She Moans is a fine gleaming specimen of Punk before Punk cloaked in the best of Junkshop Glam by future Rings and Maniacs members Alan Lee Shaw and Rod Latter. It’s quite surprising that this came out on Alaska in 74 and has John Shroeder himself on production duties.
Alan Lee Shaw: My act was myself and Rod on timbales and the image was definitely Glam as with everything else that was ground breaking at that time. Lots of satin I seem to remember...John Shroeder was a dead ringer for Peter Wyngarde all medallions with side boards and seriously moustachioed...
Recorded at Pye Studios in the early summer of ’73, She Moans kicks off with kick ass Wah Wah and then rocks out in prime Proto Punk fashion, although the demo-y drum sound does hold its impact back somewhat, but the tempo is frenetic and the hook nice ‘n catchy...She Moans is definitely on a par with the best Streak tracks but stands out proud on its own merits. Bolweevil is more Bluesy a bit like a Howlin’ Wolf number with crushed velvet replacing the gruff and Johnny Thunders channelling Hubert Sumlin somewhere along the line.
Q: What were you trying to achieve with these recordings?
Alan Lee Shaw: I was going for a bit of the old primal scream attitude approach. At the time I always got a buzz from the harder end of music. Of course Glam was the cloak that covered popular music at that time, and I wasn't against it. I think She Moans was considered the most commercial track by the record label and that was that. We were all young and wanting to get on the boards and get our story across.
Q: How come you were a duo –why no bass player?
Alan Lee Shaw: Yes a duo. I don't think there is bass on the record (Note: In fact there is some bass, it is most obvious on Bolweevil). Rod (the drummer) and I were buddy's from school days and had been in bands in Cambridge and we pretty much stuck together. Duos were not unusual then Tyrannosaurus Rex, Medicine Head and we were a tight unit, it seemed to work. We played colleges and pubs also did the old Marquee in those days and we went down as exotic oddies for want of a better word. When most punters wanted to hear the Eagles they got us...
Q: What happened after the single?
Alan Lee Shaw: Alaska was just a small label run by John Schroeder. He put singles out that were meant for the charts as pop hits and if they didn't get the nod from Radio1 there was no more investment. Anyway as a snotty upstart I didn't in the end see eye to eye with John or Ken Pitt (Manager) so an amicable parting of the waves followed. After the single was released Rod and I went to live in London in ‘75 still as a duo playing original and Velvet Underground covers, until Punk hit in 76' when all hell was let loose and we became Rings (with Twink) and then The Maniacs.
I wonder how this single escaped me for so long, it somehow didn’t register on the radar, but She Moans is another important piece in the Glam/Proto Punk puzzle –Thanks to Alan Lee Shaw for all the info. Enjoy!
Hear a full version of She Moans
Hear a full version of Bolweevil