Coming of age in the late 1970s, I was in the right place at the right time to enjoy the character-shaping birth of British Punk Rock, as well as having a ground zero experience of the Southern California Punk Rock movement, which was equally legendary.
It was a great time to be a teenage music lover! It was also a blessing that driving up to LA to see a punk band was not always necessary, because Orange County had its own live music venue that booked both US and UK-based acts; a dive-y little joint, hidden away in an industrial neighborhood of Costa Mesa, which was called The Cuckoo’s Nest. It was at The Cuckoo’s Nest in 1979 that I first saw The Damned live, on tour in support of what is arguably still their best and most popular album, Machine Gun Etiquette.
On This Date, March 17th in 1978: Generation X, featuring lead vocalist Billy Idol, released its self-titled debut album, which contained the single, “Ready Steady Go” and featured the songs “Wild Youth, ” “Wild Dub,” “Your Generation” and a cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth” – all of which got loads of airplay on Rodney Bingenheimer’s weekly, Sunday evening show, Rodney On The Roq on radio station KROQ in Los Angeles. Generation X is still one of my favorite albums of that era.
On This Date, November 26th, in 1976: The Sex Pistols released their debut single “Anarchy in the U.K.,” from the very excellent album, Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols. “Anarchy…” peaked at number 38 on the UK singles chart but did not chart in the US. In 2007, the band’s surviving members (not including Bassist Glen Matlock) re-recorded the song for the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock because the masters could not be found.
“Yeah, well, I say what I mean
I say what comes to my mind
Because I never get around to things
I live in a straight – straight line
You know me – I’m acting dumb
you know the scene – very humdrum
boredom – boredom
Backstory: On January 29, 1977, Buzzcocks released their first record, the 7-inch Spiral Scratch – a four song EP containing “Breakdown,” “Times Up,” “Boredom” and “Friends Of Mine.” None of the tracks would appear on an album. Lead singer Howard Devoto left the band shortly after its release. Pete Shelley moved to the front and, after a brief time with Garth Davies, brought in Steve Garvey on bass to form the classic lineup which lasted until 1981. The Manchester, England punk band re-formed in 1989. Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle remain from the original lineup. Howard Devoto went on to form Magazine and Luxuria.
Spiral Scratch Blurb courtesy of The P Five Blogspot, an indispensable “On This Date In 80s Music History” Blog!