The Honeycombs were an English beat band from the early 60s, with jangly guitars and catchy tunes, good looking guys in suits and, surprisingly, a female drummer, Honey Lantree, who died in 2018 just before Christmas.
According to the NY Times obituary, Anne Lantree showed up for her guitar lesson, sat down at the drum kit in the studio and was such a natural that she was soon asked to join the Sheratons, an amateur band that then changed it’s name to the Honeycombs after Lantree changed her first name to Honey.
The Honeycombs were gifted with the perfect and enduring Have I The Right? by its songwriters, Alan Blaikley and Ken Howard. Have I the Right? is a pounding love song that I would say is not so much beloved by daylight, but is shouted along with, feet stomping, in any bar or pub that nears closing time. Which makes it near perfect, some of the time.
Have I the Right? topped out at No. 5 in the US and No. 1 in the UK.
The Honeycombs had one other hit, That’s the Way, on which Honey shared vocals with regular singer Dennis D’ell.
Ellen Foley, Meatloaf backup singer, Night Court cutie, falls into bed with the Clash’s Mick Jones around Sandanista time, which is also Armagideon Time, if I’m right.
And makes a record that is individual, catchy, and well worth a listen for reasons beyond the historical ones.
For one, she can sing.
For two, Strummer Jones write tunes.
And this band can play. Maybe not what you’d expect, but what you should give a listen. The Wikipedia page is like two sentences long, no one gives a crap, but I like this album warts and all. The best cuts are great, the weak ones are interesting.
And it was made by the greatest band of all time, maybe, in mufti. Don’t believe the lack of hype.
On first meeting I remember his red Cons. Lawr looked at me and smiled like “Who are you, nice to meet you.” I said “You must like The Ramones.” That was that, we were friends, and we stayed friends for 20 years. I’ll take that to my own grave, and you will too if he was your friend.
We also lost Steve Moyer this year. These two deaths brought home a lesson to me and I want to share it. As it happens, a few years ago Steve and Lawr had a falling out. They were both highly opinionated human beings and not shy about letting you know those opinions. Steve and Lawr disagreed on a lot and went at it often. At one point one of them crossed the line – actually since I heard both sides of the story I’d say they both crossed the line – and they stopped speaking. They were each royally pissed at the other and I’m sure I’m not the only one who got an earful from both of them. But the story has a happy ending: they reconciled and died as friends.
Bury the hatchet. Forgive each other, for we all need to be forgiven. Gonna miss you, brother Lawr.
Heard the studio version of this on the radio today. It’s a little (a little) more controlled than this, which makes it stranger, but this live version is pretty darn strange itself. The studio version is on an album called Squeeze This, which isn’t streaming.
I’ve been listening to the album that takes its title from this song a lot, for months. It is a great elpee, which we’ll have to commune with later. The album doesn’t seem to be streaming, but there is this live version of this dark and resonant song. Ignore the hair, dig the tune.