Watch the B-52s' iconic 1980 performance on Saturday Night Live

Originally published at: Watch the B-52s' iconic 1980 performance on Saturday Night Live | Boing Boing

11 Likes

Wow. For someone who couldn’t sing, Fred Schneider could reproduce vocals live almost exactly matching the studio version. (I say this as a fan. It is regrettable that for the B-52’s final albums, he finally got voice lessons. Though Dreamland is pretty great.)

For SNL of the era nothing beats Devo’s appearance.

Dead link at

11 Likes

Sparks is also up there

9 Likes

Nice post!

4 Likes

“…this video is a great opportunity to see and hear original guitarist Ricky Wilson’s playing”

This. His sound was such a key part of their first two albums, it’s always impressed me that they managed to reinvent themselves so successfully after his death.

7 Likes

Fred’s dancing is reminiscent of Dan Ackroyd doing his Elwood Blues routine. Love it!

3 Likes

Those were the days. Back when New Wave was actually new and took the U.S. out of the singer/songwriter slump as i liked to call it.

8 Likes

That was awesome

2 Likes

I see Devo and raise David Bowie Boys Keep Swinging.

I was watching this live in '79 with a friend(still friends today) we were higher than a kite and drunk off our butts.

We watched the Boys Keep Swinging puppet and then tried to figure out what we just saw. We solved the problem by smoking more weed.

All three songs are great but goto 6:45 to see what I talking about.

I can only find the clip on Vimeo, it won’t embed here like YouTube but it’s worth the click.

4 Likes

We were more than confused when we saw this in real time. But, just like Devo, it rocks incredibly and was as tight as a drum. Under 2 and half minutes, hooks galore and out. Fantastic.

1 Like

Devo and the B52s. I really loved their music. My parents hated them (“look at them! They’re so weird! What is that?”). That’s all I needed.

8 Likes

I have vividly remembered this since I watched it live as a teenager and thought, what the heck did I just see? Such fun and goofy, rocking weirdos.

2 Likes

Tight but way too short. Rock Lobster should be a six minute epic.

At the opposite end of tight, my favorite SNL band appearance:

We were gathered around that little tv all night, at least as drunk as the Mats, patiently waiting through those terrible unfunny skits and horrible commercials, until - at last! - goddam Bastards of Young! “What the fuck is Bob wearing?!?” “Sing into the mic, Paul!” “Did he just say FUCK on tv?!?”

It was a truly glorious live tv moment. Like the moon landing for gen-x

5 Likes

Also Klaus Nomi there.

5 Likes

fantastic!
all that and Klaus Nomi, too!

2 Likes

Is there a way to watch this without going to twitter?

1 Like
3 Likes

I meant the SNL performance specifically but any version is good. Thanks

2 Likes

is that the wrong one

damn you google

2 Likes

I I vividly remember this, changed my life. Out with The Who and Lynyrd Skynyrd, in with Clash, Gang of Four, the Cure etc.

2 Likes