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Now I wanna be your frog: SOGGY, the heaviest French rock band you’ve never heard of
03:37 pm



Today marks the first proper release of the self-titled album by French heavy rock band SOGGY by Outer Battery Records. Recorded in 1981, the 11-song album was originally pressed in a limited run of just 300 copies and is considered somewhat of a record collecting trophy piece by lovers of unhinged garage rock.

SOGGY started out playing cover versions of songs by Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, MC5 and the Stooges in 1978, but soon started writing and performing their own material. At first (and second) glance, the group looks a lot like the Ramones backing Brother Rob Tyner. Snarling lead singer Beb, a natural born frontman of the Iggy Pop school of onstage decorum, was a crazy shirtless motherfucker with a huge Afro and the group, with a foot in both the punk and heavy rock camps called their music “hard wave.” They released one single “Waiting for the War” and played more than 100 concerts, but the band split in July of 1982, finding it difficult to support themselves financially right when they were offered the opening slot for a European Judas Priest concert tour.

A few years back, a clip of SOGGY performing live on French television in 1981, was posted on YouTube and began making the rounds of rock snobs causing a minor sensation. Early on the SOGGY train, Dangerous Minds editor Marc Campbell called them possibly “the coolest thing to come out of France since Françoise Hardy” and “a French heavy rock band from the early 1980s who managed to channel the spirit of MC5 and The Stooges in ways that few bands have managed to do.”

Brian Turner, the music director at WFMU radio, had this to say about SOGGY:

“France’s unstoppable monsters of mayhem put the Motor City in your Motörhead. Face punching riffs, complete destruction, who the hell else could spit Iggy off the stage? They did in 1980. The power of Beb compels you.”

Beb returned to the stage for the first time in over 35 years when he joined The Shrine—who’d recorded a cover of “Waiting For The War”—in Paris last year. He also recently joined them onstage at a heavy metal festival in Las Vegas, with the journey being shot for an upcoming SOGGY documentary.

I asked SOGGY’s fierce frontman, the amazing Beb—who does 700 sit-ups each morning before he goes to work—a few questions via email:

Dangerous Minds: What was a SOGGY concert like?

Beb: Our music and attitude was very rough, we were always on a high-energy level (without any drugs apart from goat’s milk). And the audiences were usually a bit surprised because at this time most of the other bands were considered “cooler” than us.

How did modern day interest in SOGGY come about on the Internet?

Beb: In fact, all of the recent interest comes from our unique video which was filmed in the local FR3 television studios. It began to go viral on the net around year 2000 and led to our discovery by a new and worldwide audience.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Unboxing the Los Angeles Free Music Society’s new 13-LP collection—a Dangerous Minds premiere
12:09 pm



Members of the Los Angeles Free Music Society, 1976 (photo courtesy of The Box LA and Fredrik Nilsen Studio)
In 2012, the Los Angeles Free Music Society celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding, and the LA gallery The Box marked the occasion with the exhibition “Beneath the Valley of the Lowest Form of Music.” Now, under the auspices of Box Editions, a selection from every performance that took place during the run of the show has been painstakingly mastered, pressed on an LP side, and collected in the handsome seven-hour, thirteen-disc set LAFMS BOX BOX

If you’re new to the work of the LAFMS, their music is “free” in every sense. Free in terms of improvisational structure, free expression, and free association; free from generic restrictions, free from inhibitions, free as in liberated, free to come and go, free time, guilt-free, and even free of charge (“The music is free, but you have to pay for the plastic, paper, ink, glue and stamps,” as they say). Perhaps no group of musicians has ever been a better candidate for one of those “family tree” posters head shops used to sell. Not only does the LAFMS comprise a number of interrelated groups, ad hoc configurations of members, and solo excursions—Le Forte Four, the Doo-Dooettes, AIRWAY, Human Hands, Bpeople, Dinosaurs With Horns, and Solid Eye are some of the bands that populate the LAFMS’s alternate-universe Los Angeles, the one that is actually familiar to people who live here—but the society is also a nexus of the whole American underground of a certain period. Over the years the Residents, Captain Beefheart, Half Japanese, Wild Man Fischer, Mayo Thompson, the Meat Puppets, NON, Phranc, Christian Death, and 45 Grave have all contributed in some way to the massive LAFMS oeuvre. And Smegma originated as part of the LAFMS. And Michael Gira was the original singer of the band that became Bpeople. And founding member Dennis Duck is also the drummer in the Dream Syndicate. And artists Mike Kelley (to whose memory LAFMS BOX BOX is dedicated) and Jim Shaw of Destroy All Monsters have played in LAFMS bands and appear on this very set. You get the idea.

