07 June 2013

the stranglers: the day after

i wrote this really great post about my feelings today, and lost it because i don't have a real internet connection. i'm going to try to recapture it so if this sucks just know that there was something way better.

i have been thinking about yesterday all day today. i'm not kidding. i can't stop thinking about everything that happened last night and what it means to me. unfortunately that means there's a lot of "ugh why didn't you say that?" and "why don't you look happier in the picture?" and "why didn't you try to get them to put their arms around you for the picture? or ask jj to smile for fuck's sake?" banging around in my head. the fact that this is bothering me so much has made me realize that what i wrote at the end of my post last night is 100% true: the stranglers are my favorite band. this is a huge realization for someone who loves rather than likes. when i really like something, i dive all the way in and love it with everything i have. why do you think all of my posts are so enthusiastic? every show i go to is great; every person i meet is wonderful. but no show - not a single one - has ever had me feeling so strange the next day. that's how i know it's true: the stranglers are my favorite band. everywhere i look in my apartment, there they are. the poster from the "shakin' like a leaf" 12" single hanging above the shelves next to my door. the hugh cornwell show flyer that he signed for me. the "10" insert that came with my "sweet smell of success" 12" single. the other poster i have hanging on my bedroom door that came in my "let me down easy" 12" single. and my newly signed black & white album hanging where it used to. "pour la belle chloĆ«." every tuesday i go into my garage and play along with stranglers songs. usually all, or at least most, of rattus, plus whatever else i'm feeling like. and always "nice 'n' sleazy." yeah, the drumbeat is the same pretty much the whole way through, but it's funky and i love it. through those albums, jet has taught me so much. so, why the stranglers? why couldn't it be joan jett? why a bunch of old british dudes who were always being accused of being misogynistic assholes back in the day? i don't know. all i know is how i'm feeling right now and it's incredible. they are a huge part of my life. i listen to them when i'm sad. when i'm angry. when i'm happy. when i'm in the weird depressed state where i'm not really sure what i'm feeling. when i wake up in the morning and don't know what i'm in the mood for yet, but yeah, let's put on  dreamtime. they've had me in their grip for years now but it took meeting them and seeing them live to understand just how much they mean to me. i wish i could go back and say all of this to them. i want them to know what they are to me. i can only hope that i get another chance to see them. that's all i ask for. until then, all i have are my memories from last night. and all their albums that i can listen to on repeat for the rest of my life.

also, i feel the need to add this: i have been officially converted. i believe in baz! yeah, hugh cornwell was a huge part of that band but baz has been in the band now for about as long as hugh was before he left. he does all the hugh songs justice live. if you haven't seen them, you can hear it on the live cd that comes with the deluxe version of giants (can't stop listening to it). if he's good enough for 3/4 of the original stranglers well fuck it, he should be good enough for the rest of us, right? also, LOOK AT THAT SMILE. he was so awesome in person (so were dave and jj, of course, but i was already psyched about those guys). of course i still love hugh but it's good to know that he has been replaced by the best possible person for the job. all of my love, guys, all of it.


  1. My daughter took me to the Philly show as a birthday present. I had seen the Stranglers, my favorite band, three times previously, the last time circa 1984. The obvious questions questions going in were; will they be any good? and, will they play the old stuff? The answer to both was a resounding yes! They played all the crowd pleasers and only a few post-Hugh songs, though not a single song from MIB, which was a disappointment. Baz Warne isn’t Hugh Cornwell but he’s the next best thing. His enthusiasm along with Jim Macaulay’s hard & fast drumming seemed to breathe new life into an act that has recently seemed tired. They rocked hard & loud for close to two hours!

    Glad you enjoyed the show!

    1. lucky! this is the only time i've ever seen them, but that's because i was born in the wrong decade, and they don't come here often enough! yeah i thought it was an absolutely fantastic show despite the fact that jet black wasn't drumming, and i was completely won over by baz. greatest night of my life. where/when did you see them before?

  2. These would have been roughly from 1980 - 84.

    Cincinnati 1: The first time, post Raven/IV, stood right up front. We also met JJ while we stood in line, he did a spinning kick into the venue door (wanting to be let in) and generally displayed a lot of textbook punk anger.

    Cleveland: The MeninBlack tour, great show, I recall a lot of trance like dancing given the album's somewhat electronic character.

    Cincinnati 2: Post Feline & Aural Sculpture, I may have overindulged a bit and not enjoyed this show so much. Also, I hadn't fully warmed up to the newer music yet.

    Philly makes 4. Recently I've avoided seeing "old" bands thinking it would be a let down, but you were there; it was an exceptional performance.

    All these years later I'm still unearthing new unheard gems on the interweb, the continuing adventures of Vladmir for instance. If you haven't read it yet, Hugh's book Song By Song is a great read, it gives you a lot of insight into the band and their music.

    1. wow...i wish i had a time machine to go back and see these guys. i would have loved to see jj kick that door! i've found that a lot of "old" bands are still really great, and since i'm not into a lot of newer bands they're really the only ones i bother going to see. i have hugh's autobiography (a multitude of sins) which was a fun read, but haven't been able to get my hands on song by song yet. thank you so much for sharing with me!