It seemed like America wasn’t through being creative. Devo was just the tip of the iceberg. Other bands started to emerge from other places other than New York and London. Athens Georga was the birthplace of a band that I can only describe as Atomic beach Punk. I am speaking of one of my all-time favorite bands, The B-52’s.
Once again, introduced through a 45 called “Rock Lobster” backed with the equally amazing “52 Girls”, this was party music for the in crowd. The B-52’s really struck a chord with me. It was everything that made me love bands like Blondie and the Ramones. Just pure fun.
The album arrived. Bright yellow with the oddest collection of characters on the front cover. It looked like a cartoon from the space age. And the opening track “Planet Claire” secured my thoughts. This was space punk at it’s best.
The two girls were Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson. They wore beehive hairdos and intergalactic clothes. They howled and yelled their songs. In the middle of all this was the ever-present and flamboyant Fred Schneider, yelling back to the girls.
Ricky Wilson and Keith Strickland provided guitar work that was right out of the 50’s beach blanket bingo meets Creature from the black lagoon. It was campy, fun, stylish and smart. All the things I loved.
I can tell you that my first date with Margie was a B-52’s concert at The Paramount in bayshore. A small little bar. It was an event. What a great show.
Saw them about 5 times since and they have not changed. Still great fun. Cindy Wilson has one of the best voices in music. Underappreciated but certainly influential. listen to the Ting Tings and tell me they didn’t listen to the B-52’s.
First album was wonderful. I love every song. Wild Planet was also great. Their career was interrupted when Ricky WIlson (Cindy’s brother) died of AIDS. Cindy quit the band for years. It wasn’t the same without her.
They have since reunited and just a couple of years ago put out a fantastic album called Funplex. You should buy it. TODAY.
And they still tour and they are still one of the best live bands around.