If the statement on the reverse of the sleeve is to be believed, then this was “recorded at Samurai Sound Labs in Davis, California, with mixing taking place at Samurai Sounds Labs & Chris Molla’s-enormous-piece-of-squid-in-the-fridge-studios while most everybody was naked or wearing massive fur boas & platform shoes.”
If only mobile phones and social media had been around back in 1984, then we would have an idea whether it is fact or fiction. After all, who keeps giant squid in their fridge?
Camper Van Beethoven aren’t all that well known beyond this particular single, released here in the UK in early 1985 on Rough Trade. It made it all the way to #8 in the Indie Charts and was voted in at #47 in the end of the year Peel Festive Fifty. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think it is one of the finest, funniest, freshest and most wonderful songs from that era, one which always got me off my seat every time it was aired at an indie-disco or night out. My use of the past tense reflects how long since any such event has taken place, and the likelihood that, I edge towards turning 60 in twenty-one months time, my dancing days, if not completely over, will be restricted, and I’d only be able to shake my thang to Skinheads if it was aired after I’d been sitting down for at least ten minutes after my previous exertions.
mp3: Camper Van Beethoven – Take The Skinheads Bowling
I didn’t pick this up this back in the day. In truth, it passed me by in 1986 and my recollection of being introduced to it was via listening to the Peel end-of-year rundown, which I was taping onto cassette each night. Even then, I didn’t go out and seek it out, which would likely have been difficult as Rough Trade singles (with the exception of The Smiths), certainly in Scotland, were hard to track down once the shops had sold out their initial allocation. But it is one I sought out, via Discogs, not long after starting the blog reignited fully the passion for vinyl.
I’d like to think you’re all smiling while listening to this today. It really is that sort of song……