I completely missed this one when it aired. I don’t remember hearing about it at all. A little sad, by ’79 the Ramones should have been too big for the Sha Na Na show.
But I did happen to be watching the tube in ’68 when psychedelic proto-punks The Seeds (as The Warts) mimed their biggest hit, the classic pushy-girlfriend-fuck-off song, “Pushin’ to Hard” on a now-forgotten sitcom called The Mothers-in-Law. I bought the album soon after. Oddly enough, that album had been released two years earlier, and they’d released another since, but they were still pushin’ this song on TV. The second verse and guitar break were edited out.
Vaughn Meader as JFK, the full album from 1962. Still pretty funny.
I’m not much of a Joy Division fan, as I can only take so much post-industrial Midlands desolation. But this one’s pretty good, and Ian Curtis’s stage gestures are interesting to say the least, especially when he really cuts loose at around 3:00.
You bastards might know way more about these guys, so my apologies if what follows is common knowledge. It’s pretty widely known that Ian Curtis hanged himself of the eve of what would have been their first tour of the U.S. Beyond that, I’ve picked up a few interesting facts over the years:
-They formed after seeing the Sex Pistols perform in Manchester. That same gig also inspired the formation of The Buzzcocks and The Smiths.
-Their bass player developed his style of playing in the upper register because when they started out, his amp was so shitty that it wouldn’t reproduce lower notes without sputtering.
-Ian Curtis had epilepsy and based his stage moves on his seizures, to the point that his bandmates could not tell when he was having a real one. This predictably led to some disatrous gigs.
I know a certain bastard who may have watched this show.
Because everyone should hear this song at least once.
Electronic pop duo Silver Apples released their first album in ’68. I believe that makes them the first ever electronic pop band, predating Can, Kraftwerk, et al. If any of you bastards know of someone prior to these guys, please clue me in. They sold very few albums, but one somehow ended up in my house in the mid 70’s. Ignorant that they predated Kraftwerk, I pretty much dismissed them because I didn’t like the songs very much. They typically set up good initial ideas but, in my opnion, are let down by the singing and trippy lyrics, which creep me out for some reason. But the electronic sounds are innovative and excellent. Those sounds come from “The Simeon,” a primitive, homemade synth built by singer Simeon Coxe, an Alabaman. He was just stringing together old WWII oscillators and claims that at the time he’d never heard of Moogs or other synthesizers in develpoment.
Silver Apples’ legacy is hard to pin down. Some 90’s experimental bands have cited them as an influence, but what about the electronic innovators of the 70’s? You never heard a word about these guys back then, so did they influence Krautrock, Eno, Devo, prog rockers, or just work in a vacuum? Who knows, but I can’t help but love their oddball creativity. Very much in the tradition of American cranks innovating alone in the basement or garage. But overall they show that first usually isn’t best.
Here is their full story, which is very interesting. If you want to hear more, below is the entire first album and one song, “You and I”, from their second and final album, which was withdrawn soon after release. The opening of “You and I” is suspiciously like “Station To Station,” but I have no idea if Bowie was familiar with it. The whole second album, which I haven’t heard, is also on YouTube.
Crank the video resolution on your youtubes to whatever your unit permits, and enjoy San Francisco, 1906.
An absolute classic, supposedly written by Jack Handey. 1991, bish!
As some of our kids are rounding the bases on their senior year of high school, I thought I’d share a journal entry from 33 years ago. By the way, I don’t journal with any consistency, this was just something I did specifically for that school year. Sorry if this is lame, I’ll try to leave the boring parts out. But I often find myself trying to remember if we did the same stupid shit my son and his friends do now. Of course we did.
Friday, I turned in my English paper, went to Wendy’s for lunch with Mike and Jeff, then headed to Target for battery operated water guns. Afterwards, we went to graduation practice till about 3:15, then had the water fight to end all water fights. It started with water guns and balloons, then people started pulling out big buckets and coolers. David hit Mr. Phillips (our principal, who was a total dick) in the side of the head with a water balloon from about 35 to 40 feet. It was truly beautiful.
We did that until about 4:30 and then I squishily drove home to take a shower and get ready for our last high school dance ever. Eric’s band played but not many people showed up. They’d just started “Blister in the Sun” when this security guard came from nowhere and stopped the band mid-song. She said she had to end the dance because of all the “bad apples” getting in fights and drinking.
So the dance was over by about 10:30. Doug, Jeff, Mike, David and I met at my house and we decided to head Downtown. That was lame, and we ended up at a convenience store where I bought a bag of cookies and Coke. The highlight of the evening was seeing some guy laying out on some steps, possibly dead.
Sunday, I went to baccalaureate and then lunch with the family. I rented three movies from Blockbuster while we were out: Maniac, which I didn’t get to see, Westworld, and Shock Treatment, the sequel to RHPS. Bryan, Jay, and Mon came over to watch some of Shock Treatment with me before we went to the park to hang out with a bunch of people. When we first got there, Eric and Scott were racing around a parking lot median, in a Mercedes and Toyota Supra, respectively. Then Eric threw a log through the windshield of a car that appeared to be abandoned and took off. Everyone else (besides me, even then I knew this was idiotic) put dents in the sides and busted out the headlights for some strange reason. We made a fire at the pavilion while Katy, David, Doug, and Jay went to get s’mores fixings, Cokes, and chips. After they came back we told ghost stories.
The next day I went with Chris to alumni brunch, which had great cinnamon rolls. Later at graduation, Wade pulled out a long, red scarf as he walked across the stage. Mr. Phillips told him he would pay for that and tried to take away his diploma. I haven’t talked to Leigh Anne (a girlfriend I was ghosting) except on graduation night. She congratulated me. Today I wrote thank you notes and cleaned out my car. I’m thrilled to be graduated and can’t wait for summer – Florida is just around the corner. I’m getting scared of college (the unknown factor fear) but am excited all the same.