Edgar Winter, Secret Affair
Chuck Landis’ Country Club, Reseda, CA
March 1981 (Unsure about exact date)
Time: 8:00 PM
Ian Page – vocals
Dave Cairns – guitar
Dennis Smith – bass
Paul Bultitude – drums
Dave Winthrop – saxophonist
01. Glory Boys
02. Shake and Shout
03. Going to a Go-Go
04. Time for Action
05. New Dance
06. Days of Change
07. Don’t Look Down
08. One Way World
09. Let Your Heart Dance
10. I’m Not Free (But I’m Cheap)
My Dad decided to take me to this show for my fifteenth birthday. At the time I had been into the punk scene for about a year or so. Prior to that I had been into the stuff I refer to as the “gateway” music. Like they call marijuana a “gateway” drug, which, they say, leads to heavier stuff. Music, I feel, is the same way. Almost everybody I’ve ever known, that got into punk, started with Kiss, went to Devo, and somewhere in there experimented with Gary Numan for a second, but abandoned all of these groups the second they received airplay. While my brother and I went through this gateway period my Dad would try to introduce us to “the originators” of whatever genre we were listening to. When we were into Kiss, he would pull out his old Cream, Bowie, and Alice Cooper albums. Shortly after we picked up the import EP of Devo’s Be Stiff, my Dad pulled out some old Kraftwerk, and a really old Edgar Winter album. On the album there was some frantic song called “Frankenstein,” on it Winter goes nuts on the synthesizer. With the exception of the Bowie, and Alice Cooper albums, we didn’t like much of the music he played for us back then.
My birthday rolled around and my Dad thought I would really dig this music if I saw it live.
One thing I can say about my parents is they always had contemporary tastes in music. Anyway, my Dad gives me these tickets, and for a second, I didn’t know why, but I was a well-mannered kid so I enthusiastically thanked him, and we left to go.
On the marquee outside of the Country Club it had Secret Affair as the opening act. I had never heard of these guys, but with the name I knew it was something different, hopefully a punk band. We go in, find a table, and wait for Secret Affair. As soon they hit the stage the audience freaked out, it was if a Black guy had walked into a Klan meeting. Everybody was doing the finger, and screaming obscenities. It was crazy. I enjoyed them. They were good pop music (I guess that’s what mod is!?). They performed an old Smoky Robinson song Going to a Go-Go, with an updated sound. About a ½ a song in a guy who looked like a member of ZZ Top gets up, with his beer, and stands just to the right of the stage and held up his arm and gave the band the finger throughout the rest of their set. At the age I was, it made me like them even more. Secret Affair, and all the other bands I mentioned earlier all have one thing in common, our parents and other adults didn’t like them.
When their set ended, I felt sorry for them. Whoever booked this tour for them had no idea the type of crowd Edgar Winter attracted. I was the only one who clapped. This was my first glimpse of how enraged music can make people. Once I started spiking my hair and dove head-first into the punk scene, I would encounter this reaction, pretty much, daily. The first time, though, was very memorable.
This was my first “concert.” And it would be a few more months, before I would get to go to anything harder than Secret Affair.
“I’m just another Glory Boy
So scared of getting old
Shout hurrah for us Glory Boys
With eyes of lead and hearts of Gold!
Hey, Don’t Crowd me
I wanna be second to none
Hey won’t you give me a break
I’m gonna be the only one
see us roaming those London Streets
Feel those lasting stares look on old fashioned feet
Cause we’re the Glory Boys
So scared of getting old
We’re the Glory Boys
we may look cold but our hearts are gold.
You look at me boy you tryin’ to match my stare
Don’t you know I’m a Glory Boy?
I can cut you down by combing my hair
Nothing touches a Glory Boy
We look too good for you
If you wanna know about us
You gotta be one too
We’re the new fashion kings
Iced cold stares and clothes so neat
We’ve seen the darker side of life
New found kings of the street
Glory Girl on your arm
You’re so young and proud
Ain’t no in crowd freak ever gonna knock us down.”
Secret Affair formed in 1978. Taking their inspiration from the Jam, they received their most important early exposure by supporting them on small-scale tours in England; the group was quickly seen as one of the stars of the mod revival movement of the late 1970’s.
Their first single, “Time for Action,” was the perfect youth anthem for the time and certainly one the most memorable, and successful of the mod movement. The band released its debut album, Glory Boys, late in 1979 on their own label, I-Spy, distributed by Sire here in America. Both the album and their subsequent singles charted, but by the time they released Behind Closed Doors in 1980, the revival was dissolving, and they were too firmly rooted in the movement to change their stance.
Original drummer Seb Shelton quit in 1980. Secret Affair held on until 1982, releasing one more album, Business as Usual, to dismal sales; the members went their separate ways shortly after its release.
Rating: ** * two out of three stars
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