In a just world, this guy should have been huge. I’ll be pre-ordering this shortly, the package which includes a 45 of the demo versions of “There She Goes” and “Walking Out On Love.”
After two long years of painstaking research and development, we present to you, the first major memoir covering the birth of DIY Power Pop, from Paul Collins. From it’s initial conception as a film script to it’s re-birth as a full-bore rock & roll revelation, this is one crazy story from beginning to end. Outlining the first National DIY cross-country tour by an unsigned band in 1977, and by default, creating the pathway for the true indie underground network of the 80s to take as a template. It wasn’t even a second thought for Collins and bandmates Peter Case and Jack Lee, but the underground rock & roll world is a better place for it. But until now, the real details of the origins of The Nerves, Breakaways, and The BEAT have eluded most of us, so with this tome of incredible survival stories from the trenches, Paul Collins opens up and reveals all the drama, victories and defeats with such an impassioned voice, you won’t be able to put it down. The coverage of the pre-Punk 1975 landscape of both LA and San Francisco is unmatched, and your mind will be BLOWN.
Featuring TONS of previously unseen photos, flyers and ephemera from the earliest days of The Nerves lineup as a FOUR PIECE, to the legal documents challenging The Paul Collins BEAT vs The English Beat, to the ill-fated Nerves reunion, and so much in between. Truly a smorgasbord of juicy details and revelatory discoveries await, balancing the failures with triumphs from the mid 1970s to the mid 2000s, when Paul returned to the touring circuit. From literally renting out a space for the first documented Punk show in Los Angeles in March of 1977, to The Screamers story about buying a copy of The Nerves EP at the Capitol Records swap meet and smashing it to pieces- it’s all in there, along with so many more soon-to-be-legendary tales from the real trenches you don’t usually rise out from unscathed….
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.