Monday, March 31, 2014

RIP former DOA guitarist Dave Gregg

Dave Gregg in action with DOA. (Alison Braun photo)

Former ultra-talented and raging DOA guitarist Dave Gregg passed away over the weekend. He was 55.

Here's a eulogy from DOA leader Joe Shithead Keithley that Bill from Sudden Death Records (DOA's label) sent us and which Joe posted on the band's Facebook page today:

It is with unbelievable sorrow that I have to talk about the passing of Dave Gregg. He died of a heart attack this past weekend. I can't even come close to being able to express strong enough condolences to his wife Cathy and the rest of Dave's family.

Dave was a member of D.O.A. from 1980-88 and played some screaming guitar licks on the following albums: "Something Better Change," "Hardcore '81," "War on 45," "Let's Wreck The Party," "True North Strong and Free" and finally on "Murder."

He was a great guitarist and an unbelievable showman. But more importantly he was genuinely nice guy and a caring human being, who had one of the most wicked senses of humor I have ever come across. On long D.O.A. tours, Dave (usually the overnight driver) and I along with our comrades Chuck Biscuits, Randy Rampage, Ken Lester, Dimwit (R.I.P.), Brian "Wimpy Roy" Goble, Greg "Peckerwood" James and Jon Card would while away the hours with almost endless conversation. But it usually came down to Dave and I still gabbing into the wee hours. We would scheme about how to change the world and possible wild scientific breakthroughs as we endlessly put up really shitty music on the radio (not much has changed).

Dave and I also became very familiar with prices of every kind of crop grown across America and many a gospel preacher on that same radio in the Dodge van we called the Blue Bullet. At one point when D.O.A. had been playing close to 10 years, Dave and I calculated that we had spent four of those 10 years in vans, traveling to shows. As Dave drove, he would furiously work his way through bag after bag of spits (sunflower seeds), he would deposit the shells in the door sill of the driver side door until the pile would reach a height of about 12 inches, that was a badge of honor.

Photo of Dave Gregg by Thomas Siegel in 1987.

On our first tour with Dave, he got really drunk at the second show and forgot about half the arrangements. As he stood on the opposite side of the circular bar at the venue we had
just played, he smirked at me with a particularly dazed look. I realized I had to get him to shape up, so I threw my 3/4 full can of beer across the bar and nailed him in the forehead. Dave rarely forgot an arrangement after that and went on to become a consummate musician and performer.

I could probably write a book about funny Dave Gregg stories and maybe even promote his one-man organization: The New Spartans! LOL. I really wish I had one more chance to sit down with him and cover some of that ground again and explore new avenues of thought, but I can't and that sucks.

Dave, we will all miss you tremendously, but you will live on in our hearts.
Long live the spirit of Dave Gregg !!!

Joe Shithead Keithley - March 31st, 2014

Here's an obituary from the Vancouver Sun:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Record shops: Home away from home

Groovy-looking Best Records in Redondo Beach, 1978. (Courtesy photo)
Fugazi performs at ZED Records in 1987. (Joe Henderson photo)

By Andy

When I was a grade-schooler in the 1970s, I often spent so much time holed up in my bedroom listening to records that my mom once asked me to sign an agreement that I would venture outside a few times a week to play with friends.

I reluctantly scrawled my signature on the paper.

And I did leave the house on my bike, but that didn't mean that I was hanging out with friends. I was in essence given more free rein to frequent the record stores near my home. I was a fixture amid the rows of records and stacks of cassettes and 8-track tapes at places like Music Plus in Hermosa Beach and my favorite spot, Best Records in Redondo Beach. (Mind you, I liked my friends and going to the beach, but "I've Got the Music in Me," as the Kiki Dee Band once sang.)

My first vinyl purchase was the "Rock the Boat" 45 by the Hues Corporation and first album was "Desolation Boulevard" by Sweet ... and I wanted more.

I've always been fascinated with record stores: the sights (colorful album covers and black-light posters), smells (in the case of Best Records, copious amounts of incense, most likely to mask all the pot smoking in the back room) and the chatter amongst the employees and customers about what bands were hot. It was an educational experience each time I stepped in the doors. And when you found the record you were searching for and cued it up on the turntable at home -- LOUD, to my parents' chagrin -- you were stoked beyond belief. Discussing your new records was an essential part of schoolyard life on Monday after a weekend of scouring the vinyl bins. On one particular Saturday, I went far beyond my comfort zone and biked several miles to The Wherehouse in Torrance to score a UFO "Obsession" cassette -- a gem well-earned.

