Random Wax: Rob Miller - The Pogues 'Red Roses For Me'


November 6th, 2015 by bsradmin

We like to listen to vinyl on Fridays here at BSHQ, and we're starting a new tradition. A new person each week will close his/her eyes, randomly select a record from their personal collection, and bring it to the office. The person has to explain why the album is on his/her shelves, and then we listen to the album. We call this 'Random Wax.'

Today's contestant is Bloodshot co-owner Rob! He randomly selected The Pogues' Red Roses For Me. Here's his spirited explanation:

"Whew, I’m glad my first random pick was not an embarrassing one. Purchased at either Sam’s Jams in Ferndale MI or Schoolkid’s in Ann Arbor. Why? I’d heard “Dirty Old Town” on the late night “alternative” radio show and went to see them the next night at St Andrew’s Hall in Detroit. I was suitably and thoroughly bowled over. Bought anything I could find by them.

It’s hard to overstate how FROM ANOTHER WORLD the Pogues seemed the first time I heard them, back in 1984---when cavemen and Reagans walked the earth; when the underground airwaves were occupied with big hair new wave or no hair hardcore. Holy shit! When the lead track “Transmetropolitan”, with it’s long, quiet, teasing accordion intro, kicks in the proverbial front door of the aural pub, it’s as punk and primal and so fully ECSTATIC as anything I’d ever heard. “Waxie’s Dargle” is perhaps the most chaotic, joyful boozing song ever; it’s like the whole band is falling down the stairs, and I mean that in the best possible way. I’m getting thirsty typing this. And I want to hoist a pint glass and sing a long to the best whaling song I know: “Greenland Whale Fisheries.” Plus, they look so badass in their blue dusters on the album back cover, and what sad loner punk dorks like me didn’t have a crush on Cait O’Riordan? Later albums showed Shane MacGowan to be both a truly gifted songwriter (“Dirty Old Town” being one of the best songs EVER) and, at times, a sad parody of himself, but this first album was a game changer for me. Any and all Irish-tinged punk band that followed could never come close. The Pogues stand alone.

Unplug, belly up, and wade into the streams of whiskey, my friends."

EDIT: "It's been pointed out repeatedly over the weekend that I mistakenly credited Shane of the Pogues for writing 'Dirty Old Town.' Mea culpa! He did not, but may as well have with how totally the band inhabits the song and makes it their own. But point duly noted.

A quick and humorous "Red Roses" story to make up for it. In the filthy cramped room that was my college address, I was BLASTING "Streams of Whiskey" one Sunday morning, over and over. My housemate in the next room (and from London to boot!) had over-imbibed the night before due to some physics or female related problem and crawled to my door and begged, BEGGED me to stop playing that. The mere MENTION of whiskey was torture to him at that point. Such is the power of the Pogues!"