, along with the first Clash album, is the best snapshot of the tense, angry atmosphere in England at the time. Some of it seems like naive sloganeering now but back then it felt like life and death, you were either on Tom’s side or you were with the National Front and the SPG.