Model Worker

Magazine – Model Worker

I’m fighting off a cold so for this installment of Tape Deck Tuesday, I wanted something that would not tempt me to sing along. I picked up Urgh! A Music War, which I’m pretty sure was taped through some elaborate VCR to cassette arrangement by my best friend, back in the analog days.

She had a friend from high school who had a cousin (if I’m remembering this right) who was into cool music and he dressed really funky and was really good looking with curly hair that flopped in his eyes. He was the one who had maybe taped it off of tv or something, and she had borrowed it during the summer and taped it for me. It wouldn’t all fit on one 90 minute tape so she left off bands we already knew enough about, like the Go-Go’s and Joan Jett, in favor of the more obscure ones like Klaus Nomi and Invisible Sex. Accompanying the tape was a long letter with her impressions of the visuals that I would have to wait to see until a future date.

I know I did eventually see the movie because I remember seeing those performances by Klaus Nomi and Invisible Sex and thinking, what is going on here? Very unlike any concert experience I had had up to that point. Likewise Skafish doing “Sign of the Cross” and Pere Ubu. And the Cramps. I knew the Cramps because my older brother was a big fan but I’d only seen the album covers and I just remember watching the video and wondering how Lux Interior managed to keep his pants from coming completely off. Many of the clips are on YouTube now but not all of them. I really wanted to see “Sign of the Cross” again but no luck.

Here’s the track listing for the tape I have (the actual movie listing is here):

Side A
Wall of Voodoo – “Back in Flesh”
Toyah Willcox – “Dance”
John Cooper Clarke – “Health Fanatic”
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “Enola Gay”
Chelsea – “I’m on Fire”
Oingo Boingo – “Ain’t This the Life”
Echo & the Bunnymen – “The Puppet”
XTC – “Respectable Street”
Klaus Nomi – “Total Eclipse”
Athletico Spizz 80 – “Clocks are Big; Machines are Heavy/Where’s Captain Kirk?”
Dead Kennedys – “Bleed for Me”
Steel Pulse – “Ku Klux Klan”
Magazine – “Model Worker”
Surf Punks – “My Beach”
The Members – “Offshore Banking Business”

Side B
Au Pairs – “Come Again”
The Cramps – “Tear It Up”
Invisible Sex – “Valium”
Pere Ubu – “Birdies”
Devo – “Uncontrollable Urge”
The Alley Cats – “Nothing Means Nothing Anymore”
John Otway – “Cheryl’s Going Home”
Gang of Four – “He’d Send in the Army”
999 – “Homicide”
The Fleshtones – “Shadowline”
X – “Beyond and Back”
Skafish – “Sign of the Cross”
UB40 – “Madame Medusa”
The Police – “Roxanne”

I’ve mentioned before how just being able to see a small sampling of what the music scene was like outside of the mainstream (in those couple of years before I was old enough to take part it in it myself), felt like putting the puzzle pieces together. I don’t think I listened to this tape all that often but I liked knowing what the bands both sounded and looked like. It definitely played a part in my overall music education and if you get a chance to see it, you should do it.