leejohnson's current selection is:
Hanging Around
by The Stranglers
Probably as controversial as I'll ever be..................


Those easily offended (or of nervous dispositions) who have perhaps never delved deep into the work of 'The Stranglers' should look away now, and should certainly not attempt to play their way through today's epic but (retrospectively) offensive Hashtag Album, "No More Heroes". For those of you who got used to it back in the late Seventies, or have successfully negotiated its un-PC lyrics since, just steam ahead and hopefully enjoy. Whatever, this is an album which just could not be made today. The track chosen as my lead-in selection is from the previous 1977 album, "Rattus Norvegicus", and was also the subject of some controversy the following year. Read on:


An offshoot of the legendary "Old Grey Whistle Test" music programme, the "Rock Goes To College" series captured 'live' footage of the featured band/artist filmed at either a university or polytechnic campus, and was broadcast late at night. It was widely considered to be a great outlet for bands to display their live prowess, and 'The Stranglers' duly accepted the offer, especially given the location… The venue selected for the gig was the University of Surrey in the band's adopted hometown of Guildford, which was a bittersweet choice for the band as, according to JJ [Burnel], there was "no love lost between us and Surrey University. They treated us like scum. We had tried and tried to get support slots there previously."
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On the 19th of November 1978, the band arrived at the venue, none the wiser about the disappointment of fans attempting to secure tickets for the gig, which was a total sell out. ... During the course of the day, the band discovered from local fans outside the venue that no tickets had been made available to non-students, despite the fact that, in JJ's words, "We thought that we had a deal with the University."
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The band opened up with a frantic salvo of their most offensive songs - "Ugly", "I Feel Like A Wog", "Bring On The Nubiles" and "Burning Up Time", deliberately aimed to wind the audience and the 'BBC' up, before filming was due to commence on their fifth song. Between each of the songs, Hugh [Cornwell] berated the audience with phrases like "Guildford University never represented Guildford" and "We hate playing to elitist audiences", and asking if anyone present actually came from the council estates of the town. They powered into their next track, a blistering version of "Hanging Around", which was destined to be the final song of the gig… ( See it here at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKiMZI2zkF4 )
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As the song stuttered to an end, Jet [Black]'s drumkit went over, as did some of the amplifiers; Hugh suggested that the audience should "f*** off", and the band marched off stage. The 'BBC' crew were stunned, seemingly unaware of why the band had chosen to stop the gig. The band returned to their dressing room, ignoring requests from the 'BBC' that they return to the stage and complete the gig. ... The band didn't have to wait long for the backlash to start. In the media, no one could believe the audacity of the band's decision and the national and music papers were full of column inches condemning their actions. [ The whole thing at: http://www.thestranglers.net/?p=8875 ]


Credit goes to the "Stranglers Official Site" for those excerpts above from their tale of true 'punkery' - in some ways even 'punkier' than the 'punkiest' 'Sex Pistols' 'punk' antics recorded in print from back in the day. As usual, click on the Hashtag Album link below - if you dare.....
1977 - United Artists - United Kingdom
Posted: 12th February 2018
Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
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All leejohnson's selections:
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