(Ricki C.'s Rock & Roll Videos You Oughta See will be a continuing feature in pencilstorm, at least until Ricki gets bored or the readership finds a way to make him stop. Videos will be mainly little-seen or off-the-beaten-rock-&-roll-path.
They're not exactly my answer/reply to Wal Ozello's Top Ten Rock Vocalists, but they all ARE rock & roll songs. None of them are show tunes.
Ricki will provide an intro to the videos of not-more-than-500 words, because we all know it’s impossible for Ricki to try to tell a simple story without going off into 10 different tangents and then forgetting altogether what he’s talking about.)
"Hey," you might be saying to yourself right now, "isn't the lead singer in today's video the guy I saw playing lead guitar last summer in the reconstituted Replacements?" Yes, astute pencilstorm readers, today's video features David Minehan of Boston's late-70's to early 90's favorite sons - The Neighborhoods - appearing at The Channel Club in their rockin' heyday of 1982. It's eminently possible I was in the audience at the show presented here.
From 1980 to 1984 I was working at Ross Laboratories, making a shitload of money, was newly divorced and occasionally flew to Boston on weekends just to see rock & roll bands. (This was made possible by the existence of People's Express Airlines, a bargain-basement airline that was EXACTLY like a Greyhound Bus that flew. The round-trip fare to Boston ON THE WEEKEND was $76. Admittedly it wasn’t exactly luxury travel, People's Express didn't even have chairs in their boarding area, you just had to sit on the floor or lean against the wall. Even Greyhound has chairs in their terminals, though you might not necessarily want to actually SIT on them. One Friday night, and I swear to God I am not joking or making this up, a gentleman of middle-eastern persuasion tried to bring a live chicken on the plane. After much animated discussion - not very much of which was conducted in English - he was dissuaded. He left the waiting area, went out to the parking garage for about two minutes, returned sans chicken and boarded the flight. I have no idea what happened to that animal that evening and I don’t want to know.)
The Neighborhoods soldier on to this day in 2014, playing occasional shows around the Northeast, and remain a fearsome live unit. In that circumstance, they share more than a little with their Columbus rock & roll brethren Watershed - a trio of rockers pounding out great rock & roll tunes to the faithful and winning new converts in their second century of playing the rock & roll.
Reasons They Never Made It In America - I fully admit, here I'm mystified, I thought The Neighborhoods had it all. They were just Kiss enough, but not TOO Kiss. They played great, they looked great, Minehan wrote TREMENDOUS pop-punk songs and possessed every single rock-star trait except fame. And, given that they were contemporaries of REM and The Replacements in the early 80's, I can't even say they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm frankly baffled how they weren't huge. Were The Neighborhoods one of the five best live bands I ever saw? Yes, they were, and I've seen a fuckload of bands in my 61 years on the planet.
Optional Extra-Credit Additional Viewing - Enter "The Neighborhoods" plus "Arrogance" plus "1979" and "The Neighborhoods" plus "Cultured Pearls" plus "2008" on YouTube for a thirty-year span of quality rock & roll.