The thirteen LPs break down like this. Sides A and B: Opening Reception Improvisation (Dennis Duck, John Duncan, Ace Farren Ford, Joseph Hammer, Mike Kelley, Fredrik Nilsen, Joe Potts, Rick Potts, Tom Recchion, Vetza); Side C: Artificial Art Ensemble; Side D: The Tenses; Side E: Tom Recchion; Side F: The Doo-Dooettes; Side G: Le Forte Four; Side H: Smegma; Side I: AIRWAY; Side J: Ace & Duck / Artificial Art Ensemble; Side K: Dinosaurs With Horns; Side L: Vetza & Joe Potts; Side M: Dolphin Explosion; Side N: F For Ache; Side O: Eddie Ruscha, Jim Shaw, Dani Tull; Side P: Extended Organ; Side Q: Feedback Waveriders; Side R: Artzenkraft; Side S: Small Drone Orchestra; Side T: Albert Ortega; Side U: Points Of Friction; Side V: Rick Potts; Side W: The Jrks; Side X: Joe & Joe; Side Y: Oolies; Side Z: Rahdunes.

LAFMS BOX BOX and some of its innards (photo courtesy of The Box LA and Fredrik Nilsen Studio)
We at DM are happier than a handkerchief at a snot party to premiere three videos that reveal this new box set in all its variegated and sensuous glory. In the first very special clip, members of the Los Angeles Free Music Society join the Pillsbury Doughboy in marveling at the box’s contents. Next comes a very, very special look at LAFMS BOX BOX with Corazon del Sol, pitched especially to members of the ASMR community—you know, those lucky few whisper fetishists chosen by natural selection for no-mess skin orgasms. And finally, there is a very, very, very special video in which the artist Paul McCarthy, who is a member of the LAFMS group Extended Organ, spends over an hour counting every countable item in the box.

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Meet ‘The Fred Banana Combo’ Germany’s first new wave punks
08:56 am



While the name of Düsseldorf band The Fred Banana Combo might sound more like something you’d come across in a bargain bin at your local record shop, don’t let their amusing moniker fool you as it appears the somewhat obscure band was responsible for releasing what has often been classified as “the very first independent punk/new wave single” to come out in Germany in 1978. The single contained two hot tracks, “No Destination Blues” and the in-your-face “Jerk off All Night Long.”

The band were one of many that played legendary Düsseldorf punk club the Ratinger Hof in the 80s, which also served as a rehearsal place for the band. The Ratinger Hof was a mecca for up and coming punk bands, many who gained a foothold thanks to the The Hof’s fertile breeding ground. Discovered by Krautrock king Conny Plank (who would produce the band’s first four records) Fred Banana’s sound, much like Plank’s, is rather unique. Purely punk at times FBC enjoyed infusing their sound up with new wave and power pop with most of their jams punching out in less than three minutes. The band’s first full-length album, 1981’s FBC was fast, loud and rowdy and when combined all eighteen tracks on the record clock in at just over 30 minutes. Like a lot of bands trying to cut their teeth FBC was fond of doing covers and have recorded a few great ones including Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” and “Runaway” by Del Shannon. Both songs feature the fantastic vocals of FBC’s Nicolle Meyer—formerly the muse of influential French photographer and Man Ray protégé Guy Bourdin. The multi-talented Ms. Meyer also doubled as the timekeeper for FBC.

