By: Mike Watt
August 25, 2020

One in a series of 25 enthusiastic posts, contributed by 25 HILOBROW friends and regulars, on the topic of our favorite punk songs, c. 1974–1983.



b-side of a seven inch (I had “the oils” cover) that had a HUGE impact on my life. same w/this band’s effect on the minutemen and even more, the bassman tony nineteen. now my first punk rock hero was richard hell who was a bassman who led his own band (the void-oids) and wrote the tunes — a GIGANTIC inspiration to someone who previously thought bass was where you put your dumbfuck friend, like being put in right field in little league (where no one hardly hit the ball) — being on bass acquired a new meaning to me. trippy how the first richard hell and the void-oids album also had the word “blank” in its title — a big diff though for me regarding these two bands was I never got to see nyc-located dick hell ’til 1983 and that was in what was then called west germany! I saw the dils many times starting in 1977, driving up to hollywood from my pedro town to see gigs w/d boon and georgie. coming from arena rock (the first gig me and d boon went to was t-rex when we were fourteen), see stuff in clubs was a total fucking mindblow — I could actually see that the bass had bigger strings! the dils were a great fucking band to see at a gig, really good. I had a dils armband I got one time but then lost it like a fucking idiot in a pogo. so I’m talking about seeing them live when this is supposed to be about the record but the two were big time connected… it’s hard for me not to hear this song play and then in my mind remember them doing it live. tony was such an inspiration to me the way he sang, played bass, dressed, worked the stage — just everything, loved it. this tune has trippy parts — it ain’t all straight-ahead oompah, the first part has got this “call and response” between the guitar and bass that’s really distinctive. in a way the words remind of sentiments I’ve heard in some patsy cline tunes, a kind of parallel in a way I felt resonate in me. two years ago tony’s brother chip told me to come see tony cuz cancer was killing him. I was in edmonton for a missingmen gig but the next day flew back and drove straight to the hospice where tony was. it broke my heart to see him like that, all beat like my pop was when cancer was killing him back in 1991 — both these big strong beautiful men beat down by that fucking shit. I brought my 1956 (year he was born, a year before me) fender pbass, don’t really know why but just did… we talked for a couple of hours and then he said he was tired… I was so sad — he said he’d sign my bass and asked if I wouldn’t mind if he was “a little romantic” and I told him “it’s ok” and he wrote on it: “love u you mike, 19” and then I left… man, I cried and cried. we lost him not long after. I love that man, this tune is real special to me.


CARBONA YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2020): Series introduction by Josh Glenn | Mimi Lipson on Flipper’s “Sex Bomb” | James Parker on The Jam’s “Going Underground” | Dan Fox on The Cramps’ “Human Fly” | Adrienne Crew on Bad Brains’ “I and I Survive” | Devin McKinney on Romeo Void’s “Never Say Never” | Deb Chachra on The Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen in Love” | Mark Kingwell on The Demics’ “New York City” | Jessamyn West on Dead Kennedys’ “Kill the Poor” | Douglas Wolk on The Homosexuals’ “Soft South Africans” | Josh Glenn on The Freeze’s “This is Boston, Not L.A.” | Stephanie Burt on Sorry’s “Imaginary Friend” | Luc Sante on Public Image Ltd.’s “Public Image” | Miranda Mellis on X-Ray Spex’s “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!” | Adam McGovern on The Clash’s “Washington Bullets” | Mandy Keifetz on Germs’ “Forming” | Gordon Dahlquist on The Sex Pistols’ “Problems” | Anthony Miller on The Soft Boys’ “I Wanna Destroy You” | Deborah Wassertzug on The Mekons’ “Where Were You?” | Tor Aarestad on Gang of Four’s “Return the Gift” | Marc Weidenbaum on The Pop Rivets’ “Dream of ’63” | David Smay on The Rezillos’ “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures” | Vanessa Berry on The Cure’s “So What” | Chelsey Johnson on The Slits’ “Typical Girls” | Lynn Peril on Crass’s “Smother Love” | Mike Watt on The Dils’ “You’re Not Blank”.


