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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
“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