How do you bid farewell to a band like the B-52s? Do you console yourself with the idea of traveling out to Vegas in the summer to see the group one more time? Do you break down and purchase an ultimate VIP ticket to their “last” Athens show tomorrow night and try to have a good time? Or do you publish a long, rambling blogpost on a site no one reads about how much the little party band that could means to you?
The B-52s belong in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and I’m tired of their efforts being reduced to just a party band from a nowhere town. The Bs are punk as fuck. Do you even know how badass you had to be in Athens to wander around dressed like they were? To act like they did? Hell, for all its progressive movements and people, Athens still isn’t the most open and accepting place. We’re surrounded on all sides by red (and former dry, dry) counties. UGA is the state flagship school so all the conservative blowhards send their kids to drink their way to a degree here. It’s still a little dangerous to be out. And yet there’s the Bs, saying it’s all ok, come with us, we’ll find a little dump of a place and make it our own. Grab some sheets from the local thrift store, some paint, and some records. You’ll be right at home.
Growing up, you were either a Cindy girl or a Kate girl. I always sang Kate’s parts in the song because Cindy’s high, pure tones weren’t something my alto voice could attempt to reach. That’s not to say I could do Kate’s parts either, but I was a little too self conscious to shout out like Fred. As I got older I got a little bit more bold. The trick is to start with Rock Lobster. The song is ridiculous, the parts are fun, and you get over yourself quickly.
I’ve had the pleasure of watching a few of my pals write long form pieces and books about the Bs. They’ve delved into the history of the band, our town, the New York art and social scene that flowed down to us and back up there again… I’ve always said that what makes Athens great is the people that live(d) here. And it’s true. Never again will there be a band like the Bs. We’re so fortunate to have had them.