Wednesday, November 18, 2009

[news] Spoon - "Quincy Punk Episode" Revealed

Before CSI, there was Quincy, M.E.

Up until now, I've never understood Spoon's reason behind the naming of "Quincy Punk Episode", a great song which appears on the very underrated Series of Sneaks LP. Today I came across an article railing on the old TV show Quincy, M.E. and it's portrayal of punk in its infamous episode "Next Stop Nowhere."

For those of you like me who are unfamiliar with the show, it's not too surprising. Originally aired in the mid '70s and early '80s, this show probably pre-dates most Spoon fans. Quincy M.E. was the original forensic crime-buster television series, and without it, we might not have such shows today like CSI or Bones (you either love it or hate it for that). The premise of Quincy, M.E. revolved around a coroner (Dr. R. Quincy, Medical Examiner) who uncovered murders based on his findings while inspecting the dead. What's surprising to me is that the police he worked for made enough mistakes for his show to last 7 years.

So in 1982, Quincy M.E. decided to air the episode "Next Stop Nowhere" which involved the murder of some dude at a "punk" concert. The stereotypes are absolutely ridiculous (see the episode trailer below), and no surprise, the music is blamed for the kid's death. I'm sure this freaked some parents into banning punk music in their respective households, but the major fallout from this episode was the spawning of "Quincy punk," a term used to denote the punk-rock posers who worried more about the height of their mohawk than the "true spirit" of being punk.

So because of my ignorance of '70s crime scene investigation TV shows, I never made the connection to where Spoon's "Quincy Punk Episode" got its name. I'm glad I know this random bit of knowledge, and hope others learn it, too. Posted below is a good live version of the song from 2007 at San Francisco's Treasure Island, courtesy of the BayTaper via Internet Archive.

MP3: Spoon - "Quincy Punk Episode (live)"
(live @ Treasure Island 9-16-2007)