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JAGUAR- Back Street Woman, b/w Chasing the Dragon 7″ (Heavy Metal Records, UK, 1981)

jaguar_firstfrontjaguar_firstbackjaguar_firstvinylajaguar_firstvinylbThere was this guy. Everybody just called him “Psycho” and he seemed to feel comfortable with the name given. Where it originated from, I did not know at first. A skinny geezer, always nervous, hectic, driven, always muttering his words, never standing still with a curtain of hair around his pingpong-head. He was in his late 30s and was known for possessing one of the largest Metal and Punk collections far and wide and one day in 1982, he finally invited me to his apartment. I was surprised to see a very chic, two level apartment, with a spiral stairway in the middle of the living room. He led me straight away to that stairway to the upper level. There were like 2 or 3 rooms and he opened the door to one of them. No, he didn’t really open the door, it was more like storming the room. The main light was off, but endless lines of fairy lights and tinsel decorated the room. The altar. It was full of records, thousands of them, many on display, drapped with tinsel in gold and silver, lights, candles and things like that. It was kind of freaky and I felt very uncomfortable right away. There was no record player in the room, I clearly remember that. I started going through the records and could feel that long, silent pain that you sometimes feel when you see records you’d love to have so much. He had them all. A bit later, he pointed to the first JAGUAR single on the wall. It was sleeveless. I said: “I’ve seen this with a picture sleeve. Why is yours missing?” – “I was married”, he answered, with his head constantly turning and moving around, “and last year my young boy put on a Micky Mouse sticker on the front of the sleeve, so I had to smack him. My wife then decided it was enough and she left me.” He said that like a machine would talk: Quietly and without the slightest emotion.
In the early 90s, he overdosed on heroin; he had begun trading in his collection for the powder a few years earlier, but I didn’t know that. I knew I had bought some of his records at the local shop, but I did not know until later I practically bought off his life with every piece of vinyl I took home.

Back Street Woman.mp3
Chasing the Dragon.mp3

27 Comments

  1. mitch

    one of the best nwobhm records at least in my books. just when the 2nd 7″ was released I saw them live at a local pub in Avon. it was a great show with battleaxe and split beaver on the bill too. jaguar were so fast live it sounded like sped up punk to my ears. great great.
    excellent (!) writing, by the way.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 05:07 | Permalink
  2. Jerry B

    yeah lifes funny like that sometimes.. we had a dude like that here, a gay an skinhead with a taste for young boys that used to invite young punks and runaways into his house to hang out. Al fairly innocent, just listening to some records drinking beer, snorting speed and spying on the neighbors thru his telescope. One day one of his junkie “catches” stole all his records and they started turning up at the local 2nd hand shops. He drank so much each day you could find him passed out in the street in front of a bar (they always ended up throwing him out) in the rain, snow, no matter the weather. I wonder what became of him.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 05:24 | Permalink
  3. Par

    Jaguar was one of those bands that my older cousins got me to like even if the cover to the Power games LP is ugly as hell.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 06:09 | Permalink
  4. Thanks Mitch and Jerry B for the stories!
    Pär: Sorry for not writing back to you, but as soon as I saw you could leave comments again, I forgot about the mail until earlier this afternoon. nd yes, the LP cover is extremely tasteless, but the music is fantastic!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 06:18 | Permalink
  5. Ryan

    “Chasing the Dragon” isn’t working.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 06:42 | Permalink
  6. Fixed!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 06:46 | Permalink
  7. back street man

    finally a quality rip of this 7″. would you mind postin the 2nd 7″ too?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 06:57 | Permalink
  8. Antropox

    great music you have here man, all the records you have here are jewels to me, in my country this recors are very hard or impossible to find, thanks man.
    Great band by the way :)
    Greetings from Chile

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 10:19 | Permalink
  9. What a sad story. The guy might have been a creep, but it still sounded all too familiar. I bet in every town were there ever was a punk scene you can hear something like it. I know of at least two people from my hometown Hamburg, who sold their punk collections for drugs in the early 90`s.
    I guess extreme music draws in extreme people but it just seems unfair, that the people that end up KEEPING the biggest punk collections are the least punk themselves.
    Nevertheless, count me to the collectors…

    Cheers
    Andreas

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 11:01 | Permalink
  10. What's the Truth?

    Thanks for this, Erich. It’s nice to see things swinging back to the nwobhm side (not that the recent punk posts have been bad at all!) This 7″ is great! There is a special place in my heart for the faster nwobhm stuff.

    I’ve always wondered where the desire for speed came from in metal. In the early and mid 70s, it seems that a wide range of tempos were appreciated, but the fastest stuff still wasn’t particularly fast. Is this desire borrowed from some punk, perhaps?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 11:30 | Permalink
  11. Was listening to Voorhees and decided to see what you were up to. What a change in musical direction. Dig this stuff sir, a little faster than most of the other NWOBHM stuff you’ve posted. The singer’s so laid back in his singing while the music drives, a beautiful contrast. The story was equally beautiful and how perfect is that to have a band playing a song called “Chase the Dragon” and talk about a junkie record collector. Perfect Erich. How are you going to top that?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 11:41 | Permalink
  12. B4 the Dawn

    While I enjoy the music, the writing just beats the shit out of everything you have ever put here man. I don’t want to sound too melodramatic, but this had me almost weeping. How you managed to write about guilt (although I don’t think you should feel guilty) and obsession is a very small master piece. Congratulations!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 12:01 | Permalink
  13. Frank Mossi

    Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you Mr. Enrico :-D

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 12:03 | Permalink
  14. Enjoy, Anthropox!

    Thanks for the story, Andreas!

    Yeah, WTT – I do think it’s the Punk thing that forced !) the Metal bands to increase speed.

