white punks on dope

A couple of weeks ago I heard this song on the radio – Tom Robinson since you ask – and thought I’d buy the album.

I don’t know, I’m a bit disappointed with the rest of it, too Frank Zappa for me.  But this song is great.

About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
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13 Responses to white punks on dope

  1. Max says:

    By chance I’m listening to quite a lot of Zappa these days and can’t see anything wrong with it.

  2. Skuds says:

    The Tubes were never at their best on vinyl (or CD or whatever) but were really a band to see live. You should have got the “What do you want from live” live album instead.

    I was lucky enough to see the Tubes back in 1979 or thereabouts when they still had an enormous stage show with props, lighting, costumes and staging to put a West End show to shame. This was in the days when they would sell out an entire week’s run at the Hammersmith Odeon within hours and were also one of the first bands to play Knebworth.

    I saw them about 5 years ago and it was a real come-down. They just can’t afford the huge stage show any more. Having said that, the DVD of their 2004 Wild West Show is a bit better – but I would gladly trade it for a film of them on their Completion Backwards Principle tour… still worth seeing though.

    Even as fan I have to admit that the Tubes records always lacked a spark, despite having good musicians including one of the best drummers in the world and the attraction was always more for the spectacle. I like the records as they remind me of the show, but I don’t know how much I would like them if I had never seen them.

  3. bagrec says:

    Speaking as an ageing punk, I loathed the Tubes, they were the sort of American chancers who thought it was all about being a bit outrageous. A ghastly mix of Zappa and Alice Cooper, and with long guitar solos.

    Get Wire’s “Pink Flag” out for a bit of aural cleansing!

  4. Max says:

    There is a bit of Zappa in many things.

    I found here an interesting article on him:

  5. andrewkbrown says:

    Strangely enough I ripped Pink Flag for my MP3 player yesterday evening. 🙂

    But I’ve been listening to Blank Generation on the train today. I think it’s flawed but has some excellent songs.

  6. andrewstevens says:

    Surprised you’d not heard it before, it’s on just about every punk compilation released since The Clash/Levi’s ad. The falsetto fade-out is positively bizarre and a bit un-punk too, I suspect (hence derision above). Since I was only a toddler during punk then I’m excused from having to worry about that though, as you say, it’s a great track.

  7. andrewkbrown says:

    Andrew, how lovely to hear from you.

    Never really gone for any of the punk compilations, probably because I have so many of the original albums. More fool me.

  8. andrewstevensuk says:

    I think this is a case in point: why own albums of tracks you don’t like just for the odd gem? Most punk comps go really cheaply in Music and Video Exchange (I got a CBGBs one for three quid last week).

    I feel no shame in owing such records, despite being pulled up about it by purists over the years. If anyone ever released a Shoegazing ‘best of’ I’d probably be similarly upset. Oh wait, they have and I was!

  9. andrewkbrown says:

    But how are you to know that there’s only the one (or two) stand out track/s…

    Take The Only Ones which doesn’t do much for me beyond Another Girl Another Planet and maybe The Whole of the Law. But would I have known that without buying the album?

    I guess I could have trusted to the level of indifference to the rest of the album, but its just not the way I’m built.

  10. andrewstevens says:

    ‘The Beast’ is also a great track. I copied loads of albums of that ilk onto tape from older people who’d bought them at the time (some of whom now belong to the same party as Ian Page!) in the early 1990s, so I know what to prioritise in that regard and what to give a monumentally wide berth to (999, Peter and the Test Tube Babies etc). It goes the same for all genres though, imagine buying albums by Bleach and Catherine Wheel just because of one or two catchy singles.

  11. andrewkbrown says:

    Oh, yes. That doesn’t bear thinking about does it. Maybe we should just stick to Pandora or Last FM.

  12. andrewstevens says:

    I’ve found Last FM to be disappointing, though not as bad as soulseek as for the sake of saving a few quid to experiment with music it cost me my PC through viruses.

  13. andrewkbrown says:

    Yes, I’ve never quite worked out how Last FM works (and they don’t tell you on their site) but there must be something to it.

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