Photo: David Godlis.
Charles Ball who co-founded seminal punk D.I.Y. label Ork Records with Terry Ork and later Lust/Unlust Records died Monday night of a heart attack in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Ork Records released Television’s debut single “Little Johnny Jewel” followed by records from Richard Hell, The Marbles and Mick Farren, among others. An Ork release was always a thrilling event for me. You never knew what direction the label would move and that was part of what made it such an exciting and ultimately ground-breaking enterprise. With Terry seeking out new bands and Charles keeping the machinery of the business running, Ork Records was a ticket to New York’s underground musical amusement park.
Eventually, Charles ventured out on his own by creating the shortlived but highly influential Lust/Unlust label. In a brief but productive period of time, he managed to release a handful of genre-smashing singles and LPs that expanded the field for rock ‘n’ roll in wildly unpredictable ways, including the first record by Teenage Jesus (with Migraine Records) and various projects by Martin Rev, DNA, Alex Chilton and Robin Crutchfield’s Dark Day. With his all-American looks, Charles may not have appeared dangerous but he had an outlaw’s vision and was taking risks at a time when the music industry didn’t have a clue. He’s earned every true rocker’s respect and will be fondly remembered for helping revive not only an art form but a city.
Here’s Alex Chilton’s “Bangkok” which was released as a single by Lust/Unlust in 1978
Thanks Marty Thau.