I know, I know, I know. Record Collectors are Pretentious Assholes! I posted yesterday about Poison Idea’s re-released material, and last night while I was rooting around below stairs, as it were, I found a stack of old 7″ vinyl I had put away in a safe place. I was quite impressed actually, as I leafed through the covers. My early record buying history was laid out before me – from the days when a 7″ single cost 49 pence from Boots! There are original issues from Buzzcocks, Stranglers, Dickies, etc all of which I dutifully bought back in the late 70s with my pocket money.
Anyway, as I am in a Poison Idea frame of mind at the moment, I dragged out these two little beauties – I can’t remember where I got ‘Darby Crash Rides Again’ from, but I do recall that Tez Turner sold me the pic disc of ‘Just to get Away’ and ‘Kick out the Jams’ from his massive Full Circle distro empire HQ one Saturday afternoon, after bribing me with several cups of tea.
Incidentally, prompted by the mention of Darby Crash, I’ve also found myself listening a lot to the Germs recently. A few years ago I picked up the Complete Anthology as a quick way in, having never been able to find their original stuff back in the day. You can certainly see where Poison Idea got a lot of their influence from – and the anthology traces their ‘development’ from the completely amateurish, Stooges-influenced yet nonetheless totally captivating ‘Forming’ – which sounds like it was played in somebody’s garage by four kids who had never picked up instruments before – through to the savage ‘American Leather’ which would later give its name to Poison Idea’s record label.
Darby Crash’s charisma leaks through every song, no matter how amateur the musicianship – it’s as if he was so punk he didn’t really need a band behind him at all at times, with his famous, sneering vocal delivery reminding me, in a strange way, of the early Mark E Smith’s drawl. Darby often uses his voice in such a way that he stops sounding like a human singing, instead reminding me of a tortured animal. But considering that they started doing this stuff back in the late 70s, you realise that they were an utterly pioneering force in the kind of music we enjoy today.