More Best Records action. (Courtesy photo)

Toward the tail end of grade school, Recycled Records opened next door to Music Plus and they stocked a healthy dose of new wave and punk records by bands we became familiar with by listening to KROQ radio's Rodney Bingenheimer and other hip DJs. Music Plus had some of these records, too, and I bought The Dickies' "Dawn of the Dickies" for a friend's birthday present; I chipped in with another buddy to purchase The Police's "Outlandos d'Amour," which we had joint custody of for awhile.

However, the game-changing records were my brother's Black Flag "Nervous Breakdown" EP and the "Jealous Again" EP, which he purchased in 1980 at Recycled and Music Plus. From then on, it was all punk for me and I was on a mission to collect as many of those records as I could find.

ZED Records in Long Beach was the prime spot that we heard of through Flipside fanzine. We simply had to go there!

So, one Saturday afternoon in '81, my mom -- yes, that's right -- drove me to the punk-record Mecca and dropped me off in front with $40 in birthday cash. She was to go shopping and said she'd be back in an hour or so.

When all was said and done, I walked out -- elated -- with a brilliant punk-rock haul: Minor Threat's first EP, DOA's "Hardcore '81," Channel Three's first EP and "The Future Looks Bright Ahead" cassette compilation.

That was just the beginning .....

Andy's 1981 punk haul from ZED's. 

Here's some record shoppers' memories and stellar finds:

*  Scott Hill, Fu Manchu --

ZED records, 1983: Found SSD "Get it Away" 12" / Necros "IQ32" 7" / Minor Threat "In My Eyes" 7" all for $14 total.      

Toxic Shock records, Pomona, Calif., 1985: KORO "700 club" 7" / S.O.A "No Policy" 7" both for $20 total (thanks Bill Tuck). Would try to go to a record store at least once a week and buy at least a record or zine or shirt or stickers every time.

*  Mike IX Williams, EyeHateGod --

I used to go to a store here in New Orleans called the Mushroom by my house and that's where I got my "beginners" vinyl like Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, Clash, Devo and all local punk outfits. Another one was called Leisure Landing and that had a huge import section and huge boxes of punk, hardcore and metal 7"s... I remember getting the first Crass records there, Germs, Dead Kennedys, all the early Discharge stuff, Stiff Little Fingers "Inflammable Material," Spizzenergi, Adverts "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" 7", Blitz 7", Eater "Thinking of the USA" 7" and their first album, the 1st Motley Crue on Leathur records and tons more. That's also where I got "Kill 'em All," "Show No Mercy," the Accept LPs, Celtic Frost + lots more later on.

I also ordered lots of vinyl from SST, Dischord, Touch & Go, Slash and record stores out of state like ZED and Raunch records. I was definitely an addict. Later on, there was a joint named Metronome and I would pilfer the bins and find gems like The Birthday Party, Sonic Youth, Einsturzende Neubauten, Scratch Acid etc...

In 2005, everything I owned went up in flames during the chaos of Hurricane Katrina so that was that! 25 years of collecting gone, but the music is still in my head. Material possessions. I still collect, though, 'cos it's in my blood and that never goes away!

*  Ron Reyes, Piggy --

I used to get on the bus from the South Bay to ZED Records in Long Beach to buy records. Also used to go to the old late-night, early morning Capitol Records swap meet in Hollywood. That was fun. Other than that, it was ordering imports at Licorice Pizza across from the Whisky A Go Go.

Those early days of discovering punk rock were pure magic. One friend would buy a record and call up the gang on a telephone with a curly cord and we would all come over and share in the magic.

Hollywood! (Courtesy photo)

*  Cat Rose, TSHIT photographer --

So many great memories with record (and cassette tape) shopping.

I remember my first record store voyage by myself to the Hawthorne Plaza in Southern CA when I was in 8th grade. After picking up some Karmelkorn -- a beloved snack of the day -- I headed to the store, money tightly clutched in hand. I can't remember the name of the record store, but my first choices were a "Back in Black" AC/DC tape and Led Zeppelin I on vinyl -- I think the record cost $3.99 and I was delighted with my first actual record store purchases on my own. Couldn't wait to take the bus home and listen to them again and again. That was the first of many visits to that store and the stores in Del Amo Mall, etc., any place that I could take the bus to.

Later, when my friends and I started driving, we could finally venture to the vinyl-laden lands of hope and surprise (for the secret and hard-to-find records) -- the promised land of Hollywood.

