Punk Retrospective
6Aug/130

Stolen archival interview: Greg Cameron

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Fred Hammer brings us: Greg Cameron

 

Stolen directly from: http://doublecrossxx.com/archives-3/archives-more-older-posts-41/

OctoberFactionNardcore authority and It’s Alive Fanzine editor, Fred Hammer, brings us a great interview with long time punk drummer, Greg Cameron. If stories about the Descendents and Black Flag are your thing (which I sure hope they are), this is a damn good read. -Tim DCXX

Can you tell us all the bands you have played in, what type of drums you learned on, what you are playing with now, and what was the 1st punk band you ever saw live?

The bands I’ve played in are (in order): Bulimia Banquet, October Faction, SWA, Chemical People, Punk Rock Vatos, Jeff Dahl, Marc Spitz Freestyle, Cüddle, and the Nip Drivers. Very technically speaking, I was in the Descendents at age 15 for about 2 weeks. But I wasn’t really up to snuff then and the band was pretty much finished for that time when Bill Stevenson left to join Black Flag.

There were attempts to form bands with various other people. Notably, I tried several times to form bands with Tony Lombardo and Ray Cooper from the Descendents over the years, but nothing ever came of it. I also jammed with Greg Ginn for about year after Black Flag & Gone broke up, but he wanted to head in a different direction and we parted ways. London May, ex-drummer of Samhain, had a band project called “Carbonation” which never came to fruition. He wrote and played guitar, his girlfriend Carrie Hale did vocals and Larry Schemel (Patty Schemel’s from Hole’s brother) played bass. It was actually promising material and Carrie was a great singer. But there was some internal conflict and it didn’t work out. I’m sure there’s a few other attempts at bands that I’m forgetting…

I’m currently playing on DW drums. It’s a 4 piece kit with a 24″ kick, 14″ rack tom, and an 18″ floor tom. I purchased the kit shortly before joining up with Jeff Dahl on a tour back in the late 90s. For cymbals, I’m using a mix of Zildjian A series and Paiste 2002 Rude series. Four crash cymbals consisting of 18″ Zildjian Rock crash, 19″ Paiste Rude Crash/Ride, 20″ Zildjian Ping Ride (yeah I use it for a crash), and another 19″ or 20″ Rude Crash/Ride. Hi Hats are Zildjian 15″ Rock. I need heavy cymbals because my sticks are as big as they make them, 3S’s. I usuallyuse Pro Drum’s house brand or Vic Firth. I used to play with Pro Mark DC-17′sbut they became hard to get. My hardware is all Tama Titan, their stuff is by far the most robust of any hardware I’ve used and I have yet to find something better. My pedal is a Tama Iron Cobra. Once again, very heavy duty and great action.

My kit prior to the DW’s were Tama Imperial Star custom sized with a 26″ kick, 16″ rack tom, and a 20″ floor tom. I had the same set up of stands and cymbals. This was to match the kit I played on most often and did a lot of my learning. That was a Slingerland kit of the same dimensions owned by Bill Stevenson. That was his main kit with the Descendents and Black Flag. I practiced at both bands’ practice rooms for some time. The other kit I really learned on was Bill’s small drums that were at the Decendent’s pratice room in Lomita, CA. It was a small Slingerland kit with a 22″ kick, 13″ rack tom, and 16″ floor tom. When Bill joined Black Flag in ’83, he let me take the kit to practice on my own. He took the 13″ rack tom with him, so I purchased a 14″ Slingerland tom to replace it. I took those drums on tour with me for the SST’s “The Tour” with my band SWA. The Tama kit went out on the Black Flag ’85 “Slip it In” tour with SWA and that was my main kit for a long time.

descendents

The Descendents

As far the first punk shows I went to, I believe it was the Ramones in 1981 at the Hollywood Palladium. Great show. That was followed up by the Dickies at “The Barn” at Alpine Village. Then shortly after that, a big BYO show at the Palladium headlined by TSOL with Adolescents, Seven Seconds, Wasted Youth, and a couple of other bands. I saw a drunk punker couple fall off the balcony that night right in front of me and my best friend from high school – Ray Cooper. He later went on to play in the Descendents and SWA for a bit. Then I saw the Descendents at a Circle Jerks show at Alpine Village. It was a life changing show for me in terms of my drumming direction. I’d never seen anyone hit as hard or play as fast and tight as Bill Stevenson. He was maniacal and amazing. That got my attention. My next gig was the Descendents and China White at Dancing Waters in San Pedro. It was a low key gig, but it was early Descendents at their prime. Frank Navetta (RIP Frank) came out wearing pajamas and a beanie. He played his guitar so hard that his pajama pants fell down around his ankles during a song called “Russianage”. It was an unforgettable show for me and theDescendents became my favorite band of all time.

How long did you know Greg Ginn and the SST crew before you joined OCTOBER FACTION and can you give us a little history on the band OCTOBER FACTION? You told me you were the opening act for Black Flag on two tours. Let us know some great tour stories please.

I had met Greg and company through Bill Stevenson, who I had met through Ray Cooper. Ray and Bill went to El Camino college together. They were introduced by a mutual high school friend of myself and Ray,Christian Matjias. Christian had been asked to manage the Descendents by Billbut it never happened. Bill had asked Ray to sing for the Descendents when Milo went to college. Milo wound up sticking around a bit longer and Rayswitched to guitar. He actually only did 2 gigs on vocals before moving to guitar. Bill left the Descendents shortly after that to Join Black Flag full time.

Since I had become friends with Bill as well as being one of his biggest fans, I started going to Black Flag practices and and tagging along to shows. I had tried to fill in with the Descendents for Bill, but I was only 15 at the time and my chops weren’t solid. I had only been playing a year at that point. Frank & Tony were upset with Bill. Frank left the band. So Tony, Ray and I jammed for several months. But I could tell Tony was disenchanted with my novice playing. I showed up to practice one evening after not getting a call that we were jammingand they were trying out another drummer. Needless to sayI was very bummed. I got ahold of Bill on the road with Flag and asked if I could take his practice kit so I could jam alone at my grandmother’s house. He give me the thumbs up. For about a year I practiced almost every day by myself. My playing improved considerably. I was motivated by the “I’ll show you” type of anger from being betrayed by my friends including my best friend.

During that time, Black Flag had been engrossed in a lawsuit with Unicorn/MCA records. They were flat broke, living in their offices at SST. All of Bill’s drum hardware and cymbals had been broken or stolen out their practice pad in Long Beach. They moved to a new place in Redondo Beach to both practice and run the booking. Bill asked if I could bring over my nice new shiny hardware and cymbals which I had acquired while they were touring so he could borrow it for practice. In exchange, I would be able to practice there when Flag wasn’t. That is how I met up with everyone in the SST crew.

 Black Flag with Chuck Dukowski

Black Flag with Chuck Dukowski

How I got to playing in SST bands is because of Chuck Dukowski.Chuck had left BlackFlag and Kira Rosseler had replaced him. He had gone to Germany for a while to visit family. When he returned, he still worked at SST booking Flag tours. He was still doing some writing for Black Flag as well and still had an ownership stake in the label. He also reformed his old band Würm. He would hear me jamming by myself downstairs from his desk and started bringing his bass to jam with me. Those were some fun angry jams. One day he was on the phone chastising one of the Würm members for being flaky about pratice and life in general. He said that he was tired of dragging them along and decided he would jam with his new “young and excited” friend instead. So we jammed just about every day.

He wanted to start a band that would be SWA. We tried out various guitar players including Ted Falconi from Flipper. It didn’t work out with Ted, but he was a great guy. By that time the ’84 Black Flag tour was ramping up. Chuck really wanted to hit the road, so he came up with the concept of October Faction and got Greg Ginn onboard. It would be a freeform jam band with myself, Greg, Chuck, and Joe Baiza from Saccharin Trust. So that’s what we did, we opened the ’84 Black Flag tour with a 30 minute set of freeform jamming. People either loved it or hated it. There was no middle ground, haha.

Our first show was at the Metro in Chicago. It was my first time ever playing in front of a real crowd. It was quiet the high for me. That was actually the only tour the “Faction” did, and we played a few sporadic shows around L.A. when the tour was over. Tom Troccoli joined us on the second night for vocals and became a permanent member of the band since he had a lot of energy and was really into it. He had come on the road as a crew member, but then became a band member too. There weren’t really clearly defined roles in those days. Everyone in a band was a roadie, and some of the roadies were in bands. We didn’t discriminate.

We recorded two albums. The first was at the Stone in San Francisco. It was a week after the end of the ’84 Black Flag tour. Bill and Kira had contracted a really virulent stomach flu. The day before the show, I contracted it and became bed ridden for the next several days which meant I missed the show. Chuck didn’t want to miss the gig or the recording that was to take place, so he enlisted Bill to fill in for me. Chuck didn’t tell me about that and I was a bit upsetat the time. But it was a last minute decision and everything was in place. So it was the right thing to do.

The second album was recorded at Mystic Records in Hollywood which was a run down studio with very old gear. It was apparently the place that Led Zepplin recorded the song “Whole Lotta Love” which is some neat history. It’s now the DMV building at the corner of Gower and Vine St.

As far as tour stories go, I’d say my first gig playing live in front of a large crowd was quite a high. The was the one at the Metro in Chicago with October Faction on the ’84 Black Flag tour. The venue was packed, and they had recently acquired a chunk of AC/DC’s tour PA system which was very powerful for the time. We got up there and jammed our asses off. The PA had so much punch that piece of the ceiling started to fall onto the stage when I hit the kick drum. It just made me play even harder and the crowd really fed into it. Even though our music isn’t the average crowd’s cup of tea, most of them seemed to be really into it and it made for a killer debut performance for both myself and the band.

Another one of my favorites is the time in 1985 when I was drumming with SWA. We had a caravan of vehicles for the tour, three vans and a large Ryder truck. We stopped off at a 7-11 as we were leaving Walla Walla, WA on our way to Portland. One of the problems when traveling in caravans with members of band and crew shifting to different vehicles is keeping track of people when making food and gas stops. A couple of hours after taking off from the stop, we realized we had left Merrill Ward, our singer, back at the 7-11. Back then there were no cell phones so there was no way to communicate with Merrill. We had to finish the trip and try to figure it out from there. When we got to the venue, Merrill had been trying frantically to get ahold of us. He was extremely upset to say the least. He was able to get on a plane from Walla Walla and get to Portland just in the nick of time for the show. He was so angry he didn’t want to talk to any of us. But that anger made for one of the best shows of the tour. He put on such a high energy fun show that it really got the crowd going. It was really our night as Flag couldn’t match the energy of our set that night. It also cheered Merrill up quite a bit as I recall. How could he stay mad after such a killer show? He got all the groupie attention that night which detracted from the attention of another particular lead singer of the headlining act.

Greg Cameron, Photo: Fred Hammer

Greg Cameron, Photo: Fred Hammer

How many shows/tours did you play with OCTOBER FACTION and can you go into detail about playing with other SST bands? Was it as crazy as everyone says it was?I sawOCTOBER FACTION afewtimes and I remember people being very hostile because you were not playing traditional Punk/Hardcore music.

October Faction was a one trick pony for tours. The band was put together for the purpose of opening up just the one tour and wasn’t necessarily meant to be around for a long time. After that tour, we did play a bunch of gigs around L.A. though to mixed reactions. In all truth, it was a totally self-indulgent quagmire of noise. How could it not be? It was comprised of two lead guitars of eclectic style along with lead bass of eclectic style. And we were really fucking loud. It was bound to be turn-off to all but the most diehard Ginn/Dukowski/Baiza fans. I was there to try and hold it all together as they jammed insanely, going off on their own tangents. The addition of Tom Troccoli on vocals also helped keep things more cohesive as he formed lyrics. It helped reign in the jams so that there was more structure and some songs actually started to form. The difference is apparent on the two October Faction albums from the first to the second.

Playing in SWA was a lot different than October Faction. We had real songs, it was rock and roll, and it was hard. But there was still some hostility towards us mainly due to our singer, Merrill. He had a flamboyant style along the lines of Iggy and Bowie which turned off a lot of people that didn’t appreciate that style or were simply unfamiliar with that style. It’s ironic because punk in general was rooted a lot in that style ala New York Dolls and the aforementioned artists. But many of the SST fans weren’t hip to it. I think that anyone who might have been in doubt of Merrill’s rock abilities needed to check out his vocals on “Triumph of the Will”, Overkill’s one and only album on SST records. Those are some great vocals. If you never saw Merrill in person but heard that record, you’d think he was as hard as they come. He’d wear pink tights on stage with Overkill which also didn’t go over too well. But those guys rocked!

