R. Hell Site Forum Message

Where to find the Neon Boys tracks...

Posted by:Philip Obbard (‘pobbard@yahoo.com’)
Posted on: 12 Jan 2000
A brief synopsis of the Neon Boys' history can be found at www.richardhell.com/HellBio.html. Lyrics can be found at www.richardhell.com/lyrics1.html.

My slightly longer summary: The Neon Boys were a 3-piece formed by Tom Verlaine (guitars and vocals), Richard Hell (bass and vocals), and Billy Ficca (drums)in 1973. They recorded a six song demo but, as far as I know, never played live, as they could never recruit an adequate second guitarist. Consequently, on the demo, Verlaine plays all lead and rhythm parts.

The six titles they recorded:
"That's All I Know (Right Now)" (Hell/Verlaine)
"Love Comes in Spurts" (Hell/Verlaine)
"High Heeled Wheels" (Hell/Verlaine)
"Poor Circulation" (Verlaine)
"Hot Dog" (Verlaine)
"Tramp" (Verlaine)

Hell sung the top three titles, and Verlaine sang the bottom three. Most of this information comes from Clinton Heylin's excellent book From the Velvets to the Voidoids.

These recordings were all unissued until 1980, when Shake Records included the first two on the Voidoids Pt. III vinyl EP. This EP was reissued on CD and vinyl by Overground UK c.1991, and "High Heeled Wheels" was added, meaning all three 'Hell tracks' have been released! Unfortunately, this CD is now out-of-print, but copies can often be found on Ebay or through www.gemm.com.

Trivia #1: "Love Comes In Spurts" is not the same track as the later Heartbreakers/Voidoid track - it just shares the same title. "High Heeled Wheels" was rewritten as "You Gotta Lose" after Hell left Television and joined the Heartbreakers (although I believe he didn't finish the track until the Voidoids come into the picture - there's an entry about it in Artifact).

Trivia #2: Would-be Neon Boys included Chris Stein (later of Blondie), who was solicited by Verlaine to be the bassist before Hell decided to learn bass, and Dee Dee Ramone, who audition to be the second guitarist!

Trivia #3: Although Television continued to perform "Poor Circulation" through their (first) dissolution in 1978, they never recorded it, nor have any of the Neon Boys' tracks written and sung solely by Verlaine ever been released or (to my knowledge) circulated on tape. (Sorry, feeling the need to clamor again!)


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Message thread:

         MOJO Magazine, January 2000 by Philip Obbard, 12 Jan 2000 (5)
                 Neon/Hell etc. by J, 12 Jan 2000
                         Where to find the Neon Boys tracks... by Philip Obbard, 12 Jan 2000
                                 Blank reviews, Neon sounds by Roy Suggs, 13 Jan 2000
                 Right on, Phil! by Dave K., 14 Jan 2000
                         Savage/Hell by Robert in Toronto, 14 Jan 2000

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