One of my most fond memories of going to Hollywood for records was when a gang of us in high school all piled into a big car and headed to Melrose Ave. right as school ended, I believe there were some California Coolers in the mix and cloves, for sure. We goofed around at some of the fun little shops until things got serious -- ending up at Aron's Records. That is when we got down to the business of flipping through A to Z. I wish I could remember what I came home with in that moment -- some little punk/alternative gem, I'm sure -- but fueled by the 4 Cs (California Cooler Courage and Cloves), I nabbed a Samhain gig poster off the wall for a friend. There were many more record store adventures before and after that, but I will always remember what fun we had on that crazy day.

Record-shopping fuel.

*  Erin Mountain, Society Dog --

Top finds:

Tales of Terror LP from the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa, 1985. I saw them live that same year. Had to get that record and had no patience for the crappy mail order from that label. Life-changing record/band for me.

Drunk Injuns "Crimes Against Humanity" 10".  Found it in 1990 at a Goodwill thrift store on El Camino in Sunnyvale. Nearly shit myself, couldn't believe I found such a rare gem buried in all that polka and Streisand stuff.

Hendrix "Electric Ladyland," for 10 bucks in 2012 at a garage sale here in SF. It's the UK version with the naked ladies gatefold cover.

*  Michael Essington, writer --

Some things in life are hard to remember, like did I pay the cable bill or did I sign my son’s field-trip form? But other things like which record shop was the coolest to go to or what was the rarest record I ever bought?

I would say 90 to 95% of my album shopping was done at Moby Disc in Sherman Oaks, CA.  Moby Disc was on the first story of a two-story brown/wood building. On the second floor was the Nick Harris Detective Agency, I always wondered what was going on up there.

One of the things I remember most about Moby Disc was some of the employees: One of the cashiers was a guy named Kip Brown who was in the band The Little Girls who scored a hit on KROQ with "The Earthquake Song." And another guy, whose name I can’t remember, had somehow discover the identities of the members of The Residents and seemed genuinely nervous about this.

Moby Disc had a kind of hippie look to it -- it was dark and all the album bins were painted black with dark wood trim.  There was a big magazine rack in the front of the shop, where I bought all my issues of Slash, We Got Power, Outcry and of course Flipside. The album bins, kind of, snaked around the place and formed these little cubbies, so even if the place was full, you felt like you were off album hunting by yourself.

Old Flipside ad.

One of the best things about Moby Disc was their import section. If memory serves, Moby Disc was the only shop in the San Fernando Valley selling imports. My uncle Rick turned my brother and me onto some wild music over the years. Rick loved punk and super avant-garde stuff. He was a member of the Residents fan club -- weird, and always seemed to discover bands a year or so before everyone else. One of those bands was Devo. I remember my brother and me lucked out and got Devo’s "B Stiff" EP on Stiff Records. I believe it was either clear or white vinyl, I loved this thing. We bought a lot of British punk books also, Sex Pistols books, Oi books, you name it.

There were two things that were pretty rare I remember buying, that immediately come to mind. My brother found a collection of every Sex Pistols single every released. They were packaged in a clear-vinyl case that could be folded up to the seven-inch size or opened up to display all of the singles. It was great, I’ve never seen it anywhere else. The other thing that comes to mind was an issue of the English music magazine Smash Hits. Smash Hits was cool because they would always include a flex-disc with each issue, usually, of a band doing an unreleased song. The particular issue I picked up was of Adam Ant doing a song called "A.N.T.S." which was him reworking the Village People’s "Y.M.C.A."  Again, one of those things that I’ve never seen since.

Some time in January of 1981, I went to Moby Disc for my weekly trip with my mother and brother. When we walked in I b-lined to the magazines up front, looking for the latest fanzines, and I ended up reading through an issue of Action Now magazine. As I flipped through the magazine, I came across the Live Show Review section, and I read about the band, the Skoundrelz, that Tony Alva played bass for in the early '80s. There weren’t many people cooler than Alva, and next to his review was a critique for a band called Human Hands with a picture of their singer David Wiley.

Just as I finished reading the article, I looked up and Wiley was walking through the door of the shop. I was, momentarily, star-struck, here’s the same guy who had a color picture in a magazine next to Tony Alva, damn. I ran to the front of the store, next to the cash register where they kept their 45s, and grabbed the Human Hands single "Trains Vs Planes," then went up to Wiley and asked for his autograph. He turned bright red and said, “No.” He explained he wasn’t a rock star, then asked my name, shook my hand, we talked about music, and as he was leaving he told me to come and check out his band at the Country Club in Reseda in a few weeks, opening for Romeo Void (and Wild Kingdom). I said I would I’d be there.

I ended buying the single and got my dad to agree to take to the Country Club for their show (I was only 14, and transportation was scarce) -- more on the show another time.

