Endless Loop: Atomic

blondieHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Atomic” by Blondie

Like a whole lot of folks I know, I used to be in a band.  I think we were pretty good too, not world shattering by any means, but we were definitely getting better before things went south and we imploded.  We played some shows, recorded an album, and filled our rehearsal space with so much cigarette smoke, it makes my lungs wheeze just thinking about it.  But one of the things we never did, and I’m regretful for it to this day, was become part of a larger scene.  We neglected to join a likeminded group of peers, freaks, and musicians with which to spread our sound and our art.  And that sucks.  Who knows what kind of mythmaking we could have enabled and been a part of?  Maybe after disbanding, the stories and rumors would have remained, local pop culture lore spread by word of mouth and hazy memory.

But we didn’t.

All of this is probably my fault, as I can fall into my own idiosyncratic antisocial quirks every now and then, or maybe there just wasn’t a scene to fit into.  We can’t all be the New York punk rock scene of the 1970s I guess.

Man, to have been around then and there to hang out at CBGB’s or Max’s Kansas City and see early performances by The Ramones or Talking Heads or Television or Richard Hell or Suicide or The Heartbreakers.  To watch the scene unfold.  To exist in the peripheries of punk rock Americana and experience the mythology firsthand.  Each band as legendary as the last, sometimes before even taking the stage, and the stories, stories, stories, collections of truths, half-truths, and bullshit that somehow just all made sense.  Patti Smith’s sexuality or Dee Dee turning tricks or Debbie Harry having narrowly avoided being murdered by notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, the mythmaking was alive and pulsing, along with bass lines and amplifiers and heartbeats rattled by too much cocaine.

Where was all this shit in Austin 20 years ago?  We should have been playing shows with a host of other weirdos, writing songs together, popping pills, drinking whiskey and cheap beer, and writing our own histories, mythic art rock deities to be remembered forever by other weirdos.

But we didn’t…

…which brings me to Blondie, the hippest punk/new wave/disco hybrid act to have ever graced the stage and our home stereos, and their disco pop banger “Atomic.”

I don’t really have any more to add here, so let’s just listen to the song and remember how fucking cool Debbie Harry and the band were.

Still are.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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