Known as “one-hit-wonders” for their MTV mega-hit “Turning Japanese,” which peaked at 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980, The Vapors are perhaps one of the most criminally underrated bands of the “new wave era.”
Personally, I love this band so much that the record store I opened right out of college was named “New Clear Days,” after the first Vapors album. That was the one record my business partner and I could agree on when it came to in-store play. Both the New Clear Days album and its excellent follow-up, Magnets are highly original and insanely catchy, hook-laden, power pop masterworks.
“Turning Japanese,” from New Clear Days, believed by many to be an anthem to masturbation (a claim denied by songwriter/vocalist David Fenton), has persisted as one of the iconic new wave singles of the early ‘80s.
The Vapors recently reunited in England after a 35-year-hiatus for a series of shows.
A US-based Vapors fan, Evan Blonder from Long Island, recently launched a crowd-funding campaign via GoFundMe to bring the band over to the United States to play three shows in New York City. The band has not played in the States since 1980. Blonder’s campaign hopes to raise $23,000 to cover the cost of performer’s visas, flights, and accommodations to bring the band and their crew over. As of this writing, the campaign is about a third of the way to its goal.
The campaign offers a number of perks for donors, including meet and greet opportunities—though it does not appear that any of the perks are a simple concert ticket.
After the jump, a fantastic live recording of the last time The Vapors were in New York, back in 1980. If you are a fan, you will not want to miss this…