Album: single 1980, Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful? 1982
Justification: So, should we wrap this up with #500? Seems like a nice round number, and it’ll be on my birthday too. Hmm.
Anyway, before we start worrying about ending this adventure of pointless bloggery, let’s go back to one of the most annoying-slash-brilliant songs of the early 80s. The Waitresses are known for two reasons: this, and for doing the theme song for the TV series Square Pegs, and it’s yet another song with a sax solo that does little to enhance the song. The comparison I was going to draw was with ‘Pretty in Pink’ by the Psychedelic Furs, but then a little lightbulb went off in my head and I realised both solos were played by the same man: Mars Williams was roped in for a Furs tour in 1982ish but stayed on for most of the 80s after the Waitresses unexpectedly split. SAME MAN, BOTH SOLOS. Spooky.
And it turns out that the Waitresses were pretty much the lynchpin of North American music in the 80s. Want more eerie links to past SYSRTBIIAs? We can leave out the fact the band were from Akron, Ohio – home to Devo – and note instead that vocalist Patty Donahue briefly quit the band during the recording of their second album, replaced by Holly Beth Vincent who was fronting Holly & the Italians at the time. H&tT haven’t been in here before, but one of their songs has: specifically, ‘Tell That Girl To Shut Up’, as covered by Transvision Vamp.
Want more? Bassist Tracy Wormworth has been live and occasionally studio bassist for the B-52s for the last three decades, late-period sax player Ralph Carney toured with They Might Be Giants (and is uncle of Patrick from the Black Keys, no less), and their drummer was Billy freakin’ Ficca out of Television. IT ALL FITS TOGETHER SO NEATLY.
How can I give this thing up? It’s so damn much fun.
Oh, and the Waitresses are one of the few bands in here that never reunited – though for unfortunate reasons. Donahue died of lung cancer at the age of 40 in 1996, following a lifetime of heavy smoking. Seriously, people I love, stop doing that.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2011: Kim Deal’s side-project-to-a-side-project The Amps dropped the awesome ‘Tipp City’.
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…