THE EVERLASTING FIRST: Quick Takes For K (Music Edition)

Continuing a look back at my first exposure to a number of rock ‘n’ roll acts and superheroes (or other denizens of print or periodical publication), some of which were passing fancies, and some of which I went on to kinda like. They say you never forget your first time; that may be true, but it’s the subsequent visits–the second time, the fourth time, the twentieth time, the hundredth time–that define our relationships with the things we cherish. Ultimately, the first meeting is less important than what comes after that. But every love story still needs to begin with that first kiss.


I heard the Are-they-The-Beatles? hype long before I heard the music. A DJ on WOUR dismissed the rumor on-air with a sneering, They aren’t The Beatles! I may have heard Klaatu’s “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft” contemporary to its release, and I definitely heard The Carpenters‘ cover version. It’s within the realm of possibility that I heard the Klaatu tribute album Around The World In 80 Minutes before ever hearing much of Klaatu’s original recordings. I picked up a CD reissue of Klaatu’s debut album, 3:47 e.s.t., on a visit to Brockport some time early in the 21st century. “California Jam” became my immediate favorite.


Probably read about The Knack in Bomp! magazine before “My Sharona” was released. I had a love/hate relationship with The Knack, in the sense that I kinda liked them, I guess, but resented them for having the success I thought The Flashcubes deserved more. “Good Girls Don’t” and “That’s What The Little Girls Do” were my initial favorites on Get The Knack, but I like “Your Number Or Your Name” even more now. I have all of The Knack’s albums in either LP or CD format, including their reunion albums, so I guess I must have finally gotten The Knack.


Easy one! I heard “Lies” one afternoon in my dorm room during the fall of 1977, as I was listening to Brockport’s WBSU-AM. Listening to this incredible explosion of ersatz (but convincing!) Britboom, I wrote in my journal, They sound more like The Beatles than The Beatles do. In the spring of 1978, I bought a cutout copy of the Nuggets anthology just to get “Lies,” so The Knickerbockers were indirectly responsible for introducing me to the concept of ’60s psychedelic/garage/punk, and I thank ’em eternally. Much, much later, I’d discover that The Knickerbockers released a lot of other tracks that were nearly the equal of “Lies.” There is often more than just one side to a One Hit Wonder.


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Our new compilation CD This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio, Volume 4 is now available from Kool Kat Musik! 29 tracks of irresistible rockin’ pop, starring Pop Co-OpRay PaulCirce Link & Christian NesmithVegas With Randolph Featuring Lannie FlowersThe SlapbacksP. HuxIrene PeñaMichael Oliver & the Sacred Band Featuring Dave MerrittThe RubinoosStepford KnivesThe Grip WeedsPopdudesRonnie DarkThe Flashcubes,Chris von SneidernThe Bottle Kids1.4.5.The SmithereensPaul Collins’ BeatThe Hit SquadThe RulersThe Legal MattersMaura & the Bright LightsLisa Mychols, and Mr. Encrypto & the Cyphers. You gotta have it, so order it here.