The Ruts : Staring At The Rude Boys
On March 27, 1980 The Ruts released their UK#22 hit "Staring At The Rude Boys", a song about the crowded night club scene that invokes a special kind of nostalgia in this day of social distancing:
The skins in the corner are staring at the bar
The rude boys are dancing to some heavy heavy ska
It's getting so hot people are dripping with sweat
The punks in the corner are speeding like a jet
The single came in a sleeve that doubled as a crossword puzzle. The first to complete the puzzle and return it to Virgin Records won a night on the town with the band (they pay). Second prize is The Ruts stay at your home (you pay).
The song is another great reminder that The Ruts were one of England's best bands.
Unbeknownst to anyone at this point, The Ruts had played their last concert with front man Malcolm Owen at Plymouth Polytechnic on 26 February. His heroin addiction would soon force Owen to sell all of his possessions, separate from his wife and move in with his parents. In July he would be found dead of an overdose in the bath at his parents' home.
The single's B-side, originally titled "Love in Vein", was another Owen song about heroin. The reggae tune features the line "Don't want you in my arms no more" . A book about The Ruts shares the title.