25.12.14

THE BOYS NEXT DOOR : These Boots Are Made For Walking (Suicide 7", 1978).

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Classmates Nicholas Edward Cave, Michael John Harvey & Phillip Calvert formed the germinal Boys Next Door in 1973 while studying at Caulfield Grammar, a private boys school located amongst Melbourne's secluded suburbs. Principally a covers band & initially inspired by the flamboyant art-rock of Bowie, Roxy, Alice Cooper, & The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, their repertoire had expanded to include the sounds of nascent homegrown punks The Saints & Radio Birdman by the time they graduated in 1975-76. The Ramones' debut LP reaching Australia - & the addition of Tracy Franklin Pew on bass -  provided the catalysts the band needed to drop its earlier artier material for a set dominated by faster self-penned new wave-style songs.

They released their inaugural 45, a somewhat gauche cover of Lee Hazlewood's well-trodden "These Boots Are Made For Walking", on manager Keith Glass' Missing Link label in March 1978 while still a 4-piece. Shortly afterwards, & midway through the recording of their (subsequently-disowned) first album, they were joined by the singular Rowland Stuart Howard on additional discordant guitar. Formerly a member of The Young Charlatans, Howard brought with him "Shivers", a deceptively sardonic suicide-ballad he'd written aged 16 that, when issued as a Boys Next Door single the following year, would be banned by Australian radio for it's provocative lyric. The Young Charlatans' original version of "Shivers", though unreleased at the time, would eventually emerge on Brian Milne & Andrew Maine's renown cassette-zine Fast Forward in 1981. Consequently, Milne would launch Melbourne's crucial Au Go Go organisation, home to The Scientists, The Moodists, Little Murders, Frontier Scouts, Dorien Grey, & countless others.

Of a similar terminal '70s vintage - their oft-compiled "Scatterbrain" gig freebie aside - are the jittery "Masturbation Generation" (an outtake from the "Boots" session) from Suicide Records' Lethal Weapons sampler LP of Aussie-punk, & "Enemy of the State" (which was posthumously included Missing Link's 1982 cassette compilation, From The Archives). The latter, an amusingly coarse samizdat-thrash, appeared under the puzzling anagrammatic pseudonym Torn Oxboeys (n.b. I've included both songs below, though the latter is a very poor quality rip).

In mid-1980, with Glass' financial backing & the adroit creative support of studio engineer Tony Cohen (who'd maintain a connection with Cave into the 21st century, producing 2001's No More Shall We Part), the band changed their name to The Birthday Party (alluding to Harold Pinter) & relocated to London. Ta-da.

This house is on the list

19 comments:

  1. Anonymous31.12.14

    Dear ILTD: I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for running a very cool blog, much more interesting than most with great selection of music and commentary. I don't tend to leave feedback, but thought you deserved it. Happy Nw Year from NYC! -- JAM

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  2. Thanks pal, all the best for 2015. :)

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  3. Anonymous1.1.15

    Love this stuff !!

    T x

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  4. Anyone up for starting a pressure group to get Rooksby writing again?

    PS Had to look up samizdat. Great word...

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  5. Ahoy there, Mr. Rooksby!

    Erwin Blom posted this on his Facebook page today: Eton Crop's rare 1981 "Koesette" on Bandcamp.

    http://etoncrop.bandcamp.com/album/koesette

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  6. Excellent news Herr Cale! I'm penciling in the long-awaited "official" Eton Crop revival for February 2016, if that's OK with you?

    p.s. One day, Andy, one day... :)

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    1. They'll be playing in Stockton-On-Tees again this October, with possible additional dates.

      Talking of comebacks, I've got a couple of Peelfests planned later in the year. Can't stop accumulating Peel sessions not otherwise available on t'net it seems.

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  7. Why Stockton-On-Tees I wonder??

    I'll defo keep an eye (aham) "peeled" for your upcoming Peelfests... I found a box of old C90s at my parents' house a few months ago, hours of old Peel sessions I'd forgotten about, I really ought to crack on with transferring some of them, they'd keep this blog going for a year or 2! :)

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  8. Back in the day, there was a venue in Stockton where many of the indie luminaries played. Last year, the guy who ran the club decided to stage a mini-festival for the tenth anniversary of John Peel's passing. Eton Crop were there, as were Terry & Gerry, Nightingales, Ted Chippington, A Witness, Great Leap Forward, and others. A second is being planned for October with a view to making it an annual event.

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  9. Interesting! I've often thought of organising something similar here (Nottingham) myself. In fact I saw The Cravats live last weekend & they were so impressive that the idea popped up yet again... Mid-Life Crisis Post-Punk Fogey Fest? ;)

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    1. Sounds like a good idea. It's all heavy metal tribute bands here in Tamworth.

      Btw, are you aware Yeah Yeah Noh released an album (Automatically Saturday) in April? Doubtful whether it'll be available in all record shops good or bad, but it is on Amazon.

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  10. You live in Tamworth? I was there (briefly) last weekend, we stopped off to have a look at Alvecote Priory on our way to see Vic Godard in Brum. We hoping to find some "J. Cope was here"-type graffiti scratched into an ancient wall but couldn't find anything! :)

    Yep, I knew YYN have a new LP out, but the bits I've heard have been rather "confusing", reminded me of Sudden Sway a bit? Apparently they've incorporated a laptop into their current arsenal... is that wise?

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  11. Alas, Tamworth's cultural heritage is restricted to red pigs and Reliant Robins.

    Ever relishing the opportunity to namedrop, I was briefly acquainted with Copey's dad back in the 80s. I had an insurance policy with the Prudential - Mr. Cope Snr was the man who called at my door to collect the monthly payments!

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  12. JC neglected to mention that in Head On didn't he!!

    Have you ever ventured inside Tamworth's Rock'it bar, it looks like a bona fide "den of iniquity" - are they snorting drugs off the tables in there, or just watching old Only Fools & Horses DVDs on the big screen, I wonder? :)

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  13. p.s. Where did JC actually live when he was back there, any idea?

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  14. Not had the pleasure (?) of visiting Rock It. Prefer the out of town pubs these days.

    JC lived in a village called Drayton Bassett, a stone's from Drayton Manor Park & Zoo.

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  15. WHICH HOUSE THOUGH?? I can be a bit of a Cope-idiot at times, sorry...

    Also, the cover of Saint Julian was apparently photographed in a scrap yard near Tamworth (owned by Richard Cuttler, whoever he is) - is it still there?

    Gimme your Cope gossip, I'm all ears! :)

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  16. I vaguely recall he lived in Rectory Close, not 100% sure though.

    Cutlers was based out in the sticks, somewhere near Kingsbury. As far as I'm aware the business is long gone, certainly not trading as Cutler's anyway.

    I recall my dad had a clapped out Granada Mk1 that he sold for scrap to Cutlers. I'm sure the guy who came to collect it was the guy pictured on the back sleeve of Saint Julian.

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  17. The plot thickens!

    The entrepreneur in me is already thinking "Julian Cope Tamworth Heritage Tour", know what I mean? :)

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