FBC were no more by the late 80s only to return with their original lineup in 2015 and a new record containing eleven fresh songs. One of them, the devastatingly cool “Splinters”  features the guest vocals of Sara Jay of Massive Attack fame. The Best of The Old Shit and The New Shit also contains twenty tracks from the band’s back catalog as well as a DVD featuring FBC appearances on Rockpalast. I’ve included two FBC live performances from 1980, their excellent cover of “Bird on a Wire,” plus the original song “I Don’t Know,” as well as “No Destination Blues” and “Splinters” for you to listen to below. I would have posted the masterfully weird “Jerk Off All Night Long” but it came along with lots of photos of topless ladies which while they pair perfectly with the songs title, was a little too visually stimulating to post here on a family publication like DM. You can “listen” to it here whenever you’re needing some alone time.

Much more after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Black Flag: Scorching multi-camera pro-shot concert, live in San Francisco, 1984
03:29 pm



Here’s an outstanding specimen of Black Flag as a galvanizing live act. This was one of Black Flag’s strongest lineups, Greg/Henry/Kira and Descendents stalwart Bill Stevenson on the drums.

This was recorded on August 26, 1984, at the Stone in San Francisco for the explicit purpose of making an official SST live album and video. The album came out—its title was Live ‘84—but the VHS release never happened. The Jettisoundz VHS release known simply as Black Flag is not the same show, that set was recorded in Bradford in the UK a few months earlier.

Black Flag start the show with an 8-minute-plus version of “The Process Of Weeding Out” that (even though it sounds good) had me in the mind of making a Spinal Tap “jazz odyssey” joke, but wouldn’t you know, the next three songs are “Nervous Breakdown,” “I Can’t Decide,” and “Slip It In” and the unmistakable Black Flag fury is fully present and accounted for. Kira is in excellent form during this entire set.

The Process Of Weeding Out
Nervous Breakdown
I Can’t Decide
Slip It in
My Ghetto
Black Coffee
I Won’t Stick Any of You Unless and Until I Can Stick All of You!
Forever Time
Six Pack
My War
Jealous Again
I Love You
Swinging Man
Three Nights
Nothing Left Inside
Fix Me
Wound up
Rats Eyes
The Bars



Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
CBGB’s awning being auctioned by Sotheby’s is expected to fetch at least $25,000
09:23 am

Stupid or Evil?


Man, who knew rock ‘n’ roll was so posh? Earlier this week, we alerted you to the sale of Dennis Hopper’s extremely modest record collection for only about 1500 times its probable value. This is unrelated, but it feels like a part of the same stupidity: an awning from CBGB, the Bowery dive bar that in the ‘70s became the Ur venue for the musical insurgency that would come to be known as punk rock, is being auctioned by the elite house Sotheby’s, and is estimated to fetch between $25,000 and $35,000.

The club was never really home base for people who could afford that kind of cash outlay for an outsized souvenir—the bands that played there were decidedly low-rent. The bands that made the place a Mecca included the Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, Blonde, Talking Heads, the Cramps, and the Dead Boys (who recorded their live album Night of the Living Dead Boys there), well before they became marquee names. After a long and legendary run, the club closed ten years ago, and was “resurrected” in name only as we shit you not a restaurant in the Newark Airport (one and a half stars on Yelp). That restaurant has a small-scale replica of the club’s iconic awning. One of the several actual awnings that adorned the club’s doorway over the years lives on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but while the Sotheby’s web site claims that the awning for sale is the original, Time Out New York says that’s incorrect:

Though the venerable auction house is listing the item as the “original awning for punk mecca CBGB,” that’s not actually the case. It’s a version rescued from the trash in 2004 by former club manager Drew Bushong. Bushong’s find was one several iterations of the iconic sign, beginning with the first one hand-painted by CBGB owner Hilly Kristal. That awning is believed to have been stolen one night in the 1980s by the band Jody Foster’s Army (JFA), after the group played a gig. It’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Yeah, that’s fucking hilarious. I didn’t realize I could love JFA more!

