#1015: Vis-a-Vis-a-Vous

RECORD STORE TALES #1015: Vis-a-Vis-a-Vous

As a kid, I had heard of Coney Hatch but never particularly paid attention.  MuchMusic rarely included their tunes on the Pepsi Power Hour for unknown reasons.  I probably heard “Hey Operator” but nothing else by the band.  Timing was not in their favour with me.  I wasn’t even into heavy rock yet when their first two albums came out.  No wonder they passed me by.  By the time I dove head-first into rock music on December 26 1984, I had already missed most of their career.  Ironically though, Coney Hatch did have a song on the metal album that I heard that day, which was Masters of Metal II and “Hey Operator”.

Fast forward to summer 1990, and a hot “new” singer was making waves on MuchMusic.  I didn’t really know who this Andy Curran guy was, but my best friend Bob loved his song “No Tattoos”.  Bob was pretty anti-tattoo and felt that the coolest way was to have clean skin.  He really identified with Andy’s lyrics. “No tattoos, gotta stay cool, my mama never raised no fool.”

Personally speaking I loved Motley Crue and their tattoo sleeves.  I didn’t identify with “No Tattoos” the way Bob did.  “I didn’t listen…I was scarred for life.  And I couldn’t just stop at one!”  That whole “scarred for life” line was one Bob really liked.  It was a good song and I liked it, but it didn’t resonate with me like it did with Bob.  So again, this Andy Curran guy slipped out of my mind when the single was over.

Decades passed and in 2019, Deke messaged me.  Deke is a massive Andy and Coney fan.  “Mikey!  Coney Hatch have a live album up for pre-order.  Signed limited edition.  You better get in on it man.”  I decided it was time to finally take the plunge with Coney Hatch, and I’m glad I did.  Live at the El Mocambo is one of my favourite live albums now!  And I got in on the ground floor with it, limited signed copy:  19 of 300.

But then Deke upped the ante.  He hooked up Andy Curran for a live video interview with us.  At this point I had to cram so I bought all the Rock Candy reissues of the Coney Hatch albums, and the self-titled Andy Curran.  The “No Tattoos” record, as he calls it.  Interview prep is serious business, and I did the best I could in the given amount of time.  But I didn’t want to fake it.  When I found myself vis-a-vis with Andy Curran, I fessed up.  I was new.  I was a Coney Hatch rookie who had done his best crash course in a band that I was growing to love.

And Andy was so cool about it.  In fact he came back two more times to complete our chat and answer every question we had.

Better late than never — check out Andy and some Coney hatch today.

My Top Ten Coney Hatch tunes:

1. She’s Gone

2. Marseilles (cover)

3. First Time for Everything

4. Blown Away

5. Stand Up

6. Don’t Say Make Me

7. Hey Operator

8. Monkey Bars

9. We Got the Night

10. No Sleep Tonight

 

36 comments

  1. Have you heard his new project with Alex Lifeson? I’ve never listened to Coney Hatch (And I’m not digging the No Tattoos song), but that’s a really interesting record.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. “You’d love the live album”

          No truer words have ever been spoken about me. Live albums rule, and it makes me sad whenever I see a band that doesn’t have one.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Probably not. But I’m talking about lesser bands/artists like, say Rob Thomas/Matchbox Twenty, Black-Eyed Peas, Boney M (odd picks, I know) ETC. The sort of band that I wouldn’t buy too much of from the studio but would really like a live album for.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Yes, very briefly. There’s professionally recorded footage from Dublin 1978 where it is 100% live. The catch is that you are correct in the sense that the male vocals on the studio versions were from producer Frank Farian. When they did it live, dancer Bobby Farrell sang lead vocal. But yeah, long story short they did some actual live stuff, and that would be cool to have on CD. Dead or Alive also played actually live for one tour as well, which would be nice to have on CD for it’s historical value.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. I’m going to review that bootleg tape whether they like it or not. Maybe it’ll generate enough hype that Max will release it. How do you think they should handle the spot where the audio goes out for a bit in the middle of a song?

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Hmm. Off the top of my head, either lampshade it with some tongue in cheek over the top bombastic overdubs that clearly aren’t from the original recording, or have some “director’s commentary”-esque thing where the band talk a bit about the recording/the gig to fill the gap. Or maybe, splice footage from another gig in there, if you can, to preserve the bootleggyness of it. Which song is it?

          Liked by 1 person

        6. I think River Grand. I like your ideas. What I think should go in there is the studio version, but modified to sound bootleg-y, combine with your audio commentary idea. “Yeah we’re dubbing in the album version here because…”

          Liked by 1 person

        7. Ooh, if it’s River Grand, put in the earlier studio version with the different singer and don’t acknowledge the change of vocalist. Bootleggy to the max.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Andy Curran is awesome (he says completely obviously). As for tattoos, it brought to mind straight edge. Some folks like to drink, some folks don’t. Can’t force it on anyone else but you can live it if you choose. Personally, I don’t really care what people do to themselves. Would I get a tattoo? Nah. I could never think of anything important enough to write on myself that would be there permanently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can. COMMUNITY!!!

      Nah just kidding. You are beautiful as you are, never change!

      The Andy song is more comedic, but Bob Schipper took it serious. He was very anti-tattoo and I imagine that he still is to this day, and that is cool by me.

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        1. Yep that’s how I see it too. Whatever makes you happy. I’m trying to be less judgemental as I get older, and truly — lots of tattoos, no tattoos, tattoos on your face like Polychuck has — you are all beautiful to me. When I look at Polychuck I see a happy man. We talk a lot and I truly admire that guy.

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        2. I have that too! That was an RSD I think, yeah? Anyway, I think I made you get The Hunter, or gave it to you, or something? You need to play All The Heavy Lifting from that one. At high volume. OMG. To hear that in concert was mind-blowing!

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Yes it was an RSD if I recall! You did give me a couple Mastodon albums! I distinctly remember listening to the first one you gave me on my Sony MP3 player in my bed at the cottage.

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