Friday, August 28, 2015

NOFX – "Clams Have Feelings Too (Actually They Don't)" (2000)

No chowder for you
'Cause clams have feelings, too

Long before the English colonized New England, native Americans living near the Atlantic coast harvested and consumed huge quantities of clams.

The early-day colonists would eat clams when they were in danger in starving, but otherwise viewed the bivalves as more suitable food for their pigs than for themselves.

Fried clams
Today, in the words of food writer David Leite, "fried clams are to New England what barbecue is to the South."  

For some folks, the lobster roll is the ne plus ultra of summer beach cuisine.  But I think even a good lobster roll pales in comparison to a plate of belly clams fresh from the Friolator.

Lawrence "Chubby" Woodman, who hailed from Essex, Massachusetts, is usually credited with inventing fried clams.

"Chubby" Woodman
Woodman and his wife, Bessie, ran a small concession stand that sold homemade potato chips, fresh soft-shell clams that Chubby dug himself, and other items.  The story goes that on July 3, 1916, Woodman complained to a visiting friend that "business is slower than a couple of snails headed uphill."  The friend jokingly told Woodman he should drop a bunch of freshly-harvested soft-shell clams into his big lard-filled potato-chip fryer and see what happened.  Later, that day Woodman decided to give his friend's crazy suggestion a try.

Ninety-nine years later, Woodman's of Essex is still frying up clams.  

Woodman's of Essex, MA
Don't confuse the soft-shell clams used to make fried clams with the hard-shell sea clams that are dredged further offshore.  The "foot" of the hard-shelled sea clams was used to make the belly-less clam strips that were once sold by the now-defunct Howard Johnson's restaurant chain.  The squishy, briny bellies are what make fried clams special. 

Fried-clam aficionados think that clams from muddy environments are tastier than clams harvested on Cape Cod, where the clam flats are much sandier.

Earlier this month, I had muddy fried clams at Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery, Maine – just north of the Piscataqua River that separates Maine from New Hampshire – and I had sandy fried clams at Kream 'n' Kone in West Dennis, Massachusetts, which opened for business in 1953.  

Both of these large, bustling clam shacks turn out excellent fried clams and delicious onion rings.

Of course, man does not live by fried clams alone.  In the next 2 or 3 lines, we'll visit two other classic New England clam shacks where I opted for fried scallops and fried oysters instead of fried clams.  

NOFX is a Los Angeles punk band that formed in 1983.  Despite the fact that they have never been signed to a major record label, NOFX has sold eight million albums worldwide.

The bands most successful album was Punk in Drublic, which was released in 1994 and eventually went gold.

Later, NOFX released a compilation album titled 45 or 46 Songs That Weren't Good Enough to Go on Our Other Records.  It contains 47 songs.

"Clams Have Feelings Too (Actually They Don't)" was released on the group's 2000 album, Pump Up The Valuum.  (The band purposely misspelled Valium in hopes of avoiding a trademark lawsuit.)

It's not that great a song, but I'd like to see you come up with a song about clams that's better.

Here's "Clams Have Feelings Too (Actually They Don't)":

Click below to order the song from Amazon:

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