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Monday, 5 March 2012

16. The B52's - Private Idaho

The B52's were my gateway into alternative music and but for a cricket obsessed father and draconian licensing laws, I would never have heard them in the first place. In the 1970's and early eighties I would regularly watch my dad play cricket for our village team and after the game he would go to the pub with his team mates for a couple of pints. Parents today do not generally leave unaccompanied children in cars outside pubs in less than salubrious parts of South Yorkshire, but what the hell this was the seventies, so I'd be sat in the car on my own for a couple of hours while my dad went boozing. If I was lucky I got a bag of crisps. If I was really lucky I got a shandy. I never got both.

So I sat and listened to the radio. I'm not sure what the show was, but it played a different kind of music to the stuff I'd seen on Multi-coloured Swap Shop. It was vaguely alternative and showcased the likes of Nick Lowe, Kraftwerk, Dave Edmonds, Stiff Little Fingers and the B52's, and I began to really enjoy this weird new world of music I'd discovered.

The B52's became an instant favourite and although my school mates thought I was mad, I just couldn't get enough of the kitsch, beehive toting band from Athens, Georgia. There are so many tracks I could have selected, but ultimately I've gone for 'Private Idaho' from the Wild Planet LP. It's got the trademark twangy guitar, the kooky keyboard, the wailing girls and Fred's snarling vocals. In this original video make sure you check out his yellow trousers, admire the big bouffant hair-does and Cindy is one hell of a mover too!

1 comment:

  1. Top song. Top harmonies. Top hair. And top trousers. What more could you want?