Once again, it’s time to tromp through the past here at Soulfish Stew. Here’s the second part of the list I made in 1986 of the records I owned. Keep in mind, it’s just records. I had every Doors album with Morrison, but most were on cassette. We pick up the list at number 35.
35. Josie Cotton – Convertible Music
36. John Cougar – The Collection
37. John Cougar – The Kid Inside
38. John Cougar
39. John Cougar – American Fool
40. John Cougar Mellencamp – Uh-Huh
41. John Cougar Mellencamp – Scarecrow
42. Damned – Damned But Not Forgotten
43. Damned – Phantasmagoria
44. Damned – Eloise EP
45. Danny And Dusty – The Lost Weekend
46. Dead Kennedys – Plastic Surgery Disasters
47. Dead Kennedys – Frankenchrist
48. Dead Milkmen – Big Lizard In My Back Yard
49. Debut LP / Magazine Compilation
50. Diet Plan – The Melting Pot EP
51. Doctor’s Mob – Headache Machine
52. Dokken – Breaking The Chains
53. Donovan’s Greatest Hits
54. The Doors – The Soft Parade
55. The Doors – Other Voices
56. Dream Syndicate – Medicine Show
57. The Dukes Of Stratosphear – 25 O’Clock
58. Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A Changin’
59. Bob Dylan – Empire Burlesque
60. EBN-OZN – Feeling Cavalier
61. Echo And The Bunnymen – Crocodiles
62. Echo And The Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here
63. Echo And The Bunnymen – Porcupine
64. Fabulous Poodles – Think Pink
65. Fear – More Beer
66. Flamin’ Groovies – Supersnazz
67. Flamin’ Groovies – Now
68. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Welcome To The Pleasuredome
I guess it was his small town loser charm, or perhaps his rebellious streak, but I was a huge John Cougar fan for many years. “Ain’t Even Done With The Night” was one of my 8th grade roller rink favorites, but it was the one-two punch of “Hurts So Good” and “Jack And Diane” from American Fool that not only bowled me over, but all of America too. My cousin Freddy along with his cousin, Boo on his mother’s side, invented a dance to “Jack And Diane” that was amusing primarily because they were mishearing the lyric, “let the Bible Belt” as “let the ball bounce” although now that I’m older I’m beginning to wonder if Boo wasn’t some romantic ideal of Freddy’s. This is the South after all. My retrospect take on Cougar’s huge success then – catchy songs about everyday folks, and the huge Don Gehman produced drum sound of Kenny Aronoff’s was the key.
I bought most of my records at the Cat’s store in Murfreesboro. It had a tremendous import section and the staff was knowledgeable and friendly. The best clerk was Jim Ridley who is now known best as the Nashville Scene’s resident movie reviewer. He used to write film reviews for a local Murfreesboro paper when he was still in junior high school so it’s no surprise that’s what he does for a living. He used to write more about music and I wish he still did since it was his guidance that led me to so many great things. I don’t know if the Dead Milkmen’s Big Lizard In My Back Yard could be considered great, but he’s to blame for that purchase. It was a typical Friday night for me as I stopped in at Cat’s to wait for my friends to meet me. All of a sudden I heard this dialogue over the speakers between a couple of friends discussing the new Camaro one had just gotten – yep it was my first hearing of “Bitchin’ Camaro” and I thought it was the funniest stupid punk stuff ever. Jim was the one who had put it on. He didn’t get to hear all of it because he had to sell it to me on the spot. Soon “Bitchin’ Camaro” became the college radio hit of the summer and fall of 1985 and I’ve never tired of it.
I wonder if I’m one of the few people around who owns a Diet Plan record. They opened for the White Animals at Cantrell’s back in May of 1985. I thought they were pretty cool so I bought their record. It’s still pretty cool, very typical mid-80’s New Wave music. They were from Boulder, Colorado. If anybody out there knows what happened to them, drop me a line.
I wasn’t just a New Wave and punk fan. My first real love was metal. I felt like an outcast and metal was my soundtrack of alienation. In those pre-internet days it was hard to always find the metal and we were all starved for it. We’d stay up late on Sunday night’s just to hear Metal Shop on the radio. My school notebooks were emblazoned with every metal band’s names that I could think of whether I had heard them or not. A junior college outside of Nashville had a metal radio show and if the weather was just right you could get their weak signal. When that good fortune occurred, my friend Gonz would tape the shows. One night he recorded the show and the best song was by the new band Dokken. It was a live track called “Paris Is Burning” and it just blew us away for some reason. I went out and bought Breaking The Chains and it didn’t take too long to see that our enthusiasm was unwarranted. Hair metal by the numbers was well on its way to ruining metal for many years. I turned to punk rock for aggressive music without a second thought. Thanks Dokken!
We'll traipse through more of my record collection circa 1986 next week as we go from Generation X to The Lovin' Spoonful.