Stiff Little Fingers
Go For It
Released: April 17th, 1981
Label: Chrysalis Records
Producer: Doug Bennett
Jake Burns – vocals/guitar/piano
Jim Reilly – drums
Henry Cluney – guitar
Ali McMordie – bass guitar
1. Roots, Radicals, Rockers and Reggae
2. Just Fade Away
3. Go for It
4. The Only One
5. Hits and Misses
6. Kicking Up a Racket
7. Safe as Houses
8. Gate 49
9. Silver Lining
10. Piccadilly Circus
I have to admit I’m a Johnny come lately with this band. I knew of them, heard them once or twice, but wasn’t a “fan.” A week or so back somebody posted a 49 minute clip of an old Rodney on The ROQ show, and the first song was a Stiff Little Fingers track. And I was clueless, loved the track, but had no idea who it was. Immediately hit up my buddy Jay (the walking punk rock encyclopedia of punk rock), and within 15 minutes he shot me the name of the song, the band and which album it was from. So I bought it and I dig it.
What can I say about this album? With songs this good, you can’t help, but smile through it.
It’s a good upbeat collection. The four albums they put out are all pretty great.
In 1981 the band released their third studio album Go For It which was to be Jim Reilly’s last involvement with the band. Go For It signified the change in Burns’ writing style, with much darker and taboo subjects, such as domestic abuse in the song “Hits and Misses” and football hooliganism in the song “Back to Front” (not on the original LP but a bonus track on CD reissue) but the band also still told the story of being a teenager growing up with the song “Kicking Up a Racket”
If you can find it, buy it!
Rating: *** three out of three stars
On to the story . . .
I was watching a cartoon with my son one afternoon, called Ultimate Avengers, and like he always does he asks me what my favorite super hero was? I’ve answered this a hundred times, but this time I drew a blank. So, I said, “You are.”
He looked at me blankly and said, “I don’t have big muscles.” I told him that he “Didn’t need big muscles to save people.”
Then almost out of nowhere I got a flashback, I remember an event that hadn’t crossed my mind in thirty to thirty-five years ago. It happened in 1974.
Here’s what I told my son: “When I was your age, eight years old, my mom took me and your uncle Erik to visit a friend of hers. Me, and you uncle Erik snuck outside with the son of the lady my mom went to visit. His name was Michael. His dad came outside to watch us. He got to talking with some friends, and didn’t watch us. Uncle Erik was four at the time. The three of us are playing tag, running all over the backyard. The backyard is pitch black, no lights at all. It felt like being out in the country. Anyway, in the middle of the yard was a swimming pool with no lights or gate around it. We’re running and I hear a splash. For some reason I knew it was Erik. Neither of us can swim, Erik not at all, and me a lousy dog paddle. I run to where I heard the splash, I feel around, lay down and with my legs on the concrete I drop my upper body into the pool I keep feeling around and thank God Erik hit the drop and pushed upward and I was able to grab his arms and pull him up. So, without big muscles I was able to save someone.”
My son sat there with his mouth open and said, “If you didn’t do that Uncle Erik would be in heaven right now.” I didn’t want to burst his bubble and say, “Not heaven, son.” So, I just said, “That’s right.”
LAST ONE TO DIE is officially out, order at: https://www.createspace.com/3669330