Sued51's Blog

{September 11, 2012}   A Fan’s History of 80’s Boston Bands: W is for Willie Alexander

By the time I saw Willie Alexander, he had been around the Boston scene for 15 years. I knew his songs “Mass Ave” and “Kerouac” from the “Live at the Rat – 1976” album. We went to see him because he was one of Eric’s favorites.

On the AllMusic web site bio, they say he is known as the answer to the trivia question: “Who took Lou Reed’s place in The Velvet Underground?” But Willie is so much more than the answer to a rock trivia question. The most common word I saw used when researching this post was “survivor” because of the number of years he has been involved in music in the Boston area (over 30 years). But in the 80’s, Willie was also incredibly popular in France, so it isn’t only in Boston that we know of “Willie Loco.” His albums were released on the New Rose label. The single, “Gin” shown in my photo was more popular in France than in the US.

I have the Mass Ave cd, which features Willie’s song, and I believe somewhere I have the “Live at the Rat” LP, but my albums are packed away and I can’t get to them. I did manage to dig up a couple of singles I bought on sale at Strawberries for inclusion in this post. Kind of sad to see the price of $.19, but most people who ever saw him would say his performances were priceless.


peters154 says:

He reminds me a little of David Johansen, gritty but with some humor. Always liked seeing his ‘Bass Rocks’ video on V66. Now I’m going to have ‘Bass Rocks’ going through my head.


sued51 says:

Ah…”Bass Rocks”! I remember that! I’ll have to look for that on YouTube!



Dan Petitpas says:

Wow! Thanks for the memories! Just found your blog and read all the Boston rock music pieces. Boston truly had national-level acts back then. I only went out once or twice a month, but tried to catch Human Sexual Response, The Unnatural Axe, Lou Miama, The Neighborhoods, etc. as much as I could. Never thought it would end, but raising the drinking age to 21 and rising real estate values contributed to kill the Boston New Wave scene and close many of the clubs where new bands could play. Don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again!


sued51 says:

You are right, Dan. I think it was a unique and wonderful time! I was lucky because I had turned 18 before they raised the drinking age and was able to go out and see the great acts that I saw.
Thanks for reading and commenting!


eof737 says:

Pretty cool group. Sue… If you add a recent posts box on your sidebar, it would make navigation so much easier. For some reason, you don’t seem to have a previous/next post arrow on this template. 🙂


sued51 says:

Thanks for the suggestion…I’ll see if I can fix it this weekend…working extra hours this week…:-(


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