About Come On
One of the most forgotten bands of the late-'70s New York punk and new wave scene, Come On recorded the self-released single "A Kitchen in the Clouds"/"Don't Walk on the Kitchen Floor,," and showed up on the ROIR compilation Singles: The Great New York City Singles Scene with "Disneyland." With their jagged funk-rock rhythms, spiky amelodic guitar figures, and the yelping, half-hysterical vocals of lead singer Jamie Kaufman, Come On were probably more similar to the Talking Heads than they were to any other major New York band of the time. There was also a lyrical minimalism that was in some respects similar to that of some Talking Heads material. The fragmented, almost non sequitur narratives of housewives playing tennis, five-year-olds and their sexual fantasies, and "Businessmen in Space" suggested, as David Byrne sometimes did, a not entirely charming half-lunatic. That similarity with the Talking Heads doesn't go terribly far, however. Come On weren't nearly as good, and certainly lacked any of the pop hooks that the Talking Heads boasted at least occasionally from the very beginning.
David Byrne, appropriately enough, was a supporter of the band and took David Bowie and Brian Eno to see them at CBGB's. There was a meeting with Eno in which the possibility of collaboration was mooted, although apparently nothing came of that. Jamie Kaufman has said that other admirers of the band included Thurston Moore, Klaus Nomi, artist Jeff Koons, actor Willem Dafoe, and performance artist Ann Magnuson, none of whom were nearly as famous in the late 1970s as they would become, and hence probably not in a position to help Come On become more famous. (Two of Come On's members did go on to work with Nomi.) The "A Kitchen in the Clouds"/"Don't Walk on the Kitchen Floor" single, together with demos and tracks done live at CBGB's and a live version of "Disneyland," were assembled for a retrospective CD compilation, New York City 1976-80, released on Heliocentric in 1999. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi