Children of Nuggets
(Rhino RHI0074639) - August 30, 2005

Contains the songs:
She Don't Know Why I'm
Here (MP3)
L.A. Explosion

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She Don't Know Why I'm Here (Joe Nolte, April 1977)

See that girl with the raven hair
I wish she were mine, but she don't care 'cause
She don't know why I'm here

So many others – and just the same
They all come out 'cause it's part of the game, but
That's only when they're here

Take a look around and you'll see what I mean
It never could have been ten years ago
The answer should be plain when you stumble back again
They never felt the kind of pain
The real world brings

See that girl with the soft blue eyes
They never seem to close or show surprise but
They don't believe they're here

She's looking at me, but I don't know
If I look back she'll run on home 'cause
She don't know why she's here...

This one's for you
You modified petrified hypocrites
God! To raise your children like goldfish
In plastic naugahyde cells

Are you coming out baby?
Who'll be my baby?

Most of the songs I wrote about girls were indeed about living, breathing, actual, specific girls. In most cases I'm going to identify said sirens by an initial, so as not to offend them. In this case, however, since the song is not specifically a torrid romantic diatribe but rather a socio-political observation, I'll name names.

Brother Mike had known these three girls from his glitter days, and introduced me to them January 1977. We all hung out, I would occasionally drive them to the all-too-rare-in-those-days punk rock show, etc. etc. It was watching their reaction to and fondness for the early punk bands, while being in the unfortunate situation of not being able to gig yet, that I began to feel like a glorified chauffeur ... the three girls were Helen, Mary and Trudi.

Trudi was the "girl with the raven hair" – she became the only non-musician in the scene to have a fanzine devoted to her, and is currently married (with children) to K.K. - drummer for the late lamented Screamers.

Mary was the "girl with the soft blue eyes" – she is better known to those who remember the glory days as Mary Rat.

Helen is better remembered as Helen Killer – the girl who punched Sid Vicious in the mouth by accident in '78.

Musically the song is an obvious homage to the Castaways' "Liar Liar."

—Joe Nolte

L.A. Explosion (Joe Nolte, Jan 6, 1977)

In these hard times I like to see
The boys and girls together
It makes me think of songs and things
Of smiles and rainy weather
Once that was me but I wanted to be free
And I guess you never really know
Where you wanna be

Well this whole town is breakin'
Even as we sing and dance, you know
We're orphans in the snowstorm
Dreams of false security, you know
Laugh while you can - soon you'll have to play your hand
And I guess you never really know
What you got to stand

L.A. Explosoin is on my mind
Wheels keep on spinnin' around
And we don't know
Yeah we don't know - oh - ohh

Well you can talk, you can joke 'bout the days of old
When kids would run in thousands
To the Whiskey, the Trip, on the Sunset Strip
Though the cops would swarm around us
Those days are gone, but I think I see the dawn
And I guess you never really know
When it's comin' on

The A-side of our third single, as well as the title song for our first album, even though it didn't actually make it onto the album. Confused? Me too. I can only surmise that it was originally slated for inclusion, and dropped at the last minute.

Anyway, musically this is pretty obviously a take on the Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown". I'm pretty sure the opening riff was the first part written – I'd wanted to come up with a fakeout riff, where the band would come in on a One beat that was just half a beat sooner than the first time listener would have thought.

It worked. All too well, as a matter of fact. I have never had so much trouble teaching drummers any other song.

Lyrically, it was a nostalgic look at the glory days of the Sunset Strip during 1966, and a clarion call for a reawakening. You must remember that, at the time this was written, there was no real L.A. scene to speak of.

As we know, that changed...

[The lyrics above were transcribed] from the original written lyrics - this was written on the back of written lyrics to the Dave Clark Five song "WHEN", which means we were already considering covering it back then. For the chorus, I had the five syllable phrase that I knew would also be the song title - but hadn't decided on words for it. I pretty much had all the verses written, and just needed a catchy phrase. Originally that phrase was going to be "BIG CITY BLOW UP" (or something), and then I decided on "L.A. DISASTER". Ha ha. The third lines in the second and third verses were originally almost "Laugh while you can - soon you'll have to take a stand" and "Those days are gone but there's somethin' comin' on", respectively.

—Joe Nolte

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