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Bringing Sassy Bach: The Buzzcock's "Singles Going Steady" Reviewed

In the summer of 1981 I woke up in the back of a white van. Not the type of minivan so popular now but a regular metal van with metal floor and there was mini hell surrounded by guitar cases amps and so many wires I thought I was in a bowl of Raman.
To my right the bassist, at my head the lead singer (cheek deep in drool) at my feet a guitarist and I think some girl he met at the club last night and to my right- a drummer. I virtual potpourri of filth.
At the wheel, the 'manager' Peter who drove this van back and forth to New York so often he could have worked for Greyhound.
I was cold and I was sorta stuck and frantically had to use the ladies room 'STOP THE VAN UNCLE PETER STOP THE VAN!' clear as day I remember that (and his horrible yellow members only type jacket' I jumped out the back of the van landed on all fours and swore in my best 15 year old anger that 'you all fucking suck'
I got back in the van after a bit and this time sat up in front.  Clicking the boombox cassette player on the floor (weak on batteries might I add) the first song up? "Somethings Gone Wrong Again", I freshened the red lipstick  lit a cigarette and belted this out- playing the kiddie piano on my thigh.  Pete Shelley's vocals were so incredibly perfect in that muffled boombox covered in stickers that I just hoped the C batteries held out for a few tunes.
"Singles Going Steady" came out in 1979.  Look its not like I was cutting edge I lived in the 'burbs surrounded by picket fences and insanity.  My peers were diggin The Doors and Van Halen, I was luckily to survive it at all.
"Orgasm Addict"- the incredibly fast tempo of this song was perfect for driving.  "ah ah ahhhHHH', the boys of my neighborhood loved this, they found it as amusing as Mad Magazine.  Idiots.  Never liking the music but just the fact that they were talking about 'the big o'  Chris Rude you there?  Lead singer of The Rudes taught me the slang of what I should have known but my white bread world didn't provide that education.  "he's always at it.. he's always at it'
"Everybody's Happy Nowadays", was punk rock Partridge Family heavy on my getting dressed playlist "life's an illusion love is a dream' I didn't want to be in love.  I didn't 'love' anyone, maybe my family but all around me girls were tracing hearts and I was drawing Anarchy symbols- fuck them.  This contrasted so much to the poppy tone of vocals, this song still makes me insanely happy. "Everything's OK OK"  I used to think that they were saying 'everybody's happy now and then'… cuz I never pay attention to song titles
"Oh Shit".  This song always seemed so square.  Like maybe they just wanted to swear for shock value.  This is a good example of how young I was.  Still shocked people were swearing in music So, unfortunately I never loved the lyrics but the old school melody was a perfect pogo.
"Noise Annoys", Ahhh I had a friend named Dave.  He would sing this all the time grabbing my face and shouting 'noise annoys', shit I almost forgot about him.  He looked like Epstein from Welcome Back Kotter and I had a bit of a crush on him but he was in the rival punks so no no no, I'm not going to that side.  Oh, he's dead now.  I found out about 10 years ago that he died in a motorcycle accident.  He wore a bandana tied around his thigh and never drank but smoked so much pot its a wonder he could function.  The seemingly long instrumentals of this tune make me sad now.  I remember pulling up to the 'band space' with this blasting to get his attention.  Rest In Peace big guy.
" Why Can't I Touch It'  ahhh beautiful 'it seems so real I can taste it,' I have no idea why this song is so powerful.  I'm not even sure what its about but to me- it was everything on Earth that I wanted and couldn't have.  I wanted to be liked, I wanted to be popular, I wanted to be like anyone else but who I was but I was just me.   Looking back now I was pretty damn cool, but at the time I was a self exiled sad girl who border line hated everything but had everything she ever wanted or needed. 
"I Don't Mind" 'Reality's a dream', again fitting in perfectly with my self loathing.  Wait, I not only loathed me I loathed everything and if "if you don't mind, never mind'.  Typical teenaged discomfort I took as defeat.  Some kids masked it I wore it like a badge of honor, I'm a loser.  But i was far from it- I just didn't know then.
" Autonomy" if one more shit band tries to 'remake' this tune I'm going to punch them all in the neck. This song is so funny now cuz 'back in the day' I would sing it as 'I, I want you- on top of me'.  Yeah I did that allot but it had a hell of allot more shock value then 'Autonomy' does, now doesn't it?!  Why did no one correct me?
"Promises"- there was a glitch in my cassette, so this song dragged a bit.  'how could you ever let me down (down),   How adorable is Pete?  The drums in the song were often played on my thigh.  'You wouldn't change, oh what a shame'.
"Whatever Happened To…" is Still on my playlists!  I adore Shelley's voice in this song, 'whatever happened to the yellow paqes?'  To this day it makes me want to dance around the room.  'YOUR LOVE IS A CASHED IN CHECK!'.  So freakin adorable
"Love You More", well now this sparks up vision.  Sappy romantic crap, well it was then but now?  Its so sweet!  But if we go back to when i was listening to this you'd find me in the kitchen of the drummers house making coffee while standing on the table.  Why?  I refused to step on that floor.  So I walked on his furniture in my bare feet.  This song was pretty damn popular in that house.  
"Just Lust", now you're talking.  'if passion is a fashion than emotion is a curse'.  There were no boys with the sappy love sound of Pete in my circle it was all dropped jeans and Marlboro reds.  I never bought in to this whole 'love mush devotion' thing cuz it simply didn't exist in my world back then.
"Lipstick" .. sucked.  Always passed over it.
"What Do I Get?" I swear to you this song fucking rules!  "Im in distress I need a caress", there are so many one liners in this song that there is NONE that compare.  By far some of the coolest lyrics of all time.  I still adore the 'at tall at tall at tall' ending.  The simple melody and upbeat tune just play off the woe is me lyric so immaculately. 
"Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldntve)   yes.
"Harmony In My Head"  for some reason this song reminds me of "Homicide' by 999 .  But then again everything blurs to me.  Shall we do the head count on this album? 
Lets recap the players shall we?
Dave as I mentioned, is dead.  The lead singer (cheek deep in drool) married the girl that was in the van that night, they live in Vermont.  The bassist moved to New York in and out of rehab for years and suddenly disappeared.  The Drummer has MS, in a wheelchair and living on public assistance he can no longer even speak.   The guitarist?  He hung himself from a pipe in the basement of his parents incredible historic mansion in the wilds of Connecticut.  We found him as we came down for the weekly band practice.  Nothing ever made sense again.
Oh and me?  Yeah.. here I am.

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