NERD YOUR ENTHUSIASM (4Q2021): NERDING | ARDUIN | KLINGON CONFIDENTIAL | MAP INSERTS | TIME | & 20 other nerdy passions. SWERVE YOUR ENTHUSIASM (3Q2021): WARHOL’S WALT WHITMAN | 70, GIRLS, 70 | TYRAEL’S MIGHT | SHIRATO SANPEI | THE LEON SUITES | & 20 other never-realized cultural productions. FIVE-O YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2Q2021): DARK SHADOWS | MANNIX | GET SMART | THE ADDAMS FAMILY | I DREAM OF JEANNIE | & 20 other Sixties (1964–1973) TV shows. FERB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (1Q2021): STEVEN UNIVERSE | TOP CAT | REN & STIMPY | SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER | DRAGON BALL Z | & 20 other animated series. CARBONA YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2020): “Sex Bomb” | “Going Underground” | “Soft South Africans” | “Typical Girls” | “Human Fly” | & 20 other Seventies (1974–1983) punk singles. KLAATU YOU (2020 weekly): ZARDOZ | METROPOLIS | DARK STAR | SINS OF THE FLESHAPOIDS | SOLARIS | & dozens of other pre-STAR WARS sci-fi movies. CONVOY YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2019): THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE | ROLLERBALL | BLACK SUNDAY | SORCERER | STRAIGHT TIME | & 20 other Seventies (1974–1983) action movies. SERIOCOMIC (2019 weekly): LITTLE LULU | VIZ | MARSUPILAMI | ERNIE POOK’S COMEEK | HELLBOY | & dozens of other comics. TUBE YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2018): LOONEY TUNES | THREE STOOGES | THE AVENGERS | ROCKY & BULLWINKLE | THE TWILIGHT ZONE | & 20 other Fifties (1954–1963) TV shows. WOWEE ZOWEE (2018 weekly): UNISEX | UNDER THE PINK | DUMMY | AMOR PROHIBIDO | HIPS AND MAKERS | & dozens of other Nineties (1994–2003) albums. KLUTE YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2017): THE KILLERS | BANDE À PART (BAND OF OUTSIDERS) | ALPHAVILLE | HARPER | BLOW-UP | & 20 other Sixties (1964–1973) neo-noir movies. #SQUADGOALS (2017 weekly): THE WILD BUNCH | BOWIE’S BAND | THE BLOOMSBURY GROUP | THE HONG KONG CAVALIERS | VI ÄR BÄST! & dozens of other squads. GROK MY ENTHUSIASM (2016 weekly): THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF LUNCH | WEEKEND | MILLION YEAR PICNIC | LA BARONNE EMILE D’ERLANGER | THE SURVIVAL SAMPLER | & dozens more one-off enthusiasms. QUIRK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2016): “Tainted Love” | “Metal” | “Frankie Teardrop” | “Savoir Faire” | “Broken English” | & 20 other Seventies (1974–1983) new wave singles. CROM YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2015): DARKER THAN YOU THINK | THE SWORD IN THE STONE | OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET | THIEVES’ HOUSE | QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST | & 20 other Thirties (1934–1943) fantasy novels. KERN YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2014): ALDINE ITALIC | DATA 70 | TORONTO SUBWAY | JOHNSTON’S “HAMLET” | TODD KLONE | & 20 other typefaces. HERC YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2013): “Spoonin’ Rap” | “Rapper’s Delight” | “Rappin’ Blow” | “The Incredible Fulk” | “The Adventures of Super Rhyme” | & 20 other Seventies (1974–1983) hip-hop songs. KIRK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2012): Justice or vengeance? | Kirk teaches his drill thrall to kiss | “KHAAAAAN!” | “No kill I” | Kirk browbeats NOMAD | & 20 other Captain Kirk scenes. KIRB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2011): THE ETERNALS | BLACK MAGIC | DEMON | OMAC | CAPTAIN AMERICA | & 20 other Jack Kirby panels.


Enthusiasms, Pop Music, Punk