Jeremy Porter and The Tucos Cover Undertones’ Teenage Kicks” For Charity

In late 2022, Scott Hudson, host of the long-standing, South Dakota-based podcast The Ledge, announced he’d be undertaking “52 Weeks of Teenage Kicks” celebrating a different cover of the classic Undertones song every week on his show.

When he asked Jeremy Porter if his Detroit-based band The Tucos would consider contributing, Porter agreed.

“I didn’t hesitate. Of course, we would! Not only is it a classic tune and an honor to be asked, but I’m a big fan of The Ledge, and Scott has always been so supportive of The Tucos, it was just a no-brainer. It’s not unheard of for someone to come up to us after a show somewhere…anywhere, and tell us that they heard us on Scott’s show.”

The Tucos had studio time booked at their favorite converted-hayloft-on-a-harness-racing-horse-farm recording studio The Loft in Saline, Michigan with engineer/producer Tim Patalan (Sponge, The Fags, Cheap Trick) for a different project coming out in the fall, so they threw together an arrangement and bashed it out alongside those other tracks.

Next thing you know, Tucos’ pals and PR collaborators out of Dayton, Ohio, Sweet Cheetah PR, put a call out for a new series they’ve organized called Covers for a Cause, where the bands they partner with release a cover song to Bandcamp and all proceeds go to a charity of their choice. The stars aligned, the waters parted, and Portersaw an opportunity for some mutually-beneficial cross-pollination around the song, and everyone was immediately on board.

Porter’s choice for a charity came to him pretty quickly too. The Detroit-based Hater Kitty Army is run by Sue Summers, a good friend and one the earliest champions of Porter’s music in the Detroit area.

“Hater Kitty Rescue Army is a neighborhood cat haven on Detroit’s Eastside,” Summers explains. “We have been serving abandoned cats for the past nine years by providing food, shelter, spaying, and neutering, and re-homing the ones we can.”

Summers also has a unique connection to the song, bringing this whole four-way circle of music, charity, and sharing together:

“The Undertones were one of the first punk bands I saw in concert, at a tiny neighborhood theater that hosted all-ages shows,” Summers recalls. “The song ‘Teenage Kicks’ has always been a favorite teenage anthem of mine and still remains timeless.”

Jeremy Porter and The Tucos’ version of “Teenage Kicks” premiered on The Ledge on the May 19 episode. On May 26, the song will be released to Jeremy Porter’s Bandcamp page for purchase. Buyers can name their own price and are encouraged to lay down a good amount, as every last penny will go to help feed, spay, neuter, and re-home stray cats on the streets of Detroit. 

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Art by Jason Bowes