SWA did a few of tours, one with Black Flag in 1985 and also SST’s “The Tour” which was a small west cost tour featuring us, Meat Puppets, Minutemen, Saccharin Trust, and Hüsker Dü. That was a really fun tour and being an opener, we and Saccharin knew our place and had our egos in check. However, every night was a debate with the other three bands about who was going to close the show. At that point they were all hot on the college circuit and allwanted to headline. It wasn’t a big fight or anything, but there was a bit of ego throwing and rivalry. It was still a lot of fun and theatmosphere was very family like. I would say that those days were the highlight of the SST days. The bands were all friends, we did a lot of shows together, and it was a family. We all looked forward tothe releases of each other’s albums. Of the bands that livedinL.A., we’d get together once in while for impromptu jams and such. It was a good environment and they were mysecond family.

I know you were involved with the Black Flag reunion. Can you tell us what involvement you had in it. I believe you did the sound for the show.

Yes, I was involved doing sound for the “Benefit for Cats” Flag “reunion”, if you want to call it that. Many of the key players were not invited to participate though I know they wanted to. I wound up mixing sound for the show both nights which didn’t go all that well, mainly the first night. I had wanted to be at the practices for the shows so I’d have an opportunity to mix at the practices so I knew what to expect.

I didn’t get the call to do it until the night before the first show. I showed up to do the mix. A few issues made the sound the first night pretty bad. The first is that the Hollywood Palladium is a difficult room to mix in due to it’s shape. There are various reflections and hot and null spots that make it tricky. It was designed to be a big band ballroom and the acoustics don’t lend themselves very well to rock music. Then there was an issue with the PA where it needed some more tuning to get rid of some muddiness in the low end. That issue was corrected the second night. The third issue was Ginn’s guitar stack. It was pointed right at mix position so literally all I could hear was his guitar even when it was all the way off in the mix. It made it very hard to get a good balance in the PA as I had to constantly walk out from behind the board and listen to make adjustments. So all in all, it wasn’t the best mix I had ever done. I got complaints along with some thumbs up. But I’ll be the first one to admit it could have been a lot better.

Can you tell us about the most violent show you ever saw in Southern CA?

The first BYO gig I went to at the Hollywood Palladium was one of the most violent. Beside the couple that fell of the balcony, that gig got off to a rough start. I can remember waiting in line to get tickets. They were moving very slowly which started to piss of the more agro fans. They started breaking lighting fixtures on the outside of the building with rocks and bottles. Then they smashed the box office window. That really slowed things down trying to get it. They thenopened up another box office and everyone gottheir tickets. Then the door opened. It was a mad rush. People were charging in yelling and screaming. I was 14 at the time and had longish hair which made me a target for the skin heads. Ray Cooper, my best friend from high school who had driven us to the gig, had relatively short hair and was likely safe. But he was also intimidated by the skins. So we made a dash for the upper level and found a nice dark spot where we wouldn’t be harassed.

As we sat there with people still rolling in the doors, a few skinheads up the balcony grabbed chairs and phone books and threw them into the chandeliers. They broke apart and hit the floor. Fortunately nobody was standing below. That would have been pretty ugly.

Then just before the first band went on, a guy with long hair up by the stage was approached by some skinheads who grabbed him by the hair from behind and threw him to the ground. They starting beating the crap out of him until he was bloody and busted up. It reinforced my desire to stay hidden in the balcony. Then the bands started. They were kickingsome ass and theenergy in the mosh pit was high. Lots of people were getting hurt. Lots of fights were starting. I remember people climbing the PA stacks and swinging from the curtains on the sides of the stage. It was wild. It was scary.

TSOL closed the show. It was during their set that a drunk skinhead dude pickup up his drunk girlfriend and held her over the balcony to scare her. He lost his footing and they both went over and hit the floor below. That’s when Ray and I decided it was time to leave.

Greg Cameron destroying the drums, Photo: Fred Hammer

Greg Cameron destroying the drums, Photo: Fred Hammer

I know you have been involved with sound recordings for a long time. Can you tell us exactly what you do and what advice would you give to a new band recording? What are the most common mistakes you see bands doing when they record or even what mistakes bands make when they play live?

My advice to any new band recording is to practice, practice practice. And have your instruments in good working order. Studio time is expensive. If you don’t have your shit together when you walk in, it’s going to cost you time, money, and piss people off. It will aggravate whoever is producing and/or engineering. The same goes for live performance. Practice and have your gear in working order. Nobody wants to see a band that’s really sloppy and acts like they don’t care unless that’s what the act is really supposed to be about. Even then, there’s a certain order to things.

One of my biggest pet peeves with new bands, and even some old ones, is how they get their gear on and off stage. Drummers: do NOT set up your drums on stage. Set them up when you get to the gig or at least well before your band has to be on stage. It slows down the band change over process immensely. You get in everybody’s way. You cause problems. You are rude. And when you’re done, get your shit off stage right away and do NOT break your drums down on the stage. Break it down OFF the stage as you cause the same problems stated previously.

Guitar & bass players should have their instruments tuned just before it’s time to get their gear on stage so they’re ready to plug in and go. Tuning on stage slows everything down. Really nobody wants to see you tune your guitar & it kills momentum for your band. And get your amps off stage right after playing. Don’t go grab a beer and chit chat. Once again it slows everything down and screws the next band in line. The gig is not about you. It’s disrespectful to the next band, the fans, and the club. It does little to further your reputation with your peers and makes it less likely that you’ll be asked back to play again.

Bottom line, treat your set up and tear-down as you would want the band before you to treat it. Egos be damned. If you get on late, cut your set short. Don’t screw the other bands down stream. Be the “bigger” band and do the right thing. It will be better for you later down the road.

I can remember a Black Flag show in 1984 at the Ritz in NYC. It was the “New Music Seminar” where new bands get to showcase themselves for “industry” people. It was Sisters of Mercy, General Public, and Black Flag. Talk about an interesting mix eh? It was the first time I had seen the Sisters of Mercy and GP. Sisters of Mercy were a bit boring as they were just getting going then. General Public was also just starting out. I was a fan of the English Beat, but this band just didn’t do it for me.

But what really put them on my shit list was the fact that they played almost a half hour longer than they were supposed to which cut right into Flag’s set time. Then they leftthe stage and nobody fromthe band or crew came to get move their gear. It was a big snub. So Greg Ginn grabbed me and we headed up to the stage. Ginn was so pissed that he started breaking the guitar cords off in the amps by dragging them with the cords and then shoving them over on the side of the stage. Guitars, drums, and stands were literally thrown across the stage. It was the most pissed I’d ever seen Greg. Then we got Flag’s gear up fast and they started playingangry. It was a good gig.

Last question…Feel free to say anything you’d like.

I’d just like to say thanks to the SST crew over the years and in particular Ray Cooper for introducing me to “punk rock”, Bill Stevenson for being a good friend and mentor, Chuck Dukowski for being a generous friend and mentor, and Greg Ginn for starting SST which made a large part of my life possible. And thanks to Mr. Fred Hammer for asking!

sst

SWA promo shot (not included in the original article)

SWA promo shot (not included in the original article)

Black Flag/ SWA/ Tom Troccoli's Dog at Wabash Hall

Black Flag/ SWA/ Tom Troccoli's Dog at Wabash Hall

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5Aug/130

Punk Returns to the Miner’s Foundry | Nevada City, Ca | 8/8/13

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

It's the beginning of August, which is the hot, dry part of summer up here in the foothills of northern California. There are nights the temperature can stay up in the 80 degree range, enough to make the “Summer Daze” concert series moniker predictive rather than just descriptive. This Thursday, August 8th, at the Miner's Foundry Cultural Center, marks performance number 4 in a series of 7, “the heart of the series: punk rock!,” as promoter Chad Connor Crow said in a telephone interview this afternoon.

He's more of a metal head than a punk, he claims, but says he had a friend, back in the day, who used to school him on punk rock through their weekly meetings. He has a serious love of Henry-era Black Flag and had some really nice, profound things to say about punk as a genre.

“I know the word 'organic' is overused to the point of becoming foul, but punk, at its core, is the most organic, most real music ever. This is what adrenaline sounds like...this is how we speak our truth,” he said, adding,”This should be the most rowdy show of the series, and not just because it's the only one that has whiskey available.”

He says the series, produced by his company, 'As The Crow Flies Presents,' has had a fair turnout and that the people who are showing up are blown away by the talent they're witnessing. “This is all about love and support of the bands,” he said, “and it's been a real grassroots effort, it's a real community driven event. The whole point is to turn people on to something they didn't know they would like.”

I had to ask him about the posters for these events, because they're so eye-catching. The entire series of promotional flyers is being hand-drawn by local artist, Olaf Jens, who may be better known to the community as KVMR's, “Vinyl Avenger”. Chad told me he and Olaf have become good friends over the last few years and that he'd given “full artistic freedom” over the design work to Olaf. How successful are the posters? Well, Chad informed me he's been replacing them, several times, all around town, as people are “taking them home to put on their refrigerators.”

Olaf Jens Photo credit Mike Meals

Olaf Jens
Photo credit Mike Meals

This isn't the first series he's produced, but the rapid return of a week to week concert series sounds a bit overwhelming. I'm always impressed by people who take on massive undertakings like this and succeed. To Chad, success is making sure when people see 'As The Crow Flies Presents” on a flyer they'll “know it kicks ass!”

Chad Connor Crow Photo credit Chula Gemignani

Chad Connor Crow
Photo credit Chula Gemignani

He said the bands are excited by the opportunity to play such a great venue. “It feels like an arena, the lights, the sound...very professional.”

Speaking of which, I also spoke with Greg Cameron, of Cameron Pro Audio, the man in charge of sound at the venue. His knowledge of punk rock and his story, which I'll include some of below, are matched only by his expertise in venue sound. He's the go-to sound-pro for The Miner's Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City. Here's a little Q&A:

ElDorkoPunkRetro: As the Crow Flies Presents has already put you to work on three of these...your impression so far?

Greg Cameron: Each of the nights has had a different theme which keeps things interesting. So far it's been a great opportunity for both newer and established performers to strut their stuff on a bigger stage with a good sound system and lighting.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Because you and I have become somewhat acquainted, I'm a little familiar with your story...I'm always curious how people end up where they do. What's the connection between the Greg Cameron who appears in FILMAGE: The Story of DESCENDENTS/ALL and the Greg Cameron who posts tech jargon, which I can't begin to understand, with other tech nerds when discussing large venue sound systems?

Greg Cameron: I've always been a tech nerd since I could walk and talk. Even back in grade school as far back as the 3rd grade, I was able to thread up the movies in school on the 16mm projectors. And I figured out how to run sound and lights in the school auditorium. When I became involved with Black Flag, jamming in their practice space, I was the one figuring out how to fix broken guitar amps and figuring out how to keep the practice PA up and running.

I'd replace blown speakers, solder bad cords, replace tubes in the amps, etc. My big introduction to live sound was on the '85 Black Flag "Loose Nut" tour when Black Flag took Rat Sound Systems with them on the road. My band SWA was on one leg of the tour. It was the second time out for Rat Sound on a tour and their second with Black Flag. They (Dave Rat and Brian Rat, it was a 2 person company back then) had built a new system for the tour from scratch. As a punk rock tour, the band members were also roadies. So we were all loading the PA in and out of clubs every night. Me, being the tech head that I was, had to learn everything about the system and rock band PA. So I nagged Dave Rat a lot and picked his brain. And I still do quite a bit.

Greg Cameron Photo credit Jordan Schwartz

Greg Cameron
Photo credit Jordan Schwartz

At the end of that tour, I needed a job upon our return to LA and Dave hired me for a while for one-off shows in LA at places like Fenders Ballroom and such. I learned a lot more. But they couldn't keep me on for very long as there had been a couple of robberies of gear and money was tight. They were living in their shop as it was to keep expenses down so they could continue to grow the company. But the love of live sound PA never left me. After about 15 years, I decided I wanted to start doing PA stuff again and started buying gear and building stuff. I also got back in touch with the Rats who had grown to be one of the most recognized PA companies in the world doing the tour sound for the Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Rage, Coachella festival, and tons of other bands and events. I still had a lot to learn and a lot to get back to up to speed on. I'm a PA junky, so I learn stuff and it sticks. I'm still a drum junky, though.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: I've heard whisperings of some ancient appearance by the Dead Kennedys...even M.D.C. Is it true punk bands used to appear at the Miner's Foundry?

