Tuesday, December 25, 2007

So This is Christmas

"Don't despair, just because it's Christmas!" - Fear (1982)

There has always been a phoniness of sorts to Christmas. (Caveat: The term "Christmas" in this post refers not to the religious celebration of the birth of Christ but rather the uniquely American secular celebration of fireside family chats, hyper-commerce, huge sales, eggnog and other such things generally unavailable two thousand years ago.). People that aren't really polite or nice during the preceding 11 months suddenly become cheery and expect prompt reciprocation. When January rolls around, though, everything returns to normal.

Fear, the punk band, was most famous for its 1982 album, The Record. (An aside: There was some speculation in the music press in the late 1980s or early 1990s whether that album would be released on compact disc as The C.D. rather than under its original title. It was not.).

Fear's song, "Fsck Christmas," did not appear on the original release of The Record, but was included as a bonus track on sequent releases. Rather, it was originally the band's second single and perhaps the best punk song about the yuletide season ever recorded.

Aside from a controversial appearance on "Saturday Night Live" in 1981 (organized by then-former cast member and fan of the band John Belushi), Fear sank into obscurity. (Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea was briefly a member in the early 1980s, following the release of The Record.). Lead singer Lee Ving turned to movies for a while, appearing in both Flashdance and Clue (as the soon to be corpse, Mr. Boddy). In 1993, Guns N' Roses introduced the band to a new generation by including a cover of the band's "I Don't Care About You" on their final official release, The Spaghetti Incident?.

Merry Christmas (and avoid a Sad Clown Christmas, if at all possible).

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