Wednesday, 29 August 2007

it was a shithole…but it was our shithole

Just heard the news that CBGB founder Hilly Kristal died in Manhattan after a battle with lung cancer. There will be several obituaries on the internet in the next few days and I look forward to reading them. I don’t know much about him, I’ve never been to New York (yet) and, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have liked his club much; I don’t cope well with cramped, sweaty conditions. But, and it’s a big but, I will always be grateful to him for giving a platform to some of the more interesting bands of the late seventies.

As a small tribute here is some music from some of those bands.

mp3: Television - Foxhole
As a teenager I found it much easier to identify with the twitchy, nervy Tom Verlaine than the aggressive UK punk bands.

mp3: Talking Heads – Love-->Building On Fire
As a teenager I found it much easier to identify with the twitchy, nervy David Byrne than the aggressive UK punk bands.

mp3: The Ramones – Swallow My Pride
As a teenager I found it much easier to identify with The Ramones cartoon punks than the aggressive UK punk bands. I think there’s a theme developing.

mp3: Patti Smith Group – Frederick
The title of this post is taken from a Patti Smith quote: “I’m not trying to romanticize anything because in some ways it was a shithole. The sound was crappy, there was always things breaking down and glasses breaking and people vomiting and the rats scurrying around in the back, but it was our shithole and that was the greatest thing. I’ve played a lot of places and it was the only place I’ve ever played that felt like our place.”

mp3: The Shirts – Tell Me Your Plans
Some of you will be saying “who?” Look them up on the internet. They were there too and this is a lost classic.


Davy H said...

You do make me laugh.

And this is a lovely post.

Now go to bed!


Cheers Mick!

So It Goes said...

So you didn't like aggressive UK punk bands when you were a teenager? Big news, neither did I...I went through Beatles and Deep Purple phases before I had the courage to go out and buy the Clash's first album. When it wasn't new and daring to do so anymore.
The Shirts...there's a name to conjure with. Did they listen to a lot of Beach Boys ('Good Timin' seems to be going through my head here)?

Mick said...

Similar story with me. I actually bought some early punk singles and decided it wasn’t for me. They started creeping into the collection about a year later. The thing is the US bands had an artiness that I liked at the time.

I never noticed any similarity between Tell Me Your Plans and Good Timin’ before but I can see what you mean. For more info there is also a myspace page:

Phil said...

Sh*t, I didn't think I'd ever come across anyone else who'd heard of The Shirts! I guess that's the wonder of t'Internet.

From 1978, picture sleeve single, must have heard it on Peel or something. I haven't heard it in a long, long time so thanks for this - that's one less old 45 I have to burn to mp3...

Mick said...

Aye, lad, t'internet's a wonderful thing. Glad you enjoyed it. A while ago there was a nice video of it one YouTube but it disappeared. I still search for it from time to time because these things have a habit of re-appearing.