My first week in New York i joined the Jetz. I went to the audition with my Frankenstein Vox Bill Wyman bass (which i carried around in a cardboard box...! I had no case for it). April, Frankie and Ruby. April was the leader of the band; she had a bunch of tunes written, a collection of fast and hard songs but intrinsically pop. I guess that's what attracted me: i've always been a sucker for a good pop song: under three minutes, simple and hooky. Good power-pop, i guess what you'd call it. And i'm really really picky about my power-pop.
Power-pop is a genre that, in my worthless opinion, is a fine line to walk. It took me a long time to warm up to Big Star or Alex Chilton. I never had time for The Replacements. I never really liked Gary Valentine or Paul Collins, Greg Kihn, The Shoes (ai yi yi, the weakest of the weak, nothing personal)...oh Jesus, the list (unfortunately) goes on and on. These bands to me are hopelessly twee and anemic. The Records fall short. Cheap Trick while not always succeding* do a better job. The Posies when they are on they are on 112%, but they're not always on. The Beatles get it right. The early Who peg it. Blondie, The Ramones (yes, The Ramones), The Knack (yes, The Knack)...these are among a few who get power-pop right.
And April Lee, 5'0" of peroxide California dynamite, got it right too. After i had been accepted, i went to another audition i had already scheduled, just to see...y'know? No comparison: no pizzazz, colorless, more of a jazzy-type proggy thing. Strangely enough, they liked me too! But i'd told them i had another thing lined up so i couldn't accept. I think the guy was a little perturbed. But it proved to me that the first choice was unquestionably the right one.
April was great! She was always coiled and tense as she sang and played her little black Musicmaster, intense little black eyes, always dressed up in Spandex...come to think of it, so was Frankie! But i think April dressed Frankie. April and Frankie were girlfriend and boyfriend at the time.
Oh, geez...just as i was getting into it...more another time!
* at the risk of incurring the fury of Nine. And i love Robin Zander!