Punk died before Disco. The next alternative defender of rock and roll was the New Wave, which combined electronic and experimental music with a minimal beat. Bands such as The Psychedelic Furs, Simple Minds, and Echo and The Bunnymen achieved critical and financial success during the early 80s, however American New Wave acts were shut out of the surge.
TuxedoMoon, a San Francisco Post Punk group, had attained a modicum of fame within the USA, although not enough to satisfy their egos or pockets and the band emigrated to Belgium hoping to break into the European market.
Sell-out concerts Paris, Berlin, and Milan did not translated into box office boffo in America and the group toured the States in abject poverty. Battered vans and second rate-hotels were complemented by long road trips to isolated college towns always in hope of a lucky break.
Few came their way in the Lower 48.
The group played the Bains-Douches in 1983. I was working the door at that fabled Paris nightclub. I saw two great SRO shows. After a tumultuous encore the band retired to dining room. I offered drinks to Steven Brown and Blaine L. Reininger. We knew each other through mutual friends.
“How was your last tour?” I was avoiding America. Reagan was in power and the NYPD Internal Affairs had a few questions to ask me about pay-offs to the 20th Precinct. The Atlantic acted as a good buffer zone between me and them.
“College campuses loved us. New York and LA too. Only problem is that the record companies could figure out what to do with us.” Steven was eying the blonde bartender. She smiled at him. Corinne was a darling.
“It’s not like you’re Top 40.” I loved their songs The Stranger, Scream With a View, and What Use?/Crash. No Tears should have been a hit in 1978, although ‘no tears for the creatures of the night’ stood little chance against Andy Gibbs SHADOW DANCING.
“We never said we wanted Top 40.” Steven protested, starting an argument between Blaine and him about band direction. Within a minute they agreed that they were not destined to replace the BeeGees.
“Strangest Top 40 experience on the trip was during our drive through Tennessee. Wintertime in those hills the roads get dangerous. Snow, ice, and fog.” Steven sounded like he did most of the driving.
“Don’t forget the mountains.” Blaine held the horror of the suicide seat close to his heart.
“One afternoon I’m driving from Knoxville to Johnston City.”
“I know that highway.” I had hitchhiked it in the summer of 1975. “Pretty country in August.”
“Bare trees and blowing snow in January.” Steven’s words were a granite testimony to the highway’s treachery in bad conditions.
“Fog too.” Blaine was feeding lines to Steven. They were poets as well as musicians. “No one else on the road.”
“Hit a stretch where I could see much, except a glow in the mist. Then we spot an accident. Three cars torn to shreds. One was on fire and a man lay on the highway.”
“We missed him by inches.” Steven and Blaine had transported me to that interstate by imitating the screech of brakes.
“We stopped and walked back. Everyone was dead. Four people. Couldn’t tell what had happened, only something bad. We drove another mile to the exit, where we pulled into a diner. There were two waitresses, a cook, and a few customers inside. Blaine called the cops, as I told them what we had seen and the waitress put down her apron said accidents happen there all the time. She went over to the jukebox and dropped in a quarter.”
“Played B-5.” Blaine was the straight man.
“Queen’s ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST.”
“Biggest crossover hit in 1980.
“Number 1 in the USA and UK.”
“You could always do it as a cover.” I loved covers.
“We don’t do covers.”
And they never had a #1 hit like ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST, but I loved them still.
To hear NO TEARS go to this URL