Modernettes – Barbra

This 1980 song is from a Vancouver punk band called The Modernettes.

I ran across this song searching for power pop songs. This one is VERY Ramones like. It’s a fun song. They did play more than punk… they ventured into power-pop recordings.

There is a documentary about the Vancouver punk rock scene in the late 70s and early 80s with Henry Rollins and Duff Mckagan that includes the Modernettes called Bloodied and Unbowed…this is the trailer but the documentary is on there also.

The Modernettes were formed in 1979, with John Armstrong, aka Buck Cherry, and Mary Armstrong, aka Mary-Jo Kopechne (yea tasteless). John formed the Modernettes soon after drafting drummer John McAdams and Mary to form the three-piece lineup.

In 1980, the Modernettes recorded the debut EP Strictly Confidential. It was released under the Quintessence Records label. A second EP, Teen City, followed quickly. It included the band’s strongest and probably most popular song, “Barbara.” Though the group pulled together a strong following, true success eluded them.

The Modernettes only completed one full album, Get It Straight.

Barbra

there’s a new little girl in my home class
you know i’m talking about barbra
and everybodys thinks that she’s such a gas
b-a-r-b-r-a barbra

shes the girl i love forever
we’ll spend our lives together
barbra

well the dogs are gonna slide so she can pass
you know i’m talking about barbra
and everybodys looking and thats such a gas
b-a-r-b-r-a barbra
i envy the guy she kiss last
i just wanna skip class with barbra

there’s a new little girl in my home class
you know i’m talking about barbra
and everybodys thinks she’s such a gas
b-a-r-b-r-a barbra

shes the girl i love forever
you know im talking about barbra
talking about barbra
talking about barbra
talking about barbra

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “Modernettes – Barbra”

  1. Well, strangely the video isn’t showing up here… I might try to look it up later on this evening. Hope the girl’s in it! As I commented on another post yesterday, Canada had a big punk scene in early-’80s but few bands got coast-to-coast attention besides Teenage Head, so you’d see different local favorites in cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal which were fairly unknown elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is wild…I don’t know why it didn’t work…I just tried it. I posted the studio cut also just now but you will want to see the video…yep she is in it.

      It is very Ramones.

      Like

    1. WOW…I looked them up and loved what I heard. It’s a shame many of those bands were never heard of again. I want to see that documentary about the Vancouver scene then…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Van had a solid scene and that docs good. I think Dawn from the ;Dishrags is in it. They’re a couple docs I think.
        Armstrong went on to be a music critic for a while. I always trusted his takes. The guy I liked the best from that group of bands was Art Bergman. Check him out. Try ‘Bound For Vegas’ it might give you and idea. He was good.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I will check it out. I’m a lover of power pop and a lot of these bands qualify at times with their music.

        I will check him out CB. One of those docs is on YouTube completely…. the Dishrags… gotta love that name.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is cool… I would proudly wear it!

        Yea man that is the story of a lot of those power pop/punk bands… some of them deserved more acclaim but just didn’t reach it… Big Star is a famous example of that

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I just checked out Bound for Vegas…Rocking little tune…No frills…just a straight through rocker.
        I bet he would… mention them.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yea man that fits the Big Star mode much more! I really like that man. I’ll start listen to more of his stuff…that song is exactly the music I like

        CB if you don’t mind…and it’s a chore but in the next few days would you mind if I emailed you some of my stuff I recorded myself…if you could take the time to listen to a little of it? Only around 5-6 songs? It’s not great and they are just demos and I multitracked myself playing guitar, bass, bad vocals…had to program drums…that I can’t play those.

        Liked by 1 person

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