Category: Musical Monday


muSical Monday-Blondie!

One Way or Another hit the airwaves when I was 11.  I loved the lyrics of the song and the rough guitar at the beginning.  I was just at the age where music was becoming both interesting and mysterious to me.  The cover of Parallel Lines was pretty awesome for 1978-a sexy blonde in candy heals with 5 guys in black suits standing behind her, and black and white parallel lines as the backdrop.  This was before my pre-Beatles, pre-60s fascination.  Punk and New Wave was at its height.

After I acquired Parallel Lines, I found out that Blondie had two prior albums before Heart of Glass ever became the topic of heated discussions (is the song New Wave or Disco?). Blondie came out in 1976 and Plastic Letters was released in 1977.  Plastic Letters is a great album-raw, cute, romantic and Deborah Harry’s voice is fantastic on every song.

Debbie was an ex-heroin addict, ex-playboy bunny whose whole persona  dripped with sexuality.  Before Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Deborah Harry.  The other members of the group were colorful characters too.  Clem Burke was the drummer who seemed to be either channeling Keith Moon or was simply crazy; Chris Stein was the moody, sexy guitar player and also Debbie’s boyfriend; and Jimmy Destri was on keyboards and seemed like such a baby.  Yeah, I’m a bit of fangirl when it comes to this band.

On a sidenote, the bowery in Lower Manhattan, where CBGB was located, must have been totally insane in 1975.  The Ramones, Blondie, Patti Smith, The Cramps and The Talking Heads all started at this little club on Bleecker Street.   Oh, to have a time machine!  I might have to do a post on the music scene at CBGB.

CBGB

After AutoAmerica came out (The Tide is High and Rapture), I stopped listening to Blondie. But 30+ years after One way or Another, they still play live every so often.  I got to see them many years ago and they were great.  Clem still plays the drums and Chris is still Debbie’s trusted business partner.

When I was living in NYC in 2004, I heard rumors that one of Debbie’s favorite spots was Staples.  I never did see her there but I’m sure if I did, she would have been very cool.

Dreaming is my favorite Blondie songs (well, today it is).  “When I met you in the restaurant, you could tell I was no debutante…”

musical Monday-The Pandoras!

The original Pandoras with Gwynne

When I was 16, I liked this all-girl band, The Pandoras.  They originated in the 1980s during the mod/psychedelic revival. Paula Pierce was lead vocals, lead guitar, lead everything.

There were several formations of the band.  At one point the, keyboardist Gwynne split from the original group and started her own band commonly referred to as Gwynne’s Pandoras; Paula stayed where she was and her band became known as Paula’s Pandoras.  This only lasted a short time because everyone knew that Paula’s Pandoras was the original and the best.

Another formation of the band

The Pandoras had a reputation.  Many people who didn’t like them thought the attention they received was unwarranted.  There was a rumor that Paula would plagiarize songs by 60s garage bands and just use her own lyrics.  The rumor was probably true because all of her songs kind of sound the same.

Paula’s musical taste changed drastically and her band became metal.  Melanie and Kim left and eventually formed The Muffs. Unfortunately, Paula died in the early 90s of a brain aneurysm.  She was only 31.  Too young to pass from this life.

Paula Pierce

I think I have Stop Pretending someplace in my itunes library.  The early Pandoras had fun, bitchy lyrics with a punk/garage sound.  I thought they were great but I was a bit of a dork back then.

I stopped listening to them after this album came out

Here is a video of them live at UCLA in the 1980s many years ago.

*this post is dedicated to Lucy, Laura and Tim who may or may not remember my silly obsession with this band

Since the US is celebrating Labor Day today, we missed out on an awesome Freddie Mercury Doodle Google.  Freddie would have been 65 today so Happy Birthday Freddie and Happy Day to all the Laborers.

When I was a tweener, I was haunted by stories of people jumping on a piano to get the stomping effects on We Will Rock You.  I can’t claim to be a huge Queen fan but whenever a song by them comes on the radio, I turn it up.  And I always think of Freddie.  He is a musical icon and unfortunately, one of the earliest victims of the Aids epidemic.

One of my favorite Queen songs is My Best Friend (actually written by bassist, John Deacon).  Simple lyrics but the sentiment is sweet:

  • You’re the best friend I’ve ever had
  • I’ve been with you such a long time
  • You’re my sunshine and I want you to know
  • That my feelings are true
  • I really love you