Archive for January 2011
In an effort to curve my hard rock/metal listening ways, my Mom bought 2 albums for me on Christmas. She was never too keen on metal and wanted to try and sway me to listen to something else. As I am unwrapping gifts, I got to the records, both of them wrapped together. I knew they were albums before I unwrapped them but had no idea as to which ones they were. On top was Regatta de Blanc by The Police. Behind it was Joe Jackson’s Night and Day. To say I was disappointed would have been the understatement of the century. It was like the kid in Christmas Story not getting his BB gun. I was hoping to get something like a KISS, Black Sabbath or Judas Priest album (wishful thinking, I know).
So I basically said, “Oh. Cool. Thanks.” and went on to play with my Stomper trucks or something. haha. Shortly thereafter, though, I did put the records on to at least give them a shot. I was already familiar with the Police so that was nothing new and I did fall in love with that album by them.
But the Joe Jackson was something completely different. I listened to it a lot and still do. It’s a pretty interesting album in many ways. One, the only guitar used on the album was a bass. No 6-string whatsoever anywhere. The album is very well-written and performed. Joe has a way of lyrical phrasing that really works with his music. The album has sort of a NYC punk feel to it without sounding punk at all. It’s hard to explain. I love this album and always will. I never delved into his other works although I am familiar with some of his other “hits” thanks to Anthrax or the radio.
The album seems to be sort of a concept album about life in New York City in the early 80s and touches on the gay culture a bit. It’s a fine record overall and anytime I listen to it, it’s front to back, nothing skipped.
So, thanks Mom. While you didn’t get me out of hard rock/metal, you did open my ears a little bit to some other stuff.
I remember it like it was yesterday (it was 1986). I went over to a former friend from high school’s house and he said, “Dude, check this out.” It was Sweet Pain’s self-titled debut record and he put it on. Before hearing it and just looking at the album cover I was in hysterics. Were these guys for real? Let me state right now that I was never a fan of the glam/sleaze rock and metal minus a few rare exceptions. The album started and we were rolling. It was awful. So awful that we spun it all the time. Made fun of it every chance we got. Kelly Nickels of LA Guns/Faster Pussycat was in this band.
Looking at the back of the album I saw that they were on Combat Records. COMBAT? Really? How in the hell did that happen? What the hell were these spandex chumps with teased up hair doing on this awesome metal label? Whatever. They were the running joke with me and some of my teenage metal pals for years.
Oddly enough I found this on vinyl some years ago and had to have, purely for nostalgia’s sake. For as many times as we listened to it, I could still recite almost the whole damned thing to this day when I hear it. A few years back a friend of mine made a CD of the vinyl for me and I still get reminded of that feeling of hanging out when we were just stupid teenagers. They were great times.
About 6 or 7 years ago through the advent of Myspace, I met a dude online named Scarlet Rowe who was in a band from New York City called Joker Five Speed. I dug his band a lot and got to hang out with him a little when they played a show in Portsmouth, VA. They kicked ass even though there were only about 20 people there. About a year or so ago I was browsing some of his photos and saw a promo photo of Sweet Pain with him in the picture. Looking at my vinyl I saw that he wasn’t on it and started asking him some questions about his involvement with the band. He wrote and played on it but was not credited nor in the final photo. Pity. Seems like it was a torrid split from the band. Scarlet’s still rocking though and is a king amongst men. 100% good dude.
If you liked the NYC and Hollywood glam stuff, you’ll likely dig this a lot. As I said, it was never my thing but it does bring me a great amount of joy when I hear them now.