The B-52s captured live in a small hometown club before their first album had come out. The video quality makes it look really ancient but it’s “only” 1978. Then again, that was 36 years ago. Gulp.
“Please keep this kind of thing for the council estates and not in the homes of decent people”
Couldn’t decide between videos of Leo Sayer or Todd Rungren for today. So I went with The Clash instead.
But don’t worry, those other two will be appearing soon.
The Motors: Walking the thin line between New Wave and Status Quo.
Download: Boys and Girls – Reparata & the Delrons (mp3)
Download: To Be Someone (Demo) – The Jam (mp3)
Download: Teenage Lament ’74 – Alice Cooper (mp3)
Download: Hersham Boys – Sham 69 (mp3)
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.
This was the only record by The Tubes I ever owned but I’d loved to have seen them live because their shows were (in)famous — for reasons which are clear from this clip, especially the last few minutes. I think seeing this would have blown my teenage mind.
Chris Stein could do with a haircut (“Get yer hair cut!”) but judging by this clip Debbie Harry looked pretty damn perfect right from the start.
What the hell, have another one on me.