The story of a 1966 New Zealand garage rock song by The Bluestars that went on to influence bands around the world.
‘I’ve been labeled as an angry young man / Because I don’t fit into the master plan / Under society’s microscope / I look funny but it’s no joke
I’m a social end product so don’t blame me / I’m a social end product of society / It’s not my fault that I don’t belong / It’s the world around me that’s gone all wrong’
These are some of the lyrics to ‘Social End Product’ – released 50 years ago in October 1966 by Auckland band The Bluestars.
The song’s writer John Harris says:
‘Social End Product expressed the way I felt about the world in those days.
There was something badly wrong with the world – and still is – this was just me lashing out in an angry young man’s way – trying to say ‘this world is rotten and I feel helpless to change it.’
Though Harris can’t remember writing it or the moment he presented it to his band – the song has gone on to have a life of its own.
With snarling vocals – an unforgettable fuzzy riffs – a cough in the guitar solo and a punk rock spirit that predates the Sex Pistols by a good ten years – the song is now legendary at least internationally.
While quickly forgotten at home the song developed a cult following in the early 80s with sixties garage punk enthusiasts all over the world.
In the early 2000s the song was one of four New Zealand songs included on the Rhino Records International ‘Nuggets’ box set.
Original copies of the 45 RPM record now go for exorbitant prices on the collectors market.