Tuesday 3 October 2023

Namesakes #53: The Boys

Boys will be Boys... but these Boys are not on a Beach, in a Pet Shop or down a Backstreet... they're just on their own in a big scary world where lots of other Boys want to share their name. Who will win the Battle of the Boys?

I hope you brought snacks. This will be a long one...


It's Ain't Fair that these Boys had very little success in the UK charts in 1963. Hailing from Kentish Town, they eventually got some action in 1965 when they changed their name to The Action.


Marty Wilde's backing band The Wildcats also adopted the pseudonym The Boys in 1963 for this one off Shadows-y instrumental.


Euro Boys in 1964 - not sure if they came from Spain, Germany or Yugoslavia, since their records appear to have been released in all three countries, and the language they sang in seems to have changed to fit the territory (sometimes, at least). They were on Ham Records though, so I'm going with Germany.


"Girls will be boys and boys will be girls," sang Ray Davies in Lola... though the host of this TV clip from 1965 looks set to blow a gasket explaining how a band called The Boys are actually girls. God knows what how he'd handle the gender fluidity of today's teenagers. Splendor In The Grass was written by Jackie DeShannon and released on the Kama Sutra record label. No need to get your knickers in a twist, girls / boys...


Still in 1965, these Boys were causing a panic in Detroit - I couldn't find the A Side, but I was happy enough with a B-Side called It's Hopeless.


Two minutes of garage band brilliance (?) from Fort Worth, Texas in 1966...


While over in Illionois, the garages made this kind of noise. Boy with a Z, Rick Nielsen, would go on to become the lead guitarist and songwriter for Cheap Trick.


Often playing the role of backing band to Singapore singers Naomi or Henry Suriya, these Boys did release an occasional record on their own. This is the only one I could find on youtube, from 1967...


Meanwhile, over in Italy in 1967, these Boys were reading DH Lawrence. Probably just for the mucky bits.


From the town of Lincoln, Nebraska in 1974 came these Boys with a power poppy sound and three exciting singles released sporadically across the rest of the decade. They were once known as Grundy Gilpin and later changed their name to Movie Eyes. But through the 70s, they were just... The Boys.


"The Beatles of Punk" (also known as The Yobs) formed in 1975 when Matt Dangerfield of London SS got together with Casino Steel from Hollywood Brats. 

I'm just going to say that again: Casino Steel. Other members joined, but I'm happy enough with Casino Steel.

Part of the first wave of British punk, their debut gig in 1976 at the Hope & Anchor pub in Islington was attended by Mick Jones and Billy Idol, among others. 

And they're still in the go today, with most of the original members...


Liverpool in 1981, the Boys had yet to get the message about not stereotyping people from other cultures. Different times, etc.


And it wasn't just Scousers making culturally insensitive music in the 1980s. Check out these Boyz from New England...

BOYS #14

More power pop goodness from these Aussie Boys in 1981...


Those Boys were from Perth. Meanwhile, in Adelaide, in the same year, we got these Boys...


Swedish rockers from 1982...


An American boy band made up of actual boys, this lot were aged between 5 and 10 when they started busking on the Venice Beach boardwalk in 1984. Four years later, they were at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with the song below. All I can say is, I'm glad we got Musical Youth instead. I doubt these guys ever passed the dutchie in their whole life. 

In 1999, they finally grew up and changed their name to The Suns Of Light. 


Brummie Boys from Solihull, circa 1988. Guitarist Steve Craddock would go on to make a much greater noise in Ocean Colour Scene...


There were others, but I either spared you them (the K-Pop Boyz) or couldn't find any audio evidence online. I was particularly disappointed not to find any music from future Mötley Crüe singer Michael White's Boyz, though I did find this quote from the guitarist...

"Kim Fowley was supposed to manage us, but we wouldn’t agree to pretend we were from outer space and speak in a made up alien language 24/7."

If only they had, they might have had a place here today...

But which of the Boys above make you go "Oh boy!"? I'll be very impressed with anyone who (even pretends to) listen to them all.


  1. It's just as well I have a lot of time on my hands to wade through all The Boys you've presented us with

    1. I'm interested in keeping you off the streets, George. It's my community service.

  2. Oh, so many boys, so little time!
    I'll come back to this one...

  3. 8 Boys in, and #8 is endearingly bad, I like that the lead singer is slightly out of time with the music. So far, though #5 are ahead

    1. #11 sound like a comedy punk band

    2. apart from the Italian Boys, #

    3. Boys 10 to 16 are tedious.

  4. So, the pick of the songs are #1, #3, #5, #6, #8 and #9, which will all make there way onto my Download series. #6 just shades #8 to the top slot

    1. It was strangely enjoyable. Only one terrible song (#17). And the female Boys(#4), for some peculiar reason, struck me as being trendy 1960s teachers forming a group (I think it was the singer with the glasses that had me thinking that way)

    2. Bloody teachers. They have to spoil everything. Probably went off on a 6 week holiday after recording that one.

  5. Too much for me, but based on 10-20 second clips of each I'm going for 9 and 14. 1 is surely far too weedy to be The Action?

    1. But Reg King's voice very recognisable!

    2. 10-20 seconds of 18 songs is still quite an investment in these days of fast-consumption media bites.

  6. My instinct is to go with the ones I already knew and liked, which are 1 and 11. But also enjoying 9, 10 and 14.

  7. I could only squeeze roughly 15 seconds for each. In a couple of cases (#17 in particular), 15 seconds of my life that I may have used differently, with hindsight.

    On the good side? #1, 2, 6 and 11 for me. #12? Oh dear, oh dear. #17? Makes New Edition sound good and that's really saying something, as Bananarama and Fun Boy 3 once said.

    1. As I said to Ernie, 15 seconds x 18 songs is still quite a commitment. Appreciated, K.


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