Greg Cameron: I have limited knowledge of the punk history of the Foundry, but I've been told by people that were there back then DK had played there as well as the Decendents and lots of other punk bands as part of their tours.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Over the past couple of years there seems to have been a resurgence in punk rock. This whole area, from Reno to Chico, San Francisco to Sacramento, is teeming with great bands in the genre. Heck, even our little town has a few punks left. What do you see as the lasting contribution of punk to music, art, and expression? Do you see a future for punk?

Greg Cameron: I think "punk" has been hugely influential on current music and will last purely by the virtue that established bands now which were heavily influenced by it will in turn influence bands for generations. Just like African tribal music influenced Europeans to form modern 4/4 time signature music. That of course was the roots of blues which gave way to rock and punk rock. It just keeps on going. As far as art, much of the punk scene where I came from in LA was part of the art community. It's all intertwined. Even hard music is art.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: The Secretions are a fairly successful band and The Devils Train are building a good following. This punk version of 'Summer Daze' looks like it should be worth going to. Do you think we'll be seeing more punk at the Miner's Foundry? Any chance some of your old pals might pop into town?

Greg Cameron: I would certainly like to see more music with an edge at the Foundry. And I think some of my friends will come to play once in a while. I have a personal commitment from the members of FLAG (one of the two current incarnations of Black Flag) that they will play at the Foundry early next year. They were potentially going to come this month but we were a bit too far north for them to make it back to FYF in L.A. the next day without too much stress. I've been nagging the Descendents to come play for a couple of years now. It's difficult for them because Milo, their singer, is also an actual scientist and can only get away from home for a limited number of days per year. I just got word that FILMAGE will be screening at the Nevada City Film Festival next month. I pitched it to the band as a good opportunity to come and play. It's a long shot, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Final thoughts?

Greg Cameron: I would like to see better attendance at the rock shows at the Foundry. I realize with the myriad of events in this small town and the lack of money in the pockets of younger folks, it's tough to pack shows for younger audiences. Bringing in bigger names from the outside could certainly bring more people to the shows and help get more exposure for the local bands. I'd really like to see that happen.

So, there you have it folks...possible visits to the Miner's Foundry by FLAG and Descendents soon! In the mean time, check out the music of these four bands who will be appearing there this Thursday night. Pick up early bird discount tickets at the BriarPatch Co-op or through the Miner's Foundry website. $12 advance/ $15 at the door.

secretions


 

 

 

 

Ace Dans

Photo credit Ace Dans

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kef Photography

Photo credit Kef Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit Ellie Gaylord

Photo credit Ellie Gaylord

19Sep/120

Lasher Keen – Berserker

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Markus Wolff - Berserker

'Berserker' artwork by Markus Wolff
You belong to the forest that grows immortal trees.

Lasher Keen - Berserker

August 27, 2012 - 'Berserker' arrives
Left to right: Sage, Dylan and Bluebird

December 18, 2009 - The atmosphere in that old convent hall, filled with smoke and the whisperings of something uncommon about to appear, now defines Winter Solstice for me. It was my first time, witnessing the deep, spiritual intensity of Lasher Keen. I remember feeling intimidated and elated by their musical explorations of the dark…the real dark of a less human-constructed reality. Iconic, near archetypal characters, meshed dramatically with multiple, distinct layers of eerie, swirling, shimmering sound, to create something more than mere song. I wish I could put into words what it was that caught my fascination; the way the whole performance became a ritual and seemed to revel in that scarcely known secret truth of our animal nature was profoundly visceral. I walked away knowing I’d witnessed something unique and worthy of great attention.

That night was the official release of “Wither”. I bought a copy directly from Dylan and Bluebird at the show. The feelings conjured by their performance hadn’t faded when I found myself noticing the strangely organic look and feel of the disc cover binding and the artwork. It became startlingly obvious to me that these people I knew peripherally, in the community, were true artists.

By the time the ‘Possessed by the Forest Queen’ 10″ came out, on December 18 of 2010, I knew Dylan and Bluebird well enough that I went to their house to buy a copy. This wasn’t my first trip there, as our children are classmates and friends, but it was the first time I was really able to look a bit deeper into their everyday lives. From just a cursory glance, the fact that their artistry was not confined to the music and its packaging was obvious. They live lives rich in aesthetic beauty and organic texture and somehow seem to take their existence from a place of deeper thematic meaning. Yes, they’re a bit eccentric, odd even, but in a very grounded, authentic and endearing way.

Bluebird dress rehearsal

Bluebird at the 9/18/2012 dress rehearsal.

 

That ‘thematic meaning’ I mentioned is expressed in a very real way in their songs, conjured from the mix of instrumental divination and mythical lyricism. For example, the title track of the aforementioned album, ‘Forest Queen,’ brings to life a Goddess I’d never even known to look for. Not an anthropomorphic deity or creature, but something more akin to the movement of a particular branch of the tree of existence. She is the living nature of new life and growth spread throughout, and between, all matter and time. This is their depth and I find it difficult to express in prose, but it is as clear as awareness on their LP.

I include here a performance of the beautiful 'Forest Queen' from the 10" ‘Possessed by the Forest Queen’. All of the Lasher Keen back catalog is available on their website at lasherkeen.net.

While ‘Forest Queen’ is, at least to me, at least today, the strongest song on the 10”, it is exceedingly difficult to rank the 13 songs of the new double 12" LP, ‘Berserker’. The album moves through a range of emotions, constricting into tight, claustrophobic little spaces, then soaring into unbridled flights of hopeful torment. But the song ‘Sun Chariot,’ which may eventually be seen as the crowning summation of the band's output (*disclaimer near bottom of page), passes through so much emotional territory that it’s hard to remember where it began as it falters out of existence. It is at once condensed and expansive, present and eternal. It is epic and successful in its grand ambition and highlights the most elementary aspects of what Lasher Keen is.

Berserker master

Dylan holding the official master of 'Berserker', perhaps the advance copy Bluebird gave me on March 11, 2012.

There do not appear to be any genre constraints with Lasher Keen. The album opens with ‘Ancient Chaos,’ which itself opens with a harp intro, somehow reminiscent of the deeper metal gods of yore, then gracefully slides into a sexy, Motown-inspired romp called ‘Rainmaker’ and later explores growly, twangy, swamp rock with a 3-stringed, cardboard banjo in ‘Fabled Wild Country.’ Plowing through the depths of this album we begin to understand the broad range of puzzling descriptors used in reference to Lasher Keen; “Wood Metal for Scandinavian Tree Troll Folk,” “Medieval Psychedelic Folk,” and “Spirit in Mourning**,” being among those the band use to attempt a coherent self-description. Dylan mentions “inspired amateurism,” perhaps quoting Emerson or Lester Bangs, in a recent interview, while describing the multi-instrumental abilities of the three members of the band.

Rainmaker video

Scene from the April 23rd video shoot of 'Rainmaker'(view video @ bottom of page). Video and photo credit to Lara Miranda.

It may be exactly that “inspired amateurism,” which stirs my respect and amazement at this band of artists. Why else would someone like me, who claims allegiance to humankinds’ greatest art form, punk rock, feel so strongly about the music of a group of mystical folkies? There are no distorted guitars - instead cello, harp, banjo, accordion, barbatos, bodran and Glockenspiel rule the soundscape. Their historic usage of percussion had, until recently, been primarily animal skin drums and a wide range of hand instruments, though they now occasionally employ Adam Torruella to play the trap set. Sage is known to play bass, bouzouki, and banjo along with an array of other stringed instruments I don’t know the names of. Hardly punk, yet it carries within it whatever it is that makes punk great.

Dylan rehearsal

Dylan at the 9/18/2012 dress rehearsal.

I suppose in the end it is the raw passion and artistry I really love, though I can’t presume to tell you that you will love Lasher Keen the way I have come to. I can tell you, it is strange to have found a ‘local band’ doing musical arrangement and performance at this level. There is depth, subtlety, awareness, integrity, intelligence and passion in this work and, for me, that makes it genuine. And, the authentic nature of the music, artwork and lives of this band are well represented in this brilliant album, 'Berserker'. It is beautiful to look at, double LP, full-color gatefold with a 32-page booklet and some stunning colored vinyl, if you like, but the flow and depth of the music is what makes "Berserker' a must-have.

Sage Rehearsal

Sage at the 9/18/2012 dress rehearsal. "Probably not the t-shirt I'll be wearing," he said.

I went to video one of the last practices the band will have together. I could feel an underlying mournfulness, aside from what Bluebird's cello naturally brings. You see, after Lasher Keen performs ‘The Psychotropic Cult of the Oracular Sacrificial Severed Head’ at Stella Natura: The Light of Ancestral Fires, string master/percussionist, Sage Arias, makes his disheartening, hopefully temporary, move away from the band. I am assured we can all hope to hear new songs arising in a yet unknown future as the last note of this incarnation of Lasher Keen falters from existence.

Lasher Keen

Dark Folk Power Trio

Contact the band to get your copy of any Lasher Keen release through these links:

Pesanta Urfolk Records
LasherKeen.net
Facebook
Reverb Nation
Bluebird's Etsy shop!

Lasher Keen~ Rainmaker from lara miranda on Vimeo.

*There are songs on Wither, like 'Animal' and 'Spirit Flesh,' which were critical in defining the sound and feel of the band. 'Forest Queen' and 'Greater Darkness' on the 10" ‘Possessed by the Forest Queen’ are also pivotal in the process. It remains to be seen where the rumored 25-30 minute ‘The Psychotropic Cult of the Oracular Sacrificial Severed Head’ will stand in the overall catalog of Lasher Keen. 'Alone in the Night (Celtic Death March)' seems to be the only hint at what was to come off the first CD, the self-titled 'Lasher Keen.'

**Purportedly a literal translation of 'Lasher Keen'. Why shouldn't I take Dylan at his word? Well, because he also said the definition/translation shifts according to his whim. I like this translation anyway!

Dylan works his magic.

Roadside fun on the way to the Diggins for the 'Rainmaker' video shoot.

30Jul/120

Interview with Sucker Punk Productions’ Benjamin Abel

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

The internet is a double-edged sword. It makes some things increasingly easy, while making other things more difficult. Almost any kid in America can access the tools required to record and distribute a song for free, which is amazing, but there is now a feeling of entitlement that has risen with that ease...music is now considered to be free. Intellectual property is bullshit, according to a huge swath of the world's music listening public. So, easy as it's become to make a record and put it in front of people, for a person whose genuine calling in life is to be a musician, it's nearly impossible to focus in on your art without holding a "real job". Now, instead of releasing an album and touring to drive up record sales, bands record and release albums to drive up attendance at shows and sell t-shirts. This is a recipe to kill music, or at least the music of the underground.

I have had an overwhelming love of music since I was a small child, so supporting truly independent musicians, venues, labels, bookers, etc. is very natural to me. I don't need to be convinced of the importance of music in my life, so helping support the creators of music is a no-brainer. I know that every dollar I spend at a local event makes it that much more likely another event like it will happen. I know that my buying an LP, digital or physical, from Bastards of Young makes it that much easier for them to record another. Free downloads are great, but supporting what you love has to become the logical response as we step out of our self-centered collectors' mentality.

Over the last couple of years, we have all watched the music scene in the Sacramento region growing. Bands from Stockton to Reno, Nevada City to Davis, play shows in small and large venues ranging from the storage closet of Luigi's Slice in Sacramento to the awesome basements of Luigi's in Davis and the hip, new Haven Underground in Nevada City. There were a handful of promoters/bookers on the bill at Luigi's the other night...a show that worked out spectacularly, shiny walls and all. We're lucky to have such punk friendly venues.

Behind the venues, promoters and bands is another line of people doing promotion work on the internet. I do this in a haphazard, directionless way, but others, like Sacramento Punk Shows and Undie Tacos pull everything together to make it easy to know what is happening in town. A couple months ago I saw a note pass through the Sacramento Punk Shows Facebook page asking people to submit their flyers for a weekly video magazine. I was immediately jealous that I hadn't thought of this. It's the brainchild of Sucker Punk Productions...and I'm lucky enough to have had a couple of chances recently to talk to Benjamin Abel.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Hello Benjamin…thank you for taking the time to talk to Punk Retrospective. I really enjoyed our conversation the other day and still wish I had recorded it. Hopefully we’ll be able to get into some of this stuff at near the same depth as last time!

