This amazing recording of Split Enz (or were they still Ends then?), live in Palmerston North (!) in July 1975, has just surfaced and is the earliest known live recording of the band. Stranger Than Fiction is – of course – from their first, and, by a margin best, album Mental Notes:

As is Spellbound. I love Spellbound:

I guess it may be rose-tinted elitism of a sort, but I saw the band countless times around  (including the final show of this tour at Auckland University Cafe) and before this time and it really was then they peaked as a live act. When I toured with Enz in ’81 we also went to PN but it was a far more happily singalong affair by then.

I guess this Tom Moulton remix of The Temptations’ Papa Was A Rolling Stone remains unreleased because of contractual issues at Motown – or maybe Berry simply didn’t get it – it wouldn’t have been the first time. Either way, even with the odd ad-interlude it’s pretty neat:

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Dicky Trisco does the obvious, and extends out one of the very first records ever to use the Roland ‘acid’ 303, Orange Juice’s post-punk disco anthem Rip It Up:

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It wasn’t, however, the first to use the 303 on vinyl – this is a contender for that title:

Part two of the BBC’s Punk Britannia begins here:

One has to question what may just be lazy re-writing of history here (and in the previous episode too), although as Garth Cartwright correctly said to me:

Punk was fun but it has become so over venerated – smart media people ran it and thus its media legacy.

There’s no mention of the pivotal Ramones gig at The Roundhouse on July 3, 1976 which kickstarted the whole UK scene, or of Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers who may have been American but they were huge part of the early UK punk landscape, and neither does Richard Hell get the credit for the whole punk chic look – instead we’re told that Ian Dury was wearing razor blades before punk, which ignores the strong coverage in the UK music press given to the NY scenes between 1974 and 1976 – and that kids dressed that way because they had no money. No, Malcolm brought it back from America and sold it as part of the package – although it’s now fashionable to downplay his role because – yes – he was a snake-oil salesman, but without him…

To clarify:

I mean, what would Joe Strummer know – he was hardly pivotal……

Sadly the BBC version is likely to become accepted lore hereafter. I’d rather not think about that and spend an hour or so with this killer video compendium of bands from the UK punk era as they appeared on the BBC’s various TV shows. Many of these are of course on YouTube but it’s a handy thing to have these all in the same place and in such quality. Usual BBC iPlayer workarounds apply to drag this into the 21st Century.

I’m just not sure we needed the awful Boomtown Rats one more time – or Sham 69 (who were even worse) for that matter. Then, for every Jimmy Pursey you get an extraordinary Death Disco (with Wobble sitting there plucking and grinning) or Magazine clip. And She’s Lost Control. And The Ruts!

A keeper.

Since we’re all punk at the ‘mo – Rough Trade Records:

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The disappearance of David Bowie and an impending return of sorts:

“He has consciously dropped out of sight,” says Paul Trynka, author of David Bowie: Starman, considered the definitive biography of the singer. “For someone so consistently vain and self-obsessed, the heart attack—the realization of his mortality—came as a massive psychological blow. But he’s someone who has always had a real understanding of how to manipulate the media and saw the dramatic potential of a disappearance in a very Hollywood way. It became a kind of Houdini disappearing act. The fact that it’s gone unstated makes it even more mysterious.”

Finally, the very first 1976 Saints video for I’m Stranded, not the later colour one usually shown:

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