The legend of Jimmy Smack
07.14.2011
09:08 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Jimmy Smack
Private Press
Electric Bagpipes

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After I posted this mix in April I received a fair number of requests to post my archive of private press vinyl by the mysterious early 80’s Los Angeles performance artist Jimmy Smack. Seeing as how I don’t know another soul that has this material and/or the inclination to share it, here ‘tis ! Anybody that attended or played shows in the post-punk Los Angeles underground circa 1982-83 most certainly came in regular contact with Jimmy Smack. He was a good decade or more older than most of the bands and was quite the scene fixture in his town of San Pedro where his Star Theatre was a primary hang-out and rehearsal space for early iterations of The Minutemen, Saccharine Trust and the rest of the fertile South Bay contingent. His live performances were incredible: Basically the man, made up in elaborate corpse-paint (certainly the first I ever saw), in fall tartan gear playing amazing electric bagpipes accompanied only by a then de-rigeur Dr. Rhythm drum box and reciting in a demonic Beefheart-esque growl some occasionally great, occasionally goofy (in a “going insane inside my brain” kind of way) doom and gloom poetry. All of this punctuated by unexpected and frightening screaming fits and wild underwear dancing. Indeed Smack claimed to have been a member of the L.A. Ballet company (whenever it existed) and was evidently also a professional choreographer. I purchased these pieces of vinyl directly from the man at various shows back then and had scarcely listened since. In revisiting them I’m truly blown away by his electric bagpipes and creative drum box mangling. If you didn’t know what you were listening to you’d be forgiven for thinking it to be some wild modular synth playing. I’m glad to be able to present these extremely obscure works for your listening pleasure. Doubtless this stuff deserves to be presented in a proper album format someday.

Death or Glory 7” E.P. :

 
Depression/Hating Life 7” :

 
Anguish 12” single :

 
(below: Jimmy Smack in 2009)
 
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Jimmy Smack Vinyl Archive
 
DROVE UP FROM PEDRO An Early History Of San Pedro Punk By Lina Sedillo-Litonjua
 
thx Jeff Karlsen !

Originally posted 06/03/10.

 

Posted by Brad Laner

 

 

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