Benjamin Abel: Thanks for having me and oh man, I gotta have you on a podcast at some point. It's those kinds of conversations that can really instill change in people. The more I learn about people doing similar things, the more it drives me to do more. It's amazing how something as simple as a conversation can seed the energy to really start taking action.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Exactly! OK, cool, so...first off, can you tell us a little bit about you…give us your bio, how old, where from, etc?

Benjamin Abel: I'm 29 years old and I've been in and out of Sacramento over the last 20 years. I helped put together Sucker Punk Productions last year in the hopes of making some short films, movies, etc. Different parts of the company have kind of spun off and become their own giants, including our local music scene ideas. Which I suppose is what has gotten me here.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: At what age did you become aware of your love of art? I guess I’m assuming anyone who would devote as much time and energy to promoting other peoples’ music through their own art…anyway…You love music, you run around with a bunch of punks filming shows…where does this passion come from?

Benjamin Abel: I started writing around... Fuck... 10 or 11... The art of story telling, that's what hooked me. I got into poetry and song lyrics a few years later and guitar a few years after that. By 15 I was writing acoustic songs no one liked, and continued doing that for around 10 or 12 years. I played bass for a while, but no one seemed to like that either. All in all, I probably have enough material to come out with an album, but I don't think my mother would even buy it. She'd probably re-gift it to me on accident at Christmas. I've painted and drawn on and off for the same amount of time, but I've never been too good at that. What I'm really good at is script writing. I shut myself in for three days and wrote out my first script when I was 18. I never stopped. Last year, one thing led to another, and a bunch of other story tellers joined me as The Sucker Punks, and we began trading ideas about what we wanted to do. I think Tony Del Valle (from The Walking Dead) urged us to do a documentary about his band, but that idea soon fell to the side of an even larger idea Andy Harrison (also from The Walking Dead) pointed out. But we had all this footage of the band and Brett jordan and I didn't want it to go to waste. So I cut a video of it together of the live footage. And it made sense. We just kept doing it. The love of music was always there, we just never thought to apply our love of film to it.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: So, what exactly is Sucker Punk Productions? How many people are involved, who are they and what is the agenda?

Benjamin Abel: Sucker Punk Productions is a group of 5 individual artists whom help one another try and bring their film visions to life. We are all writers, directors, editors, videographers and idealists. When one person has something they really want to do, we rally around one another and do everything we can to make it happen. You can find out more about the crew at our web site, www.suckerpunkproductions.com. Our agenda is... To entertain. We push the local music scene because the scene itself seems to be an extension and an inspiration ot all of us, but we're much more than that. We do comedy (which is admittingly suffering right now), we have ideas for short movies, full length films, animated features, documentaries... Many, many things we want to do.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: We were talking about financial ‘problems’ on the phone the other day, but you seem remarkably calm for a guy who can’t really even make it to all the shows you’re actively promoting. You are a driving force in the local music scene, you encourage others to respect the music and bands by supporting shows and buying merchandise, but you do all of this stuff for free…I’m not sure what my question is here other than maybe…why?

Benjamin Abel: Well as much as I appreciate it, I wouldn't call myself a 'driving force.' I'm still new to promotions, and everything we do from the music videos to the video magazine to the podcasts... The popularity fluctuates from one episode to the other. We're still trying to get a foothold in the Sac music scene. We barely have an audience, and we're not sure how to get one except to keep doing what we're doing. Why do we do it? Why do I do it? It's ingrained in me. I have friends in the scene, and I want them to do well. I enjoy their music. At some point it became, “well, if you want them to do well, and you enjoy their music, lend a fucking hand.” It's the way I hope people think about me and the company. It's a thought I've applied to the people in the company, and in the scene. The scene isn't dead kids, you just need to get up and support local music. The bands are out there, you're not. And it's not because these bands suck, believe me.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: You mentioned working on a specific documentary film project the other day…are you ready for people to hear about this yet, or do you want to wait?

Benjamin Abel: No, we can talk about that a little. We can't really go far in depth with it until we get an LLC, but I can tell you we've already been working on a documentary about the local music scene, and we have an interesting angle we want to try utilizing many of the people promoting the scene. It's something we want to be good enough to send to film festivals and such... I'm not sure I should say more than that, but we'll have an LLC next month, so hopefully we can talk about it more soon.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: I told you a story the other day about a friend of mine who was harshly and unjustly criticized for floating the idea of a Kickstarter project to make physical product available from her record label. Then we spoke at length about each of our initial forays into mp3 collecting and our current beliefs about buying what we like after streaming a first listen. How do you view the internet as a tool for artists/labels/production companies, etc. and how do you think fans can best support bands and the continued creation of actual LP’s, EP’s, CD’s, DVD’s and films?

Benjamin Abel: I actually experienced this first hand today. We have a kickstarter for a short film, Fighting through the Zombie Apocalypse, we started a few days back. Some artists I truly deeply respect dogged me for 'asking for a handout,' and for a moment it broke my heart. I shot back with a comparison of bands asking people to go to shows and buy merch so they can continue producing art for their community, and how what we were asking for wasn't much different. Overall, they were just kidding, but that attitude is more of what I disagree with. Don't just say you support a band or project or idea. Do things that show that support. Sometimes it's as simple as a good friend saying “I'll check my wallet, but don't expect much.” Someone said that to me. Fuck if he even has a dollar to give me, at least he's showing with his actions and saying with his words, “you're worth me at least saying i'll try.” Yes buy merch, yes go to shows, no downloading illegally. That all goes without saying. But also, be what you want to hear in your own life. Be a pillar and a moral support. Tell bands you love them and you want more, encourage the things you love to persevere. Be the catalyst of difference in your community. That's what makes change, that's what changes ideas into actions. It's not standing on the sidelines heckling the players, it's being knee deep in the game.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Let me just say…I’m a big fan of the SPP Video Magazine. I like Sacramento Punk Shows listings and the constant barrage coming out of Punch and Pie into my stream…I like Bows and Arrows and Undie Tacos, but there’s something about just listening to who will be playing that hits my brain harder…maybe it’s the background music…I don’t know, but thank you for sending that out! It looks like it must take hours…days…all those links! Thank you…invaluable!

Benjamin Abel: Thank you for being so supportive. I WISH I could reach the audience Sacramento Punk Shows has. Right now it's great to have so many bands and musicians watching what we'll do next, but we've yet to make it over that wall where we're drawing in real fans, the show goers and film lovers, people interested in everything we're doing because they stumbled upon us and we actually entertained them. I could seriously do SPP Video Magazine until I die because I love it so much, but it's a different story with our other shows. We have to find our own fans at some point, and that's the most frightening part for me. You can't tell if it's going to happen until it hits you.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: OK, so…I know we’ll talk again soon and that you will be contributing to Punk Retrospective…is there something I should have asked you that I didn’t? I feel like there is…but I just can’t find the question…final words on current music or some another project you have going?

Benjamin Abel: Yes! Keep reading Punk Retrospective because people like El Dorko give a shit, and want to see the scene flourish, and do everything they can to be an active part of that flourishing, And he's not even getting paid! So keep coming back, and share this page with your friends. And if I can plug our current project, find more information on Fighting through the Zombie Apocalypse at https://www.facebook.com/events/153284038128511/.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Thank you again for visiting!!

Benjamin Abel: Anytime. Thanks for having me.

27Jul/120

Luigi’s Slice Super Show – 7/24/2012

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

So beyond broke, you can’t even believe…and we really want to see this show.

I know we have already mentioned Sneeze Attack several times because they were so great in Davis and they have theoretically released the new EP, Aurora, on July 22. We have never been to an Arts & Leisure show yet, but Nacho Business were pretty damn good last time we saw them and someone in our office is freaking out because Crystal Stilts are coming all the way from Brooklyn. Can’t go…we simply can’t afford it. Hmmmm…

We really did agree to skip this show, and we were bummed, but then, Tuesday afternoon, bands started getting added to an already stellar lineup and we had to make the drive to Luigi’s…immediately, because the start time for the show was pushed way ahead! I tried to get Benjamin, my new friend from Sucker Punk Productions, to ride down with us, but he had to work.

So, yes, for another shot at seeing La Sera, and our first opportunity to catch Tim Cohen, of The Fresh & Onlys, in his new project called Magic Trick, we threw caution to the wind and used some of our remaining gas to go to the show we wanted to see…now with more!

When we arrived, I saw Sean Hills, from Punch and Pie Productions, postering the wall at Luigi’s…thought I’d talk to him, but he was gone before I could catch him. Sneeze Attack started at about 7:40, which was, apparently, a few minutes before the doors actually opened. Just a slight mix-up made us miss the first two songs…I forgive the kids at the door and their myopic customers.

Anyway, Sneeze Attack has a new drummer, Christine Shelley, and she fits the band just right! The songs we missed were the faster numbers (maybe I haven’t forgiven the door kids yet), but I liked their whole show. Dinogirl broke a string and had to borrow the Nacho Business guitar to complete their set…hey, Sacramento…this is a band ready for some big recognition. Here’s a video sample:

Next up, Nacho Business. These kids are funny, funny, funny. Self-deprecating from word one…Heather says, ”Can’t wait to disappoint you”…and they started off in a way I was almost certain would disappoint me, but turned it around so fast that until now I’d almost forgotten those a cappella moments. They broke down the fourth wall, if there was one there to begin with, and played jangly, pop punky-ness with some sweet harmonies.

Yes, I really enjoyed all the bands, but the biggest surprise of the night was Arts & Leisure.(Previously Baby Grand) There was something about this band that brought the Muffs to mind, no Shattuck scream, just energetic, simple rock songs with a duo of female singers. Gerri White and Becky Cale harmonize beautifully, but each carry the band when singing alone, their own individual attitude shining through. There always seemed to be some sort of endearing, inside joke happening…not sure what it was exactly, but they wore smiles throughout the performance and made everyone like them. Cory Vick is actually a really good guitar player, and some of my favorite moments came when Gerri would join in to finish off a song with a little more growl to her guitar. Maybe it was because I was right in front of her amp, but there was some real power there! Got one song on video:

[play-button:http://www.hardlyart.com/mp3/MagicTrick_Torture.mp3] Magic Trick - Torture direct link to free mp3 from Hardly Art: Magic Trick - Torture

Magic Trick, well…I haven’t seen Tim Cohen play since New Year’s Eve and never in his solo project. What was I expecting? Nothing…I actually had no idea he had a side project, so, even though he played on an acoustic guitar w/ a pickup ( I do love electrified punk distortion, ya know...), I was blown away. This guy is such a talented songwriter…the underground music scene is filled with talent…Tim is in a league with guys like John Dwyer and Mark Sultan. Genius. No, this isn’t ‘punk rock’ in the limited sense, but neither is Johnny Cash or Neil Young, and I still like them. And like them, there is a touch of Americana here, a melodic sorrow stringing everything together. When I spoke with Tim later he called it “sentimental”. Here’s a piece of video I shot when Katy Goodman joined them onstage:

[play-button:http://www.hardlyart.com/mp3/LaSera_PleaseBeMyThirdEye.mp3] La Sera - Please Be My Third Eye direct link to free mp3 from Hardly Art: La Sera - Please Be My Third Eye

Then Katy took the stage with her bandmates in La Sera. She’s always so happy and nice, even when inviting a timid audience to come closer. She writes catchy melodic pop songs and carries the band with her bass lines and smooth, strong voice. But…you know how, on the Ramones first 3 albums, there were songs that really stood out and the rest all kinda blend together. Something like that happens with La Sera, but probably only to me because I’m not too familiar with the material. Don’t get me wrong…it’s good:

And then the Crystal Stilts took the stage. Wooden keys on his keyboard, you say? Oh, and look…there’s Charles Albright helping the band get set up! Sacramento is a wonderful place and, even though I’m going to be deaf for the next couple of days, Luigi’s is not as bad a venue as I originally thought. Anyway, I looked these guys up online before I left, so I had an idea of what they were going to be…boring. I watched part of one video and made up my mind and, as usual, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Again, not punk…maybe more garage-y, but really, this is a psychedelic band, at least live. They opened the curtain behind the band to allow the projection system to cover the stage and band in wacked out patterns…like they do at the big city psych shows and the keyboard player just started making noise. I was still a little afraid when the band started…there was an overwhelming Doors vibe coming over the place, but that was just the visual atmosphere and look of the band. It’s pretty damn amazing what a group of primates with musical instruments can do! Here’s a sample:

So, the show ended, Charles Albright helped the band tear down the drums, while Jerry Perry went around paying the bands and cleaning up the mess. I don’t know how many promoters and bookers put this show together, something like 7, but it flowed as smoothly as any show I’ve seen this year. Big compliments to everyone who made this happen. The audience was great, too…just happy to be seeing live music and getting a chance to dance around a bit.

