Friday, March 2, 2012

"i was a teenage communist" now on youtube

Back in the 1980s, I was watching SCTV. There was a sketch called "I was a Teenage Communist." I was watching with only half an eye, since it wasn't particularly funny. Then, as part of the sketch, one of the characters was introduced to the stage as a musical performer. And I heard the opening riff and recognized that it was Dave Edmunds. The song was "From Small Things Big Things One Day Come," the first track off of what was then Edmunds' newest album, D.E. 7th.

Edmunds had recently become one of my favorite musicians, and I was just learning his canon. But D.E. 7th was the first thing I had bought of his, and "From Small Things..." (which I would later learn was written for him by Bruce Springsteen) was the first track of his I heard. I still remember first dropping the needle on that record and being instantly entranced.

So when I realized that it was Dave performing on SCTV I watched the rest, engrossed, trying to memorize every detail. But I was annoyed at myself for having no paid attention to the beginning of the sketch. Edmunds had played a role, with lines, and I wished that I had known, while I was watching, that it was him. For years, I hoped to see that sketch again. And I never did. Every so often I would search Youtube for it, but it wouldn't be there. Or at least I would be unable to find it.

For some reason, I can't seem to embed the video in this post. But go here to see it.

Seeing it all this time later, I notice a couple things: Edmunds, as Russ Riley, tries to affect an American accent (he is Welsh). But he doesn't quite succeed. This is especially true in the line, "You're gonna like 'em. You'll like 'em a lot." Also, I wonder if the name Eddie Davis, for the protagonist was done as a play in the Dave Edmunds' name.


  1. I just watched that clip, was great to see Dave Edmunds. I was wondering if the rest of the band was Rockpile? It's from about the same time period, hard to tell because the band is in costume. The bass player was a tall skinny guy just like Nick Lowe.

    1. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I was on vacation.

      I don't know who the musicians are, but they are definitely not Rockpile, and that's definitely not Nick Lowe playing bass. I'd recognize them and him.

      Aside from the visuals, it's helpful to recall that "DE 7th" was Edmunds' first post-Rockpile album, an after the acrimonius breakup, it was quite a while before he and Lowe did any work together.

      FWIW, my best guess is that the band is Geraint Watkins on keyboards, Mickey Gee on guitar, John David on bass and Dave Charles on drums. But don't make bets based on my guess.