Ghosts of Throwdowns Past: Bosstones Stuck in Neverending State of Throwback

Let’s be honest, when Bosstones announced a Rathskeller (“The Rat”) themed Hometown Throwdown this year, they had basically won the Throwback Thursday game, and it doesn’t matter what day they announced it on. They dug deep and pulled out bands I had never seen or heard of, forcing me to step up my Boston punk and ska game. Always the educators, the Bosstones have been using their Instagram account to introduce new fans to their openers as well as take the obligatory walks down Bosstones memory lane. Needless to say, it’s not just photos of their dunks. They take advantage of the caption space and really give you some background beyond the 15-second limit of the videos.

You don’t even need to be an Instagram user to enjoy. Check out their profile, bosstoneofficial. Enjoy some highlights below.

If you’re an Instagram user yourself, don’t forget to tag your photos #bostonska!

Unused footage from a video shoot?


The plaidest of the plaids?


Um, Footage from the 2nd Throwdown? The place looks kinda empty…


Obscure openers, too!

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LONG BEFORE THERE WAS MIGHTY MIGHTY THERE WAS FABULOUS It is difficult to call The Fabulous Billygoons a true Ska band but it is also nearly impossible to describe The Fabulous Billygoons at all. They were, for the most part, a punk-rock comedy act that had the uncanny ability to delight an audience while simultaneously offend all five senses of every member in the audience. They dominated (one way or another) the Boston underground in the late 1970's and the first part of 1980's. They were a group of talented friends and musicians that insisted on doing whatever they wanted to do musically, in the recording studio and on stage. They were the older kids in the neighborhood that only seemed interested in chicanery, buffoonery, and nonsense. The Fabulous Billygoons album Rhapsody in Flatulence on (Modern Methods Records) will give you some understanding of what these guys were all about and no clue as to what it is they were doing. They earned the opening spot in this new Boston Ska segment because they a) would play really great Ska music during the chaos that was a Billygoons live performance B) they opened up for The Specials at The Bradford Ballroom the first time The Specials came to Boston C) they had some amazing horn players and D) they made Madness look sane. There were so many people claiming to be "Billygoons" (peripheral players, part timers, hangers on and an enormous entourage) it's difficult to decipher who was actually in the Billygoons. The main Goons as we knew them to be were; Bernard K. Smith, Dr. Felix Kruell, M.D., General George "Friction" Burns, Lester Mahatma Miserables, Ralph Turnbuckle, Rev. Cleve Dunkan, Sir Loki Chiswick Trashington III, Well worth mentioning (or not); Suzy Tupperwher, Michael Slygh, Garry Cook, Danny McCormack, Louie Garafalo, R.B. Suber, Chris Maher, Kip Korea, Paul Frazzina, Bob Toomey, Lizzie Margin, Nancy Kiehl, Queen Tontileo Apologies to anyone who feels slighted or left out. The Boston Ska segment is designed to share some wisdom, proved some information and give a sense of the history of all that encompasses Boston Ska. #bostonska #thefabulousbillygoons #modernmethodsrecords #bostonska🕶

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Jacob Wake Up!

Jacob Wake Up! is managing editor of Boston Ska (dot) net. He's been going to ska shows since high school and never looked back. Jake lives in Roslindale and works in communications by day. You can see him perform with The New Limits or strike up conversation with him at a local ska show.

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