Fear – Starwood Ad – 1982 Nomag – Image: Reserve LA
One of the most enduring albums from punk’s true era is 1982’s lude and crude “The Record,” in which singer Lee Ving (yup, strip-club dude from “Flashdance”) can be found belting out some honest-to-goodness scat singing on “Beef Bologna,” before he and the rest of the band let loose with another slab of sonic brutality.
There perhaps was a time when the term “beef bologna” did not carry a sexual connotation — and it certainly is funny to think the song might be about a proud butcher shop owner — but Ving and co. try to keep the message pretty lowest common dominator on their debut. Seeing as its following albums were titled “More Beer” (1985) — with Nazi-esque cover art, no less — and “Have Another Beer With Fear” (1995), it became a tradition.
Ving also had a fetish for confrontation. Take these lyrics from “I Don’t Care About You,” also off “The Record”:
“I’ve seen an old man have a heart attack in Manhattan.
Well he just died while we just stood there lookin’ at him.
Ain’t he cute?”
Now, “Beef Bologna” is undisputedly a classic. But you wouldn’t know it from the version on Fear’s re-recorded album, “The Fear Record,” released this past November. Perhaps wanting to one-up Peter Hook on his recent world tours performing Joy Division albums, sole original Fear member Ving decided to redo “The Record” 30 years later. It’s like Dave Grohl grabbing a bunch of session players and putting out a new “Nevermind” in the year 2021.
Here’s footage of Ving performing “Beef Boloney” (new spelling) with his surrogates in March 2012 in Dallas:
And, finally, here’s the only link I’ve been able to find that I can share of the version of “Beef Boloney” from the new album (I listen to it on Spotify): http://songs.to/#!s=Beef+Baloney&c=title