This is sort of a stop-gap post while hard at work on the next installment of the Jukebox Antagonist.
The original search started out for banned, censored or otherwise prohibited music. Most of the results were commonplace. Elvis got banned for shaking his hips. Most rock bands…were never banned for anything. So it gives me a chance to get brushed up on my 2 Live Crew, heh.
Somehow, I wound up on a Small Faces jam, next thing you know I’m listening to “Telstar”, and in the sidebar, I saw the band name – The Honeycombs – and thought, “I’ve never heard of these cats.” For a second, I thought it might be one of Ronnie Lane’s earlier bands. And so I clicked on it, and watched for a little while, which I heartily suggest you do as well, without any context whatsoever.
The Honeycombs – Eyes
At about the 0:38, you might have a question, as I did. “Is that…a…?” At the 1:22 mark, you will definitely have a question, and it might take a little time for it to be answered. As you can see, I’m prolonging the reveal. That’s not because I’m a tease. It’s because I didn’t know exactly what I was looking at until I opened another tab and searched “The Honeycombs”.
Well, that cleared things up considerably. My question was answered and actually, I was a little disappointed. I was really, truly hoping that drummer Honey Lantree wasn’t born a woman, and I was looking at perhaps something even more rare than a female drummer in a Beatle-era rock band.
OK, so…wow! If Ann “Honey” Lantree isn’t the first female rock drummer, she’s definitely the first one prior to Mo Tucker of the Velvet Underground.
I had just read another Buzzfeed-style bloglist which named Lantree the most noteworthy drummer in rock history. Here’s the skinny on the Honeycombs. Formed in London in 1963 by hairdresser Martin Murray (rhythm guitar), the five-piece hooked up with songwriters Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley. The group auditioned for record producer Joe Meek, recording Howard and Blaikley’s “Have I the Right?”, which went to No. 1 in the U.K. and No. 5 in the U.S. in late 1964.
Soon after their first record hit the charts, the Honeycombs went on an international tour, becoming huge stars in Australia and Japan. Despite maintaining an association with Joe Meek, none of their follow up singles – including “Eyes” – made much of an impression, and the band limped along until the main core of founding members split in 1966. According to their Wikipedia page, variations of the band have continued to perform under the Honeycomb banner, but Honey Lantree is reportedly retired from the music industry and enjoying her life as a grandmother in Essex.
To be honest, I couldn’t find a reason why “Eyes” was banned. But then again, I didn’t try very hard.
The second clip is from another obscure British band, two decades removed, called One the Juggler. This song was originally released as a single in 1983, but included on their major label debut album, Nearly a Sin, RCA Records, 1984.
In 1984, I’m 16 years old, with a driver’s license, access to a car, and a part-time job. I have mobility and the means to pay for it. This means at least once a week, I can jet over to one of several record stores and pick up some hot new (to me) jams. One occasion, I was at the record store in Downers Grove, and I was there specifically to pick up a certain record that I cannot identify at this time without spoiling a surprise. Anyway, as I was paying for the purchase, the clerk took the opportunity to upsell me. “Hey, listen…if you like __________ then you might like this band.”
And that’s how I wound up buying Nearly a Sin. Fortunately, it’s not a bad record, but don’t take my word for it.
One the Juggler – Passion Killer
Though their appearance was that of a band of gypsies, One The Juggler were a musical marriage of Bowie-esque glam, eccentric folk and melodic pub rock (with a bit of The Only Ones thrown in for good measure). This, their debut album, was recorded over a two-year period and featured all of their single A-sides up to that point, plus some brand new tracks. “Passion Killer”, “Damage Is Done”, “Django’s Coming” and “Are You The One?” were all fantastic singles and fit perfectly in amongst plenty of other like-minded tracks. “Enjoy Yourself” is a great album opener, kicking into “Mr. Wolf”, which careens into “Passion Killer”, and then the album never really lets up. It’s a strange trip, and one that does not seem that it would have had the commercial push that it did in the UK. Albums like this are made for music fans, not for new wave kids (which could account for it’s lackluster performance in the charts).
The last clip is sort of the grandpa of the group in that I’m sure some of you might be familiar with it, from the The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, a documentary film directed by Penelope Spheeris about the Los Angeles heavy metal scene from 1986 to 1988.
The Chris Holmes Pool Interview
Haha. Where I came from, if you liked W.A.S.P., there was a 100% chance that I didn’t like you.
 Review by Steve “Spazz” Schnee. http://www.allmusic.com/album/nearly-a-sin-mw0000848631