Now the depressing part, for us…walking past all the merch and not being able to afford one of Katy Goodman’s shirts…can’t get the Crystal Stilts new EP or LP…no art from Dino…but, we did get to talk to Katy, Kyle Forester (keyboards @Crystal Stilts) and Tim Cohen..for a couple minutes while we passed down the line. I told Katy we’d been to her show at Bows and Arrows earlier in the year and asked if she’d been touring the whole time since. She told me she had. Man, I think I’d be tired of touring…I asked if she was and she said no, she loves it and that had only been in March.

Kyle broke in and said Katy’s crazy…she loves to tour and she will stay out for more than five months and still love it. We were asking about merch prices as we worked our way down, just in case something was priced low enough…I said to Tim that I wish we weren’t so broke right now…and that we’d been to the Fresh and Onlys show at Brick and Mortar on New Years. He said,”well buy something from one of these guys, because I live in San Francisco and you’ll probably see me again before you see them.”

That kind of blew me away…most people are so focused on what they’re doing that they don’t even consider someone else. I suppose they’ve all become friends on this tour, I mean Katy was singing along throughout the Magic Trick set, but still…I was affected by the gesture.

I told Tim I was impressed with his solo work from the show, but that I had only heard the Fresh and Onlys stuff before tonight. He said this project was, like I mentioned before, more sentimental, ballads, stuff the full band might not really want to do. I made the mistake of saying, “But you write some stuff in Fresh and Onlys, too, right?” He corrected me…he writes all of it. He wasn’t being egotistical, either. He really is a regular guy…looks a bit rough and tough, but clear-eyed and honest, and I believe him when he says he writes it all. I will be holding him to his insinuation that he might play in my neck of the woods if I contact him…but that’ll probably only happen if he remembers our conversation…good thing I wrote it down!

So, Sacramento, thank you! And please continue to support your local venues, bands, bookers and promoters. The more shows you go to, the more shows there will be. You are voting with your dollars for more music every time you support a show like this one. Every dime you put toward the Sneeze Attack EP makes it that much more likely you’ll see another one put out. Anyway…that’s enough out of me!

I did not see this at the show, might be some weirdness surrounding it? Can't buy it, but you can listen to it!


13Apr/120

Shames / Spitting Image / Acid Baby Jesus @ Hideout Lounge 4/6/2012

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

ArtifactSo, it’s Good Friday…what should we do? There was talk about heading down to Sacramento to see Boats!, but no one could get too excited about doing the South 80 drive another time this week. Our local show seemed expensive and not too punk, leaving 'stay home' and/or 'go out for burritos' as our best option(s). Then something of a divine intervention took place when another member of the Punk Retrospective Collective noticed the fact that Acid Baby Jesus had lost their show in San Francisco and were now playing in Reno. Should we go? Acid Baby Jesus over Easter weekend in Little Sin City…perfect!

While they’d posted the fact of the Reno gig to their Facebook page, they’d omitted certain details…like time and club. We’d have a decent drive in front of us if we were going to make this work…Facebook messages to the band and Olaf (The Vinyl Avenger), phone calls to Slovenly and an e-mail to April finally paid off, 10pm Hideout Lounge, and, after dropping $70 into the gas tank, we were off!

Yeah, I’ve lived up here about 8 years now, but this is my first show in Reno. We saw Youth Brigade and Adolescents in Sparks…and, well, like that time, I get lost because of Obama and his infrastructure project on the North 80. Seven miles of labyrinthine detour and we finally found the Hideout Lounge. We park, cross the street and I immediately try to enter through the wrong door…yeah, I really am a dork.

Once inside we’re approached by a seemingly random female bar patron who asks us for $5 for the band, to cover their gas, etc, we comply. We ask if the band is in town, she tells us they are, but that they are currently being tattooed. Interesting.

This is a dive bar. The brown paint on the floor has mostly peeled off to bare concrete and the 70’s wood paneling is, surprisingly, almost in mint condition, though covered in beer lights and punk flyers. Two flags drape meaninglessly from the ceiling, one representing Miller High Life, the other is an American Flag with ‘PIGZ’ being the only decipherable word remaining of all the blue marker ink in its white stripes. There’s a really cool bicycle hanging from the ceiling and an awful light enclosure built-in over the bar. Two pool tables are pushed into a corner and are covered with OSB…I wonder aloud if that’s the stage, knowing in the back of my mind that the band will be playing at ground level WITH us! The bathrooms have no signage and, again, this is Nevada, so smoking is still encouraged in the bar. Even though I am suffering from intense nicotine cravings, I love this place!

The ShamesI also love it when the assumptions I make as I go through my life are shattered. For some reason I assumed Acid Baby Jesus would be the only band, since the show wasn’t planned, but rather, just happened. I began to realize I was wrong when I saw a kick drum, with ‘The Shames’ spray paint stenciled across the front, being set up by a guy who didn’t look at all Greek. Around this time I noticed the band walk in…the chick who collected the money appeared to be giving them some of it…I don’t know, it was smoky, the jukebox was playing Turbonegro and Iggy Pop, mohawks were rising and the rest of the Collective was having vodka tonics.

The young men from Acid Baby Jesus were smoking cigarettes and enjoying their first PBR’s of the night by this time. One of them started toward us because there was a huge row of ashtrays on the countertop behind us. I asked about the canceled show and joked around a bit about our long drives from California, eventually finding out his name was Otto. We talked for a bit and were eventually joined by Marko. Fifteen minutes later I realized I should have turned on my recording device, but I sent myself a lame-ass Facebook message to remind myself of the conversation:

“Talked to Marko about the US tour and their Israeli tour. The little guy told me a story about getting electrocuted in a beer filled basemwnt” (sic)

All that is true, but I guess I lied in the prior paragraph…I didn’t find out the little guys name was Otto (guitarist) ‘til later, though Marko (percussion) did introduce himself right away. Either way, I would end up spending about an hour and a half talking with Otto about everything in the world and a few more minutes with Marco after the show. They were all very proud of their Greek “acid” tattoos, including April, their Slovenly Records tour manager.

I was struck by a feeling of familiarity and friendship with this pair very early in the night…something akin to the fast-friends I’d made on film jobs in Los Angeles over the years. The ease of speaking with them made for a fun evening of joking around and I even got to share a little history of the rumored cannibalism at Donner Pass, which they’d passed through earlier in the day. Maybe they were just humoring an old man, but there was a genuine kindness and rapport I hadn’t expected.

What had I expected? Well, truth is I really loved the name of this band from the first time I read it on Spineflower’s Tumblr page last summer, but figured they were going to be another Brian Jonestown Massacre rip-off/tribute band. I'd also mentally lumped them in with a bunch of lame bands some idiots listen to on Blip.fm…so, because of these things I assumed they were going to sound shitty. I also figured that a band from Greece wouldn’t be speaking great English. Yeah, I’m wrong a lot.

PIGZOnce in a while I’d start feeling like I should let Otto get back to his friends and fans…or to play, but he assured me they were not going to play until after the other two bands. At some point in our conversation, he told me he’s 25 years old. They formed Acid Baby Jesus for fun about three years ago and have been touring pretty heavily for the past two years. There is a certain kind of wisdom in this young man. He knows this road life is for the young and is taking full advantage of the opportunity, but he is a young man and misses his girlfriend and family. The economic crisis faced by Greece came up a couple of times, so I know he carries concern for his country…but, at the same time he’s full of energy, quick to laugh, ready to share stories, opinions on food or even offer to buy drinks.

The Shames took the stage sometime around 11:30pm. They were an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. The two young ladies out front brought the crowd into the pit and that guy hitting the skins gave them a tight beat to slam to. It’s melodic punk rock with a bit of attitude. Totally impressed. I will tell you this…they are so much better live than anything on the internet shows, their recordings and YouTube videos do them no justice.

Spitting ImageAfter the Shames came Spitting Image. As if the Shames were all love and light, Spitting Image dredged through some pretty dark territory. Their material was a little more on the hardcore end of the spectrum, but it was more experimental than that. They have a new EP out on their Bandcamp site…you should check it out.

After Spitting Image finished, I started looking at the merch table and made Otto promise he’d get the band to sign an LP if I bought one. April gave him a silver paint pen and he went to work. He gave the album to me with signatures over all the members. I’d watched everyone else sign, but I knew Marko hadn’t touched it. Over his image Otto had written “MIZ”, which I assume means “Ms.” or something along those lines, because when I gave the LP to Marko he drew some breasts and something of a Barbara Feldon hairdo onto his image. A bit more laughing and the band started setting up. I figured it would be a good time to take the LP out to the car so I wouldn’t have to keep track of it during the show.

Spotting them outside the club, I congratulated the Shames on a great show and made a vague promise to help them get a show in California. It would be great if we could open for them, but there’s a lot more practice needing to happen before we play out. There was a lot of smoke outside, too, so I headed back in ‘cuz I didn’t want to miss a minute of Acid Baby Jesus.

The ViewI turned on my little camera and started videotaping about 3 seconds before they actually started playing. It was pure luck. I was about a foot away from Otto, nearly stepping on his effects pedals, and I could feel the crowd growing and surging behind me. When I think back on it now, I’m amazed the band showed absolutely no fear of the crowd or the electrical situation. There was beer a quarter of an inch deep on the floor and all of their effects pedals and amps were plugged into power strips that kept tripping from either pulling too many amps or wetness.

I remembered something I’d read in the Distortioni interview. They were asked a question about their sound being as mixture of garage and psychedelic and which thought more defined their sound. They answered that it was both and none…that it was hard to classify. Space punk, they call it on their Facebook page.

MIZI must admit that I was a bit worried for them when the first two bands played straight-up punk/ hardcore. The defiance I saw in the crowd as they challenged the other two bands, probably their friends, but nonetheless. I thought these poor, nice foreign kids are gonna be eaten alive. But the space punks had captured the audience during the first song and had built momentum. Midway through their set the speed peaked and the crowd came down on all of us. The entire mosh pit lurched into the bands’ area, toppled the singer and his mic and unplugged their guitars, and none of them flinched. For a few moments only Marko could play and sing. The rest of the band began sorting through the snake of wires until suddenly there was bass, then some guitar and then it all came back together and started to gel into something a bit weird.

I don’t drink or use drugs, but I spent the last ten minutes of the Acid Baby Jesus set in a near out-of-body trance. The beat, the volume, the reverb, flange, sweat and vocals all built into a great transcendent noise that swept me into a meditative state of awareness. I began moving back away from the band to see how the rest of the audience was doing and found a bar full of punk people completely tuned in to a deep psychedelic, garage punk experience. It was quite possibly the most intensely mystical, musical experience I’ve ever had.

Their sound is not defined by psychedelic, garage or punk…those words hint at what they do, but when you are with them live you’ll understand that they reach into another level, something other-worldly. The band was really wiped out afterward. We talked about the possibility of meeting up at Austin Psych Fest, then said our goodbyes at around 2:30am. The full moon lit the snow covered mountain pass as I drove through listening to the ringing in my ears.

...and now, my next installment of super dark video from the show (please buy me a decent camera:

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/1281325" height="200" iframe="true" /]

6Mar/121

LOSERLIST69: The Sacramento Punk Super Archives

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Loserlist69I was looking for internet posts about of the Spits show I attended in Sacramento and accidentally stumbled into a really cool vault of Sacramento punk artifacts, past and present, called Loserlist69. The archive is the work of a very dedicated man named Ken Doose.

The tagline reads:
SACRAMENTO PUNK ROCK -Faded old pics, crusty flyers, show listings, stickers, record reviews, interviews, and various other assorted things that relate to the past and present Sacramento punk rock scene and other interesting places.

I really don't have the time to do this justice right now...but it's an awesome task he seems to have assigned himself and I'm glad to have found it. Maybe one day I'll run into Ken and we can do an interview...until then I'll be browsing through the archives of LOSERLIST69.

