When I first listened to the EP in its entirety from start to finish "Little Dahlin" and "Squash..." kind of blend into each other and play together like one long song but I split them apart here. If you want to be a purist, then open up yer sound editing software and cut and paste both songs together so they're one long track in their original incarnation.
The band has a cool Facebook page, so check out it out- there's lots of great, fun, vintage pictures of the band playing (both on stage and off-stage).
Squash (Splat) (Yuch) (Oh My!!!!).mp3
Thanks again to Andrew for providing these rips!
ENDNOTES- MORE COMING SOON!
With THREE different sleeve variations, and insert color variations, I feel that I have to include an endnotes section to sort things out. I don't want to delay this posting any longer than it already has, though, so I'll add more to these endnotes shortly...
A number of copies of the Neck Tie Party EP have showed up on eBay since the Spring of 2013, and it turns out that an old band member has been selling them. A lot of these copies seem to be the "Gallows Humor" sleeve variation (which is sleeve variation #2). Some collectors obsessed with record values and prices are probably pissed that all of these copies show up since the more copies that surface, the more the price gets lowered sometimes. LOL! Good on ya!
Happy New Year,
I'll finally have a new posting up soon- the holidays got the best of me, plus work has been way too busy.
I also wanted to let everyone know that former members of various bands have stumbled upon my site since the Fall which is GREAT, so check out the below postings and their comments section with the info they provided:
Former singer Nita Banyaga left a lengthy comment with lots of great info about the early days of the band and her time in Deprogrammer.
Heard from two band members- the guy who sang on their 1982 EP as well as a longtime member Ron Obvious who is still with the band- their most recent gig was on December 28th by the way.
(+other postings! I'll provide links when I have more time)
"Believe it or not, St. John's, Newfoundland's first punk band may not have been the mighty Da Slyme. According to Wallace Hammond, Da Slyme's bassist, co-founder, compiler and archivist, among other things, recorded Mike Fisher and Rick Harbin's art-rock, hard-rock band sometime in 1977. Apparently, at least two of the tracks he laid down on tape were borderline punk.
In any case, the Reaction's real birth occurred when Terry Carter (aka Pasquale Neutron), another co-founder of Da Slyme, returned from broadcast school in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he'd been turned onto the raucous sounds of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. Since Carter's departure for Halifax in early 1978, Da Slyme had replaced him on drums with, according to Carter, the more competent Justin Hall. Luckily, when Carter returned to St. John's in December 1978 he spotted an ad Fisher and Harbin had placed in the Memorial University of Newfoundland's Thompson Students' Centre looking for a drummer to play punk and new wave music, and so the Reaction was born. They took their name from a line in the Jam song "All Around The World". Their first gig was around a month later, opening for Da Slyme.
Although the Reaction was modelled after The Jam and other Mod bands, their set lists also included numbers by Elvis Costello ("Less Than Zero"), Eddie and the Hot Rods ("Do Anything You Wanna Do") and the Sex Pistols ("Anarchy In The U.K."). In the early incarnation they played mostly covers- to guarantee club gigs. They initially snuck in a few originals, including "The Kids Arrived", "No Excuses", and the "Rest of It All"; the last two songs were never recorded.
Gig-wise they started by playing at the university and the legendary scumpit Middle Earth bar, where Da Slyme also played. In the oddly named town of Old Shop near Trinity Bay, the Reaction had a fairly decent following, where the local youths had been exposed to the Ramones and caught the punk bug. Whenever the Reaction played St. John's, the so-called "Old Shop Army" kids would pile into town for the gig.
Later, the Reaction went out on the "Bay Circuit", a tour of bars along the coast outside St. John's, initially playing contemporary punk and new wave covers. However, Carter admits that was a less than successful recipe: playing songs by underground British bands did not go over too well with musically conservative bar audiences who'd never heard the originals. They soon learned to throw in some high-energy 60s classics such as "Satisfaction", "Ready Steady Go" and "Respectable" and often ended the evening with "My Generation", which allowed Carter to indulge in a Keith Moon once or twice, kicking his kit over while the guitarist and bassist did the splits and hammered their instruments.
Still, it was tough being in the forefront of the new music scene. Carter penned "The Kids Arrived" in response to people who were really negative about this new breed of musicians. At a gig outside of St. John's, one unhappy bar patron bought a copy of the record so he could smash it while the group was on stage [Idiot! He's one of the reasons their single is so damn rare!- ed]. '"The Kids Arrived" is a bit of self-vindication: it's a big 'fuck you' to people who did nothing but criticize", declares Carter.
He's gonna be on the stage tonight
He's gonna kick it out with rage tonight
They never call him for a loss
He'll finally show them who'll be boss
Move over- the kids arrived
He'll be alright...
