I once asked a singer-songwriter friend of mine if she had the choice of having only one hit song in her lifetime—but one that would live forever—or have a string of moderately successful hits and never reach mega-stardom, which one she’d pick (my challenge was to be either Anne Rice or Harper Lee). With little hesitation, we both chose the one brief moment of glory that would last an eternity—and most likely haunt us to the grave as well. Enter A Flock of Seagulls, just one of those fortunate one-hit wonders, though they may not see it that way themselves.
Headed by Liverpool brothers Mike and Ali Score (Mike was a former hairdresser, which may account for his bird-like blond wings that garnered the band immediate attention from MTV viewers), the Flock were a synth-based outcropping of the UK new romantic movement that transferred so seamlessly to the American New Wave scene, and in fact helped create it. The band actually had three big hits in 1982—with “I Ran (So Far Away)” eclipsing “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)” and “Space Age Love Song” in popularity even though “Wishing” is the more interesting and moodier of the triage. Their underground Euro hit “Telecommunication” never charted in the US, which is a crime, for it’s certainly the best work they’ve done.
The boys were hot property for only a year or two (though they climbed back on the charts in 1984 with the forgettable “The More You Live the More You Love”) and repeatedly attempted to get back into the spotlight until well into the 1990s. But while the record companies had forgotten them, pop culture never has and the Score brothers and their famous incarnation have seen more film and TV references than many larger groups—and to greater appreciation. I mean were the Eagles the band referenced in Pulp Fiction, That 70s Show and Friends? No. It was the Flock—or at least Mike Score’s hairdo. I say take what you can get—and go pogo to these tenacious guys with your blond wings a flyin’. (Stacy Davies)
A Flock of Seagulls at Morongo Casino Resort and Spa, 49500 Seminole Dr., Cabazon, (951) 755-5391; www.morongocasinoresort.com. Sat., 10PM, $9.95