Turn It Down!!! Skinny Punks, Loud Guitars ... Who Needs 'Em?

Burt Kocain's picture

A little piece o' punk history from 1974. Tom Verlaine, Richard Lloyd, Richard Hell and Billy Ficca rambunctioning in Terry Ork's loft.

Here's Billboard's Top Ten for 1974:

01. The Way We Were » Barbra Streisand
02. Seasons In The Sun » Terry Jacks
03. Love's Theme » Love Unlimited Orchestra
04. Come And Get Your Love » Redbone
05. Dancing Machine » Jackson 5
06. The Loco-Motion » Grand Funk Railroad
07. TSOP » MFSB
08. The Streak » Ray Stevens
09. Bennie And The Jets » Elton John
10. One Hell Of A Woman » Mac Davis

Three years later, they recorded Marquee Moon, without Hell, who cut Blank Generation the same year.

Here's Billboard's Top Ten for 1977:

01. Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright) » Rod Stewart
02. I Just Want To Be Your Everything » Andy Gibb
03. Best Of My Love » Emotions
04. Love Theme From "A Star Is Born" » Barbra Streisand
05. Angel In Your Arms » Hot
06. I Like Dreamin' » Kenny Nolan
07. Don't Leave Me This Way » Thelma Houston
08. (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher » Rita Coolidge
09. Undercover Angel » Alan O'Day
10. Torn Between Two Lovers » Mary MacGregor

Astonishing, really.

EDIT: Before this tumbleweeds on out of here, do "kids today" get up to this sort of thing? Throwing rock and roll shapes and thrashing away at guitars? They existed in alternate universe back then (as shown by the charts) - has this universe disappeared over the event horizon?

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Do kids today get up to this sort of thing? Yup - just sounds a little noisier and the videos are far glossier.

Not sure this lot have an Adventure in them mind, let alone a Marquee Moon. I do enjoy the racket though.

Am currently at work "supervising" kids who would fail to appreciate this in ways that you could scarcely imagine !
Will save it for later or one of the other Beat songs.

How good was Billy Ficca ?
Remember seeing him pretty much launching a solo career during a fortnight long version of Little Johnny Jewel.

Anything's cooler if you do it in a New York loft, isn't it? Similar gatherings in the Essex spare rooms of my youth never seemed quite so exciting. I bet Terry Ork never made them tea and toast though.

Incidentally, this is a much edited version of the original video, which runs to just over an hour. Quite a bit of that is Tom Verlaine very patiently teaching basslines to Richard Hell, which is actually kind of fascinating, the sort of intimate footage you never normally see, even on those so-called warts and all documentaries.