Bands I Love Who Aren’t Goth

I listen to a lot of music that isn’t Goth. Back when I started getting into Goth in the mid-late 1980’s I was also getting into punk, so effectively I had one foot in each camp. Nowadays I would have probably been called a deathrocker, but that term wasn’t really used that much back then so I was just being me. On Friday I would go to Gilman St. in Berkeley to catch a punk show and on Saturday I would go to the Twilight Zone in Alameda to hear new wave/goth/industrial music. There were a few of us who did that and there were certain people, especially at the Twilight Zone, who looked down at that. Yes, there were total elitists in the Goth subculture even back then. The funny thing is that the ones who looked down their nose at me were mostly the weekend warrior types so they were really boring.

The Exploited are probably my all time favorite punk band. Especially the above song called Maggie that totally sings about what a cunt Maggie Thatcher was. The day that she died I played this song over and over again in celebration. Those of you who say that we shouldn’t celebrate the death of anybody did not live in the time of Thatcher and Reagan. What I’ve always loved about The Exploited is their politics. There have been people over the years saying they are Nazis, which of course is bullshit. Siouxsie also wore a swastika armband at the start of punk, so does that also make her a Nazi? Yeah, that’s what I thought. The Misfits are a very close second, but the pure aggressiveness of The Exploited still gets me worked up.

Growing up in the 1970’s/1980’s exposed me to lots of funky music, be it R&B or disco. The Gap Band are one of my favorites in this category because the heavy base/synth lines in their songs are beyond awesome and make me want to get down! I remember the above video being on MTV and totally grooving to it.

This is the most bad-ass cover of a song ever! Vanilla Fudge were a psychedelic band from New Jersey that were around mostly during the late 1960’s. I just love the sound of the Hammond organ and the heavy guitar playing. I love a lot of their music, which can be strange and trippy, but this is my favorite song of theirs. Imagine, in this clip they are actually playing live! They toured with Cream! I wish I could have gone to that show!

I have always had a crush on Bryan Ferry, he’s like the James Bond of the music world; suave and totally irresistible. *fans herself* Anyway! I love his solo work and Roxy Music. Listening to him sing makes me feel like I’m in a slightly seedy cocktail lounge surrounded by mysterious people. That’s a good thing!

I love Public Enemy. How dare I love some old-school rap…how dare I! The first time I ever heard Public Enemy was in the bedroom of a punk guy in Santa Cruz. That’s right, punks and other freaks were listening to Public Enemy before upper middle class annoying white teens ever heard of them. Again I love them because of the political message they sent out, which is so lacking in today’s world of rap. Even their newer songs are really good!

Next year will be 30 years since I started listening to PiL. They were a total gateway band for me in terms of discovering ‘strange’ music. In my opinion they are the best post-punk band of the late 70’s/80’s. Seriously, John Lydon can write circles around Morrissey. Yeah, go ahead and try to argue with me about that! I saw them three times live in the late 1980’s and they were some of the best shows I’ve ever been to. I can’t describe enough about how much this band means to me. Lydon’s later work with the band isn’t quite as good as the earlier material, but as a whole it’s excellent stuff!




Why The Sex Pistols Deserve More Respect

I love these guys!

I love these guys!

The husband and I rewatched the great Sex Pistols documentary The Filth And The Fury and it reminded me what a great band they were, and how the teenagers of today don’t respect them enough.

What I am always seeing online are kids who compare The Sex Pistols to a boy band because of Malcom McClaren putting the band together. The main HUGE difference between boy bands and the Pistols is the fact that they wrote all of their own music. Usually it was John Lydon writing the lyrics while the rest of the band played something they had just made up. When have boy bands played their own instruments or written all of their own music? Yes, I just told you to sit the hell down! These same kids will go on and on about how much they love The Clash, which by the way was directly formed in order to compete with the Pistols. The Clash were a huge band and played stadiums. In fact I remember a totally normal classmate in junior high who bragged going to one such event. Now, who were the sellouts?

Not only did they influence a ton of bands, everyone from The Damned to Siouxsie And The Banshees, they also paved the way for people to feel comfortable being a freak in a society that they didn’t want to be a part of. Up until that time there wasn’t a musical movement that told people that it was okay to be different, that you didn’t have to follow what everybody else did because they told you to. Yes, there was the counterculture of the 1960’s but that was all about peace, loving everybody else and growing you hair long. Punk, originally, was about expressing yourself, no matter how you chose to do it. Later it did become a uniform, one in which I think it’s crass to adopt these days.

The danger element in what they did should not be overlooked. What band signed band today would have the balls to play a song called God Save The Queen? Go ahead….I’ll give you a moment. None. They created songs that went against the status quo thinking of the time and this pissed a whole lot of people off. Malcom McClaren claimed that he orchestrated all of this, which is a huge lie. When it comes down to it he didn’t know what the hell he was doing the vast majority of the time. It’s no surprise that he stole the band’s money, but he got frightened when he realized just how pissed off people were. John Lydon, among others, were physically attacked while walking down the street simply because of who he was. In fact, it was damned dangerous to be different back then. I would like to argue that this aspect has still not gone totally away, with the murder of Sophie Lancaster by a group of assholes a few years ago.

No surprise, I’m a huge fan of The Sex Pistols and saw them live on their 25th anniversary tour in the US. Lydon went on about how bands like Green Day aren’t punk and never will be punk. Agreed! I started listening to them in 86 and they were my gateway band into not only punk, but into Goth. Without punk there would be no Goth subculture, and don’t you forget it!