The Spirit of teenhood took a back-seat during the early to mid 70s and hid well under the radar awaiting it's re-emergence in 1976/77 in the form of the music genre we all know now as PUNK ROCK. This was when teenagers reclaimed music from the has-been's and picked up their guitars, ditched their flairs, sang songs about their own lives and held a total disregard for their parents' generation, also what was great is they refused to except the over-indulgent music which was currently at the time being sold to them by the masses.
The thing is and not a great deal of people know this, but New York wasn't the birth place of this scene of music, way before 1976. The state of Ohio was churning out primitive-teenage frustration and desolation at least a good 3 years before the the ' New York' punk scene came into it's own and it was at least 7 years after the last of the 60s teen-bands died out in that area.... so during 1972-75, Ohio of all the places in America created some of the most amazing bands and most influential bands and these groups are now dubbed 'Proto-Punk'... even though a great deal of it is more Punk than what followed.
Some of the pioneers of 70s punk had formed in the squares-ville setting of Ohio cities like Cleaveland, Akron and Cincinnati, these groups would be bands which later became, The Cramps, Pere Ubu, The Dead Boys, Devo, to name but a few.
However the guys who began this treadmill of inept teenage music rolling was the following group of misfit outcasts... The Electric Eels.
The Electric Eels formed in around 1972 and were active from between then and 1975, their output was minimal, but their legacy is huge.
The Electric Eels featured the following guys -
John Morton - Guitar
Dave 'E' McManus - Vocals and Clarinet
Brian McMahon - Guitar (on and off)
Paul Marotta - Guitar (when McMahon wasn't in the band)
Nick Knox - Drums (although to begin with the group had drummers come and go)
Originally formed to play music which resembled the free-jazz of Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler, The Electric Eels created a racket which I would defined as some of the most primitive recordings ever made and possibly the most snottiest teenage attitude committed to tape.
The Electric Eels in their 4 year career only played 5 gigs, each one full off confrontation and frustration, at each of these shows, some sort of trouble was attached for example, The band had been arrested by police on their first gig, they had fist fights with audience members and each other on stage, they had the power shut down during half their set and told to get out of the venue on one occasion.
Also they looked like social outcasts too, wearing swastika's and Nazi paraphernalia to enrage the public, not to mention wearing leather jackets adorned with hypodermic needles and safety pins (way before those London street urchins The Sex Pistols) and also the bands guitarist John Morton looked like some sorta fucked-up transvestite serial killer on Valium, Morton himself had a leaning to unprovoked violence towards members of the audience. Morton's love of angering people also came in the form of taking this out into the world around them, an example according to myth suggests that Morton and Singer Dave 'E', would go to the hardest drinking bar's and dance together in a camp manner as to make out they were homosexuals and to anger the locals.
Actions like the ones above are pure genius and a total 'FUCK YOU' to the horrible and totally un-coolelements of 1970s society.... this kind of youthful spirit is still totally required in this day and age too... but everyone is so goddamn up their own rectal passages.
The Electric Eels are what bands should be all about.... for me it is almost a primal thing, a gang, a clan if you'd like?totally doing things on their own terms and not putting up with the bullshit the rest of the society is telling them.
Although the Electric Eels split up in 1975, they did have a small wealth of recordings and two of these gems became the bands debut single on Rough Trade records in 1978.
I have included both sides of the 7" single below and also have included a bonus track called 'You're Full Of Shit'.
The three songs attached as possibly the pinnacle of Punk music and the a-side 'Agitated' is possibly the only song which defines the whole of what Punk is all about for me.
This track is the epitome of Punk Attitude for me... any one who relates to the utter madness on this song, can in my book be considered a pretty cool and interesting person.