:: Thursday, September 30, 2004 ::

Punk Rock Countdown: No. 8
"We Got the Neutron Bomb," by the Weirdos
Despite their claims to the contrary, the Weirdos were a punk band. They associated punk with what was happening in England at the time, and they were from Hollywood (Hollyweird). Their bombastic and ironic "We Got the Neutron Bomb" is a great rock tune. So great, in fact, that a couple of writers picked that song title for the name of their oral history of LA punk.

For those of you too young to remember, the neutron bomb was a weapon of the late Cold War era. During the Carter administration, there was much talk of the neutron bomb as a deterrent to the Soviet threat because it would nuke people while allowing most civil infrastructure to remain unscathed. It was, in effect, a kinder, gentler A-bomb.

The Weirdos' incendiary little tune begins with the proud proclamation of a Cold War zealot: We got the neutron bomb! We got the neutron bomb! Lead singer John Denney seemed to be saying: "Don't mess with us, commies! We got it, and we ain't afraid to use it." Gonna drop it all over the place/You're gonna get it on your face.

But later lyrics contradict that idea. Calling the bomb "foreign aid from the land of the free," Denney adds, "but don't blame me."

Although the Cold War is over, some of the lyrics seem particularly relevant for today's state of foreign affairs. Such as:
United Nations and NATO won't do
It's just the red, white and blue
In the final analysis, the Weirdos' legacy to punk is an ironic anti-Cold War song set to a frenzied punk beat. Weird indeed.

:: Andrew 07:25 + ::

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