Fear singer/honcho Lee Ving is a divisive figure who’s been called a LOT of things ending in “-head.” The unabashedly juvenile and boneheaded misanthropy in Fear’s lyrics makes him a hero to anti-PC reactionaries (he’s called himself an “equal opportunity offender” in interviews, which right there is a huge dog whistle), and a juvenile misanthropic bonehead to everyone else. He’s basically a loudmouth who unabashedly speaks his mind, a quality considered highly praiseworthy by people who happen to think like him. I can think of another figure who appeals to reactionaries for “speaking exactly what’s on his mind.” I’ll shut up now.
But whatever you can say about Ving’s assholiness, his band left a pretty remarkably big musical stain on Hardcore. In their 39 year history (of the original band only Ving remains) they released only two truly significant albums—1982’s The Record and 1985’s More Beer. Since then their output has been paltry, sporadic, and lacking in fire. It’s clear the band exhausted its trove of ideas early; their last album, 2012’s The Fear Record, is merely a re-recording of their debut. But that debut was sufficiently loaded with classics that it practically constitutes a best-of in its own right. That, and the publicity generated by their infamously chaotic Saturday Night Live appearance (the were invited by John Belushi) made the utterly misanthropic and hostile Fear, for better or for worse, the band civilians thought of when they thought of Hardcore at all, which let’s face it, didn’t do punk a whole lot of favors in the public relations department. As with all things Ving, your mileage may vary.
So whether you think he’s a savior or a destroyer, it’s fairly inarguable that he genuinely deserves the honor of his own bobblehead figure. Ving lately joins DEVO, Descendents, Mike Watt, Wendy O. Williams, and GG Allin, among other underground heroes, in Aggronautix’s “Throbblehead” line of punk rock bobbleheads. He’s the 30th punk icon so honored, and his edition of figures is limited to 1000, numbered. And it looks a damn shot cuddlier than the real-life model. If these don’t sell, maybe Aggronautix can lop off the middle finger, scrub the Fear logos, and try to pass these off as Joe Strummer.
Pre-orders are happening now at Aggronautix’s web site. The figures are expected to ship this summer.