Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I was far out, I was groovy (Citizen Band) #84 - 85

Citizen Band In A LifetimeGood Morning Citizen (Mandrill M 10007,  1977)

Citizen Band I Feel Good/ 1 Good Morning Citizen 2 My Pohutakawa (Mandrill Drill 4,  1977)

I'm pretty sure it was my old school friend, and (in 1977) my varsity buddy, Greg Knowles who broke the news about Citizen Band. He'd heard about them, maybe from his big brother Michael or maybe it was his sister Susan (pretty sure it wasn't his mum although she was pretty hip as I remember).

Anyway GK was a fan and pretty soon, after he shared the secret, so was I. We loved them partly because they were so accessible. Our new University friend, Kevin Simms, had a tape of Citizen Band and Hello Sailor live at Westlake Girls' High School - the bands often played college gigs - they were cunning! How great was that - we were practically related!

We knew Mike from Split Ends (before they became the Enz) and we'd seen Geoff in After Hours at the Old Maid(ment) Theatre at Auckland University before Waves played. We knew Eccles and Clark from the awesome Space Waltz album.

We were ready for Citizen Band!
In A Lifetime had stiffed before Greg shared his discovery and I was ignorant of its existence until after I Feel Good and the other great songs on their first album - Citizen Band.

In A Lifetime didn't make the album, whereas the B side did! The A side is an okay song but it's not representative of the boys' quirky sense of humour and the melodies that would later come pouring out of the classic Geoff Chunn/ Warren Sly writing partnership.

It's I Feel Good where the CB story really starts. A remake of the old Larry's Rebels song; it injects more drive (go Brent!), more infectious fun and more guitar to the original great song. It's become a CB signature tune.

Hidden gems: Good Morning Citizen was clearly a band favourite - it appears as two B sides and is the opening track on their first album but it's not a great song. That description does apply to My Pohutakawa. It IS a great kiwi song.

You're my Pohutakawa, you're my greenstone, my paua, you're the mussel in my sholes, the sausage in my rolls.

Genius! Sholes rhymes with rolls! That's CB at its finest.

They redid the song for the album so this single version is quite rare and I prefer the energy here to the album version. Looking for an alternative national anthem? Right here!

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