As you scan the bins you note to yourself that the music today, like the girl behind the counter, is as plastic as the crappy eight track cases their music comes in. These manufactured bands now make their debut on "Top of the Pops", not in back alley pubs serving pints to frustrated teenagers. Then you see it. A record by a local group of kids. Heck, you may even kinda know that slightly built bass player. Didn't he used to chum around with some lads you used to know. The Undertones?You look closer. "Is that Feargal Sharkey second from the right? Nah, can't be. That fay little eunuch from the church choir back in elementary school?"
You hold the 7" EP between your fingers as you look it over. You give a quick look at the plasticine girl behind the counter dressed up like a clown. You quickly re-fix your gaze back at the record. These boys look like Derry boys. They dress like you. They have your haircut. You even have those same Doc Martens boots. You take the record over to the listening booth and slip on the headphones, put the needle at the far right of the 45 and listen to the crackle of the vinyl. Boo-dum boo-dum. The drums snap the band to attention and the guitars lay down a cool -- not too rushed -- melody. It's not a melody. That's a groove. Yeah. "Holy crap. That voice. That is that Feargal freak singing! Still sounds like a eunuch, he does."
You get it. And you get it immediately. This isn't some rubbish about some bloke named "Fernando." This isn't about dreams weavers or cakes being left out in the rain...whatever that stupid song is about anyway. This is about Derry. This is about you. This is the universal truth: "Are teenage dreams so hard to beat? Everytime she walks down the street. Another girl in the neighborhood. Wish she was mine, she looks so good. I wanna hold her, wanna hold her tight. Get teenage kicks right through the night." Yes! Yes! Yes!
Just 2:26 seconds later you turn and walk out of the listening booth and cut for the counter like a man with a plan. You don't quite look at that girl and you plonk a few schillings on the counter. "The Undertones! I know these blokes. They're real cool. My brother is friends with the drummer." She self consciously giggles and lets out a snort as she does. She turns red and looks down with embarrassment. You suddenly look up and look right at her. The words are running in your head. "I need excitement and I need it bad. And it's the best I ever had." You find yourself saying something not quite true. "Yeah, me and the boys are real good friends. We go way back, we do. Played football wit 'em." The lyrics return to your head: "I'm gonna call her on the telephone. Have her over 'cause I'm all alone." A wave of blustery courage comes over you. She's not that bad, she ain't. In fact, she's kinda cute if you think about it. "I'm going to see 'em this weekend down at Spinners. You wanna, maybe, go wit me?" "Um, uh, yeah", she says in a diminishing tone. "Yeah, might be fun for some kicks."
You wanna hold her. Wanna hold her tight. Them Teenage Kicks are going to get you through the night. Oh Yeah!