2007   OCTOBER 3   #276

Not The Beatles - Not Live at 688

1. Not the Beatles (0:48)
2. Captain Kangaroo (0:37)
3. Starsky and Hutch (0:33)
4. Whole Lotta Love (1:15)
5. The Tonight Show (0:47)
6. Meatwagon (1:08)
7. Lucius on My Mind (Part 1) (1:05)
8. Lucius on My Mind (Part 2) (2:14)

From May 1980 through November 1986 the 688 Club, located at 688 Spring Street (just a few blocks away from the Fox Theatre and the world famous Varsity hot dog stand), was THE place to see punk and new wave acts in Atlanta. I saw some great shows there, but this was not one of them. This low-bias Realistic brand cassette, given to me by a friend many years ago, is a recording of a bedroom punk band giving a performance at a 688 Club of the mind, distinguished from its real life counterpart by a lax booking policy and a mostly absent audience.

Not the Beatles perform a mercifully brief set (eight songs in just over eight minutes) featuring songs about familiar pop culture referents such as kiddie show host Captain Kangaroo, 70s TV dicks Starsky and Hutch, and 'Tonight Show' star Johnny Carson. The six originals appear to be improvised; at least they don't seem to have been worked out beforehand. The instrumentation consists of an electric guitar played inexpertly with a glass or metal slide and a percussion instrument that sounds like a piece of cardboard being hit with a blunt object. Downtime between songs features the hum of a cheap amplifier and the sound of a restless audience ("Go back to Alabama!" says one unwitting witness to Underground Rock History), quite possibly portrayed by the band members themselves.

It is in the hysterical gabble of the vocals that Not the Beatles achieves a catharsis of sorts. After yowling away at breakneck pace about TV stars and meat delivery vehicles for five minutes, they settle into a relaxed Southern Rock groove for the epic "Lucius on My Mind." Who Lucius is, and why he is on the collective mind of the Unfab Two or Three will never be known. But after hearing these fine young men drawl the title phrase for a minute, then again for two more minutes, it's barely possible that Lucius will be on your mind too.

- Contributed by: Chris Wood (Deceased)

Images: Not The Beatles, 688 Club

Media: Cassette Recording
Date: 1981