Agony Shorthand

Friday, January 30, 2004
MURDER PUNK….One sub-genre of early punk rock was what I like to call Celebrity Death & Humiliation punk. This microcosm of the larger punk strata one was at least as fertile as Hillside Strangler punk or Neutron Bomb punk, two other oft-discussed topics of the day (roughly 1978-1981). Representative examples include THE MAGGOTS' “Let’s Get, Let’s Get Tammy Wynette”; THE ACCIDENT’s “Kill The Bee Gees”; THE ROTTERS’ “Sit On My Face, Stevie Nicks” and IVAN & THE EXECUTIONERS’ “I Wanna Kill James Taylor”. It was while listening to the latter that I realized that, Maggots notwithstanding, pretty much every one of these songs is flat-out l-a-m-e. As are later-period examples such as the MEATMEN’s “One Down, Three To Go” (John Lennon/Beatles) and even NINE POUND HAMMER’s “Bye Bye Glenn Frey” (actually that one’s not too bad). Each opportunity that arose to drown a celebrity in guitar-drenched invective was also an opportunity to write a great song; however most CD&H punk originators saw to it that neither the two should meet. Are there any exceptions that I’m missing that help prove the rule?