Former Deprogrammer singer, Nita Banyaga, found this posting and left a comment chock full of info about her time with the band and shared some funny stories of an early band gig, so check out the comments section. Thanks Nita!
DEPROGRAMMER “DISCIPLINE” 3-SONG 7″EP
(AT LAST RECORDS- LOS ANGELES, CA, 1980)
**PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A BIG FAN, MUSICALLY, OF THIS RECORD BUT I HAVE RECEIVED SOME REQUESTS TO POST IT AND I HAVE NOT SEEN IT ON ANY OTHER SITES YET SO HERE YOU GO. JUST A DISCLAIMER, SINCE I USUALLY ONLY POST MUSIC THAT I PERSONALLY ENJOY.**
This EP never came in a picture sleeve, unlike the other two, later Deprogrammer records.
We see that the music (at least on the LOOONG 4 minute A-side) was written by future singer
Richard Scott. The lyrics were written by the band’s original female singer, Nita Banyaga,
who sings on all three songs on this EP. It was on the At Last imprint, and I assume that
this was the only release on that label.
For my ears, Deprogrammer is a mixed bag musically (see my posting from a long time ago of their LP for more thoughts about this). I am only into a handful of their songs, and the most interesting thing about the band for me continues to be their backstory, some more details on which I found out while putting together this post.
OK, first off, 2/3 of this 3-song EP doesn’t do much for me- way too “rock” and not enough punk for my tastes. Thankfully they redeemed themselves on their next 7″ with the best song they did, Instant Passion. The only song I remotely like on this EP is the last one, “Slammed In The Door”. They let loose a bit more on it, and it’s more “punk” but still nothing frothing mad nor over the top. The A-side, “Discipline”, is over 4 minutes long- which is not necessarily a bad thing all the time- but it meanders along at such a slow pace it make it feel like 8 minutes. The next song, “S&M”, has an interesting title, and with a title like that you think you’re in for a treat, perhaps a wild tune a la Public Disturbance’s classic ditty with the same song title. But no. Too rock-y.
But like I mentioned above, the only reason I posted this record is because I received a few requests for it and I haven’t seen it posted elsewhere. So you listen to it and see what you think. Maybe it’ll sound like the bees’ knees for you and you’ll totally love Nita Banyaga’s vocals and all.
Former Deprogrammer drummer Philip Ribierre posted a LONG comment on my site after I posted select tracks from their 1982 LP over 3 years ago, and his comment clarified some history of the band. This 1st EP was recorded in Hollywood, and the band seemed to be based out of California during their entire existence. Deprogrammer was NEVER based out of Dallas, Texas as has been reported elsewhere in the past- according to Phillip, their second and last single- the Instant Passion 7″- was recorded in Dallas while they were on tour there in the Summer of 1981. Bass player Paul Orr was the ONLY member from Dallas, and they picked him up after their tour stop there during the Summer of 1981 (he replaced Jeff Porter). [Anyone have any flyers for that Dallas show, or their tour in general?]
During 1980 and 1981, Deprogrammer got some press coverage which I’m sure they were psyched about at the time, including a mention in an article Chris Stein of Blondie wrote for the June 1981 issue of Creem Magazine about visiting Los Angeles. Laugh at how the band gets called a “black leather rock band”, whatever that is. here is an outtake from the article which mentions the band:
“One day Orson Welles is in another room recording his voice for something (wildfire wine). Perry Como is recording his Christmas In Israel special with what sounds like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir when some kid backs up about 200 feet into the parking lot across the way from the building and then floors it driving right smack into the wall of the studio making a big hole, a mess, and pretty much totaling (sic) what turns out to be his girlfriend’s Audi. So the kid’s name is Jeffrey, his girlfriend’s name is Suzy. They have a fight on the way to get blood tests for their marriage license so Jeffrey got pissed and the rest is history. That’s the official excuse anyway – we wonder ’cause it happens Suzy and Jeffrey are in a black leather rock band called Deprogrammer and Jeff happens to have copies of his new single “Slammed In The Door” in the back seat of the former Audi. Luckily no one is hurt at all and the police are merciful and don’t drag Jeffrey off to the slammer. That’s what the song is about.”
So that explains the backstory of that tune. Thanks to good guy Greg McWhorter of Artifix Records for bringing that article to my attention recently! Here is a link to the entire Creem article that has been posted online. Er, on my own I also found some other coverage that the band got in 1980 in the non-music press but no need to go into that one and make this post any longer.
But one last thing to mention in this post- Nita Banyaga, the woman who sang on this EP, is in Hollywood and you can find her acting resume posted online HERE along with her SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) credentials. She even put her time in Deprogrammer on her resume- nice!
Dig how 1982 the band looked in the above flyer- the sleeveless tees (including a homemade Deprogrammer tee with what looks to be iron-on letters- nice!); the bandanas around the neck; and the guy who is second-from-the-right looks to have leather pants on- yikes!
Since they were playing with the Flesheaters (see lower left corner of the above flyer), it looks like this show was probably a good time since Chris D was at the height of his Fleasheater-ness and all in 1982.