Monday, August 2, 2010

The Undertones Story with John Peel

A great punk LP you should hear.

After visiting Ireland for the first time I revisited two of my favorite (Irish) bands of the early punk era, Stiff Little Fingers and The Undertones. The Only Time I saw the Undertones I believe was 1979, Harley Flanagan (who was only 12 years old and drumming in The Stimulators at the time), Rob Dellenback, and myself were standing outside Irving Plaza in New York trying to weasel our way in on a guest list or sneak in the back door somehow, but we were having no luck. At the front door we could hear the music as the band came on, we were so bummed we couldn't get in, the show was probably sold out as well. But while standing in the entry not only could we hear them playing upstairs (even though a bit muffled) But we could see the ceiling with a chandelier bouncing up and down as the crowd upstairs enthusiastically pogo'd, it almost made it worse for us, as we begged and pleaded the security guards and door people to please let us in... Eventually, just before the end of the set they let us in, we pushed our way all the way to the front, it was fucking great, we got to see all of our favorite songs at the end of the set and the encore. As usual I did not have my camera, but obviously a show i'd never forget, lot's of simple punk rock fun (being the fervently less political of these two main Irish bands).

So I stumbled upon the rare documentary about the band today and thought i'd share it with you all, the infamous John Peel helps to present the story.

The entire Documentary in 8 parts:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this Glenn. I remember watching this when it came out on the telly - maybe 10 years ago? Nice to see it again. What a loss John Peel is. I spent many a teenage night with my finger on the dial trying to keep BBC radio 1 tuned in (the reception was never much good from Ireland - had to pick up some transmitter in Wales or somewhere). I wrote to John when I was 14 or 15, just mentioning some band my friends were in. No demo tape or anything. And also mentioned the shite reception. The amazing thing is that he wrote back. I still have the hand written and friendly post card from him tucked away, never to be thrown out. And this was back in the 80's, when he must have been getting hundreds of letters, tapes, etc from teenage bands who would never go anywhere bar play in some dingy hole to their mates. Legend of a man. And they did put "Teenage dreams, so hard to beat" on his gravestone. Sadly missed.

    - Rory