Schoolboy

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The Asylum Kids

Along with Wild Youth and Dog Detachment the Asylum Kids were the SA punk bands that were just kicking it up at the time.  You could catch them at the various Varsity Rag days but I never had the pleasure of seeing them.  Once Robbie Robb left to form Tribe After Tribe I saw him a lot.

This song is a classic, the lyrics are just the best.  When Robb spits out ”It’s where I learnt birth control, staring at the principle” it cracks me up every time.  There isn’t a lot of material available on The Asylum Kids but this clip is pretty good as a reminder of how things were.  It’s clear from the photo’s alone that Robbie Robb was a permanently pissed off guy as I mention in my book.  Robbie moved to the US after Tribe After Tribe folded and seems to spend his time hanging out with guys from Pearl Jam and playing in with their bassist Jeff Ament in a band called Three Fish. 

James Daubeney

Teenage Lobotomy

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Ramones

I was very late into the Ramones and the details of how I got into them are covered in The Story of Rock and Roll.  There was just something about them that was amazing.  It wasn’t the musicianship, it wasn’t the lyrics, they just had a way of writing these buzz saw tunes that were irresistible.  Bands like the Pistols and the Clash may never have got the confidence to play if they hadn’t seen the Ramones just show everyone that you don’t have to be Richie Blackmore to be in a band, you can just rip it out without solo’s in under 2 minutes and people will love it.

If any band personified dysfunction it was the Ramones.  This is a classic video clip, Joey Ramone is like a car accident where you don’t really want to see it but you can’t look away.  Joey started as the drummer but switched to lead vocals thereby becoming probably one of the most unlikely frontmen in rock.  There is magic here, god knows why but it works.  The Ramones influenced so many bands with their leather jacket and ripped jeans look, they are truly iconic.  It is a bit like Che Guevara where people wear the shirt because it looks cool but don’t know who the fuck he is.  Their influence on music is phenomenal given their lack of commercial success.  

James Daubeney

Rat Trap

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The Boomtown Rats

I have already discussed The Boomtown Rats so I’ll keep this short.  Rat Trap is a fantastic song which I had missed and found it by accident when I was given a tape with no information on it at High School.  One side had the Ramones and the other side had A Tonic For the Troop.

This is a live clip so you miss out on how well the studio album is put together, I’d advise that you listen to it if you like the Rats.  The funny thing on this video is how Bob Geldof looks like Jerry Seinfeld crossed with Mick Jagger.

James Daubeney

Sunday Papers

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Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson was a real oddity at the time, he was a classically trained musician who won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.  His true love was jazz and classical so to suddenly become a pop star was strange.  Joe said that his album Look Sharp ”positively reeks of London 1978 -1979.”  I guess that is really what it was all about, a guy who just made some incredible songs at a time when people wanted to hear them.

I never really saw any of the Joe Jackson video’s at the time so this live clip of ‘Sunday Papers’ is great to see.  He was only 23 when he released Look Sharp but as this clip shows he had something about him when he was on stage. 

James Daubeney

Sultans of Swing

Dire Straits

In The Story of Rock and Roll I talk about Dire Straits a lot and in Chapter 4 it’s all about what a good album Making Movies was.  I switched out the songs here because So much of what Dire Straits started out to be got lost in the 80’s in the MTV years.  They were a band that just became too big despite the fact that they never wanted to be.

I first heard Dire Straits when my mother bought their eponymous debut album.  I am not sure how she heard of them but that album became a mainstay of future listening.  Dire straits were another band that just didn’t fit in, they came out of the Punk era as it was morphing into New wave but clearly they were a throwback to the old days when musicians could really play.  Mark Knopfler will always be one of my favourite guitarists and a good reason to throw myself off a cliff when I try and play his stuff. 

James Daubeney

Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)

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Motley Crue

I discovered Motley Crue in 1983, The Story of Rock and Roll details that experience and the disappointment I felt when I finally put an imported copy of Shout At The Devil onto my turn table for the first time.  The band were totally overhyped but their contribution to the whole Hair Metal L.A. scene is immeasurable.

This is one of my all time favourite video’s, the bit where the kid realises who he has just skated past is classic.  Vince’s entrance into the studio and the whole hanging out in L.A. thing is just so fucking cool.  Motley Crue personified the whole L.A. scene at the time and although the only album I find really impressive is Dr Feelgood it is so good that I will forgive them everything else. 

James Daubeney

The Ace of Spades

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Motorhead

Motorhead are and will always be an iconic band.  It’s all about Lemmy and that larger than life character that he was.  Lemmy knew everybody and they all knew him. In the hundreds of articles and stories I have read about him over the years it’s always the same, the guy was intelligent, straight talking, well mannered and possibly one of the greatest reprobates the world has ever seen all done in a totally unique one of a kind way.  I am sad he is gone but I am happy that he lived probably one of the best lives one could possibly wish for.  Lemmy won, the dude beat the system RIP.

This is the classic Motorhead song so even though I am talking about Iron Fist at this stage of the book the point is that when you talk Motorhead you have to talk Ace of Spades.  There is not much to say, let the original line-up do their work. 

James Daubeney

Rock You Like a Hurricane

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Scorpions

German metal is great, the Scorpions and Rammstein are sure to be the most successful bands the country has ever produced.  Scorpions managed what most metal bands strived for but only a handful succeed in doing i.e. becoming massive in the USA.  For UK or European bands the US is a vast untapped market that can take years of slog and hard work to break into.  The rise of hair metal and MTV in the 80’s gave the Scorpions the opportunity they needed and they grabbed it with both hands.

Love at First Sting is a classic rock album, the Scorpions were rewarded for being good guys and allowing Klaus Meine their vocalist time to recover from his throat problems.  I reckon a good few other bands would have said sorry Klaus but we have a gap here and we have to take it.  The Scorpions were prepared to throw it all away and they stuck with their bandmate.  Klaus got better and the Scorpions went on to conquer the world. 

James Daubeney

Fast as a Shark

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Accept

“It started with a sort of Heidi hi ho lo la German folk intro which lasted about four bars before there is a massive sound of the needle scratching through that shit and a barrage of drums, guitars and the unearthly sound of Udo Dirkschneider screaming”.  The Story of Rock and Roll – James Daubeney

Accept will probably always be compared to the Scorpions just because they are German and they play metal.  Accept were far heavier and less commercial, they didn’t get the recognition they deserve in my opinion.  It was the classic Judas Priest line-up, bass, drums, twin lead guitar and a front man who could give it horns.  Their follow up album to Restless and Wild was Balls to the Wall, and it is fantastic.  I heard Restless and Wild when it came out so that set the standard, it was raw and unpolished and very, very special. 

James Daubeney