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Dicks/lifetimeproblems.mp3] The Dicks - Lifetime Problems Link source

29Feb/120

Way Out West Fest / Tucson, Arizona / April 13-15, 2012

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

http://www.wayoutwestfestaz.comI didn't wake up today expecting to find a new punk rock hero, but a simple Facebook request from the creator of the Way Out West Festival led me to one. Billy Brooks is in the middle of promoting and pulling everything together for a 60+ band festival in Tucson, AZ and he took time out from what I'm sure is a stressful endeavor to answer a few questions for Punk Retrospective. Inside his answers you will find the kind of brutal honesty and integrity I think is necessary to have an independent music scene. That old, punk, DIY ethic you hear so much about, persistence in the face of corporate competition, building a festival that will promote new music without caving into commercial pressures, the truth about building community through All Ages shows versus the reality of having anyone show up, paying bands all of the profit from passes...I wasn't expecting principles and ruthless candor when I answered that request for help, but the fact is I'm glad that spirit is alive in 2012. Get out to Tucson this spring and support a real music festival and a heroic promoter with genuine integrity.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: How did you start promoting? Were you in a band, did you start setting up local shows or did you dive right into a massive festival?

Billy Brooks: Before I decided to take this thing on I had put on a total of one show, one show with one band and it was on about three days notice. Luckily that turned out really well and we had a decent turn out even though the first half of the "show" was open mic night for some really bad comedians. That band was a relative unknown in Tucson at the time, Cheap Girls. Ironically enough months later Ian from Cheap Girls helped me talk myself into this fest thing.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Is the 21+ a logistical thing? Skrappy's Youth Collective would appear to be a great venue for All Ages shows. Any chance next year will have some All Ages shows?

Billy Brooks: It's a logistical and enjoyment thing. Skrappy's is a great space and I do mean GREAT, they do so much for music and the community. If anyone reading this wants to play Tucson, and you should, Skrappy's is a great all ages venue. With all that said the downfalls for putting on a larger fest at a place like Skrappy's for me were: no alcohol, earlier curfew and a single stage. I personally would love an all ages stage or fest but to ask people to travel and pay for a multiple day party then tell them they cannot drink is a hard sell, especially within my group of friends and this musically community as a whole. Maybe one day I will be able to open my own all ages venue with my vision.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: In the AMP interview you say your plan this year was to have a smaller festival than last year, but you actually ended up with more bands. Near the end of the same interview you talk about more "well known" bands wanting large guarantees, but say you expect some of those bands next year...I guess that means you expect another WOWFest next year (great!!) and you've decided to succumb to demands that the festival grow larger? Do you see a benefit to bringing in bigger bands and conversely, do you see a benefit in leaving those bands off the roster?

Billy Brooks: Just to clarify, not all the "bigger" bands we were unable to work out for Way Out West Fest were due to monetary issues, a few had logistical issues and some I just never heard back from. There are plenty of bands I will continue to pursue if the fest can continue to move forward, this year is very crucial for me and the fest in the sense that it's do or die. If everyday mostly mainstream Rancid or Social Distortion fan took a look at the lineup for this fest I'm guessing they would pass because with all the great bands we have there are only a handful that a casual fan of this genre would recognize, that being said I love our lineup this year. I love it. I'm happy with the variety, I'm happy with the talent and more than anything I'm happy with the people we have coming out. The folks in these bands are working their asses off for gas money or less and they want this fest to be a success just like I do, Way Out West Fest was never about money and I hope that shows through with all the profit from passes going to the bands. If I can somehow sustain this I will always have "unknown" bands be a part of Way Out West but I would love to have one to six bands that people in and out of the know get excited about, it's better for everyone.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Any final thoughts before you get back to work?

Billy Brooks: There are a lot of fests going on and I see more popping, a lot of good ones too, I don't see this community sustaining them all. I really don't. In all honesty Way Out West may be one that goes by the wayside because it has so much working against it with my refusal to seek out sponsorship to going against Coachella and their reunion
machine on the same weekend. I really hope the "punk" community starts coming out to local shows and smaller fests because guess what; without these bands playing their hearts out and skipping meals to put gas in the van there won't be a band like Refused to reunite down the road. We really need to start using our judgment better as punk
consumers and music lovers in general, buy a shirt, get a record and go to a $5 show with bands you've never heard of. If we do this a little more as a community we'll get stronger and we'll be rewarded with great music. I promise this won't put Warped Tour out of business. I will probably never have the money to compete with these big name productions but I feel that we offer something a little more here; we're making friends.

Here are the details you'll need:

Way Out West Fest in Tucson, AZ features over 60 bands from all over
the United States and is set to take place April 13th-15th, 2012. This
is the second installment of what looks to be like an annual event,
with a roster of independent bands and no corporate sponsors to speak
of Way Out West Fest looks to build on last year's success in lieu of
taking place on the same weekend of The Coachella Valley Music and
Arts Annual Festival in Indio, California.

The lineup includes: The Well, Beside Myself, Bobby Joe Ebola and the
Children MacNuggits, Allout Helter, The Mighty Fine, Shovel and Gun,
Static Thought, The Loss, Come On Die Young, The Plurals, American
Lies, Why I Hate, Hands Like Bricks, Horror Squad, Dudes Night, Samuel
Caldwells Revenge, Bonsai, The Shell Corporation, Plainfield Butchers,
Rumspringer, Prosthetic Arms, Civil War Rust, News From The Front,
Seas Will Rise, Said Gun, Fort Worth, The Angry Lemons, Abolitionist,
French Exit, Margate, Tuck & Roll, Radio Crimes, Young///Savage, Tin
Horn Prayer, Holding Onto Sound, Yulia, Perdition, The Sky We Scrape,
Advocate, Lenguas Largas, Success, The Anchor, Arms Aloft, Gunner's
Daughter, The Maxies, Bastards Of Young, The Slow Death, Tiltwheel,
Turkish Techno, BOATS!, Reverend Loose Morals, Rossi H., New York
Taxi, International Dipshit, Jefferson Deathstar, Heroes For Hire,
Flatwheeler, Pretty Boy Thorson, Joey Briggs of the Briggs, Jeff Rowe,
Lizzie Huffman, and The Bertos.

Three day wristbands are only $25 will all wristband profit going to
the bands. More information is available on their website or their Facebook or their Bandcamp, which has tons of free, downloadable music...well, these albums:

Oh...and Boats! will be there!

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/32140517" iframe="true" /]

26Nov/110

Mark Sultan, The Hexxers, Thee Cormans, Death Hymn Number Nine

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Alex/SultanFlyerSo...on Fri, Nov 25, 2011 the whole damn Punk Retrospective gang traveled to Long Beach, California to see Mark Sultan, The Hexxers, Thee Cormans, and Death Hymn Number Nine. There was no way we were going to miss this show...I mean, Mark Sultan's 50 minute epic, War On Rock’n'Roll , is probably the best "new" music I've heard in 2011 (it was released through on his website for free!!!), PLUS he's done a shitload of other awesome music in notable bands, like the Spaceshits, King Khan & BBQ Show, The Almighty Defenders, etc., etc. Tonight he was just Mark Sultan, watching the opening acts while he sold merch.

I was actually fairly impressed by the opening acts. Death Hymn Number 9, The Hexxers, and Thee Cormans played with as much humor, noise, chaos and grace as they could muster without creating a churning pit of violence. The sight of Thee Cormans' muppet-headed tambourine player is still burned into my fragile mind.

The Punk Retrospective crew got a personal visit from Mark after we made some key purchases from his stacks of vinyl. He was very down to earth and wasn't phased by our sudden lack of intelligence. He graciously accepted my compliments on his musical prowess, vocally and with the guitar, but stated that he's mainly a drummer. He said he was nearly toured out...just tired from constantly being on the road. I thanked him for "The War on Rock'n'Roll" and he told me that's basically what he would be playing tonight. I invited Mark to come play a show in Northern California when he hits the road again...I think I got a solid "maybe" out of him before he began setting up his gear.

Mark@Alex's112511Aside from a few cool videos, I don't believe I'd ever actually witnessed a "one-man band". Mark took the stage calling himself a "rock'n'roll enthusiast" and admonished us to "dance and fight and fuck" before he tore it up for 53 minutes. I left the show convinced Mark Sultan had sold his soul to the devil. This man who admits to having no training can sing and play guitar with the best and most soulful performers in rock history. I really can't say enough good things about him...he writes songs that carry a lot of the style and structure of the fifties then drags them through the 60's fuzz, 70's punk and 90's garage to create something unnervingly real, raw and timeless. A white boy from Montreal with all that talent...how else to explain it but a Faustian bargain?

Among my biggest regrets this year, at least professionally, are the limitations I face financially, which translates to not being able to afford the equipment I need to properly capture performances like this. An iPod Touch, a small HD camera with a built in mic, a digital recorder...sure they capture video and audio, but I could only store 17 minutes and 53 seconds of Mark's performance on my SD card...so that's all you're gonna see...

My hope is that Punk Retrospective will take some bigger chances in 2012...splurge a little on shows, cameras and maybe even book a show or two...still interested Mark?

@Alex's11/25/11

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Mark-Sultan-Ill-Be-Lovin-You.mp3] Mark Sultan - I'll Be Lovin You Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/BBQ%20-%20I%20Wanna%20Be%20The%20Only%20One.mp3] BBQ - I Wanna Be the Only One Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-King-Khan-BBQ-Show-Shake-Real-Low.mp3] The King Khan and BBQ Show - Shake Real Low Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-Spaceshits-Im-Dead.mp3] The Spaceshits - I'm Dead Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/the_almighty_defenders-cone_of_light.mp3] The Almighty Defenders - Cone of Light Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-Ding-Dongs%20-You-Better-Hide.mp3] The Ding Dongs - You Better Hide Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Mind-Controls%20-Self-Immolation-Man.mp3] Mind Controls - Self Immolation Man Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Les-Sexareenos-Low-Low-Low.mp3] Les Sexareenos - Low, Low, Low Link source

Loads more free music on his website...make sure you catch his live show when he starts touring again! He keeps the world fairly updated on where he is here. Oh...and here's that video I promised earlier:

13Apr/116

Interview: Dave Rave and Cups von Helm pt. 2

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

American Devices: 25 Year Retrospective

OK. Dave walked off for a bit to schedule his interview at KVMR in Nevada City, California and Cups and I are sitting at the dining room table talking...(Link to part 1)

Cups: Are you recording?

EDPR: Yep...

Cups: You mean right now? No, it's not recording right now?

EDPR: I've got 17 hours of tape...or whatever, whatever digital file...

Cups: 17 hours...and we've been at it how long?

EDPR: One hour and eight minutes.

Cups: God! I don't know if I can go another 16 hours.

EDPR: Whatever...you gonna wuss out on me? So, while we're waiting for Dave why don't you tell us the story about when you went to New York...

Cups: When I went to New York?

EDPR: Yeah, one time you went to New York...

Cups: There were a couple of times I went to New York, but there was this one time I remember, I was walking down the street with Rick and my good friend I haven't talked to in a while, Eric.

EDPR: That's a good question...are you still friends with these people that you used to be in a band with?

Cups: Yes!

EDPR: So you guys didn't split on bad terms?

Cups: No, no, not in the least...

EDPR: So it was all because you were moving to the states?

Cups: Yes. They thought I was quitting the band, but I said, "no, I'm not quitting, I'm just moving...I'm still a member of the band"..."Well, you won't be able to play with us"...

EDPR: You're still a member of the band?

Cups: (long pause) Well, if you want to mince words...

EDPR: Alright, so you're in New York...with Rick and Eric...

Cups: Yeah, we were with other people, too, but the three of us were walking along and we'd been brown-bagging it all day, you know, meaning that we're drinking all day, just beers, so we had a nice little glow to us and we're taking in all the romantic, you know all the, everything New York has to give you. All the people on the side of the street, you get to one corner and wait for a light to change and start talking to a person, if they wanted to talk to you, but usually they'd tell you to fuck off...whatever. But there's always people selling stuff on the street, so we're walking around looking at everything, taking it in when we came across this one guy. He's got his stuff on the ground, but then he had these playing cards and they were hermaphrodite playing cards, you know.

EDPR: Hermaphrodites...so these are men with breasts...

Cups: ...or women with pricks, whatever...one or the other, they're supposed to be both, right?

EDPR: Right, they're hermaphroditic...

Cups: Yeah, yeah, "Oh my god, a whole deck of playing cards!"...and we all sort of saw it at the same time and for some reason we all were fighting about this, he only had one deck. I guess we all reached for it at the same time and we couldn't figure out...

EDPR: ...who was going to pay for it..

Cups: No, no, we all paid for it, or, I forget who paid for it...that wasn't the question, it was who was going to acquire ownership...and I think we all saw it at the same time and we all wanted it. Because, oh my god, this is something special...if there's anything you're going to get in New York...I'd never even seen them, I never even knew they made these things. I had never seen a picture of a hermaphrodite in my life before that...suddenly, here's a whole bunch of 'em and we're like, "Look at that one, look at that one!" This is before Photoshop, right, so I mean...

