Saturday, April 28, 2018


There is a programme on UK television called QI, a comedic panel show where guests have to respond to clues with explanations, which, if falling too far within cliche or to fulfil urban mythology, it causes a klaxon to blare. (Yeah, I'm selling it, aren't I but here's the gist.) Anyhoo, for me to answer this theme with this song would surely fire that klaxon. But who cares, it's a great slab of cheesey kitsch and I love it. I even bought the single. Of course, it has nothing to do with punk in the later better received sense of the word, no spiky cuts and spitting, being very much an amalgam of poodle rock and near Jim Steinman grand guignol. The punk reference is more hollywood american, c'mon, punk, make my day, cataloguing the nonsenses when rich kids go slumming in L.A. dives in the search of sex, drugs and rock and roll. I recall the video, all grotesques on enormo-heels, or were they stilts, and with huuuuuuge hair. Staying up late by myself, watching Whistle Test, it certainly rattled my enthusiasms for living a life more wasted. I didn't, needless to say, but I could dream.

The Tubes didn't really, for me, ever have much else up their sleeve. OK, they made a slew of discs and were able to notch up different Greatest Hits collections on different labels. I suspect hit was maybe a loose  description, or thought so until I checked. They seem to have shifted a ton of product in those hinter years pre (real) punk, either in the Ramones/Blondie CBGBs sense or the Clash/Pistols british "invasion" sense of the word, as adult oriented rock was running out of ideas. (I know, this is rose-tinted whimsy; did punk ever mean for much on your side of the pond, other than for media frenzied s(c)h(l)ock-rock portrayals? ) I know I bought one of those hits compilations, played it once and never needed to bother my ears with it again, but the single, both sides, I kept on playing. Remarkably, neither song featured on that hits collection. (Actually, thinking back, I have a sneaking there were two songs on the flip, but I only remember one, another right up there stone cold classic. And of course I'm going to give it you.)

Wow, I just read their wiki page. They really were huge, weren't they? And I could have seen them only last year, supporting fellow ghoul Alice Cooper, a match made in purgatory, on their/his tour of Europe last year. And front focus Fee Waybill, one of the great, possiblynothisreal, names in the industry, still at the helm. No, I couldn't and wouldn't. And didn't. I caught Cooper in about 1984 and he was already older than the collective combined of the audience; seeing kids singing along to 'I'm Eighteen', a song they weren't even born as Alice first sang it. I digress. So, back to the Tubes, and as they grew into any number of images, wretchedly they failed then and now to catch my enthusiasm. Hell, they didn't need to. Why spoil my reality with the truth? I'm off to play my vinyl. Loud.

And, for a change, I really do want you to get that single, for only 75p of my money. And there were/are three songs.

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