Thursday, November 13, 2008

Woke Up Feeling Some Cynical Today

I'll shake it off before lunchtime. After all, it is my birthday. 'Til then it's...

The Godfathers - "Birth, School, Work, Death"*

Been turned around till I'm upside down
Been all at sea until I've drowned
And I've felt torture, I've felt pain
Just like that film with Michael Caine*
I've been abused and I've been confused
And I've kissed Margaret Thatcher's shoes
And I been high and I been low
And I don't know where to go

Birth, school, work, death
Birth, school, work, death
(Sony fucked me on the embed. Watch the clip here).

Although diminutive in stature, guitarist Kris Dollimore makes a big noise -- searing stuff. One of the most extraordinary players I've ever known. His "BSWD" riffs & leads cut like a hot knife through butter. Singer Peter Coyne spits, spews and snarls. The rock solid rhythm section kicks up a racket. Super-sonic genius the late Vic Maile (Live at Leeds, the seminal Ace of Spades, Guns 'n Roses EP -- everybody from The Vibrators to Hendrix) puts it down on tape. Rarely does perfection sound so furious.

I caught one of the 'fathers' first US gigs on a Sunday nite at T.T. the Bears'. Maybe 20 people joined me. They were touring to support their debut Hit By Hit. Man, they were awesome. ("This Damn Nation" fucking slew me!) This band had the chops. They had the songs. They had the look down pat: gangster suits, skinny ties & haircuts to match. Nice guys as well. The Godfathers weren't at all dark as their music.

Sadly, The Godfathers landed 5-10 years too soon. Their smart, bleak, crunchy brand of rock was out of step with a nascent rave culture. I did my job by making 'em big in Boston. Like played on KISS 108 big. Elsewhere most folks were scared to spin it on-air.

The Godfathers were a great, great band while they lasted.


* Initial import pressings of "BSWD" 12" came in a nifty black shopping bag.
**I'm kicking myself for never asking which film. Get Carter would be in keeping with The Godfathers' image, I think they're referring to The Man Who Would Be King.
Now playing: The Godfathers - Birth, School, Work, Death