The B52’s – “Rock Lobster b/w “52 Girls” (PSR 438) (1978)

SAM_0258High School Dance Vignette

Kevin’s heart raced. He couldn’t believe he was actually buying pot! Two joints. A dollar a stick. And now he was going to show up to dance drunk and high. Giddy and dramatic, he imagined this was a turning point in his life, like the denouement scene in a coming-of-age movie.

As he walked across the football field to the high school that Friday night sucking on a Mickey’s Big Mouth, Kevin fumbled with the first bone. Lighting it and drawing deeply, he tasted the unmistakable bite of…tobacco. He’d been taken.

The worst part was that he couldn’t complain about it; not to the “dealer” who’d probably beat him up, not to his friends who would laugh at his gullibility and certainly not to his parents, who were, under the circumstances, unlikely to be understanding. Deep disappointment.SAM_0259Nothing for it but to finish his beers and go to the dance anyway, deflated. As he entered, the unmistakable sounds of the B52’s “Rock Lobster” assaulted his ear. He surveyed the booming room. Kids, huddled in cliques, danced and laughed. Despite the promise of great times, Kevin, like other wall flowers without girlfriends, often found High School Dances awkward and dismaying. But now all of that was being swept out of the way as “Rock Lobster” played. Here was a song that united jocks and nerds, the cool and the uncool, the shy and the extroverted. A sense of ease and belonging washed over Kevin as he raced over to the dance floor in time to crouch and do “The Worm” with people he loved and hated, made fun of and laughed with, envied and felt sorry for.

Down, down
Underneath the waves
Mermaids wavin’
Wavin’ to mermen
Wavin’ sea fans
Sea horses sailin’
Dolphins wailin’
Red snappers snappin’
Clam shells clappin’
Muscles flexin’
Flippers flippin’
Down, down

Let’s rock!

SAM_0260Editor’s Note: this 7″ was a giveaway with the UK first edition of the B52’s debut. The original, earlier version of the song whose silliness, kitsch cool and aggression virtually defines New Wave. Another cool piece from the Island records batch from the end of 2013.

Published in: on February 6, 2014 at 8:26 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It was hearing this that made John Lennon think the time was ripe for him and Yoko to record again. The Yoko influence is unmistakeable.

  2. Indeed, see here:

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