Song Of The Day 9/2/2014: The Mansons - "I Died Four Times (But I Don't Wanna Talk About It)"


Untitled Punk Week: You think yesterday's group "London" presents some challenges in the Google research department, try "The Mansons." Quite the surly faces looking back at me from that search string. One minor glitch was self-generated, because when I heard the phrase "Newcastle punk band The Mansons" I naturally assumed they were from Newcastle, Britain. They weren't. They were from Newcastle, Australia. For all intents and purposes the Mansons were the only punk band from Newcastle, Australia. In a wonderful set of press clippings from one of the internet's only Mansons-centric web pages, the welcome they received from the press rivaled that of friendly exterminators who left your premises with slightly more insects than before they came in, but were not rude. A friendly ambivalence results:
They were well intentioned but something less that inspired. The only thing that warmed me to them was that they smiled a bit (really smiled, not a cynical grin at all) and seemed to want to enjoy themselves... Not my cup of tea but at least they tried hard. -- Mark Mordue

I don't know where Harry learned to shake his legs like that (probably at the same place he bought his Old English Sheepdog wig). Maybe he's got double-jointed knees. -- Newcastle Herald

Previously I'd written that they weren't "my cup of tea", but I must have been too smashed and/or intensely serious about it all that week to appreciate the dubious yet engaging appeal The Mansons have. They jump all over the floor, fall over, slide around and are generally completely uninhibited or suffering from severe withdrawals from hard drugs... The Mansons are pure punk rock vaudeville, and are possibly amongst the worst dressed bands I've ever seen. -- also Mark Mordue

The Mansons - at least the Family enjoyed them. A parochial Ramones with psychedelic shirts. See "ABOMINABLE." - Unknown

Out of the Mix heard this week that the lead singer of the defunct musicos tres tasteless, Harry Mansons, is now an industrial painter in Darwin. That's showbiz, sweetheart (but we don't wanna talk about it). -- Newcastle Herald
The Mansons existed between 1981 and 1983, which sounds a little long, but these things seldom are. "I Died Four Times" was their big, shiny moment in the dank, ochre scene that is Australian punk music that's not by the Saints, and according to a somewhat more talky web page devoted to them, the song was ripped haphazardly from the Mansons' own inner circle: "The initial inspiration for the song came from a phone conversation with a old school chum, Greg 'Chook' Coleman, who was lamenting that a mutual friend was taking far too long to die of a series of diseases, 'You know he's died four times... but he doesn't want to talk about it!', and so the song was born." It's not the dying that sucks so much as the reincarnation. Long lines and paperwork.
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