Sometime in the late '90s, Moby Disc moved down the street into a hipper area of Ventura Blvd. The place was completely different inside, a very bleak art gallery feel. In other words, it sucked. The people were different and the era felt over.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tapes were tops in the punk-rock world

By Andy

"Snail mail" may be a pain in the ass most of the time, but there are often moments of greatness when the mail carrier arrives at your doorstep.

For me, in the early 1980s, my postman might as well have received a trophy each time he delivered the punk-rock music I needed in the form of cassette tapes sent from all over the United States to my home in Redondo Beach, Calif.

As my Sony Walkman waited in my room ... hungry for tuneage ... I dashed from the front door across the living room (nearly knocking over one of my family members), up the stairs to my room and fed the tapes into that now-antiquated music device. In an instant, bands like Social Unrest, The Fix, Crucifix, Heart Attack, Gang Green, CIA, Even Worse, Misfits, Kraut and The Misguided would enter my world, give me copious jolts of energy and a grin that was hard to wipe off my face.

Sure, we had some cool record stores that carried what I was looking for, but they didn't have a lot of the rarer records that were only available via mail order. And when those gems were out of stock, you'd have to rely on folks who had them and were willing to make you tapes. That's where people like Jack Rabid (Big Takeover), Tim Tonooka (Ripper) and others came into play. Thanks guys!

As a bonus, I also dubbed tapes from Henry Rollins when my brother and I befriended him in Redondo Beach when he joined Black Flag. Those cassettes featured demos from the Teen Idles, Faith, SOA, Void, Iron Cross, Youth Brigade (DC), Skewbald, Deadline and more.

So, here you've got a pair of playlists from Rabid (first one) and Tonooka (the last two) and some of the selections from those tapes:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Getting rowdy with the Derelicts

The Derelicts' Duane Bodenheimer (left) with Joe Kilbourne (top) and Neil Rogers (bottom).

Andy, text -- Cat Rose, photos

Someone chucked an empty beer can on stage before the first chord rang out.

Derelicts singer Duane Bodenheimer glanced at the Rainier tall-boy as it skipped by him and rattled against the bass drum.

He smiled, shook his head and stared into the crowd. Apparently it was a fitting beginning for the raucous Seattle punk band that was about to get back into action for the first time in 22 years or so.

On Saturday at the Highline, screamer Bodenheimer, guitarist Neil Rogers, bassist Ian Dunsmore and drummer Donny Paycheck -- subbing for Ric Bilotti (RIP) -- ripped through most of their catalogue of tunes from the late 1980s and early '90s to a wild and appreciative crowd.

It was hot inside the packed club, but the Derelicts were even hotter.

The Lucky Boys, Last Gasp and The Tom Price Desert Classic got things rolling and the Derelicts took it from there -- in grand punk-rock style. TPDC's bassist Joe Kilbourne pulled double duty, supplying the low end on a few Derelicts tunes since he was the band's original bassist.

Boddenheimer and Rogers.

During TPDC's set, Price jokingly wondered aloud if the Derelicts could pull off a stellar reunion set. He also noted with a laugh that he lasted one practice as the Derelicts' drummer, but he was too "shitty" to hang with them.

For me, hearing the Derelicts crank out "Misery Maker" was a highlight since that was the first song of theirs I heard on KFJC radio in the Bay Area in 1990. While delivering court documents for my law-office job as a runner, I gave the gas pedal some extra juice while that song blared from the speakers.

Later that week, I snagged that 45 (backed with "Wash) at Paramount Imports in San Jose along with some other Sub Pop nuggets like 45s from Tad "Jinx/Pig Iron" and the Unsane "Vandal-X/Street Sweeper" and cassettes from Mudhoney and Green River. It was weird -- and cool, of course -- that there was a small music section amid the incense offerings, black-light posters and such at that store. I was also pleased with my selections because I was out to impress Cat (my new girlfriend then, and now wife), who introduced me to those bands.

So, here's some of Cat's Derelicts photos from Saturday's gig matched with quotes from the band and fans:

Dunsmore and screamer.


It's pretty fucking weird. It's really fun, it's kinda bizarre, but 22 years go by and we just picked up and started playing again. In some ways it was just like starting right over.


It was surreal, very surreal... awesome, though.
Just being on stage with those guys and we're all fucking still alive, cuz we've all been through a lot of hard stuff -- and we're still alive. I'm real grateful for that.

Kilbourne stares at some jokesters off stage right.


Tonight was great, and the first practice was really shitty; I haven't had to play that fast for a long time.

They're just really great longtime friends. It's so great that there's this kind of support for them. I'm just really happy and honored to be able to play a few songs.

