Sunday, March 8, 2009

Show #4 March 7, 2009

Are you Rosemary? Then this one's for you!

Rosemary- The Dickies Stukas Over Disneyland
Another Girl, Another Planet- The Only Ones Special View
Wicked Gravity- The Jim Carroll Band Catholic Boy
Teen Line- The Shivvers Teen Line 45
Nice Girls- Any Trouble Where Are All The Nice Girls
First Time- The Boys The Complete Boys Punk Singles Collection
Stay Away- Rooney Rooney
Tennis (Again)- The Diodes Tired of Waking Up Tired
*The Shape Of Things To Come- The Headboys The Headboys
(#67 11/3/79)
*Starry Eyes- The Records The Records (#56 9/29/79)
*Girl Of My Dreams- Bram Tchaikovsky Strange Man, Changed Man
(#37 7/7/79)
*Good Girls Don't- The Knack Get The Knack (#11 9/1/79)
Shake Some Action- The Flamin' Groovies Groovies Greatest Grooves

*Theme Set: 1979- Power Pop Peaks On The Billboard Hot 100

Punk was huge in England in the late 70's but thanks to those dicks the Sex Pistols scaring American record and radio people, none of our class of '77 broke through here. It still pisses me off that "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" isn't a radio staple in America.

While punk didn't dent the American mainstream, it had a big influence on many musicians and by 1979 had created a new strain of Power Pop that I've heard called "skinny tie rock." This music was far more accessible than the punk rock that was blasting away in urban clubs yet it offered similiar high energy music stuffed into a three minute song. Cheap Trick ("I Want You To Want Me"), Joe Jackson ("Is She Really Going Out With Him?"), Nick Lowe ("Cruel To Be Kind"), Bram Tchaikovsky ("Girl of My Dreams") all had Top 40 hits in 1979. Coming on the heels of disco this was a breath of fresh air. What's more, I was sure it meant that since the music I loved was becoming popular that I would soon be popular too.

I wore skinny ties to my job bagging groceries at Angelo's in Kingston, MA and every school day sported a different punk rock pin on my oxford shirt collar. I was sure my trench coat with Chuck Taylors look was about to catch on too. The summer of 1979 saw the ascent of the top charting Power Pop song of all time- "My Sharona" was #1 for six straight weeks that summer. Anything gets tired after that long so in retrospect the backlash (knacklash?) is not too surprising. Supposedly the band were tools too, so it didn't take long for the critics to start piling on, although not before "Good Girls Don't" went to #11. There were a smattering of Power Pop hits in the early 80's but the genre, largely displaced by MTV new wave and then hair metal, never reached its 1979 commercial peak.

As for me, in 1979 I was to remain unpopular, though I suppose I should be happy that my friends and I, especially "Most Individual" Jim Harris, were taunted with catcalls of "Devo" (thanks to "Whip It" #14 8/30/80) in the Duxbury High School hallways rather than "Freakin' Knackhead," "My Big Boner," etc.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks for taking me back to the music I loved!