One of the saddest parts about the chronicle surrounding the three pivotal members of the early San Francisco power pop legends, The Nerves, is that the most active member of that band currently, is the one who has the least recognizable material to the average joe on the street. In 1974 Paul Collins, Jack Lee and Peter Case formed one of the most important West Coast bands of the 1970s, self-released their debut EP and performed one of the first self-booked continental tours during the punk/new wave heyday, and still managed to hammer out some of the era's most irreplaceable and impeccably important material.
The Nerves split ways in 1977 and Case & Collins formed the short-lived band The Breakaways, who have a great posthumous LP released on Bomp! a few years back (grab it HERE), on top of Jack Lee's increasingly popular solo material, after which he never really eclipsed after "Hangin' On the Telephone." Peter Case managed to snag a great opportunity in the spotlight when his next band The Plimsouls released a stellar debut LP along with their 2nd LP teen pop classic "A Million Miles Away," which was featured prominently in the 1983 smash hit film, Valley Girl. The Plimsouls had some big radio hits, but Paul Collins' new band The Beat suffered from having one of the most infectious debut LPs of the 70s, yet somehow NOT securing their place in the hearts of the mainstream pop world. They even got a shot on American Bandstand in 1980 and despite performing their stone-cold classic "Rock'n Roll Girl" they somehow missed their chance. But you do know that every lucky soul that picks up that eponymous debut LP from The Beat has their head blown right off, and the devoted will always hold Paul Collins dear to their hearts.
Fast forward to the 2000's, and Paul Collin's Beat is as active as ever before, touring non-stop throughout the US and Europe and always delivering the goods, belting out these classics just as powerfully and real as they were when they first got exposed to audiences in the 1970s, and every bit as passionate.
This video at press time has less than 50 views total, and is clearly some of the best material to chew on, recently unearthed rare multi-angle, pro-shot video from Berkeley on May 24th, 1980, so kick that video into full-screen mode and bask in the pop prowess of The Paul Collins Beat at the top of their game, right here: