I’ve said that this blog will cover everything 2000AD-related (with exceptions where I don’t actually own said item and not including reprints). There’s been a few songs written over the years, a few official and others of varying degrees of ‘canonicity’. This one wasn’t licenced but is covered in a 2000AD article, so that gives it a ‘fair’ official rating in my book. There is another unlicenced song which was released the year before, but I’ll come to that in about a prog-year from now…
The article in Prog 264 starts off by saying the song was written by Spizz (name presumably adapted from birth name Kenneth Spiers) and released by the band known as Spizzenergi 2. I say ‘known as’ as they changed their name every year, so were variously called Spizz 77 (in 1977), Spizzoil (1978), Spizzenergi (1979), Athletico Spizz 80 (in 1980), The Spizzles (1981), Spizzernergi 2 (in 1982), Spizz (1987), Spizz Orbit (1988), solo projects SpizzOrwell and Spizz and the Astronauties. Unfortunately my copy of this single lost its cover before it found its way to me. Looking at the very yellow cover the section of city shown reminds me of the between block city bottom (actually Johannesburg and Cape Town) in the opening shots of the 2012 Dredd film. The song was released in February 1982 though covered in the prog in mid-May.
Also in the band and along for the interview, is Pete Petrol who reveals their stage outfit was also inspired by Dredd. I’ve tried to find pics online of their early eighties stage appearances but couldn’t find anything so only have the photo in the article of Spizz and Pete. They’re both wearing dark outfits, one has a pseudo shoulder pads and a bullet belt, while the other carries a helmet which may or may not be made out of cardboard – the photo is not clear.
Enough of all that – how about the song itself? It’s a pretty accessible punk song from about the time that punk was being eclipsed by new romantics and new wave (and probably the new wave of heavy metal). Lyrics-wise I’ve always thought the description of Mega-City Three in the song bears more in common with what little we’ll ever see of Mega-City Two on the Western seaboard of North America, rather than Texas City. I love my continuity so I’ll dissect the ‘facts’ in this non-canon song. The song claims the city is the biggest on the planet with the highest population – which I’m pretty sure is Mega-City (before the Apocalypse War which is when this single was released) though I can stand to be proved wrong – story and prog or meg number for any references, please. This city has the tallest buildings, fastest travel, largest civic centre and biggest indoor zoo. I can imagine Texas City having all of those – if only to live up to the motto to “Walk Tall” – though I’d have thought Mega-City One or Two would have more television stations. The end of the song asks why not take a holiday in the city, so I’ll presume the other claims are all down to advertising blurb (no need for aggravation, no need for violent crime, everything they wanted, more time, everything is wonderful, everywhere is clean, a man could live forever).
The single was released as a double ‘A’-side – Mega-City Three was ‘AA’ while ‘A’ was Work. I’ve not been able to find this online, so I think you’d need to actually have the single or the Spizz Not Dead Shock! compilation to be able to listen to it. It’s a standard slice-of-life punk song with a non-standard medley of clips from unrelated songs and tunes at the end (I have no idea what they’re doing there).
Grailpage: there’s only one ‘page’ – being a double-A-side there isn’t even a reverse to the single!
Grailquote: Spizz: “With everything they wanted and they even get more time.”