The phrase “it does not matter what you say, but what those who listen to you understand”, has an extension: “…Or how many listen to you”.
So, speech must have those who spread it.
Many, spiritual people went into obscurity and oblivion of history because there was no one to spread their word.
Like many historical events, they were not made known to the general public, because there was no one to record them.
In music, things are not much different!
The dusty-forgotten pages of music history are full of masterpieces, for which there was no one to publish them.
On the other hand, however, there are songs that a DJ loved, as a result of which they became known, but also adored.
If there was no “apostle” to “stick” with one of their songs, the same might happened to The Undertones.
The Punk Rock / New Wave band may have only existed in the memory of some drunken Irish in a pub.
The Northern Irish from Derry, in the years of their existence, managed to release only 4 albums.
However, only their first album (1979) managed to release a song that was to become the anthem of every angry teenager.
“Teenage Kicks” is a creation of guitarist John O’Neill, the band’s lead composer.
The great impact of the song is not due to the lyrical part, nor to the melody.
After all, it was just another good song for pissed-off teenagers, with the simplicity of a punk composition.
An invisible entity may have decided on the success of the song.
Their first attempt to promote their new song was crowned with unexpected success.
They were fans of MC5 so they decided to mix their own “Teenage Lust” with the classic “Route 66”.
The result was not considered by Feargal Sharkey and company as their best creation.
Although the song’s common title, “Teenage Kicks”, had not been used by any musician until then, they still did not believe in their fate.
The contribution of John Peel
Even when it was sent to BBC Radio 1 music producer John Peel.
They did not expect his song to become Peel’s favorite and to be played from 1978 until 2004, the year of his death.
Peel’s obsess – “love” with “Teenage Kicks” gave them a contract with Sire Records.
His opinion was significant, as he used to play new bands on his show, rating them with one to five stars.
In the case of The Undertones, things were different!!!
Apart from the fact that he played the song twice in a row, something he did for the first and last time, he also rated it with…
28 (!!!) stars.
Something that showed that the radio producer himself has identified with the song, more than the band itself.
In a 2001 interview with the Guardian, when asked what he would like to write when he dies, he replied:
“Apart from my name, I want the lyrics to be written: “Teenage dreams, so hard to beat.”, with which the song begins.
As happened in 2008, four years after his death, when the tombstone was placed on his grave, with the verse engraved.
It is worth noting that at the funeral in October 2004, the song was also played.
The band after this success had others, even better than this song, but always in their own opinion and only…