EDPR: So they're real..

Cups: Yeah, they must be real, so we ended up splitting the deck three ways, and we're doing that and we're walking up the street, you know, and we couldn't fight over each individual card, so we shuffled the deck and just split it into 3's, made sure everybody had at least as much as everybody else and we're all looking at them and then, as we're walking along the street and there's this big building, whatever it is and we ran straight into Joey Ramone!

EDPR: What? You ran straight into Joey Ramone?

Cups: One of us ran straight into him, I mean bumped into him, literally. It was the side door of some place, I don't even know what it was. Rick's bobbing and weaving with the poetry he has in his mind mixed in with all the brown-bagging he'd been doing all day and he can't believe it's Joey and he's holding these cards. I guess Eric said something to him, I'm not sure and then I went up to Joey, I had this idea, for some reason or another I wanted him to sign one of the cards, but since I was a little bit slower than Joey, at that particular point, I said, "Joey, can you write..." and then Joey said to me, "Yeah, I can write!" (Dave bursts out laughing) I was going to say can you write your name on there, but I couldn't figure out how to ask him! Could you put your autograph on there...can you write...yeah, I can write...and I showed him the cards and he took a card off and then he signed it, right, maybe he didn't even give it back to me, because I don't even know where it is. Then, there are these girls, they're in a big black stretch limousine, it was there, well, maybe it wasn't so stretch, maybe it was my imagination, I know it was black, couldn't have been white. Then we see the girls, they must have been puny because they're going (high pitch) "Joey, Joey, Joey, come on Joey", you know, they had like these little voices. So, that was either one thing I experienced in New York or I just made it up....because I can't find those hermaphrodite cards anywhere!

DR: (laughing) Who cares if it's made up, it's true!

Cups: No, but I had a signed hermaphrodite card from Joey Ramone! Where is it? I'm kicking myself in the head...wouldn't that be one of the most precious things, but of course, I can't remember what I did the rest of the night...

EDPR: Precious in a sick kind of way...

Cups: Not so sick...it's inquiring minds! It's like, your going down and it's like, "Oh my god, look at those playing cards!" it's just like, that's New York for you. I was trying to ask Dave, "What's the thing with New York?" But, New York is vibrant, I'll answer the question the way I wanted him to...it's vibrant, it's just like, the characters in New York from one corner to the next corner, whether it be a grandma of 89 years-old, she's got so much friggin' character, I don't know what it is. Why?

EDPR: Everyone from the grandma on the corner to the hermaphrodites on the playing cards are all characters...

DR: It's a city of characters, man...it really is, totally...

Cups: I think New York shapes you...

EDPR: Do you think New York shapes the world?

Cups: Shapes the east coast anyways...I don't know about the world...

EDPR: I mean, what do you think the repercussions of what you were doing in the late '70's were on the rest of the world? Once it starts hitting, you know, Husker Du coming out of Minneapolis, you've got all these bands coming out across the United States, southern California that are basically emulating the stuff that you guys were doing, right?

Cups: Who really gives a shit?

(Cups and Dave are having quite a good laugh over that one...I must remain earnest...)

EDPR: All I know is, you guys were ten years ahead of me and the stuff you guys were doing shaped my life...

Cups: Oh, you gave a shit...ok...I guess I don't know...

DR: It's hard to say, you know, I think when your just trying to play a gig, you're just making the best music you can make, right. You don't always realize all the implications...we're just going to go down and have some fun tomorrow, somebody might see that show we play and think, "Wow, I didn't know that could be done in this modern world". It might even mean more now than it did back then. You know what I mean, every time you do something it means something.

Cups: I gotta tell you one thing, though. Back when I was playing with the Devices, I was more on the kind of sense that I wanted to play music for the audience. Rick was more about fuckin' 'em up, more about giving them what they didn't want. So, we'd write songs with a hook and he'd write something in to tear that hook apart so he could watch them on the dance floor dancing and then all of a sudden awkward...

EDPR: Not dancing...

Cups: Yes! (Cups starts dancing) and then they bend and they don't know what to do! "What, what? What's wrong...what do we do now?" and then they're just standing there and then they're just about to walk away and we go back to the hook...but eventually, I mean, how many times can you play that song? "Oh, you're gonna play that song again, you ain't getting me on the dance floor!" But he used to do that all the time...he liked it and I used to have, well, not big fights with him, but I would just go, "Come on, Rick, let's just do a song that, you know, just play." No, never.

DR: Yeah, that's not the way the Devices were, but you know that was legit. People were doing all different kinds of things. You had everything from the Ramones, which was a great rockn'roll/pop punk to the Devices, which were not straight forward, they were bending the music. I think that's what made that music interesting...punk rock interesting. You had that wide range of people doing different things and making it valid...as long as it was what you want.

EDPR: People were exploring what the boundaries might be..

DR: Yeah...

EDPR: So, now...nowadays, do you think, I mean, I know there are people that are still doing that, but do you think it's as prevalent as it was in that time period?

DR: Boundaries? Like still breaking boundaries?

EDPR: Or are all the boundaries gone?

DR: No, everybody that comes from each generation hears differently. They'll make new rules. Miles (Heather and Cups' son) is going to hear it differently and when he gets to playing music he'll make his own rules. He'll take everything he heard from us and he's going to make it his own. He'll make his own version of punk rock or whatever he likes and it'll be revolutionary and there will be a whole new set of rules. We'll be like, "No, that's not the way it was done!", but he won't care what we think, he's gonna make it his own way...and that's the beauty of it.

EDPR: (To Miles) Do you give a shit how we think it should be done?

DR: He's already making his own music already. He was singing all weekend, he plays whatever chords he wants in his own style. It's like the Velvet Underground all over, man! I love it, I do! I think it's all there for the attack.

EDPR: It's good to see kids with the...you can talk out loud Miles...

Miles: Goodnight...

EDPR: OK, for Dave...I have a question from one of the contributing authors of Punk Retrospective, from Cribs, he's a Canadian. He's a big fan, by the way. He called you "legendary". So, here's his first question...Was there a sense of camaraderie in the Canadian scene, like, did the Shakers and Teenage head hang out with D.O.A., the Forgotten Rebels and the Viletones, for instance?

DR: Well, in the beginning days, the Viletones and Teenage Head were two of the starting bands, so there was a healthy competition. Rebels came a little bit later, again, a little healthy competition. There was always a camaraderie because we were the only bands...

EDPR: What about when Deja Voodoo came in...

DR: That was a little later on...in the 80's.

EDPR: So, in that beginning thing there was competition, but friendship?

DR: There were friendships, I mean, I remember Nazi Dog...

(Another goodnight to Miles)

DR: I remember, we'd all be hanging out, but there was competition between the different cities, we were Hamilton, they were Toronto. Hamilton had a whole other world, than Toronto did. Montreal had its world. Vancouver had its scene. Just in the way the Dead Kennedys were different from the Ramones, you know what I mean. But I always try to keep an open mind and listen to everybody and take what you like. There were bands in Toronto I didn't particularly care about, and bands in Hamilton I didn't care about, but we'd try to always go listen to them. Anybody you do have an affinity with you try and start a camaraderie with, it was good. Then, when a new band would come up, some of them didn't want to be friends with you and some of them you wanted to be friends with. You became friends...I used to love going to Montreal, because it's a great city, so I always enjoyed it. A great city to hang out in, the bands were good, lot of good guys there. So depending on where it was...I mean, New York was its own world, so back in that time those people really were hard to be friends with.

EDPR: Cliquey?

DR: Yeah, there were always cliques.

EDPR: So, do you think that was happening in every city?

DR: Yeah, sure, there was a clique in every city and when the band came in they'd say, "Prove to me that you're good." You know, there'd be a whole bunch of naysayers, and then you'd play and they'd say, "Ah, you're ok." It was a bit intimidating, in a way.

EDPR: Were you playing with Teenage Head during either of the riots?

DR: Not the...well, which riots?

EDPR: '78 and '81...one is in a film, Last Pogo: 1978 Horseshoe Tavern

DR: Oh, the Pogo in Toronto, no, I wouldn't have been at that, I had my own band by that time.

EDPR: So, you were sitting in the recording studio, playing on every album, basically...

DR: Yeah, at first they played with us. Hamilton was a closer camaraderie because it was a smaller city. We all played with each other...

EDPR: You weren't out on tour with them?

DR: Not at the beginning, but I did go on the road with them, I did go at times, even back then.

EDPR: Another Punk Retrospective contributor, LastofmyKind wonders if there are any almost finished demos or early stuff from back then...

DR: Oh yeah...

EDPR: ...and if there are any leftover songs from the first three...

DR: ...albums? Yeah...there's a few...

EDPR: ...and he says he would love to have a listen to it...so, maybe you could leak some of it?

DR: You know, there's "Wake Up, Shut Up", which never came out, and there are a couple others, umm, "Jet 45"...there's some songs that didn't, what else was around? Yeah, there were definitely songs...

EDPR: I had read that Gord had a bunch of unreleased stuff and was thinking about releasing it?

DR: Yeah, that'll happen in about 2090...

EDPR: The last time you saw him was about 2008, you guys played together or 2009?

DR: Yeah, I played with him at the Grey Cup two years ago...

EDPR: You're still friends with pretty much everyone that's still around?

DR: Yeah, the band, we're in a small city, so when we go home everybody sort of knows each other and, you know, he works at the guitar shop of the guy that promotes my shows and I know Chris Houston, he works at that guitar shop. When Heather and Carl come in, they'll run into people, too, right?

Cups: It's a city of rock stars, I'll tell you, Hamilton...

EDPR: How big is this place?

Cups: Hamilton?

DR: It's about a half a million?

Cups: It's about a quarter bigger than Grass Valley...

Heather: No...

DR: No, you know what, if you took the whole city, but the real downtown, west end, it's probably about 300,000...

EDPR: Wow..ok, here's kind of a bastardization of another question from LastofmyKind, he says...You guys were all from the same neighborhood, same high school...were you listening to the same stuff the other kids in the school were listening to?

DR: No.

EDPR: I mean, obviously there's the influence of the Flamin' Groovies, but what were you primarily listening to that led to the formation of the Shakers and Teenage Head, and did that change over the first few years when punk really started coming around?

DR: Pretty well the same things Carl was into, but that wasn't common music at the time, the Dolls, Iggy, [play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Dictators/dictators-bloodbrothers-05-stay_with_me.mp3]Dictators and then eventually the Ramones, when punk started coming in. We also liked the bands from Britain, the good ones that came over, so, everybody was sort of tuned into the same radio station or the same bunch of records, didn't matter where you were from. It was only small groups of people in each city were listening to the same records...isn't that right? There weren't that many people in Montreal listening to what you were back then?

Cups: Didn't you just tell me the other day you were a big Yes fan when you were back there?

DR: Yes?

Cups: Yeah, Yes fan...

DR: I, well, um, we were, god...we went and saw Yes, King Crimson, too...

Cups: I'm just joking...yeah, King Crimson...

EDPR: Here's the thing I think my two two friends from Canada that are asking you these questions want you to say is...Flamin' Groovies were frickin' awesome...

DR: Yeah...

EDPR: Dave Edmunds..

DR: Dave Edmunds was definitely awesome...

Cups: ...he's a big fan of Dave Edmunds...

EDPR: Gene Vincent

DR: Nick Lowe, I still like Nick Lowe...

EDPR: The way they, or I, feel is that you were reaching back into the '50's and pulling up everything that's good about...

DR: Yeah, Gene Vincent. Well, you see, because what happened was everybody listened to what was current and then the Flamin' Groovies were a band that were again, not everybody was listening to them, they were a cool band. Then what happened is all the records from the '50's started getting revived around the mid-'70's, so we started hearing Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Elvis...and then Robert Gordon came around, he was a rockabilly guy, but he was in the punk era...

EDPR: Carl Perkins...

Cups: Eddie Haskell from Leave It to Beaver...

DR: Oh, definitely...

EDPR: Beaver to Bieber

DR: ...and then Peter Case's band, the Nerves...

EDPR: Oh, yeah, the Nerves!

Which is which?Cups: I can't believe that nobody has taken a picture of Justin Bieber and Leave It to Beaver and put them next to each other...do that for the interview...Cups says I can't figure out which one is who...I keep on getting them mixed up!

