Pylon – Stop It
Hey! Kids! I’m in the crunch phase of a project at work and it’s the end of the school year, there’s a lot going on. Still, I did drive to work today and I did listen to a tape in the car so here we go. This Tape Deck Tuesday was just one of the cassettes where you wanted to have some albums on tape for the car or Walkman and not because you were creating some masterpiece.
Let It Be/Stink
The Replacements – Stink
Pylon – Gyrate
I’ve already written about Let It Be so I’m going with the Pylon track. Also because I just finished reading No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes, an oral history of City Gardens in Trenton, NJ. I was only at City Gardens once, to see Pylon in 1989. It was right before I graduated from college and I think now what lucky timing because if they had come through just a few days later, I would have left the area and missed the tour.
It’s no surprise that I first learned about Pylon because R.E.M. covered Crazy and talked about them a lot back in the mid-80s. I love that song. I had to know more. I can’t remember if I bought Gyrate or Chomp first but I have them both still, complete with the DB Records order form inside to order more great stuff! No matter which album I had first, I became a devoted fan. Some of the songs are just fun. “Precaution” comes to mind. Or “Read a Book.” You should see the way my kids look at me when I sing “Turn off the tv! You can learn more try to do without it.” Others are bit more nuanced, even if Vanessa is kind of shouting the lyrics as much as she is singing. Some of my favorite song lyrics are Pylon lyrics.
Speaking of books again, I really enjoyed the City Gardens book. If you had never been there, or weren’t aware of its legendary status, I’m not sure it has a lot of appeal. There are recollections of shows from band members who performed there as well as staff and club regulars. Since I was only there the one time, I didn’t really have much knowledge of the scene back then but I liked how each chapter/year began with a list of that year’s top 10 hits. Nothing could have been further from those top 10 than the stories that follow the listing. I’m not even a fan of most of the hardcore bands that are featured but I can appreciate how City Gardens was an oasis for kids in the area.
1989 was a period of time when Pylon was active in their on again/off again way. They had yet to put out Chain but a CD had been released that was a selection of songs from their two early albums. I loved the show. It was a small crowd, which always hurts a little, but on the other hand, I had plenty of room for dancing. Now rock & roll now!
My show may not have made the cut for inclusion in the book but I’m very glad that City Gardens existed and that I got to see Pylon there. I still have the t-shirt I bought that night and I consider it to be one of my most prized possessions. Sorry to say I have no idea if Jon Stewart was working the bar back then.