SINATRAS “TEDDY CRASHES BLOND DIES / SOME OTHER BOYS” 7″ (NEW YORK CITY- CONGRESSIONAL, 1979)
Here’s a catchy one from late 70’s Noo Yawk City- nothing over the top here, but a very solid, somewhat melodic, mid-paced record from this four-piece unit. The opening guitar riff on “Teddy Crashes Blond Dies” pulls you right in and leads into some solid drumming and PROPER use of handclapping. I say “proper” because handclapping in songs got VERY played out in 1979 and 1980 but here I think it totally gels with the song and what they’re trying to achieve. The guitar playing gets loud and “in-yo-face” in all the right places too. I describe it as a kind of sing-along-to-it-on-the-jukebox-at-the-bar-while-you’re-shooting-pool ditty, because over the years I have found myself repeating the chorus, even humming it while I simultaneously tap the drum pattern: “Yeah, the night before; lying on the kitchen floor, her death was all in fun…” and the whole “Bought some TV time” line they repeat several times.
After 10+ years of digging “Teddy” on the A-side I finally was able to hear the B-side (“Some Other Boys”) just a few weeks ago thanks to B.C. (via J.L.). And I was not really let down, although I have to admit I was a little scared that I would be given the KBD rule about horrible B-sides. It did take me a few listens to get into it- it’s paced a bit slower than the A-side but it has some great Dolls-ish guitar breaks that have grown on me. And it’s a total sing-along song number too that I’ve gotten stuck in my head this past week. Both sides clock in at just under or over the 2 minute mark which always makes for a pleasurable experience for punk fans who demand and expect short songs that do not linger around longer than the 2:36 maximum length.
Information about the band on the information superhighway is scant. Er… as you see on the sleeve the band had four members. Um… this was their only record. It is rather rare and must not come up for sale much- I could not find any old auction listings on Popsike or aggregate sites of that ilk. The band was “rediscovered” in the late 90s’- “Teddy Crashes” first appeared on the solid Hyped To Death #2 comp CD in 2000 (that’s where I first heard it) and then got comped again in the Summer of 2001 on the wonderful No One Left To Blame LP. The liner notes of the latter gave some brief info- it said that the band got “lost in the shuffle” of the large New York City scene but made it out of town to Boston at some point. Said compiler must have either heard that info second-hand, or maybe dug around and found some reference to the band in some old obscure fanzine (?).
Ten years later, even with a broad range of information at our fingertips with the internet, I still found next to nothing about the Sinatras: the best I could do was a random, non-music website that had a forum about Edward Kennedy. One of the people who posted a comment was a woman who happened to mention that her Dad was in the Sinatras and that they did a song about Senator Kennedy. The forum had no contact information so this lead hit a dead end since I couldn’t contact the person offline and ask more questions in my informational gathering mission. Oh well.
Perhaps I should have waited until July 18th to post this record since that would be the 42nd anniversary of the incident that inspired the Sinatras to record “Teddy Crashes”. Now-deceased Senator Edward Kennedy had a wild night on July 18, 1969 partying on Chappaquiddick Island near Massachusetts. The night unfortunately ended in the death of a 28-year old woman named Mary Jo Kopechne after Ted’s car crashed with her in it. Much has been written over the years about this incident, so here’s one 2009 article about it here if you care to read more. Maybe the Sinatras spent the 70’s stewing around ol’ Ted’s exploits because their 7″ didn’t come out until 10 years after the incident. In 1979 Ted Kennedy was kinda sorta trying to beat Jimmy Carter for the 1980 Democratic presidential nomination, so maybe the band got so worked up about it and decided to put out their 7″ as a reaction. I don’t know, you tell me.