classic tunes found on a VHS tape stuck in an abandoned VCR in the alley behind my house

Giant Large Huge Vhs Composing classic tunes
_freakwave_ / Pixabay
Soundtrack in my head: The Slits, “Instant Hit”

Okay, I lied.  There is no alley behind my house. But I did discover some classic tunes

These videos I found on YouTube have that VCR quality.  I guess one of them was literally recorded on a VHS tape. It makes them all the more endearing.  These are two relics of when 70’s punk was morphing into 80’s new wave–before new wave became uber-commercial.

The first of these classic tunes came from The Slits. I’d heard of The Slits before but wasn’t very familiar with their music. But I became more curious because one contemporary reggae singer I like, Hollie Cook (who is the daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook) played with a re-formed version of the band, shortly before its lead singer Ari Up passed away due to cancer. The Slits seemed to embody the more stream-of-consciousness spontaneous side of punk, and seemed to have nothing but fun in this video. And it couldn’t be more different from what Duran Duran would start putting out years later, once music videos became big business.

The second of these classic tunes is from the Mo-Dettes. I had not heard of the Mo-Dettes until recently, but they were founded by one of the early guitarists for The Slits. The drummer for the Mo-Dettes, June Miles-Kingston reportedly started her musical career when she bought a drum kit from the aforementioned Paul Cook (Hollie’s father) for £40. Miles-Kingston would later perform with Fun Boy Three, and sang back-up vocals on their version of “Our Lips Are Sealed,” which Fun Boy Three lead singer Terry Hall co-wrote with The Go-Go’s lead singer Jane Wiedlin, a Oconomowoc WI native who recently lived here in the Madison area.  But that’s enough punk rock pedigree for now.  Just enjoy this little gem below.

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