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  • The Ledge #550: 1978

    Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been hinting that I’ll be starting 2023 with a big announcement. Well, tonight’s the night!In my eyes, “Teenage Kicks” is a perfect pop song; the greatest punk-inspired single of all time. Two minutes and 27 seconds of rock and roll at its finest. The sentiments are the same youthful expressions of the original rock and roll explosion of the 1950s. Instead of Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis boogie woogie piano, it’s buzzsaw guitars that accompany Undertones vocalist Fergal Sharkey’s desire for that “girl in the neighborhood” that he wishes “was mine she looks so good”. It’s the musical template later utilized by Husker Du, Pixies, Green Day, and hundreds of other pop-punkers for decades to come (for better or worse).Since I love the song so much, I have found myself collecting all kinds of versions over the years. In fact, a little glance at my master iTunes library a few months ago showed that I owned over 30 covers of this tune. Just two weeks ago, I discovered that a Minneapolis band I loved in the 90s had released a remake as a now rare b-side (more on that next week). With that in mind, I decided that The Ledge broadcasts of 2023 are going to include a sub-theme called “52 Weeks of Teenage Kicks”. Every show this year is going to kick off with a version of this wonderful tune, and I want to include my musical friends in this adventure. I’m sending out a plea to labels and bands to submit new versions that I will definitely fast track onto the playlist. Don’t worry about the musical style. Want to record a solo acoustic version? I’ll take it. Want to somehow transform it into a screeching death metal rattle? Go for it! Add some loops. I’ll even accept autotune!Tonight’s first episode of 2023 is going to begin at the source. The Undertones’ original classic kickstarts two hours of legendary tunes from one of my favorite years of rock and roll – 1978. It was the year I discovered Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric, Boomtown Rats, Devo and so much more! The “normals” may have been somehow grooving to Kansas and Head East but I was jumping around in my bedroom to The Clash and The Jam!

    To submit a version of “Teenage Kicks”, please email it to paulisded@gmail.com

    For more information, including setlists, head to http://scotthudson.blogspot.com


    Download MP3 here