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Click on the song titles to hear music by The Memos, Phase II and Variety.

    Beware the Ides of March!, But for now enjoy a new selection of Memos music!! Staying with the theme of songs  and performances that happened in the month of March, we will look back at the year of 1983. This was an especially busy and important time for us. We had some important and influential shows that month starting with a gig at the University of New Hampshire opening up for “The Neighborhoods” on 3/3. They were one of the elite Boston bands at the time and to this day are considered one of the great bands of the era. That was followed up by our first Saturday night appearance at “The Rat” in Boston. “The Rat” was to Boston kind of like what CBGB’s was to NY. A classic club where bands like The Police and The Ramones played. The next night we played at Jack’s in Cambridge. Three great gigs in just the first week of the month. This is kind of my favorite period for the band, we were hungry, raw and fearless. Getting better every gig and you can tell by listening to tapes from the fall of 1982 to the winter of 1983.

I have typically shared songs from the gig at The Rat, but this month I’m going to highlight some from a lesser known and not as glamorous gig over 3 nights 3/17-3/19 at a club called 3 Copper Men in Lowell, MA. These selections were from the final night and carried over into 3/20 and my 22nd birthday.  

I will always showcase original songs by The Memos. We were first and foremost trying to make our mark as an original band. There some covers sprinkled in for good measure.

3 Copper Men

Intro- a little banter as we started our set

Lightning- this song was one of our opening numbers with a driving bass line that went back to our roots in Nebraska

Sunday Papers- song by Joe Jackson from his first LP “Look Sharp”

Happy with my Haircut- original by The Memos. For gigs like this we still traveled with our own PA and hadn’t started hiring a sound company. We would rent a delay for certain songs like this. The recordings were made straight from the sound board, so in actuality we didn’t have that bad of a mix.

Baby it’s You- cover version of a Beatles cover from “Please Please Me”

Nobody I know- One of Dana’s newer originals at the time and became our closing number.

You can’t be in love with me- This was my current contribution and Dana’s girlfriend Cara hated this song. Dana makes a comment as he introduces it.

Nothing but Bad News- We had started playing this original of Dana’s in the summer of 1982 and it stayed a staple of our live shows until 1985.

Letters Home- we had been playing this since late fall of 1982 and had just recorded it in January at Eric Preston’s studio in Lawrence but didn’t play it the night at The Rat.

Living a life of my own- Also recorded in January and played at The Rat, this reggae song was one of my favorites. Dana and i sang the first verse together but back then i struggled doing harmonies on purpose so it was in unison.

Happy Birthday to Jim- The band’s birthday gift to me

Hanky Panky- We could still play some silly classic rock and roll.

Bonus Tracks from The Rat

You’re a nice guy, but...- This was pretty new and though we didn’t play it perfectly it is an example of how deep our set of originals was becoming in that we could substitute from gig to gig and still have strong material on the shelf

Shortbread- another prime example of above.

A Joke- we literally probably had two sets worth of originals to pick from. Something not a lot of young bands could say.

Hypocrisy- I always like the arrangement of this original

Trend- One of first originals since moving to MA.

Drag me Down- Great ska tune and an eventual single in 1985. The song had staying power.

Hang on Sloopy- The only cover we played at The Rat. If you are going to play a cover song, make it a good one and do it your way.

Below you will find assorted videos on You Tube for The Memos, Phase II, Variety and Kangaroo Kourt

TV news story about a popular club The Memos used to play frequently, featuring an interview with Dana and music clip.