"The Clash would have KILLED to have come from Derry"
June 11, 2014 11:16 AM Subscribe
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey (38 comments total)
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Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, was a dangerous place to be in the late 1970s
. With bombs, shootings, British Army Patrols, riots on the streets, and The Ramones
and New York Dolls
on the turntable, the most punk thing 5 Catholic lads could do was to sing upbeat songs about adolescent lust
, getting nowhere with said girls
, and the general struggles
of being young
. In the bleeding heart of The Troubles
, The Undertones
escaped by dreaming of a life more ordinary
hit London, there was no "punk scene" as such in Derry. The Belfast scene was characterized by the musically aggressive, overtly political bands like Stiff Little Fingers
What Derry had was The Casbah
, a wretched run-down little pub
, built over the rubble of a previous pub that had been blown up.
There, The Undertones
honed their craft with a weekly headlining gig, eventually setting themselves the goal of a new song (or at least a new cover version) every week. The Casbah was also a place where Catholic & Protestant kids could put aside the violence & sectarianism of their daily lives and just be music fans for a while.
In 1978 The Undertones sent their first EP
to Legendary BBC DJ John Peel
who fell in love with the song Teenage Kicks
, and became The Undertones champion
. And in accordance with his often mentioned wishes, when Peel died in 2004, his wife had the opening lyrics to Teenage Kicks inscribed on his headstone, and the song played at his funeral.