Climbing the greased ladder rung by rung
Singing a song that must be sung
[Pretty urgent lyrics!- ed]
They recorded the single at Echo Recording Studios in St. John's in March 1979, later pressing around 500 copies at World Records in Toronto. Mike and Terry came up with different picture sleeves, but they only made 50-75 of each [Ouch!- ed]. The single quickly made it into local jukeboxes, including the one at the Middle Earth. Distribution, like all the records on this compilation, was DIY.
Also in the spring of 1979 the band recorded three more songs at Echo Recording Studios: "In Tune With The Times", "Trials In Error" and "Till Midnight". They appeared on a posthumous cassette entitled "Underexposure" that was released in 1981 on Wallace Hammond's Vicki Beat label [anyone have this cassette?- Ed]. The original group lasted for 10 months, until Carter left the band in October 1979.
Harbin and Fisher recruited another drummer and continued gigging, including a trip to Toronto where they played a few gigs (one at the Ontario College of Art) and recorded a number of tracks while Tom Atom at Cottingham Sound. Interestingly, Tom Atom was also the engineer of the Arson and Fits' singles (see Smash The State Volume 1)."
Recorded in May 1980 @ ZAZ Recording Studio in San Antonio, TX (and when I Google'd this studio, it appears to still be operating 33 years later and they even have their own Facebook page. But then again, who doesn't these days eh?!)
BLOWS AGAINST THE EMPIRE REUNION SHOW
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 (aka LATE SUNDAY NIGHT)
MIDNIGHT TO 2AM
WCSB 89.3 FM
If you're not from Cleveland and the title of this post does not immediately jump out at you, you may be wondering what kind of reunion this is and what all my excitement is about. First off, no- it's nothing related to Jefferson Airplane/Starship's concept album called "Blows Against The Empire". Instead, it's an upcoming one-off reunion show for one of THE best college radio shows from the great and fertile college radio landscape of 1980's Cleveland.
Blows Against The Empire (BATE) played punk and hardcore and was a weekly, 2 1/2 hour show on WSCB out of Cleveland State University that was hosted by then-students Matt Dudas and Mike Kole. It originally aired between late 1987 and late 1989, mostly on Wednesday afternoons between 3 and 5:30 pm. For me, the show was very formative in helping me develop my taste for punk and sparked a passion for punk that continues to this day, 25 years later. I was wrapping up high school at the time and Blows was THE FIRST place I heard Black Flag, Bad Brains, Germs, Misfits, Subhumans, Sham 69, Social Distortion, you name it. But beyond the music, Matt and Mike were awesome hosts who had great camaraderie between them and engaged in some great, fun shenanigans when they weren't playing music during the show. Their show inspired me to march into my campus radio station my first week of college in August of 1989 and get my own punk/HC show that I had for nearly 4 years.
Anyway, as I mentioned above the Blows reunion is going to air on Sunday night/Monday morning September 2nd between midnight and 2 am during Keith Newman's Scruggscorp Radio time slot. Of course, you can stream WCSB through iTunes (go to "Radio", then "College/University", then search for "WCSB 89.3 FM"); Windows Media Player; or RealPlayer, if you're not in Cleveland to listen live on yer radio.
Here is the very cool, minute long promo that was just put together specifically for this reunion show- I really dig the vintage soundbites from old Blows shows scattered throughout it, brings back lots of great memories for me:
Blows Against The Empire 2013 Reunion Promo
And here is a scan of my vintage Blows flyer that I musta picked up at Chris' Warped Records in Lakewood, Ohio in either late 1988 or early 1989 and that I've held onto for all these years. I remember that I was listening to the Blows show one week back then when they said they made up a cool new flyer for the show, so I went looking for it soon thereafter. I grabbed multiple copies of this at the time (musta been the hoarding instinct in me!)- I think one of them hung on my dorm room wall at the time and got kinda wrecked, but luckily a few- including this one- was perfectly preserved in one of my file cabinets.
For all these years I thought that this was just some random picture Matt and Mike
cut out of a 'zine of a punk with spiked-up hair. However, Mike (who I happened
upon online earlier this year) said that this is actually his Blows co-host Matt
and that the picture was taken in London at Battersea Park, which I am told is the
park where Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols hung around in while they
were growing up.
As I said above, Blows Against The Empire was formative for me as I got more and more into punk. I first started listening to punk in '87, thanks to old messy newsprint days of Thrasher mag but I only dabbled in it. Once I discovered Blows my mind was like a sponge that soaked up everything they played; it was all new to me at the time. I remember them playing the first Misfits EP on the show and I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Same for Side 1 of the 7 Seconds Committed For Life EP. And it just mushroomed from there. See, I didn’t have a lot of money to buy records so I relied on the Blows radio show to be my record store. My job in high school was a Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper route and, well, profits weren't stellar from that so I didn't have much disposable income. My Dad worked in a factory so I didn't exactly have a trust fund to pull from either ya hear.
