Return of the man who came back
I would rather U2 split-up than any other band reform; apart from The Jam; The band who used to play for kids at lunchtime; returning to the Rickenbacker? I’m in. Getting tickets for such modness would be harder than finding a brain inside Donald Trumpets hairnet. One can only imagine Dick Turpin, ahem, I mean, Ticketmaster’s on-line queues. Like The Stone Roses third coming, I think The Jam would still have it- big time!
To lift the lid on the Jam jar again, would be a taste of Mod heaven.
Another band I’d like to see reform (they have not actually split up, they’ve just forgotten they’re in a band) is Texas’s second most psychedelic band ever, after the 13th Floor Elevators; Butthole Surfers. Unlike The Jam, San Antonio’s easy-listening beat combo would play in a small venue where one can get right up close to a performance which needs to be seen to be disbelieved.
I was 17 when I travelled down from Scotland to catch myself some BS at the Subterrania in London. Before we set off, our driver explained, that due to there being too much beer in the car, we would have to throw away our ruck-sacks. The gig was unlike anything I had ever seen.
Somehow, I was thrown onto the stage, where I sat perplexed, just below singer, band leader and ultra-surrealist Gibby Haines, naked apart from a giant nappy and full-size Elephant’s head. A vasectomy was being shown on a giant screen as the band reached pyscho-derelict meltdown; Gibbie blasting away on saxophone, producing a noise to render tepid, John Coltrane’s Ascension LP.
It dawned on me I was stuck. I dared not go past Gibby in mid-sonic explosion, for fear of being sucked inside the menacing nappy vortex.
The small stage was packed with gear, tripping musicians and wires, one of which, had wrapped itself around my foot. When I made a break for freedom, my off-stage dive resembled the cover of the Vietnam war movie ‘Platoon’. I have never staged dived since.
We had the scary fun of meeting the band after the show. It was much less common back then, for some of the more hardcore US bands to play in Scotland and I was asking Gibby to play at my favourite venue, the Glasgow Barrowlands. Mr Haines’s cloudy dilated eyes lit up as he cackled to the rest of the band,
“Hey fellas, these guys are gonna take us to the Badlands”.
“Er, sadly, I said Barrowlands, but your more than welcome to crash with us; there’s six of us sleeping in a Ford Fiesta down the street”.
Gibby gave me his pipe as a memento of the evening, only for me to lose it, that and pretty much everything else, the next day at a Spacemen 3 show. Another band I’d happily go see again, should Sonic and Jason ever kiss and make up.
I saw The Sex Pistols when they first reformed. My first love. I’m still not sure what I think about it all. If there is one band, above all others, who embody youth, wielding it as if part of the music itself, it’s the Pistols. I’m glad I went. ‘New York’ made me go all inner. I know that’s not exactly pogoing, but I wasn’t wearing tartan bondage trousers either, but I did mean it man.
Punk’s not dead.
All the best and catch you very soon.
Colour Is Sound.
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