The auction is scheduled for Saturday, December 10th. I’m sincerely hoping some CBGB O.G. gets it, but it will probably get sold to a fuckin’ pharma bro.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Meet Tony Coca Cola & the Roosters, the fake punk band from ‘The Driller Killer’
10:01 am



A minor obsession of mine is subculture representation in popular entertainment and mainstream media, especially as regards punk rock. That movement in particular was subjected to so many cartoonish misrepresentations that cataloguing them all would be a Sisyphean undertaking. The infamous “punk” episodes of TV’s Quincy and CHiPs set the gold standard for cluelessness, and countless hysterical local news segments ran the misconceptions into the ground. It’s more illuminating, in this scribe’s humble view, to look at the far rarer instances of anyone getting it right.

One of my favorite examples of actually nailing it is Tony Coca Cola and the Roosters, the fake band from The Driller Killer, the 1979 debut feature from Abel Ferrara, who’d go on the give the world infamous filmed provocations like Ms. 45, King of New York, and Bad Lieutenant. In the film, Ferrara himself (under the pseudonym Jimmy Laine) plays unsuccessful New York artist Reno Miller. Living off the largesse of his gallerist, Miller is unable to break through a creative block. Facing destitution and an eviction deadline, Miller approaches the art dealer for further funds, and is rejected unless he can complete a painting in a week. Complicating this challenge is his neighbor, Tony Coca Cola, whose band practices incessantly right in his apartment, depriving Miller of peace and sleep, causing his grip on reality to slip away. He snaps and embarks on an killing spree, offing derelicts with the movie’s eponymous power tool.

Ferrara, a Bronx native, was surely really plugged in to NYC’s seediness, so nothing about Tony Coca Cola and the Roosters rings particularly fake—it’s an entirely plausible band of the era. Check it out:


Sounds like an even more primitive Heartbreakers, with its stripped-down Chuck-Berry-via-Johnny-Thunders riffing. The band was made up of artist/author D. A. Metrov (under the pseudonym “Rhodney Montreal”) as singer/guitarist Tony Coca Cola, one Dickey Bittner on bass (in his only acting credit), and Steve Brown on drums, who’d resurface in a role in the 1988 gang/heist flick Deadbeat at Dawn. Metrov also executed the Reno Miller paintings in the film.

The above clip is from a restored version of The Driller Killer that’s being released by Arrow Video. The Blu-ray/DVD set features a new 1080p high def restoration from original film elements and an audio commentary by Ferrara, among other goodies. It’s the entire original cut, which was once banned in the UK as one of the “Video Nasties” that were suppressed in an infamous episode of official censorship in the ‘80s.

After the jump, watch another clip from ‘The Driller Killer’ as Tony Coca Cola and the Roosters audition backup singers while Miller tries to paint a buffalo…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Ugly Xmas sweater with Rick from ‘The Young Ones’
03:11 pm



The last few years have seen an explosion in “ugly Christmas sweater” designs. On DM alone we’ve brought you designs keying off subjects like the Friday the 13th franchise, Blondie, Iron Maiden, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Motörhead, among many others.

It’s gotten so prevalent that we’ve actually started passing on some of them. If we showed you all of them, this would turn into a ugly holiday sweater blog, and who wants that? But every now and then, one stands out from the pack, and those we’re more than happy to show you.

The design for today isn’t actually a sweater, it’s a sweatshirt done to resemble a sweater. Not only does it feature the “People’s Poet” Rick from The Young Ones, it actually references a specific scene from “Bambi,” unquestionably one of the better episodes of the series, which only ran for 12 episodes. It premiered on the BBC on May 8, 1984, and on MTV a year or two later. That episode featured perhaps the best musical performance of the series, with Motörhead kindly obliterating “Ace of Spades.” It’s also the episode with the University Challenge competition that has the fantastic scene in which Neil preps Rick on a train on the way to the quiz show.

The line “Hands up who likes me?” is something only the desperately disliked and needy Rick would ever say, and it immediately conjures an image of the rest of the flatmates thrusting their hands down as far as possible while Rick alone pointlessly flings both of his hands above his head. The scene is exquisitely played by the entire foursome but especially Rik Mayall, also one of the main writers of the series, who sadly passed on in 2013.

