Friday, July 21, 2017

Flashback Friday -- The Pogues

I remember the first time I heard the Pogues. Watching MTV on an illegal cable hookup, it was either 120 Minutes or  The Cutting Edge;center,center&resize=1050:*

Anyway, it was 1984 or 85 and the host of the show said they were some new band from Ireland and played a few of their songs "Dirty Old Town," "The Sick Bed of CĂșchulainn," I think. Anyway, I was blown away. I'd never heard anything like them before. They were the band that posed the musical question "what would Rock & Roll sound like if it had evolved in Ireland instead of America?" And the answer was "pretty damn good!"

I saw the Pogues live once at Berkeley's Greek Theater, opening for Bob Dylan. I was surprised how much better Shane MacGowan's voice sounded live than on their records. Then I found out that Shane was in rehab and Spider Stacy was handling the lead vocals. Oh, well. Still a great show.

A little off-topic, but I have to say that I'm glad I got to see Bob Dylan live, I'm a big Bob Dylan fan, but I wouldn't do it again. He has some weird compulsion to make the live versions of his songs sound different than the versions you've heard on his records which seems like a good idea, but was actually kind of annoying. If anyone else played his songs the way Dylan played them that day, I would've said "you're butchering Bob Dylan!"

Anyway, enjoy the Pogues:

Also, they played the trouble-making MacMahone Family in Alex Cox's "Straight to Hell." I don't know if that movie will hold up, but you can watch it here: