10-23-07 Dr. Memory
So, I’m re-remembering stuff from the 70’s – no idea why. The uneasy shift from whatever the heck was going on to “punk rock – new wave”. It must be understood that I had an interesting position to all of this – I started working in a record store in July, 1976 – before the ‘punk splash’. People in the store were all into Aerosmith (can’t remember which one), Kiss (“Rock & Roll All Night”), The Eagles (I eventually witnessed “Hotel California” mania), Genesis (“A Trick of the Tail”); I was into Goblin (“Profondo Rosso”), Frank Zappa (“Zoot Allures” was a new release), King Crimson (who had broken up after “Red” two years previous) etc.
Someone I worked with knew Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – they did an in-store appearance at our store, at the time of their debut album. I was into making custom T-shirts (getting ‘iron-ons’ at a copy store), so I gave them and their manager T-shirts with their logo on ‘em. We had a Bay City Rollers (Ian Mitchell time) “screaming contest” in our store (which I helped organize), the record company sent a bunch of LP covers to be used in a display, but the Rollers didn’t show up.
I do not remember the first punk rock records through the door at the record store – but a teenage friend had played me “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones before I started working in the record store – so I knew what that was when it walked down the pike. I didn’t work with “punks” until my 2nd record store job – when I changed ‘locations’. I was 18 or 19 years old – and the girls who liked punk rock at the 2nd store seemed so much older, wiser etc. than my tender years – truth is, they might’ve been all of 21 to my 19 – which seemed like a world away, then. I remember thinking how dumb it was to say “I like anything punk!” – but that’s what they used to say to everyone. I remember them getting a Melody Maker newspaper from
I doubt I was kicking and screaming, but eventually I went to The Whisky A-Go-Go with friends and we saw what was a nifty first “punk show” for anyone to see – around March of 1978, I saw Black Randy & The Metrosquad, The Deadbeats and The Screamers. At the time, none of these groups had records you could buy – the Dangerhouse singles (for Black Randy and The Deadbeats) were a ways off yet. 2007, and it seems like there will never ever be a proper Screamers LP / CD. R.I.P. Tomata du Plenty.
I got spoiled quickly – in fairly rapid succession,
In 2007, it’s funny to see punk bands with members that are 50 years old playing shows – are the audiences as old as the groups? In some cases, undoubtedly: yes.