Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Better 1, or Better 2?

I didn't get to attend the B-52s/Blondie show at the Clay Center last night. I couldn't really afford it, so I passed. However, it made me start reminiscing about my teen years when I discovered these bands, and fell in love with their music. Blondie came onto my radar with "Heart of Glass." My older brother, who had a job, bought the album "Parallel Lines," which we grooved to all summer. In 1979, I received a copy of "Eat to the Beat" on my 13th birthday, had a poster of Debbie Harry on my wall, and watched for TV appearances in the TV Guide--Fridays, SNL, etc.
Later that summer, after coming home late from an aborted camping trip, I caught the B-52s on SNL; I really liked their quirky, danceable sound, and picked up their debut LP with my hard-earned lawn-mowing money. Blondie was fairly well-liked by my peers, but the B-52s were a bit more challenging. I had already headed off on a different musical tangent than most of my friends, having embraced 1978's "Q. Are We Not Men A. We Are DEVO," among other things. My Blondie poster edged out my "Charlie's Angels" poster, the rest of my walls filled with Sex Pistols, Plasmatics, Motorhead, Ramones, and Clash posters.
In this day and age, I can go to YouTube and find almost any video performance of almost any artist I want, whenever I like. As a kid, I had to wait for the rare TV appearances, or the live radio concerts (King Biscuit Flour Hour). These bands certainly didn't come to WV. It somehow made it more special, having to wait to see my musical heroes.... I remember staying up late to see Debbie Harry perform sans Blondie on SNL one night, and one of the songs she did was DEVO's "Come Back Jonee." It was pretty cool to catch a favorite performer on a late night show, when you only had 2 (sometimes 3) channels.

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