Monday, May 21, 2012

squeaky clean still around

My wife and (two of) my kids went to see Squeaky Clean today. I couldn't make it -- day job and all -- but it brings back memories.

I first became aware of Squeaky Clean when I was in college, working as a DJ at the campus radio station and Music Editor of one of the campus newspapers. This was during the rockabilly revival (or at least soon after), and here was a Long Island-based three-piece band doing good fun '50s style rockabilly. They were fronted by Glenn Paul Manion and Suzanne "Smitty" Smithline. There was a third member, but I'm too lazy right now to look up his name. I reviewed their eponymous EP (released on their own label Drip Dry Records). I still remember the standout tracks, "Cops and Robbers Love" and "Squeaky Clean" and "Going to a Party" -- I think I just named like half the songs on the disk. I also interveiwed them when they played at The Cellar, which was Queens College's on-campus bar/club.

At some point, while I was still in college, Manion and Smithline put together another band, Combo Limbo, and did an album under that name. This was still fun rock and roll, but it had a more contemporary feel than the retro-rockabilly of SC, which was still a functioning band. From the Combo Limbo album, I still remember highlights such as "Motorman," "Big Big Girl" and (my favorite) "Smile When You Say Goodbye."

So fast forward years (OK, decades) later.

Squeaky Clean now does a variety of different types of shows, adapting and customizing for the venue. One of their specialties is a show for schoolkids, covering the history of rock and roll, and working in comments and lessons about pop culture over the last 50-60 years. Now, I generally don't like "kids music" because I find that it's often preachy, with too much emphasis on the lesson rather than the music. SC fortunately manages to evade that trap. They don't talk down to the kids. And everyone can take what they want from it.

They also do corporate events and family-friendly shows.

The not-entirely intuitive URL for their website is


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