The prolific mania that is the career of Billy Childish began with the first album of the long forgotten Pop Rivets back in 1979. Recorded for a meager 300 pounds in someone's front room,it was released as the very first full length independent record of the punk era.
Reissued previously on Hangman Records as part of the Hangman Legend Series in the 1990s (and renamed The Original First Album on that reissue), Damaged Goods has seen fit to reissue the album on cd in 2004.
The Pop Rivets were a post punk outfit which preceded Billy Childish's big group of the 1980s, Thee Milkshakes. Joining Billy in The Pop Rivets was Russell Square, Will Power and Valentine Lax (who was later replaced by Bruce Brand who went on to play in many of Billy's groups throughout the years, as well as with Holly Golightly). The raw energy that The Pop Rivets had similar to other bands from the day like The Swell Maps, The Damned, and The Toy Dolls - with hints of mod, ska and the beat sound Billy would explore in Thee Milkshakes.
While Billy's vision wasn't perfectly formed yet, his intent and inspirations were, and any shortcomings found on this album are made up for because of Billy Childish's youthful buzzing energy. The sounds Billy recorded here in 1979 still inspire the British punk sounds of later bands like The Armitage Shanks. Anyone interested in the music of Billy Childish must check The Pop Rivets out.
Things start out with Billy and a spoken intro of "When I was young, I had a Beatles wig...." on Fun In The UK in which he compares his love for 1960s beat music and the whole new scene of punk rock. One of the best moments on the album. Billy continues this theme on the song Beatle Boots which makes an anthem out of the theme. After the failure of The Pop Rivets, Billy would explore his love for 1960s beat music in Thee Milkshakes.
Billy shows his mod side on Lambrettavespascoota which also shows The Pop Rivets with a real sense of humor. The ska side of The Pop Rivets is shown on Hipocrite. Disco Fever shows the boys at their make fun of disco best - for a real laugh. The Kray Twins is Billy at his angst filled best - a song which was later covered to perfection by The Armitage Shanks (with Billy).