The Undertones almost never recorded ‘Teenage Kicks’

Punk legends reveal they nearly lost their vocalist before recording the track

The Undertones‘ bassist Mickey Bradley has revealed how the band almost never made their best-loved track.

The band’s classic single ‘Teenage Kicks’ was recorded 30 years ago this month (September), but Bradley told BBC News that the song was almost scrapped because vocalist Feargal Sharkey wouldn’t commit to the band.

“We were in the middle of a personnel crisis – Feargal wanted to leave,” explained the bassist.


“He may have thought the band was going nowhere, or maybe he thought TV aerial installation was the career he wanted, but I was delegated by the rest of the band to talk to him.

“I phoned him, from (band members) John and Damian O’Neill‘s house, which was the centre of operations for the band. ‘OK, you’re leaving, but why not wait ’till we make the record?’

“It was never spoken of again. By Feargal, anyway.”

Famously, The Undertones sent the finished version of the song to John Peel, who played it on his BBC Radio 1 show twice in a row because he liked it so much.

The late DJ has the opening line of the song – “Teenage dreams, so hard to beat” – written on his gravestone.