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