    Justin – musically, the 2nd JAGUAR 7″ will top this. It’s an incredible 7″!

    Thanks B4 & Frank, one of the steadiest commentators here.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 14:18 | Permalink
  15. What's the Truth?

    Erich,

    I think it was punk, too. I’d love to find some evidence for this, if it’s even something that can be proven empirically (I’m a stickler, I know…sometimes I feel as if I’m putting together some kind of unofficial book on the late 70s/early 80s interaction between punk and metal.) Actually, it would be great if someone could do just that, but as I’m no historian, and I have no time, I merely fantasize about it.

    I agree about Jaguar, too. The 2nd 7″ is one of the best nwobhm 7″s, period! Axe Crazy is also the fastest nwobhm song I’ve ever heard. Does anyone know of anything faster, or does it claim the title?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 14:53 | Permalink
  16. Jay Thurston

    I can’t wait for you to post the 2nd 7″, Erich. This is a fucking great record and if the second is better…holy shit! Thanks again.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 20:21 | Permalink
  17. Par

    Fastest nwobhm? Does Venom count as nwobhm here? If so Witching hour is the fastest.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Apr-09 at 21:57 | Permalink
  18. No, Pär – Witching Hour is definitely not the fastest. Abaddon is too bad a drummer to even play a steady beat. I’d say JAGUAR and SAVAGE are among the fastest of the first wave, together with VENOM. Not only by the drum beat, but also because they sound fast.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 06-Apr-09 at 00:57 | Permalink
  19. WTT: I don’t really know how an empirical proof or disproof actually could look like. I’d just say it’s pretty obvious, plus we have some nwobhm bands with a “punk past”. Also, one should never forget how AC/DC were preceived when they got popular outside Australia: The 2nd german 7″ had a “Punk Rock” seal printed on the cover and the whole “Let there be Rock” album reeks of punk. The speed, the emergency, the angst. Wow, I need to play it right now!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 06-Apr-09 at 01:02 | Permalink
  20. What's the Truth?

    Erich: Now this is exactly the sort of information I’m looking for. It would be great if some people had actually admitted to going faster because of punk, but this kind of thing is important as well. As far as punk-nwobhm connections so far, I’ve got:

    Paul Di’anno (was a punk before Maiden, funny because other members claimed to hate punk)
    Tank (Algy Ward was in the Damned)
    Brats (not from the UK, but a perfect example)
    Venom (admit to punk influence)
    Thin Lizzy (not nwobhm, but an important influence, Lynott created the Greedies with members of Sex Pistols, supported punk)
    the obvious Motorhead (not nwobhm, played with the Damned and other bands, covered, supported, and influenced punk)
    Saxon (Biff Byford admits punk influence, supported the Clash)
    Diamond Head (Brian Tatler admits punk influence)
    Girlchool (Kim McAuliffe admits punk influence, band shared flat with UK Subs)
    Trust (again not necessarily nwobhm, but admitted punk influence)

    I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff. I’d love to hear any more info anyone has on the topic. Also, for anyone interested, this Guardian article on nwobhm covers some of this, and offers some other interesting info about life in a nwobhm band as well: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/jan/02/saxon-rock-music

    [Reply]

    Posted on 06-Apr-09 at 09:50 | Permalink
  21. Ryan

    I think this post is just about the only way one could make listening to Jaguar a bit of a downer.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 06-Apr-09 at 14:30 | Permalink
  22. Ryan

    Algy Ward also played with The Saints, who I think are pretty overlooked.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 06-Apr-09 at 16:31 | Permalink
  23. howardx

    yep this thing rocks! bought it when it came out. should have it around here somewhere…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 06-Apr-09 at 17:43 | Permalink
  24. I guess when I asked you about this post “How are you going to top that” (I was talking about the great writting as well), you have answered my question, post the second 7″. A perfect idea, as you said “the 2nd JAGUAR 7″ will top this”, although you also wrote on a bold sign here Never ask for: reups-cassette copies-favors of any sort-mustard on meat served with wine and so on. Son not as a favor but consider it your duty to post that second 7″. All joking aside, I really appreciate this one as it’s the first NWOBH I’ve taken a fancy to in a while. This one was really eye openning. Great comment too from WTT.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 07-Apr-09 at 16:59 | Permalink
  25. gg allin

    i’m into the iron maiden and satan nwobhm so this really doesn’t do anything for me. how great writing. erich please post some hardcore/death metal/grindcore soon please? i would really be greatful. but still erich you are amazing dude.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 08-Apr-09 at 02:46 | Permalink
  26. Charlie M

    Re “Girlchool (Kim McAuliffe admits punk influence, band shared flat with UK Subs)” – bassist Gil Weston had been in The Killjoys.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 08-Apr-09 at 15:25 | Permalink
  27. b e h j a n

    Isn´t the RED RAGE “Total Control” 7″ on Flicknife Rec´s one of the coolest NWOBHM records (from April 1980) ?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 10-Apr-09 at 05:29 | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] One of the undisputable landmarks of the New Wave of Brititsh Heavy Metal: Fast & furious, highly melodic and catchy as fuck – the send 7″ by JAGUAR. “Axe crazy” features speedy double bass action that predates most in the Speed / Thrash Metal genre. Totally like a sped up version of DIAMOND HEAD. Insane, this song, insane. Whenever I played this in the past 26 years that I knew it, it left me speechless. I played this 7″ so often that I totally ruined it. Had to buy me a spare copy recently. The flip, “War MAchine” is just as great, though it’s not as fast. I don’t know, but JAGUAR always created this heavy, thick atmosphere, kinda gloomy, so that every touching of the chords, every break sounds meaningful. You cannot top this, you simple can’t. This is one perfect, flawless, timeless 7″. For the band’s first 7″ and a bit more text, follow this link. […]

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