Lucille please come back where you belong!
Lucille- The Didjits Hey Judester/Fizzjob
Tonight- The Take The Take 7"
Gonna Be a Rockstar- Happiness Factor Self Improvement?
Loving Touch -The New Romans Jenny 7"
Love Like Her- Candy Butchers Candy Butchers aka The Blue Thumb Album
I'll Never Be the Same Again- The Singles Better Than Before
Lover's Rock- The Clash London Calling
Waiting- The Rooks Encore Echoes
^Ain't That a Shame- Cheap Trick At Budokan
Rock 'n' Roll Boys Rock 'n' Roll Girls- Stoneage Hearts Guilty As Sin
Looking Glass- LMNOP Numbles
The King Is Half-Undressed- Jellyfish Bellybutton
Quick Turns- Off Broadway Quick Turns
Don't Tell Me It's Wrong- The Fevers Love Always Wins
*Yummy Yummy Yummy- Rudi Big Time
*Pictures of Matchstick Men- The Slickee Boys Cybernetic Dreams of Pi
*Midnight Confessions- The Fastbacks ...And His Orchestra
*You Were On My Mind- The Vacant Lot ...Because They Can
Shakin'- Rooney Rooney
Jellybaby- The Adicts Smart Alex
Call On Me- Tommy Keene Songs From The Film
Modern Swinger- Pink Spiders Teenage Graffitti
Congratulations, My Darling- Eugene Edwards My Favorite Revolution
I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts- X More Fun in the New World
>Back In The U.S.A.- MC5 Back In The U.S.A.
Financial Disaster (It's Only Money)- Screams Screams
Don't Call My Name Anymore- States Mondo Montage
Down in Your Dreams- The Orange Humble Band Assorted Creams
It Was Different When We Were Children- The Vertex Tonight The Sky Will Be Ours EP
Back To Paradise- .38 Special The Very Best Of The A and M Years
Fools- Newtown Neurotics Newtown Neurotics Punk Collection
Something Happened- Cosmetics Guilt 45
Can't Seem To Make You Mine- Alex Chilton Top 30
^Power Pop Peak: #35 Billboard Hot 100 8/4/79
*SacroSet: Power Pop Cover Songs
>Power Pop Prototype: 1970
Like most groups, my first band started out playing covers. The thing is, it takes a level of musical proficiency to play other people's music, even when the set list sticks to pretty simple punk rock songs. My first band was called The Acoustics- a very New Wave name for mostly "sub-punk" talents. The key to the band was a guitarist named Mike who went to Duxbury High with us and worked with me at Angelo's supermarket. He knew how to play the guitar and was musically open minded. I don't think Mike had heard much punk rock before we played it for him yet not only did he like it, he could also figure out how to play the songs on guitar. Ted the bass player and Frank the drummer had been in a band called Nuclear Apathy that played original material (which gave them immediate cred in my book) but seemed to have run its course. Ted asked me to come over to his house after school one day and my lead singer career began. It certainly wasn't a question of vocal talent- I was just the only one with cojones enough to do it.
My friend Paul played a little guitar and ended up joining the band as well. This began a major transition for me as I went from being best friends with Paul, which meant getting hammered every Friday and Saturday night, to starting a friendship with Ted and Frank who at that time didn't drink at all. This mirrors a transition in my music tastes; in a two year period my favorite bands had gone from AC/DC, Rush and Kiss to The Clash, The Ramones and The Real Kids. Anyway, we'd lend Mike the guitarist albums and he'd choose songs to learn. Our early setlist included "Clash City Rockers" and "Brand New Cadillac" by The Clash, "Submission" by The Sex Pistols, The Ramones' "Commando" and The Lurkers' "Total War." We played our first show in the Spring of 1981- a backyard party at our friend Lance's house. I'd been listening to a good deal of hardcore at the time and it showed in my vocal "stylings." While Joe Strummer starts "Brand New Cadillac" with a very cool low key "drive........drive....." I chose to scream the words at the top of my lungs. Cousin Rich taped the performance and 30 years later I am still teased about it. Gina, my girlfriend at the time, was a classically trained pianist and after the show she said:
why are you so angry and why do you have that scary look on your face when you "sing?"
(The air quotes were clearly implied in her tone- and this girl liked me!) All I can say is: blame Dez Cadena of Black Flag and Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks- it's their fault.
The original Acoustics only played that one party after which Paul left to go back to his besotted weekend antics. Lance's drum teacher had a talent show in Quincy that we were invited to play which is when I started pushing for a name change. The Acoustics then became....wait for it....THE DYKES! (My parents had one of those personalized wood burned signs made for me that summer with the name of the band flanked by two circle-A anarchy symbols... how awesome is that!) Arriving at the drum school show in our punk rock attire (I was wearing wrap glasses and a cool tuxedo I'd just found at the Duxbury Thrift Shop) we were greeted by what looked like a southern rock convention. Long hair, beards, big ass belt buckles- and they did not care for us one bit. I'm pretty sure I heard this Latino dude rocking overalls and a Meximullet (Mullatino? in any case, see example) call me "faggot." My favorite part of the show was at the end of my vocal part on our closing number, I flashed a pair of British V signs, screamed "ANARCHY" at the top of my lungs, jumped off the stage and ran full speed through the audience and out the back of the theater. (God I was insufferable in those days- seriously, why did anyone suffer me?) It was a memorable show, though needless to say we did not place in the talent competition. I think the winners did a note for note re-creation of the live version of "Freebird," with a guitarist (yep, it was Meximullet) wailing away the final five minutes of the song on his knees with an array of facial expressions straight out of a 70's porno movie. I'm not kidding, this guy would give 70's Neal Schon of Journey a run for his money in "guitar face" wankery. And that's saying something because Schon is one of the rudest dudes to ever desecrate a Les Paul.
The Dykes only played one other show, then Mike left for a reason I can't remember. Yet, not being in a band did not deter Frank, Ted and I from participating in numerous photo sessions. This photo was taken at the legendary Paragon Park on Nantasket Beach in lovely Hull, Mass. In fact this was the night Frank took my high school yearbook photo. (I can assure you that while my hair does exhibit mullet-like qualities, it was short in the back-- that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
Frank, Ted, Rick
Our friend Jim was in Nuclear Apathy but skipped the Acoustics/Dykes, putting that time to good use by actually learning to play the guitar. He was also present at several photo sessions. I believe this photo confirms my aforementioned "no mullet" defense. This was the same day Frank took Ted's yearbook photo, which was an homage to Elvis Costello's Trust album cover. Someday I'll scan both Ted's and my own yearbook pictures- they certainly didn't look like anybody else's in the Duxbury High School Class of 1982 ('82- Can Do!).
Ted, Jim, Frank, Rick
I don't often give parenting advice in this blog but here's some anyway- if your boy shows limited skill and/or interest in athletics growing up GET HIM A GUITAR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Want proof? The four guys above ALL got girls to have sex with them. I wish I could take credit for this formula myself, but it comes from The Daily Show's Earth The Book:
IQ/(bench press) x (guitar skills) = y
where y = years of virginity
It's funny because it's true.
Download this week's show below (Right click and "Save Link As")