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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Flashcubes Cover The World!

Even the best band is only as good as its material. Fans of jam bands may hold a different viewpoint, but rock 'n' roll groups need songs, great songs. This is equally true of acts playing before a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden and combos puttin' on a full-tilt show before a half-dozen inebriated pop enthusiasts at the local watering hole. Songs. Ya gotta have songs.

Syracuse's own power pop powerhouse The Flashcubes never had a problem accessing a ready supply of great songs--all they had to do was write 'em. The 'Cubes were blessed with three able songwriters in Gary Frenay, Paul Armstrong, and Arty Lenin, each of whom has always been capable of crafting original tunes that could rival the best rockin' pop stuff anywhere. In live performances, when you combine those terrific original songs with both the pop-primed harmonies and the punk-propelled bass and guitars of Frenay, Armstrong, and Lenin, and push it all forward with precise and ferocious drumming from Tommy Allen, you've magically created my favorite power pop group, and one of the very best live rock 'n' roll bands I've ever had the privilege to witness. Shine on, you bright lights!

The Flashcubes' original songs are the largest component of why they've remained my Fave Raves for nearly four decades. But the 'Cubes have terrific taste in covers, too. For post-teenage kicks, I've compiled this list of songs I've heard The Flashcubes cover live. I'm not using any archives or databases for reference, nor listing any songs I've only heard 'em do on tape or record or digital file, nor even any songs I only recall seeing performed by some other permutation of 'Cubes members (The Most, Screen Test, 1.4.5., The Neverly Brothers, The Richards, etc.). The list even excludes The Flashcubes' ace rendition of The Monkees' "She," which appears on the new tribute album LISTEN TO THE BANDS: 25 Monkees CoverVersions. This list is solely constructed from my own live show memories. (Which means, of course, that there are gaps--just like in my memories). Ladies and gentlemen, THE FLASHCUBES!

Information in brackets indicates an artist or artists who did the song before The Flashcubes did. Asterisk notes a song I think I remember seeing The Flashcubes cover, but which I'm not 100 % certain is not a trick of pesky memory.

*All Over The World [Paul Collins Beat]
Baby Blue [Badfinger]
Because The Night (performed with Dian Zain) [The Patti Smith Group]
Boogie City [Chris Spedding]
Brand New Cadillac (performed with Tom Kenny) [Vince Taylor, The Clash]
Carrie Anne [The Hollies]
Dizzy Miss Lizzy [Larry Williams, The Beatles]
Do Anything You Wanna Do [Eddie & the Hot Rods]
*Don't Wanna Say Goodbye [The Raspberries]
Earn Enough For Us [XTC]
Elevation [Television]
Get Out Of Denver [Bob Seger, Eddie & the Hot Rods]
God Save The Queen [The Sex Pistols]
Have You Ever Loved Somebody [The Hollies, The Searchers]
Heart Full Of Soul [The Yardbirds]
Heart Of The City [Rockpile]
Hello Susie [The Move]
Hey Deanie [Eric Carmen, Shaun Cassidy]
Hey Miss Betty [Chris Spedding]
Hold Me Tight [The Beatles]
I Can't Explain [The Who]
I Can't Let Go [The Hollies]
I Just Want To Have Something To Do [The Ramones]
I Must Be In Love [The Rutles]
I Need You [The Kinks]
I Need You (For Someone) [The Jam]
I Wanna Be Sedated [The Ramones]
I Wanna Be With You [The Raspberries]
I'm Down [The Beatles]
I'm On Fire [The Dwight Twilley Band]
In The City [The Jam]
The Kids Are Alright [The Who]
License To Kill [The Ohms]
Lies [The Knickerbockers]
Louie Louie [The Kingsmen]
*The Modern World [The Jam]
A Must To Avoid [Herman's Hermits]
Needles And Pins [The Searchers]
Neverland [The dB's]
No Matter What [Badfinger]
Personality Crisis [The New York Dolls]
Pretty Vacant [The Sex Pistols]
Rawhide [Link Wray]
Rock And Roll Star [Oasis]
September Gurls [Big Star]
Shake Some Action [The Flamin' Groovies]
Soldier Of Love [The Beatles, Arthur Alexander]
Somethin' Else [Eddie Cochran]
Stop! In The Name Of Love [The Supremes]
Take The Cash [K.A.S.H.] [Wreckless Eric]
Thank You, Girl [The Beatles]
This Man He Weeps Tonight [The Kinks]
Tonight [The Raspberries]
Tonight Is A Wonderful Time (To Fall In Love) [April Wine]
Walking Out On Love [Paul Collins]
Where Have All The Good Times Gone [The Kinks]
Wild Thing [The Troggs]
Wouldn't You Like It [The Bay City Rollers]
You Really Got Me [The Kinks]

All well and good! But now, lemme hear some Flashcubes songs...!

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