Here’s the scene in dialogue form; the episode was written by Mayall, Ben Elton, and Lise Mayer with “additional material by Alexei Sayle”:

Rick: [stands up abruptly] Why don’t you like me?
Vyvyan: Because you’re a complete bastard.
Rick: Vyvyan, I’m being serious!
Vyvyan: So am I. You’re a complete bastard and we all hate you.
Rick: [shaking his head] I find that rather difficult to believe.
Vyvyan: Do you want to bet on it? I’ll put down a fiver.
Neil: Yeah, me too.
Mike: You can count me in as well.
[Vyv, Neil, and Mike put their money on the table]
Rick: Yes, eh, I…I don’t bet.
Vyvyan: Coward!
Neil: Yeah, yellow chicken!
Rick: Alright, I’m not scared!
Vyvyan: Right, then, a fiver!
Rick: Oh, I haven’t got any money.
Neil: What about that tenner I lent you this morning? For your sister’s operation?
Vyvyan: You haven’t got a sister, Rick! You’re the classic example of an only child.
Rick: Alright, alright, are we going to bet or are we going to piffle around all night? [slaps money on the table] There’s a tenner!
Vyvyan: Quiet, everybody, the bet’s on!
Rick: Right. Hands up, who likes me! [Rick throws both arms into the air, while the other three guys drop their hands to the floor] DAMN! Right, that’s it, I’m going to kill myself. [He removes his belt] Then you’ll be sorry!
Vyvyan: No, we won’t. [Rips the tenner in half and gives one half to Mike]

After this Rick becomes temporarily despondent and tries to kill himself and if you know the episode at all well you know exactly where that leads.

TeeChip is selling the sweatshirt for just $31, but you can also get the design on a shirt or mug or smartphone case if you prefer, those options are all a little less expensive. Note that you can only get them in the next two days, then the sale is over.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Strassenjungs: The ‘fake’ German punk rockers who toured with The Clash
09:59 am



German ‘punk’ band Strassenjungs circa 1980.
In 1977 two German producers decided to try to follow Malcolm McLaren’s success with the Sex Pistols by creating a “fake” punk rock band. The result would be a quad hailing from Frankfurt called Strassenjungs (which translates as “Street Boys”).

Axel Klopprogge and Eckehard Ziedrich pulled Strassenjungs together during a time when the punk scene was still in a formative state in Germany. Their timing, as far as Strassenjungs was concerned, was pretty perfect. It should have worked. But it didn’t.

Despite getting lucky enough tour rather extensively through Europe with The Clash in late 1977 (and according to the band’s official site Siouxise & The Banshees in 1980), Strassenjungs’ albums pretty much bombed as soon as they were released. Which is strange because they were seemingly laser-focused on being as “aggressive” as possible penning songs about teenage rebellion, sex, drugs and booze. While the combination of these things generally produce hit-making results, this was not the case for Strassenjungs until much later in their career. They were never truly accepted into the punk scene in Germany and in 1977 German musician Peter Hein accused the band of not being “punk” at all but “langhaarig, blödfressig, deutsch” or “long-haired, loud-mouthed Germans.”

If certain folklore about Strassenjungs is to be believed after a couple of failed records in 1982 the band’s debut record was added to the German Index (a censorship program) under the charge of “inciting crime and alcohol abuse” both of which seem pretty fucking punk rock to me. Sadly the dubious classification now prevented the album from being sold to minors. With all that working against them you’d think Strassenjungs might have called it quits, but they didn’t. Though they’ve been through various lineup changes over the decades the band still performs today with original bassist Nils Selzer. I’ve included some singles from Strassenjungs for you to consider below as well as a couple of photos of the band pretending to be punks back the day. If you dig what you hear in this post here’s a link pick up a “best of” compilation from the band Strassenfeger: Die Hit-Box! (best of) by Strassenjungs.

The goofy cover of Strassenjungs’ 1977 debut.
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Faster, Harder, Longer: Switzerland’s pioneering punk exports the electrifying ‘Nasal Boys’
09:44 am



Swiss punk rockers, Nasal Boys.
Like most punk rock jams, Swiss punks the Nasal Boys didn’t stick around too long after getting their start back in Zürich in 1976. By 1978 the the band ditched their original name and became the far less interesting sounding “EXPO” (”EXPO”?) before disbanding all together in 1979.

