Saturday, November 17, 2018

Greta Garbage and the Trash Cans: Irish Proto Punk/Glam from 1975/The Radiators from Space "Television Screen"/"Don’t call me blank generation I’m doin’ the best that I can"

I recently discovered a great proto punk track from 1975 Dublin. May I present Greta Garbage and the Trashcans “The Girl With the Luminous Brain.” To me it sounds a bit like the first two Eno solo lps mixed with Neu! ‘75 among other things (plus some submerged Roxy Music/Stones/Dolls creeping in) . With the “beam me up Scotty” (and “Lost in Space”) references placing them in the class of ’75 Star Trek fans alongside Zolar X! Even the opening line “is she really going out with this brain” predates and to me comes maybe a little too close to the start of the Damned’s “New Rose.”  Coincidence? Yeah, probably.

Who was Greta Garbage and the Trash Cans? None other than the precursor of the unheralded Radiators from Space with the great Pete Holidai, Steve Averill and Billy Morley (in the photo below).  Radiators guitarist Pete Holidai has only posted one Greta Garbage track and we can all thank him for that. For some reason the Radiators from Space TV Tube Heart album is not often discussed in the same hallowed tones as other 1977 punk albums. It is truly a classic and the somewhat recent 2 cd reissue is a must to grab. The Chiswick 45 version from April 1977 of “Television Screen” has always been a favourite (and about twice as fast as the lp version).

What I didn’t quite realise until recently was the Greta Garbage namecheck in the lyrics to “Television Screen”:
So here I am, just watch me now I’ve got a new band It’s the victim and the weapon this guitar in my hand Greta Garbage Trashcans playing hard and fast Things are looking good at last Don’t call me blank generation I’m doin’ the best that I can  
I did get to see the late Radiator’s guitarist Philip Chevron when he played with the Joe Strummer led Pogues at the Wiltern in LA back in 1991.  Chevron had this to say about the name change to the Radiators in an interview in Punk Globe: “I didn't change it of course, but my guess is that Steve and Pete changed it because it felt a bit Glam Rock by 1975.” I think now is the time for Pete to get the rest of the tracks out. Kickstarter?
So here I am, just watch me now/ I’ve got a new band/ It’s the victim and the weapon this guitar in my hand/ Greta Garbage Trashcans playing hard and fast/ Things are looking good at last/ Don’t call me blank generation I’m doin’ the best that I can
Read all about Greta Garbage (and the even earlier Bent Fairy and the Punks) as well as how U2 fits into all of this here.


  1. An absolute delight and real thrill to check in on WW this evening and discover a treasure trove of posts unseen by mine eyes to date. Yours is a truly cherished blog. Phast Phreddie, 'I Got A Right', Ubu, Birdman, BÖC - exemplary taste at all times. 'Is she really going out with him/her/it/this brain' of course being a homage to the great Shangrilas. Even Iggy got in on the act on 'I Snub You' on Soldier. I'm aghast that Chris D couldn't dig the Dogs live. Surely he would revise his opinion in latter days. I like your assessment of the Masque and RFH fundamentally like-minded cliques meeting and being unable to gel. You'll have seen the complete Slash archive at Of course. Many many thanks.

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  2. Thanks for the great comment William. Much appreciated! And yes, the circulation zero archive is a great public service.

  3. John (?), Dave LAing here, I've lost your details and I want to talk to you about Reddy Teddy and other stuff. I've restarted Dog Meat under it's original name Grown Up Wrong! my email address is

  4. great article, love the retro album covers! I will go and check out their music, thanks for the share:)