Staring At The Rude Boys
by Ruts

Album: Grin And Bear It (1980)
Charted: 22

Songfacts®:

  • This Punk classic is about going to a show and watching the scene unfold. The "Rude Boys" were followers of the two-tone Ska movement, and they had a distinctive style of dress, wearing white shirts, black coats and skinny ties, often with a fedora and sunglasses to complete the look. In this song, the Punks and Skinheads watch the Rude Boys until the inevitable fight breaks out.
  • British Punk band Gallows recorded this for their 2007 album Orchestra Of Wolves, and took the song to #31 in the UK. In their version, a reggae middle section was added and the last word of the title was spelled "Bois" instead of the correct "Boys." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Luke - Manchester, England
  • The lyrics, "The punks in the corner are speeding like a jet" is a reference to amphetamines, a popular drug in Punk culture. The line, "A bunch of B.Ms march in on D.Ms" refers to B.M., the abbreviation for the "British Movement," an extreme-right wing political group with ties in the skinhead community. Meanwhile, the "D.M.s" are Doc Martin boots, the footwear of choice for punks, skinheads, and their affiliated subcultures. "Saluting the air" is the Nazi salute, the infamous "Heil Hitler" gesture. In the line, "Everyone leaves when the heavies arrive," this is probably a reference to security personnel at the concert.
  • The Ruts were vigorous opponents of racism and the unwelcome presence of fascist-sympathizers in the Punk scene. The band comes from Southall, a London suburb long troubled by race-riots, and had much first-hand insight into the hate-fuelled damage perpetrated by the right-wing.

    The Ruts' first single, "In A Rut" was released on the People Unite label, a music collective run by members of the Southall-based roots reggae band, Misty In Roots.

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