Speaking of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, that is how I first heard the radio show. I’d get up at 5 am every morning to deliver papers and I'd be done by about 5:45. One morning in the Fall of 1987 I got home about 5:45 am and turned on the trusty grey boombox I had in my room. I happened to tune the radio to 89.3 FM WCSB and heard some punk playing. Cool, I thought, I get to hear this new kind of music I like even early in the morning! At the end of the set, the DJ announced that their show was moving from this early morning slot to Wednesday afternoons at 3. It turns out that DJ was Matt Dudas and the show I happened on a whim to hear about was Blows Against The Empire. Fate perhaps? Had I not turned on the radio that morning who knows how long it would have taken me to hear through the grapevine about Blows. No one in my burg listened to punk, everyone was into Metallica and had the Master of Puppets patch on the back of their jean jackets to match. So I definitely wasn't going to hear it about from them. No one at high school was going to tell me about Blows either, since I wasn't "in" with the punk kids and definitely not the skate punk kids. I guess I looked too normal and they probably didn't believe I was into both punk and skating. Oh, the injustice of high school! LOL
So here was my routine, especially during my senior year of high school in ’88-’89. I did not participate in any extracurricular stuff so as soon as school let out on Wednesdays I'd hop on the RTA #23 bus to get home (no driver’s license yet, and even if I did, I surely was not going to be able to get a car). I'd probably get home about 3:15 or so and immediately turn on the trusty grey beast of a boombox. The boombox was already pre-tuned to 89.3 of course. I'd miss the first 15 or so minutes since it started at 3 but then I'd listen through the rest of the show until they went off the air at 5:30. I'd have a tape in the cassette deck ready to tape anything I especially dug by having Record and Pause depressed at the same time. My one regret is that I didn't tape more complete Blows shows for posterity's sake. But who was thinking of that back then?! Plus I didn't have a lot of blank cassette tapes, I used to re-purpose old Cure and Def Leppard cassettes that I had laying around. But to tape a whole 2 1/2 hour show, each week, would have gotten expensive since cassettes were either 60 or 90 minutes. Luckily I taped select portions of some great shows they aired in '88 and '89, like the "12 Days of Hardcore Christmas" show from December of '88 and the "Misfits Blitz" show from June of '89. Plus former Blows DJ Mike has hooked me up big time this year with digital rips of some old shows he had thankfully taped back then. Listening to these old shows really takes me back 25 years ago, to sitting in my bedroom listening to Blows on the old boombox while either paging through the latest issue of Thrasher magazine or fine-tuning the bolts or trucks on my old Dogtown Eric Dressen Street board (the one with the cross drawing on it).
TO BE CONTINUED...
Here is what the Staring Down The Barrel liner notes had to say about Secret Savior:
Short-lived Buffalo group that must have operated on the fringes of the local scene as no one remembers them. Press clippings indicate they played out and included some punk covers in their set, ruling this out as a "punk-by-accident" release by some AOR rock band
Well, the interwebs have come a long way since that was written in 2005 in terms of finding out band info very quickly but online info about Secret Savior is still rather scant unfortunately. I found a MySpace page that mentioned an old 70's Buffalo-area band called- get ready for this- "Ballzy" (LOL! Love that total hard rock spelling). Apparently, one of their members (was it that Ken Orgel guy?) went on to Secret Savior a few years later.
Another blurb on the same page also makes it sound like Secret Savior had bigger commercial ambitions in the early 80's but that didn't pan out that way. They were included on some 1981 comp LP called "Buffalo Rocks" (anyone ever heard this thing cuz I haven't) along with what sounds like a bunch of hard rock bands: Raven, Teaser, Mike Mazur and the Blue Collar Band, etc. The comp was related to some local Buffalo station called "97 Rock WGRQ". I can just hear a cheesy, macho station ID done all dramatically for them by some deep-voiced announcer- ah, the early 80s's. Anyway, the comp was put out by this label called "Big America Music Contest" who released a slew of- I am guessing- similarly bad regional comps from other cities like Milwaukee, Denver, Houston, etc.
In digging around a little more, it turns out that the Select Sound label which put out the Secret Savior 7" also released some other records, including some non-rock stuff, and probably nothing else even remotely punk-related. Makes sense because the Secret Savior 7" was label #SS-1015 and not a very low label number like SS-1000 or something. The studio itself was located at 1585 Kenmore Avenue in Kenmore, New York near Buffalo. When I did a Google Map search of that address, it looks like there is a drab, tiny strip mall at that location with a Curves in it and that the Select Studio is long gone.
**Any info on Secret Savior, better scans of the sleeve, scans of the press clipping alluded to in the Staring Down The Barrel liner notes would be greatly appreciated**