One of the first punk records to ever come out of Switzerland was a 7” put out by the Nasal Boys in 1977. Released by Swiss label Periphery Perfume it’s a blistering piece of vinyl containing two singles “Hot Love” and “Die Wüste Lebt.” Both support the band’s motto “Schneller, Harter, Langer” (or Faster, Harder, Longer). According to early interviews with the band they claimed their primary source of inspiration came from U.S. punk acts, and not UK acts like the Sex Pistols and The Clash. However, it would be Joe Strummer and his bandmates who gave Nasal Boys their big break when they asked the Swiss quad to open a show for them in their hometown of Zürich on October 1st, 1977 thanks to the success of their fist-pumping single “Hot Love.”

Later in 1978 Nasal Boys would put on what has been credited as the very first live gig featuring a punk band in Gersang, Emmen, an inner part of Switzerland. In addition to The Clash, Nasal Boys would share bills with other hugely influential punk bands like The Stranglers, Suicide and The Damned.

If you’re unfamiliar with Nasal Boys and now love them, I have good news. Back in 2006, 1000 copies of a Nasal Boys compilation called Lost and Found (featuring both studio and live recordings) was pressed much to the delight of punks with classy ears. Though it’s tough to track down a copy, if you’re intrepid enough you will find it. I’ve include some wicked footage of Nasal Boys performing their song “Manifesto” on Swiss television, the addictive single “Hot Love,” and the very Clash-y sounding track, “Die Wüste Lebt.” I’ve also included a strange bit of footage featuring Nasal Boys vocalist Leo Remmel from Swiss television that contains some excellent raw live performance clips from the band. I strongly recommend that you listen to to everything in this post at the highest possible volume. Posers get LOST!

A flier advertising a Nasal Boys show with Bastards and formative female Swiss post-punk band Kleenex from 1978.

Fantastic footage of Nasal Boys performing their single “Manifesto” on Swiss television.
More Nasal Boys after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Product of America’: Members of the Germs and Meat Puppets resurrect a Phoenix punk band from 1978
09:18 am



I don’t expect that many people think of Phoenix, AZ, as a nerve center of punk rock. My go-to Phoenix bands have long been the Meat Puppets, Sun City Girls, and to a lesser degree the Feederz, but that’s been about the extent of my knowledge of that city’s contributions. Little did I know that it was a hub where a surprising number of crucial spokes met.

The Exterminators were a short-lived Phoenix punk band whose existence has long eluded the outside world. They existed only in 1977 and 1978 and never released a single note of music, but its members went on to play in The Germs (drummer Don Bolles), 45 Grave (bassist Rob Graves, Bolles), The Gun Club (Graves), The Feederz (singer Dan “Johnny Macho” Clark), and Mighty Sphincter (guitarist Doug “Buzzy Murder” Clark). The only known surviving documents of the band were a raw sounding and totally unheard cassette recording of a 1978 gig, and a few songs, among them “Bionic Girl” and “Destruction Unit,” which Dan Clark brought with him to the Feederz, and which appeared on their debut Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss?. This gap in the historical record has been corrected: Slope Records, a Phoenix-based archival label with a local focus, has released Product of America, a brand-new recording of that 1978 material by the original band, minus the deceased Mr. Graves (RIP 1990, many punk points awarded for pseudonymous irony), whose spot has been filled by another Phoenix lifer, Cris Kirkwood of The Meat Puppets.

The album is a primal emission of toxic hate-noise, recorded quickly so as to preserve the younger band’s raw directness, though it’s being played by now-seasoned musicians almost 40 years after the fact of the songs’ creation (though when we chatted, Bolles wisecracked that just because he’s made a lot of music doesn’t mean he’s learned to play). It contains “Bionic Girl” and “Destruction Unit,” plus 14 other blasts of malice, with themes ranging from sexual depravity to nihilistic politics. Dangerous Minds was privileged to speak with Bolles and Kirkwood about the early Phoenix scene (such as it was), the formation of The Exterminators, and the circumstances that led to the release of Product of America.

