SIDE STORY– RAT MOMENTS #2 - TIME AIN'T ON MY SIDE

By the end of 1977 things really started to move fast on the Boston new music scene. Tracks had been there back when just a handful of groups were playing at the Rat and The Club and there was almost no outside exposure. Oedipus had the one and only radio show that played any kind of punk. Other than short articles by James Isaacs and Rory O’Connor in the Phoenix and Real Paper (both still considered ‘underground’ in those days), the Boston Groupie News was the only publication covering the scene in any depth. Now even the staid, old Boston Globe was writing about it and new radio shows (college and commercial) featuring this alternative music were popping up with regularity. Sire had signed several of the New York bands while other labels were still trying to figure out what to do with this strange new music. Although an alternative pop band, the sudden success of the Cars (whose members frequented and/or had played at the Rat) was focusing some attention on the Boston scene. Label flunkies were everywhere and more and more local bands were coming out of the woodwork. Of course the national media picked up on the immoral dangers of the Sex Pistols and the nastier aspects of punk. I guess Time magazine was going to lead the way with a major expose on the subject.
jeff rey's
We were hanging out at the Rat one afternoon waiting for the rest of the band to show up for sound check, shooting the breeze with Granny and enjoying a Bud or two. Jim Harold came over with some guy in tow and introduced him as a reporter from that illustrious journal of middle-American values. Jim told the guy Lorry Doll and Tracks represented one of the more harder edged bands that played his club. So he left us with this young man who was armed with his trusty steno pad and we sat down at one of the Rat’s gritty tables. As usual, I let Lorry do all the talking. It quickly became all too obvious that this wasn’t going to be about music and the twit already had his story written - only wanting Lorry and others to add the appropriate shocking quotes to fill it out. So he baited Lorry with leading questions while she kept trying to get back to the music, diversity and sincerity of the Boston scene. But when that went nowhere and he kept pushing for what he wanted Lorry turned on him. She savagely ripped apart his publication, his ethics, his musical taste, his clothes, his looks, questioned his manhood and parentage. Then she got personal. Although he had finally gotten the anger and obscenity he was looking for, I guess he didn’t expect it to be directed at him. He was on the verge of tears when he stormed off. I hate to be cruel, and I was kinda surprised by Lorry’s venomous display, but her performance had been a thing of beauty to watch.

Over the next couple days we saw members of other bands doing their monkey act for him at the Rat. It was all pretty funny. I can understand the allure of exposure in a national magazine, but you didn’t have to look too close to see that anyone who participated in the game
Time was trying to play was going to come out looking foolish. Anyway, when the article was published it had nothing to do with reality. Their description of the Boston scene could have just as easily been about the music scene on Mars.

Although it was humorous, that distortion of facts really bothered me and still serves as motivation for trying to get things straight in this history. I know the incident had a big influence on Lorry’s own journalistic style when she started doing interviews with NEON. She met some real obnoxious people along the way (and some real nice ones, too), but always refused to let her own feelings and preconceptions obscure the way of getting to the heart of a story or personality.
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The TIME magazine that never was, but their story on Boston punk was just as phony as this cover