We recently caught up Joe Queer, vocalist for iconic pop-punk act The Queers, to get his take on the songs that got him in to punk rock.
Check out his list here.
1. “Loudmouth” – Ramones
First punk song I ever heard. My pal Tulu got the first Ramones’ album and played it. We loved it and wanted to start a band right that minute. He played me Loudmouth and then Beat on the Brat. First 2 punk songs I ever heard. It’s all been uphill from there.
2. “Neat Neat Neat” – The Damned
I’d been into the Stooges and Mott the Hoople, Bowie, Trex, Lou Reed and the Velvets etc and I liked this cause it was sort of a bridge from all that to a newer punk style. Same ballsy shit when you get right down to it.
3. “Pretty Vacant” – Sex Pistols
We played the shit outta this album when it came out and this was our fave on it. Used to do a ballsy cover of it when we were in The Falling Spikes-our first punk band. We found some huge nail/spikes at a hardware store and got a machine shop to drill holes in them. We put them on necklace chains and wore them around our necks when we played. The spikes were about 10″ long at least. We’d jump around onstage and they’d poke us in the eyes and cut our faces and shit. If anyone laughed we’d get pissed and call them fags. Then we’d go smoke more weed and watch The Family Feud and Andy Griffith show on tv at home.
4. “White Riot” – The Clash
Another album I loved early on was the first Clash album. Some of it was kinda lame-the reggae stuff sucked pretty much. But this is a great song. The Clash lost me early on tho. They got way too political. The last thing I’m gonna do is go to a punk show to talk about politics. I couldn’t care less what Joe Strummer’s political views are. Let the Sandinistas fend for themselves was my attitude. I wasn’t about to support them or any other rebels from some South American jungle or wherever the fuck they were from. I didn’t give a fuck. I just wanted to get laid. The Clash got really preachy early on in the going. In punk rock there are 2 types of people-those that think the Clash are the best and those that think The Ramones are the best. You’ll notice all the Clash devotee bands like Rancid have ridiculous lyrics you’d blush to write on the wall in a mens room in a cheap bar.
5. “All Kindsa Girls” – The Real Kids
They were the best Beantown band for a couple years. Many of us around town worshipped them. Their first album was all classic tunes. They signed to a bad label-I think it was Red Star run by Marty Thau and nothing happened. It was a real bummer. They should have been huge. Most of them ended up getting fucked up. John Felice the leader is a junkie-he’s fat as a hog they say. Alpo the bass player was a real unit. I remember jamming with him and Cheetah Chrome and Hugh O’Neill the original Queers’ drummer after the clubs closed a few times in the mid ’80’s. We’d play Stones’ songs and Alpo always started mouthing off and causing trouble. He died a few years ago. Gone but not forgotten in my book.
6. “Just Like Honey” – The Jesus and Mary Chain
I was always into the Velvet Underground. We’d sit around doing speedballs and blast Sister Ray over and over for a day or two at my old apartment on Dennett Street in Portsmouth, NH. When Psychocandy came out I loved it. Ballsy as fuck and this was the first song I heard by JAMC. Punk as fuck tho most punk purists were too stupid to know cause JAMC didn’t have purple mohawks and pins through their cheeks. And they bathed once in a while too. True punks don’t bathe they just sort of rot away.
7. “Gigantor” – Dickies
Great fucking tune by a great band. Ballsy as fuck and poppy too. I always loved bands that took the Ramones style to a poppier place. Always loved the Dickies. They once spent a 250k advance they got for an album on drugs and hookers. Love bands that practice what they preach and aren’t sitting around sending their car payment to the bank a week in advance to make sure their credit rating doesn’t go down. My heroes had to live it. Lou Reed, Johnny Thunders, Dee Dee Ramone – Telly Savalas in Kojak – yeah they were the real deal.
8. “Louie Louie” – Black Flag
I just picked out Louie Louie cause I saw them play it live way way back in the late 70’s and it was one of the few songs they did that night I could remember. They were a 3 piece that night – Dez was singing and kids would just jump onstage, sing for a bit, get thrown offstage and some other kid would attempt to sing till he too would get thrown off. Ballsy as fuck and I’ll never forget the power that night. I went home and called the guys back home in NH and said we can start a band cause I saw Black Flag and they’re smaller dudes than we are! Powerful as fuck and they lost that when Rollins came with his macho/gay posturing. Has he come outta the closet yet?
9. “My Old Man’s a Fatso” – Angry Samoans
First heard this when Rodney on the Roq played it. I was living in Hermosa Beach and I always listened to Rodney’s show. Great song and The Queers play it almost every night onstage on general principles. One of the greatest punk songs ever written.
10. “I Hate Led Zeppelin” Screeching Weasel
I saw that song title on the original copy of Boogada and loved them from that moment on. The fact the song is amazingly great is secondary. It’s the thought that counts. Got drunk and wrote and called and finally tracked down Ben Weasel and we’re still friends to this day. He just emailed me today actually asking for my recipe for white bean chili. No kidding.