St. Louis New Wave Nostalgia
Random Access Posters:
New Wave Nostalgia
I was a player in the New Wave days in St. Louis. I renounced my teen band, Jambox, and decided to embrace the liberating ethos of punk.
Back then, punk wasn't just another musical style in a vast smorgasbord of eclectic tastes open to constant consumer whim and reevaluation. It was a life or death struggle against the elitism of the music industry.
Music was far less open and democratic back then. This was before MTV brought a diverse range of music into every household on a national scale and broke the deathlock local radio claimed on St. Louis musical tastes.
You couldn't be a musician unless you were a virtuoso. Either you had $100,000 worth of electronic equipment or you played country rock. There was disco, fantasy rock, and country rock.
It might seem strange now, and I think most people today have either forgotten or will never understand how truly hopeless it all seemed back then.
I had my watershed moment when I sat on the back fire escape of a west end apartment building and read an article about the Sex Pistols in the Rolling Stone. The article was hedging on them. They were a fad plain and simple. They would never last. But the example they set struck a deep chord in me, and a small handful of other kids around St. Louis.
Anybody could do this!
That was the great liberating thought behind the punk revolution. In order to be good, you didn't have to be truly great. It was enough to not be boring, which is exactly what the rest of the music world had become.
My first punk band was the Oui-Oui Twins, and we were anything but boring and anything but great. Two beautiful girls, barely 16 years old, Alissa Feinberg and Rommie Martinez, from Rosati-Kain High School, came to me and recruited me to be in a band with them. How could I resist them?
The other guys in the band wanted to be at least halfway decent musicians. The incoherent sex-crazed yelps of the Oui-Oui Twins embarrassed them. Other bands were doing crude 60s-style rock that would come to be known as New Wave (even though we all hated the new wave moniker at the time), and they wanted to do stuff like them.
So after just a couple of legendary gigs, including the highlight of my entire life, New Years Eve at Club OP-P, we broke up the band and started The Obvious.