Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Jam 1979


Probably my favorite group, which is such a tough call. I grew up being influenced by my older brothers, who were more classic rock inclined. From their hi-fi's up stairs I'd hear Hendrix, the Allman Bros., Santana, Clapton, Clapton, and more Clapton; etc. Good stuff.

But...in 1979 I was 14, and coming into my own musically. WBCN in Boston was the "New Wave" station. It was such a fresh change of air. No more arena rock, no more endless drum solos. Au contraire, the Ramones' singles were no more than 3 minutes and stoppped on a dime instead of dramatically fading away. They just stopped. How punk!

Sheena is a punk rocker!

They'd play Elvis Costello, Squeeze, the Jam, all those Brit ska acts, the Clash, the Ramones, Graham Parker, Devo, XTC, Television, Marshal Crenshaw, etc. The list goes on forever, you understand. I was glued to it, it was an obsession. Again, I was 14.

It seemed like this was all for me, a break for the old. My brothers had their music, now I had mine. It was such an exciting time from 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982.

Then something happened in '83 - '84. Was it MTV? Was it the fact that this new wave had caught up to the mainstream? Somehow the magic was gone. We had gone from the Guns of Brixton to Frankie Say Relax. Burp. Nothing gold can stay, can it?

It wasn't for another few years when the American hardcore scene came along from 84-89 (I was late to that party) that I felt so stoked about music, only to be replaced by corporate angst-rock acts like Pearl Jam in the grungy 90's. Double burp burp.

But the warm nostalgia of those glory years will always remain.

I put it to you, dear readers: have any major label acts been so original since this time? Seriously, it's all been re-hash after re-hash since. Please prove me wrong, I dare you, I welcome you!