DR: Leave It to Bieber!

Cups: I think that's where he got it, I bet his name's not really Justin...it's probably like, John Beaver...we can't call him John Beaver, we'll have to change the whole family...

EDPR: Uhh, next question...furthering that last one, Heather is pushing me along...from Cribs...and actually, you've probably already answered a lot of this, but...

DR: Go ahead...

EDPR: What were you listening to in the late '70's that influenced the Shakers and the Dave Rave Conspiracy? Do you have any plans to re-release "Valentino's Pirates" again, last was 2001, and the Shakers debut?

DR: Yeah, we're gonna do both. At that time we listened to Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, Squeeze, uh, you know, Shakin' Stevens, the guy out of England, he put out this cool rockabilly stuff, Robert Gordon, the Stray Cats, when they started coming out...listened to all those records, everyone liked those ones. As well as the punk stuff, the Ramones were still making great records, all of 'em, you know, Clash, they were all making good records at that time.

Cups: But I thought they all died? The Ramones, aren't they all dead?

DR: ...all dead...now, but he was asking about '79...

Cups: Oh, '79...

EDPR: I'm jumping through time here, Carl...

DR: So, yeah, it was all those bands, plus we were listening to all the new punk bands that were coming up from, you know, like L.A. So there were a lot of good bands, that was a fun time, it was good music actually. Even Cheap Trick had some good records...

EDPR: Oh yeah, even the commercial rock was okay at that point, it seems like...

DR: Sylvain Syvain made some great records, Johnny Thunders was making great records, David Johansen, they were all making records, solo records, they were all good, we loved them all.

EDPR: Alright, ummm...

DR: Dwight Twilley...

EDPR: Who?

Cups & DR: Dwight Twilley, remember they had that one record, "I'm on Fire".

EDPR: What about Conway Twitty?

DR: Yeah, I like Conway Twitty...

Cups: He's an old school guy...he's down there with the truckers...

DR: Johnny Cash...

Cups: Who's the old country guy down with the truckers?

DR: David Dudley

Cups: It's like, I'm "Two Six Packs Away" from my babe...

DR: That's right...

EDPR: OK, I have a question and I want all of you Canadians to answer in unison...all three of you, Heather, Carls, Cups, Carl, Dave...is there one Canadian artist that everyone in the United States should know about that we don't know about?

(stuttering, mumbling...)

EDPR: He's like the core of Canada...

Heather: I know, I know!

Finally, in unison: Stompin' Tom!

EDPR: What is it about Stompin' Tom?

DR: Oh, come on...

EDPR: OK, what's the best song Stompin' Tom ever did?

Cups: Oh, the french fry one, "Ketchup Loves Potatoes", he wrote a love song about french fries loving ketchup. Then he wrote another about the The Moon-Man Newfie (The Man In The Moon Is A Newfie).

EDPR: What I've heard of him, he sounds like American country, like a Johnny Cash...so, how is it these three punk rockers from the old days are in love with Stompin' Tom?

Cups: Well, he's a folklorist, you know, he used to travel and he writes songs going up and down the coast from one side to the other. He wrote songs about every province and a lot of cities...he wrote songs about Canada and he wrote them with compassion and honesty. He was funny...great patter, great showman. He played in the hotels by himself, just him, his guitar and his beat. He'd bang his one cowboy boot into the stage. I think this is how the story goes...he was playing one hotel, he was playing there so much the hotel owner thought he was going to wear a hole in the stage, because he always liked sitting in the middle of the round stage. Stompin' Tom told him, well, I gotta keep a beat, so the hotel owner gave him a plank to stomp on and then he got another sound off the plank. Then he started traveling with a plank. When I saw him live, he'd come out with his black hat, take it off and wave it at the crowd with one hand, and in the other was the plank. He'd slap it down and they'd mic the board, which meant they were basically miking his heel...so that was Stompin' Tom.

DR: Like Carl was saying...each song was individual to each area, he was like a Chuck Berry, writing about the Canadian experience.

EDPR: Were there other folklorists like him?

DR: Well, he's the major one...

Cups: Well, you don't forget about Lightfoot...

DR: Yeah, Gordon Lightfoot, but he wrote a lot about America, too.

Cups: Yeah, but Gordon Lightfoot never got a laugh out of me, I mean, you can't put on one of his records and start laughing and have a party like you can with Stompin' Tom.

DR: Yeah, Gordon Lightfoot didn't have humor like Stompin' Tom, Stompin' Tom had humor...

Cups: Just like the Ramones...

EDPR: I might just do a dot, dot, dot about this section...but it's pretty amazing that the two of you, coming from different sounding bands would each have members that feel this pull towards a man that doesn't really have anything to do with that type of scene...you know a punk scene...

Cups: Oh, Tom was a punk...in his own way he's a punk. He loved everyone but he was hard...We love our Stompin' Tom!

EDPR: OK, so now I have a couple more questions for Dave, from the columnists, and to me they almost sound disrespectful...

DR: That's ok, go ahead...I can take it, I've been disrespected my whole life...

EDPR: Since the Shakers had a similar sound, but didn't have the notoriety, do you think Teenage Head was helped by the two riots? Horseshoe and Ontario Place, and the punk label, even though they became pretty commercial? So, maybe it's not...

DR: Oh, I don't think that's disrespectful...I mean, they both were two different styles, I think what it was is Teenage Head had a little heavier guitar sound and as a result I think they could cross more boundaries. You could be a guy who liked punk and like Teenage Head, but also, don't forget, at that time there was still a big hard rock, like you could like Triumph, for example and like Teenage Head, because they still had that drive, a pumpin' drive. Teenage Head was more like a new wave band, like a new wave Dave Edmundsy kind of thing. Actually, the Shakers did better in Europe, as imports, like when I was in Italy year a guy was telling me how much he loved them...

EDPR: What do you think the major difference in the sound was then? I mean, yeah, it's the guitar, more distorion...

DR: Yeah, Teenage Head had that, and both had the rockabilly, but back in those times there were still a lot of rock bars, and Teenage Head could do that anywhere in Canada, and still can.

EDPR: By doing covers?

DR: No, no...by doing their own stuff. See, their songs were getting played on rock radio. Teenage Head could still get the headbangers and the punkers, and in the long run that's why Teenage Head outlasted the punk revolution. They could go to Edmonton, go to Calgary, Winnepeg...all the towns and do that rockin' thing. So, if you didn't like punk rock at all, you could still like Teenage Head.

Heather: Yeah...

DR: They transferred into the rock world where a lot of the other punk bands in Canada couldn't. Gordy Lewis was a very good guitar player. He could transfer that Iggy thing into main stream...that's a talent to be able to do that. The way the Stones could do it, how they could take Chuck Berry and make it bigger than Chuck Berry. Teenage Head could do that same thing, they could get that riff.

EDPR: I've heard that some of the opening chords to Teenage Head's songs are as well known as the Canadian anthem...

DR: Yeah, right...so, that's a big part of Teenage Head's sound, I understand it, I played in both bands so I can see the energy that both bands brought. We brought more of a rockabilly, fun, dancing kind of thing, so a lot of our fans were girls, where they had guys, as well as girls. So the guys could hang out on Gord's end of the stage and the girls could hang out on Steve's end. With the Shakers, we could always get girls, because we were playing more of that Dave Edmonds, Squeeze, Ramones...you know, we could bring all of those elements in. We weren't a riff band.

EDPR: The strange thing to me is, it seems as time progressed politics became a bigger part of punk, but it never seemed to with Teenage Head, or most Canadian punk until D.O.A. or Subhumans and then even more so with bands like Propagandhi. What is your feeling about politics in rockn'roll?

DR: Well, one of the reasons it didn't effect Canada as much is because it's a different world. We're a smaller country. The only politics, really, was in Quebec, because of that separation.

EDPR: Were there punk bands on either side of that Quebec separation?

DR: Well, Mickey, the guy in the Rebels sort of had in him a political thing, but it was more ironic than it was serious. So it was all a tongue in cheek point of view. Our world, really, you have to remember it's a small country, we only really had one major market we were playing to and that was Toronto. Some of the Toronto bands that stuck around there did get a little bit political, but it was more the political, like womens' rights, and maybe like feel good kind of political, or political correctness...like Parachute Club had "Rise Up, Rise Up" and it was sort of like more gay anthems, they sort of took that in the mid-80's, that whole equal rights, gay rights, more that kind of thing instead of political rights. That was one of the problems with bands we had, because you have to remember who we're playing to. Say one night we might be playing in Hamilton, and we have a certain audience, then Toronto, the next place we'd play was a place nobody's ever heard of called Hagersville, which was as big as...how many people would you say Heather?

Heather: 800 people...

DR: 800 people in that town...and they were basically farmers...and they really wanted to hear the Allman Brothers. At that point, what we were doing, they hadn't even heard of Elvis Costello, yet, or Squeeze, or any of these bands. So, we were coming in there playing this kind of music and they're looking at you like, "Where's the boogie rock, baby?" You see, Teenage Head could sort of get away with that, because they had that hard guitar and the sound was more familiar...they could hear a thing in it. Then, after playing Hagersville, you're in Port Dover, think about these places, I mean, that's even smaller...

EDPR: OK, so here's what I want to hear from you right now. I want to hear from you guys, just being kids, to your interest in music and this splintering off into you being the Shakers and them being Teenage Head and then you coming back together. How that all happened, because it's really unclear on the internet. It's almost like you're this guy who was kind of their pal, but they did all this stuff, and then you came in later and destroyed the band...

DR: Well, that's probably a good way to put it.

EDPR: Well, that's how it's out there...

DR: That's probably good...

EDPR: You think so?

DR: Probably to some degree. Nah, I think what happened probably was that the band had a core audience, it was a punk rock audience, in the beginning, and then from there it got mainstream, like the band got more popular and reached outside the punk audience...and then it lost the initial spark of the punk days and, umm, what ended up happening was, then, if I put it correctly...

Heather: It was the singer...

DR: Yeah, and so, the band...Heather was there, she remembers all that stuff probably better than I do, because she was...well, maybe you don't, we probably remember the same thing. But, what ended up happening was they were doing that thing at the same time I was doing the Shakers. Teenage Head could, because of that sort of thing of the groove that they could get into, they could reach a mainstream audience, but as they moved on lyrically the band changed. The band, in the beginning, was writing about what was in front of them, which was partying...and so then, in the Shakers thing, because it was hard to break out of that, at that time, umm, the environment that we were in, when you break out of...really what we should have done was go to England right away, and Europe right away, but we had no idea, because there was nobody telling us anything, what to do. When we finally made the break in that band, to where it was successful, the guitar player quit the band...at this...as the moment was starting to happen, so the band never got a chance to really connect with that. It's as if Johnny Ramone quit just as they put out their big album.

EDPR: Or like when Ian Curtis hung himself the night before the big U.S. tour...

DR: That's right, yeah...and then Teenage Head had a tragedy in them, too, Gord Lewis got in a car accident. So, if you take that backdrop, the market for what we were doing was still very tough to break and if you look at Teenage Head, being now commercial, because the radio stations are playing them, when we all joined forces we just tried to do the best we could do to bring the energy back...and, for a couple of years it was pretty good. Then the rot set in, because of just inertia, really, and the singer got tired and the drummer got tired and they left the band. So, they looked at me and said, "Can you keep the band going?" and I said, "OK". So, I kept the band going, until, you know, we made a final record, which people seemed to like...and then we'd done our time and it was time to move on...but, then they regrouped after that and continued on and really never made any more records after that, they just played those first three albums until Frank died.

EDPR: So, then, why would you take the blame for that?

DR: Well, it's better me...

EDPR: Better you than them?

DR: Might as well. Why not? You know, I don't care, I don't mind taking the blame. You know, it's ok.

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Dave%20Rave%20Group/10%20Love%20Fades.mp3] Dave Rave Group - Love Fades Link source from Dave Rave Group - Everyday Magic

So, that's hour 2...the conversation about the demise of Teenage Head will continue in the next installment. I've read some interesting, sometimes contradictory, bits on Facebook regarding the trip to New York Cups was talking about...maybe interested parties would like to jump in and comment here?

Below is a link to the American Devices: 25 Year Retrospective complete with explicit lyrics...Amazon is too cheap to drop an image of the sleeve in, here's what I have:
American Devices: 25 Year Retrospective

Buy directly from the American Devices here! For more "specialized" requests e-mail Rick Trembles at ricktrembles@hotmail.com ...I'll add more Devices songs as they become available...

Collectible American Devices @ GEMM