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
02. Housewife
03. Games
04. Pinned & Grinning
05. Wasted
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!


Zer0_II said...

Greetings Peter. I've just had a chance to go through all the blogs that everyone recommended to me at the Digital Meltd0wn Blogroll - I am interested in adding your blog, despite the fact that it was only started this month. Normally I wouldn't do such a thing, but your posts have been very impressive so far.

I wanted to ask you if there is a category that you would prefer to be listed under before I add you. Please leave a comment on my blog and let me know when you get a chance. Thank you for all the great music. Take care.


Anonymous said...

Excellent record! Thanks for that. I had totally written-off this band until now, based on their later material. The name fooled me too at first!

One vote here for a full post about the New Wave Girlfriend, by the way.

Nathan Nothin said...


Thanks for stopping by & leaving the great story about the Frightwig/Descendents show. Does everyone have a Descendents-are-fucked story? When I was booking shows in San JoHaze I did a show with All. Bill Stevenson is a cool dude. I think Milo shoulda stayed in college.

I saw Wasted Youth several times in L.A. & they were very good live. I think most of their recorded stuff is kinda weak, but I downloaded this one, just haven't listened to it yet.

I want everything you've got here, especially the Ed Gein's Car stuff, but I don't have a Rapidshare account so it'll take a couple days.

Great blog, keep up the great posts. I put a link to your site on mine.

Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to hear part 2 of the New Wave Girlfriend story....

The Wastedouth is a pretty great record too...i love it when i step outside my comfort zone and find something great..thank you....

Big Ern xxxx

Melbourne Australia

kaplan said...

thanks for keeping alive the memory of Wasted Youth alive.I heard about them in the early 80's as they put out their 1st 12" on a french label...
This album is surely their best one (& probably the only studio album they recorded.The 2ns one sounds mostly like a compilation of unreleased tracks..)
Make me think I'm gonna post their last compilation on my blog soon.
keep going yr great blog.

Anonymous said...

Just dusted this album down after many moons! My band Sirius B supported Wasted Youth at the Bridgehouse in 1980! Our vocalist Mark Chater was a great friend of Ken Scott and we linked up on a few different gigs. In fact Mick Atkins joined Sirius B after leaving WY for a while too... I was an avid Bridgehouse gig-goer too so remember this era with fond memories...