The Coolest Thing You’ll See All Week: “Rock Lobster” Unleashed on Atlanta

by Steve Spohn
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Vintage B-52’s live in Atlanta

Welcome to “The Coolest Thing You’ll See All Week,” a brand-spanking-new SongMango feature that will get your weekend kicked off right. Every Friday (or almost all of them), we’ll share a little piece of rock history – usually in video form – that will make you say, “damn, that’s really cool!”

Check out what we’ve served up, and rate it on SongMango’s “Cool Scale” (see below). Let us know: Was it cool or did it suck? You decide.

For the maiden voyage of “The Coolest Thing You’ll See All Week,” we take an early look at The B-52’s – a pioneering force behind rock’s “new wave” scene of the late-’70s. The iconic band became known for kitschy, campy live performances, featuring a “beach party” vibe and big bouffant wigs.

The vintage post-punk footage shows The B-52’s (just two years after their inception) performing what would become one of their biggest hits, “Rock Lobster.” The rough-cut black-and-white video captures the raw abandon of The B-52’s at the intimate Downtown Cafe in Atlanta, GA, on September 2, 1978.

The video features the band’s original lineup: Fred Schneider (lead vocals); Kate Pierson (vocals, keyboards); Cindy Wilson (vocals, percussion); Ricky Wilson (lead guitar) and Keith Strickland (drums, rhythm guitar, keyboards).

We were at a party
His earlobe fell in the deep
Someone reached in and grabbed it
It was a rock lobster

“Rock Lobster” was released just five months before this Atlanta performance. Judging by the audience’s reaction, people were already familiar with the song – early hipsters in the know.

Email me your cool video suggestion for next week's column!