Manage episode 360465766 series 2898977
Chicago would become a major ska town in the 90s as the home of Jump Up Records, Slapstick, and Fireside Bowl. But before any of this took off, there was Heavy Manners, a Chicago ska/reggae band that formed in 1980. Within a few years, Heavy Manners were the biggest band (of any genre) in town, but they weren't able to create the same kind of passionate following outside of Chicago. So, in 1984, they threw in the towel.
Today we speak to Heavy Manners lead singer Kate Fagan. Before forming the band, she released the underground hit single, "I Don't Wanna Be Too Cool," which has become a sought-after punk collector's item. On Feb 24, 2023, Captured Tracks Records put out a long-awaited reissue of "I Don't Wanna Be Too Cool," along with several previously unreleased Kate Fagan tracks.
We talked about Heavy Manners and Kate's work with Rock Against Racism in Chicago. (She once booked Patti Smith at an event!). We talk about Heavy Manners getting to open for The Clash, The English Beat and Peter Tosh--they eventually cut some tracks with Tosh and Bob Marley's engineer Dennis Thompson. And we talk about some of Heavy Manners' famous fans like filmmaker John Hughes, actor John Cusack, and Ministry's frontman Al Jourgensen.
We also talk about Chicago's overall music scene in the 70s and 80s, Kate's musical, The Kissing Concept, and discuss some great non-religious Christmas songs. Lots of opinions!