Boys and bikinis
Girls and surfboards
People ask me from time to time what my favorite band of all time is and I honestly have a really tough time with that question. If you were to look at my iTunes and go strictly from the number of songs by individual bands or the number of plays I would have to say Foo Fighters, Green Day, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Michael Buble, (don’t laugh) B-52s and Oingo Boingo are at the top.
Tell me I could only listen to two bands for the rest of my life and I would quickly tell you I want Oingo Boingo and the B-52s, so I guess we have the answer to the original question. These two bands spark tons of great memories from back in the day and the music is just so damn fun that it makes me want to do the white man dance when I hear it!
Are they the World’s Greatest Party Band? Shit yeah!!! I’ve seen them six or seven times and I have to say that each time has been as bitchin as the first. It didn’t matter how old they were when I saw them, they flat out rocked the joint hard!
The last time I saw them was in Concord, CA in 1999 or 2000 when they played a completely bitchin show with The Go-Go’s and Psychedelic Furs. It was one of those nights when Drama Queen was young and we could get a babysitter and go out to have a totally cool time.
The only downer to the evening was seeing a bunch of late 30’s-early 40’s chicks rockin the same spandex they were sporting 60 pounds and three kids ago. Baby Mama was just rockin it (in something tight and low cut as I recall, but without the slightest hint of spandex) and put those skanky bitches to shame!
My early memories of the B-52s are of riding my black Schwinn beach cruiser to Seal Beach to boogie board with my Walkman (which was a big deal to have back then). I would listen to my The B-52’s cassette (they used the ‘ back then) and play the whole thing over and over, but Planet Claire and Rock Lobster in particular.
In later years I would graduate to a surfboard from Harbour Surfboards on Main St. in Seal Beach. My first boards were handcrafted by Rich Harbour himself and Harbour is one of the things I do miss about So. Cal. Rich opened the shop in 1959 and it’s the oldest continuously operating surfboard manufacturer in the U.S. I’ve written a couple of magazine articles about Rich and the shop and my Harbour jacket and 50th anniversary baseball cap are two of my prized possessions. But back to the story.
I would strap my Harbour long board onto my orange Ford Fiesta and plug in my Wild Planet or Whammy cassettes and rock out as I cruised down Main St. to the north side of the pier or down PCH to the Huntington Cliffs. Back then the B-52s made me smile and more than 25 years later (holy shit I feel old) nothing has changed.
In 1989 I added Deadbeat Club and Love Shack to the list of fav songs and I still continued to be a huge fan. Somewhere around this time I made the short roadie to UC Santa Barbara to see them play in the basketball arena. As usual the concert was fully off the hook and as they played their traditional encore song—Rock Lobster—the po po came on stage and ordered them to stop playing.
Apparently the balcony (which coincidentally was directly above my head) was visibly moving from the crowd jumping up and down and dancing to Rock Lobster. The Man was cool and simply got everyone out of the balcony and let the band start the encore again. It was kind of like getting 1 ½ Rock Lobsters. Sweet.
Many a night during my high school and college age years was spent around a fire pit at Bolsa Chica State Beach, cranking B-52s on the boombox, roasting wieners (snicker, snicker) and marshmallows for s-mores and Strohing a party. On rare occasions I would get a chick to take a walk on the beach and make out on the lifeguard tower. Very rare occasions. Sigh.
Pundits (which you can read as “LOSERS”) of the band will say that the band lacks substance. Yeah? Well I say you can blow me. How do you like them apples? There is something to be said about a band that can just have fun, make people smile and don’t have to be all self-righteous and smug. Hear that, Pearl Jam?
I need to excuse myself now. It’s 8:00 and I need to go make some dinner (sausage and peppers) and get ready for my guest appearance with Band of SAHD tonight. If you call and I don’t answer the phone it’s because I have my headphones on, my iPod cranked up and I will be listening to Rock Lobster as I dance around the kitchen like a complete douche. How can I not when I have the world’s greatest party band at my fingertips?
After that I will be trying to figure out what song to use for tomorrow night’s Grand Finale of Music week. I know that tonight is actually day seven, but the Beatles said there are eight days in a week, so I figure if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. I promised someone a little gangster rap to close this shit out and I have to decide between Snoop (a fellow thug from The LBC, NWA or Tupac. Peace out y’all. Keep it real and shit…