Coda for “Hitsville, USA” — my talk this past week at the Rock Hall

Happy Sunday, folks! I want again to thank the four dozen or so of you who came out on Thursday for such a delightful event. Andy Leach and his crew know how to put on a good show, so an especial thanks to them.

For the last Sunday of January, I wanted to offer one more selection of one of the primary / secondary texts that made Stealing possible. As Stealing readers know, I also cite 4/23/76 as a key date in punk history, for the reasons noted below–and for the work of Ivan Kral and the key shows by The Heartbreakers at CBGB that weekend.

Jon Savage treats this incident quite smartly in England’s Dreaming, and here’s how Salewicz represents it in Redemption Song:

salewicz

And, of course, the clincher is that CBGB is hosting the a weekend premiere of Ivan Kral’s The Blank Generation, and what I have concluded are the last appearances of Richard Hell with Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers on that three night bill.

All right: back to the snow-shoveling then something in a glass warmly. Cheers!

 

 

(post-) punk gems, v. 54 — Bad Manners’ “Do Nothing”

Oh, man, we had such a good time at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archive–which has such a great staff, and I know it’s not their fault, but wouldn’t it be cool if the moniker were a bit more slangy, say “Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame Library’n’Archive”?

rdAnyway: if you tried to tune in, let me offer my apologies. There were technical difficulties, of course, and I’ll post here and on twitter if in fact there is a full recording, and it’s made available. I was hoping to show off my two-tone outfit, complete with silver shark-skin jacket, but I guess the pix that night (more forthcoming) will have to do for now.

On my ska/Specials station on Pandora, I made the acquaintance this week of this unbelievable track: Bad Manners’ version of The Specials’ “Do Nothing” in triple time.

Maybe I might have put the horns up front in the mix (and blended in the guitars a bit lower) on that first section, but otherwise, you can just feel the hot breath of the horn section and Buster Bloodvessel pouring through the speakers. I really adore the punk and post-punk revival of the cover tune, as longtime readers may recall (check out this post).

I hope to be back tomorrow with a section from Thursday’s talk–or something else entirely. Thanks for checking in!

(post-) punk gems, v. 53 — Eater

When I did v. 1 of (post-) punk gems, back in 2012, I believe, I had no idea I’d still be at it, 2 1/2 years later, in part because I had scant idea how much great punk (and post-punk) I hadn’t laid me ears on. Certainly, I’ve been aware of most of the tunes on this list for years, but then I’ll comb the footnotes of *Punk Rock,* by John Robb, and discover a band as magnificent as Eater. (And I’m now at an age where I’m not afraid to admit such oversights, thankfully.)

Eater took their name from a T. Rex tune, got out onstage early enough to have The Damned open for them (!), and made the final cut in Don Letts’ Punk Rock Movie.

“Lock It Up” was their 3rd single, from 1977, and didn’t quite get the notoriety of  “Thinkin’ of the USA,” which Mojo magazine included on its “100 Punk Scorchers” back in 2001.

The sound of course is what you’d expect, but Eater held it down, and there’s some real lockin’ in by the rhythm section, and it’s all gorgeous, raw, and imperfect–which is exactly how your band should sound when you’re in high school and it’s 1977.

If you’re in Northeast Ohio and you’re looking for something to husker on 1/22, join me at the Rock Hall Archive/Library for my talk on Stealing All Transmissions. It’ll be a hoot, I promise!