Cris Kirkwood: The Exterminators were a band from about 77-78, and I never saw them when they were active. Derrick Bostrom, the Meat Puppets’ original drummer, was a lot more hip to the local scene, and once I started hanging around with him I became aware of things that had happened before I started playing. My first Phoenix punk rock show was this thing called “Trout-O-Rama” and one of the band’s was the Brainz, which was Doug Clark’s band, and he was “Buzzy Murder” in The Exterminators. He was friends with someone I’d gone to grade school with, and eventually I got to be friends with Doug and his brother Dan, who was “Johnny Macho” in The Exterminators. 

Don Bolles:There wasn’t really a punk scene at that time, just this band The Consumers, which I tried to be in but I wasn’t a good enough. I tried to start things in Phoenix but nobody else I knew was into punk, except Paul Cutler and David Wiley of The Consumers. I’d moved back to Phoenix from an unsuccessful foray to San Francisco, and I called Paul and David to see if anything was happening, and they said their bass played had been hit by a car, and I said “Well, I just got a bass. How about I come and jam out with you guys?” So I went to play with them, and those guys were GOOD. They had like 50 amazing songs, and they were super tight. But I was so terrible. One day I showed up for practice and they hid from me, and I could hear them snickering behind the kitchen door.

We started having all these other weird bands with all the same people. There was The Consumers, there was my band Crazy Homicide, and there were like five other people, and that was our “punk scene.” We started doing shows, and then I started hearing about this other band, and I was livid that I wasn’t in it. They were called The Exterminators and they were really young. They had done a show already and the cops had come. The Exterminators had covered themselves in Saran wrap and tinfoil and painted themselves, and this was at a pool party and there were police helicopters, and it was total chaos. They needed a a drummer, so I borrowed a drum set, which was tough, because nobody wanted me to use theirs because when I played drums I’d break them, but I dragged some drums over to this storage warehouse where they rehearsed, and they were like 14, 15 years old. I tried out with this broken stuff, and I guess it still sounded good because I was in the band. Then they lost their bass player, so I got Rob Graves to play with us. He had a bass, and their guitar player was this crazy kid, Buzzy Murder, and the singer was his brother, Johnny Macho. They were actually Dan and Doug Clark.

Kirkwood: There’s this guy in Phoenix, Tom Lopez, and he came up in the Phoenix punk rock scene, and he managed to get himself in a financial position to be able to start a record label, so he started Slope Records to kind of document the old Phoenix punk rock stuff that was happening. It was a part of his early experience and he was working on a record with Doug, who was in Mighty Sphincter. Tom was asking about the older stuff that had happened before, and Doug brought up The Exterminators as a sort of infamous band that had caught on to that whole thing early on.

Bolles: I didn’t know Tom, I moved out before he was old enough to actually meet people, I was 21 when I moved out of Phoenix. But Doug called me up and told me “this guy wants to put out an Exterminators album. Me and Danny and you, and Cris Kirkwood would play bass.” So I talked to Tom, who flew me out to Phoenix and put me up—in the fucking Clarendon hotel, which has a bust of the real Don Bolles, who was murdered there [Clarification: Bolles’ real name is James Giorsetti, he took his stage name from an Arizona journalist who was killed by a car bomb in 1976]—and I went and recorded all The Exterminators’ songs from back then. All the songs. We tried to do them as faithfully as we could. I had a tape of one of our shows. I had a rehearsal tape for a while but I lost it, probably in the ‘90s.

Kirkwood: A cassette still existed of an entire Exterminators show, from like ’78, and Tom had the idea of recording the songs, but Rob Graves, the bass player, is unfortunately no longer with us, so I was asked to play bass. Some of the songs are kind of Phoenix punk rock classics that had been recorded by other bands, so I knew them. With very little practice, we went into the studio—we had one practice day with the full band and on the same day we did a photo shoot—and it came up surprisingly cohesive. It was funny, Doug was like 15 when they had the band, and here we are, pretty seasoned players, doing this batch of youthful songs that had never been recorded, and now we’re these old farts taking a stab at them. It was a very fun, very fucking satisfying experience, and it came out well.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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