Tuesday, July 21, 2009


7-21-09 1982

Writing up that 80’s list yesterday got me to thinking about 1982. I turned 24 on August 10, 1982. I was working at a record distributor (the one before working for Tony Harrington), and vacationing in New Zealand. I remember having to argue with the dudes at the distributor that we needed to order more copies of The Birthday Party “Junkyard”. In the end, they only let me order a box (25), and it sold instantly, to less than 3 dealers.

The most eagerly anticipated NZ LP of 1982 was Blam Blam Blam “Luxury Length”. I had all of their previous amazing records, and I was lucky enough to have seen them live in Wellington, on successive evenings. Even got to meet ‘em!

1982 is the when I got to meet Arthur Brown, who was working on his “Requiem” album at a studio out in the west San Fernando valley. Where I worked was going to distribute “Requiem”. He signed a ton of records for me!

I remember how Captain Sensible “Women & Captains First” LP was a big hit in England, and how it meant literally nothing in the US, at the time. “Wot” is such a great single! And, of course, ‘82 brings the wonderful album by The Damned, “Strawberries”.

One of my favorite ’82 singles is “The Animal Song” by Europeans, on A&M UK. I just loved this song and it’s B-side, “Someone’s Changing”. ’83 would bring more 12” singles from the Europeans. If they ever played live in L.A., I totally missed it.

There was the 3rd Gang of Four album, “Songs Of The Free” – I particularly liked “Call Me Up”, but the local FM radio went on “I Love A Man In Uniform”.

And the glorious 2nd album by Zaine Griff – “Figures”! Is there really a legit CD of it available somewhere? I just loved his singing on that Yukihiro Takahashi album (“What, Me Worry?” on Yen)…

Speaking of Mr. Y.T., the first of the Yen Records promo LP’s began rolling in – notably Haruomi Hosono “Philharmony” Pic nic nic nic! …and Hajime Tachibana “H” (“H” has been a favorite ever since!). Within a short time (by the end of the year?), I would be working for Tony Harrington, importing LP’s from Japan – in the pre-CD age.

Grace Jones “Living My Life”, Melon “Do You Like Japan?”, Midnight Oil “10, 9, 8…”, New Musik “Warp”, The Psychedelic Furs “Forever Now”, Alastair Riddell “Positive Action”, Ryuichi Sakamoto & David Sylvian “Bamboo Music” (EP), Scritti Politti “Songs To Remember”, Split Enz “Time & Tide”, O.S.T. “Starstruck” (feat. The Swingers), Tall Dwarfs “Louis Likes His Daily Dip” (EP), Wasted Youth (UK) – “Wild and Wandering”, and from Frank Zappa – “Ship Arriving Too Late” (the album that featured “Valley Girl”). These were my essential listening for ‘82, along with the other aforementioned records. ’82 was right about/before when I began corresponding with Brian Ware and Mark Moerman…people who loom large in my “Music Life”.

- Ron

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