Saturday, July 12, 2008
Wasted Youth - "Wild and Wandering" (1981)
Back in the early 80's my girlfriend-at-the-time worked for a small local record store chain outside Philadelphia, Key Records. They had nice, mom-and-pop main street shops in New Hope and Lansdale, and she managed their satellite store in shopping-mall-hell, Montgomeryville. People came from miles around, due to their extraordinary bootleg stock, as well as their extensive Punk/New Wave section, which blew the mall competitor's (Listening Booth and Wall To Wall Sound) out of the water. We would get first dibs (at a "STEEP" discount, nudge, nudge) of all the cool shit that came in, which is how I picked this up. At the time I was totally into hardcore; she was a "New Wave Girl" (as they were called and sung about at the time by lame cashing-in bands. That was the actual title of a song by some jerks called 4 Out Of 5 Doctors, as I recall). She would come to shows with me and get shit from the HC/skinhead girls who would then be shocked that she took no shit. She broke horses, after all, and she ate these skinny little cunts for breakfast, haha).
Anyway, I picked this up thinking it was the other Wasted Youth (I guess this is why they ended up being called "LA's Wasted Youth", like The English Beat), the hardcore band. I was at first disappointed, but not being stupid I soon realized this was a great album. Although it's probably categorized as an early goth LP, and rightly so, it stands head and shoulders above the rest of the genre. Even Bahaus, IMHO. There are fierce rockers like Survivors and I Wish I Was A Girl (something lots of people had a hard time getting their head around, but I thought it was, and is, hilarious. Esp. very loud). There are pop gems that in another universe are probably big hits, like Games. Moreover, this LP is a complete listening experience from start to end.
I was disappointed in their other records I sought out, never listened to them much and they're long gone. But this LP is a masterpiece I can listen to any time, anywhere. On a cold late fall night or a bright sunny day at the beach (well, cos I'm weird that way).
As for Key Records, they disintegrated in a swirl of drugs, divorce and hatred. The wife would come in and take money out of the register, leave orders not to let her husband take any then he'd come in all cranked up, scream "Fuck her and fuck you!" and take the rest of the till. Nasty bill collectors calling and coming by, relaying threats. We saw the writing on the wall (in huge garish spray paint letters) and one night at closing pulled the car up and filled it with boxes and boxes of all the good stuff. It was the best Christmas ever!, haha.
It was quite a loss for the area, and people still speak wistfully of Key Records.
As for the "New Wave Girlfriend", well that ended similarly in a swirl of drugs, hatred, betrayal (mine) and domestic violence (hers on me. That's a whole blog entry in itself...). But after it was over I realized I needed to work at a record store. But it was never quite the same. Considering the owner was a friend of mine.
01. Maybe We'll Die
04. Pinned & Grinning
06. I Wish I Was A Girl
07. If Tomorrow
08. Survivors Pt. 1
09. Survivors Pt. 2
OK. Get this 320 rip of my overplayed vinyl HERE. Enjoy!