Punk Rock Historian and Professional Consultant
I resurrected this old post because it is a good story about the history of a song. As I am beholding to many. KROQ, Rodney Bingenheimer and the early Flipside Fanzine Crew and all of those nobody punks on the streets who welcomed me in… us in, no questions asked.
Jumping in the truck and taking the kid to school. Turning on the radio while a song is starting to play. So, we turn it up as loud as can be. The car radio vibrating as truck bounces its way down the road…breaking the mediocrity of routine by invoking my once “young woman” once more. Looking over at son, he is clearly into the drums because he is mocking the drumbeats.
“The Ballroom Blitz” is a song written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman and originally recorded by the British rock band The Sweet. Billboard ranked it as the No. 16 song for 1975.”
At the age of 18 the song Ballroom Blitz played on the Telefunken Radio. The radio vibrated on the wood shelve next to the fireplace. It was free FM KROQ.
The punk scene was like Halloween, Christmas, horror films, and freedom all at the same time. Overwhelmed, I felt as though I was in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, mimicking Puck— taking on the images that were around me without question. I was becoming one with my punkalullaby. I coined the word punkalullaby. It means that the whole time I was in the punk rock scene, from beginning to end, it was all about a song. One song to the next pulled me though the scene. Once that loud music got into my blood there was nothing like it.HUDLEY FLIPSIDE, THE SEMINARY OF PRAYING MANTIS, MY PUNK@LULLABY
Whenever Ballroom Blitz came on the radio, I bounced like a rubber ball around any room. A song that is responsible for pulling me into the world of KROQ, Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney on The Rocks) and the Los Angeles punk rock scene. (Ya there was a time before Henry… amen hallelujah!!)
“KROQ’s 1976 rebirth was perfectly timed with the emergence of punk rock and New Wave and KROQ quickly became the voice of the burgeoning Los Angeles scene, with disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer joining the station and introducing many new and local bands, including The Ramones, The Runaways, The Stray Cats and The Go-Go’s, on his massively influential shows.”~KROQ Wikipedia
If a song can encapsulate youthful dreams and rebellion this is the one for me. Like many songs that we take for granted, this tune always seems as new as the day I first heard the song Ballroom Blitz. Fresh, stimulating, and as wild as the Los Angeles streets I soon joined.
It is a very wild song. The word very and wild are my favorite words and I use the words while describing this song…ya ya ya!!
“As punk expanded its hold on the music scene of the mid to late 1970s, KROQ steadily adding more of it to their freeform format, cementing their place in the Los Angeles market. The station’s proximity to Hollywood and the Los Angeles punk rock scene gave it a unique place in the development of this newer music and much later with the alternative rock genre. In the late 70s and early 80s KROQ was quickly becoming one of the most influential radio stations in broadcast history.”~KROQ Wikipedia