Monday, November 5, 2007

Eddie & The Hot Rods -- "Do Anything You Wanna Do" (1977)

From the overboard studio slickness of Hilly Michaels, a complete one-eighty and right into the heart of the growing UK punk and pub rock era in the late 70's. Primal stuff, the second coming of the garage band era, with a deep foundation from 50's era rock and roll.

Keeping with the old "Jethro Tull" tradition, there was no "Eddie." Barrie Masters sang lead, backed by a basic two guitars, bass, and drum. Tumbling out of the club scene as the Sex Pistols starting making a rumble, the Hot Rods didn't click until their second album, Life on The Line (appealing cover above on the left), with their super smash single, "Do Anything You Wanna Do."

Unlike the heavily distorted guitars of the Sex Pistols, the Hot Rods had classic pumped up tube amp tones (look at the beautiful long-necked Rickenbacker bass used in the video below -- the guy looks like he's playing it like a rhythm guitar -- what's with that?).

"Do Anything You Wanna Do" was about quitting your job, telling your boss to shove it, and driving out of the city in search of better things and self-realization. Deep, right? Nobody these days writes about their jobs, they seem almost taken for granted. But for Thatcher era youth in England, menial jobs is what set the rebellion off. Here's one set of lyrics that really need to be reproduced, to understand the frustration and compassion that was felt during this era:

I'm gonna break out of the city
Leave the people here behind
Searching for adventure
It's the kind of life to find
Tired of doing day jobs
With no thanks for what I do
I know I must be someone
Now I'm gonna find out who

Why don't you ask them what they expect from you ?
Why don't you tell them what you're gonna do
You get so lonely, maybe it's better that way
It ain't you only, you got something to say
Do anything you wanna do
Do anything you wanna do

I don't need no politicians to tell me things I shouldn't be
Neither no opticians to tell me what I oughta see
No-one tells you nothing even when you know they know
They tell you what you should be
They don't like to see you grow

The song fits into that great "crank it up while you're driving" mold -- blazing guitar chords, fast beat, singalong verses and especially the chorus, all meant to be played loud.

No comments: