Peter Case & Paul Collins, Bar Pink, San Diego, CA [03.08.12]

Peter Case & Paul Collins

Bar Pink

Thursday, March 8, 2012

“All right, welcome to The Nerves Plimsouls Beat Breakaways show…” so announced musician Peter Case as a piece of rock and roll history went down in San Diego last night as Case and Paul Collins, co-founders of the seminal power pop punkers The Nerves, took the stage together at Bar Pink for the first time in over 30 years.

Along with guitarist Jack Lee the trio were responsible for the self-titled 1976 The Nerves EP that brought the world “Hanging On The Telephone” (later covered by Blondie). After Case and Collins split from Lee they formed the short-lived Breakaways before Collins formed The Beat and Case formed The Plimsouls. By 1985 both groups would be history — albeit a history with one of the richest songwriting legacies in the whole of rock and roll and it was wonderfully on display as the two old sparring partners ripped through a set of 25 songs with one classic tune following another. The place was packed elbow to asshole with every San Diego hipster worth their salt in attendance [including O, Gar Wood, Davey Graham, Bart Mendoza, Dennis Borlek, Louis Mello, Hector & Victor Penalosa, Joe Camacho, Peter & Teresa Barosso, Rob Bird, A.J. Larue, Brandy Bell, Chris Nelson and Layne Sterling]. The vocals were occasionally ragged (but right) and the rhythm section of bassist Timm Buechler and drummer Amos Pitsch kept the set tough and taut. Summer Twins opened the show.

These songs prove that great compositions never die, they’re just waiting for someone to breath life into them once again. One of my favorite moments of the show: Case stating that the first time he went on the internet and did a Google search on The Nerves the bio said Paul Collins, born 1956 drums. Peter Case, born 1954 bass. Jack Lee, born 1922 clarinet.” Peter was riffing like a mad man between songs relating about how he wrote his first song at the age of eleven (title: “Stay Away From Me”). Also there was quite the riff on “I’m sick of getting fucked. I’m sick of getting fucked, that’s the name of this tour.” Collins: “Oh Peter when we broke up I cried like a baby.” Case: “Bullshit!” Wow, you wonder why they ever stopped. I’m sure that these 28 gigs that they have lined up will serve as some form of therapy or at least as a reminder of why these songs were so great in the first place and why maybe they had to each pursue their own path because a ship can only stand the authority of one captain at the helm and neither of these gentlemen are suited to be junior officers. Not by a long shot.

1) How Long Will It Take?
2) Don’t Wait Up For Me
3) Great Big World
4) Little Suzy
5) House On The Hill
6) Work-A-Day World
7) Women
8) I Don’t Fit In
9) Oldest Story In The World
10) Zero Hour
11) Give Me Some Time
12) Working Too Hard
13) When You Find Out
14) Let Me Into Your Life
15) Now
16) Rock N Roll Girl
17) A Million Miles Away
18) U.S.A.
19) Hanging On The Telephone
20) Many Roads To Follow
21) One Way Ticket
22) Paper Dolls
23) Do You Want To Love Me?
24) Everyday Things
25) Walking Out On Love