At one point, I'd never thought I'd see Duane again. That is just such a huge victory. It's just amazing -- and he still screams like that... always blew my mind.


I actually hate my voice, I just try not to think about it. I'm kind of angry... I never got vocal lessons or anything, I just loved punk rock growing up. One of the first bands I ever saw was GBH, and I was like, 'I wanna be in a fucking band'... just started doing it. (There's) a lot of anger and hate, angst and childhood bullshit coming out. Most of my lyrics are just about real personal things.


It was amazing, especially Donny on drums, he's just bringing it out of us, man. It was good and we wanna do more (laughs). I felt like I'd been waiting my whole life to do that.

Basically, where we come from is real American old-school punk rock. A little bit of faster hardcore, but I like to play a blues-based, punk-rock guitar.

Erik Gidney, fan, first time seeing them because he was too young to get into clubs before:

Blew my mind... I love their bass player, and it was so rad seeing the old bass player up and seeing my man (Donny) Paycheck on the kit. I've always been a huge Zeke fan, and to have one of my favorite bands' drummer playing with a favorite band I never got to see -- was priceless.

Jeb Steel, saw the band about five times back in the day:

Just all the shows meld together at Washington Hall. Man, those were just the best shows I've ever been to... just pure mayhem. I remember toilets getting ripped out of the bathroom. (Bodenheimer had the) full-on punk mentality, but did it with style. It wasn't just run-of-the-mill-type stuff -- it was unique.

(Steel's wife, Angela, recalled seeing the Derelicts with Mudhoney at the St. Joseph's Church cafeteria. A punk meal was clearly served: "There was a pit and I just thought they had a really good sound and everybody was really into them," she said.)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chris Smith (RIP): Battalion of Saints' original six-string shredder

Chris Smith of the Battalion of Saints in 1983. (Alison Braun photo)

By Andy

Chris Smith's right hand was bloodied as he reached out to shake mine. Before we connected, he wiped off on his jeans and the post-gig greeting was finalized.

Just a few minutes earlier, the lanky, spiky haired guitarist for San Diego's Battalion of Saints had finished absolutely shredding his instrument on stage at the Vex in Los Angeles. This was 1983, and I'd seen the band play several times over the last year --- each time, I'd find myself glued against the stage on Smith's side, just stoked with the way he manhandled his six-string.

He was the Jimi Hendrix of the punk scene. He even riffed some "Foxey Lady" prior to launching into the BATS' own raging tune, "No More Lies."

Whenever Smith strapped on his guitar, his left hand ferociously slid along the fretboard, hitting every note along the way -- emanating punk riffs but matched with a squealing metal style to puncture one's eardrums in just the right way. Bliss.

"I'll admit I have a h.m. (heavy metal) feel, but I don't think I dwell on it. I just use it as a little flavoring mixed in with the music. A lot of things get monotonous, it's nice to have some ear-piercing notes that make your ears bleed stuck in there," Smith said in a 1982 Flipside fanzine interview.

Smith used that style to its fullest on the BATS' arsenal of tunes and blazing cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades."

"His guitar playing was kinda crazy and different from what was going on at the time," said Shawn Stern of Youth Brigade/BYO last week. (The BATS contributed the killer "Beefmasters," "No More Lies" and "Cops Are Out" to the essential BYO compilation "Someone Got Their Head Kicked In.")

"Chris sure knew how to use that whammy bar. He was the only punk guitarist to use one in the old days!" added Social Spit, a modern-day You Tube commenter about a live BATS video from 1984.

Smith goes for it in 1983. (Alison Braun photo)

I'd become friends with Smith and the band along the way, so I got the lowdown on what they were up to, what songs were germinating -- and I was always anticipating what Smith was going to gouge me with next with his guitaristry.

If you listen to the BATS, there's tons of mind-bending musicianship in there, but for my money, Smith's no-holds-barred solo on "Right Or Wrong" can't be beat.

The last time I saw Smith was in 1985, when he and BATS vocalist George Anthony flagged me down at a Husker Du, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Saccharine Trust and SWA gig in San Diego. I hadn't seen them in a year or so, and it was nice to catch up with them.

Smith would soon head to New York, taking charge of Kraut's guitar department while Doug Holland went on to deliver the "crunch" for the Cro-Mags.

In April of 1987, I learned that Smith had died. In an online search, articles note that he cracked his head open on a bathtub and drowned. It's also been written that syringes were found on the scene and that he overdosed.

He was either 26 or 27, according to friends, way too early to put his body and guitar to rest. I played my BATS albums and demo, practice and live tapes the day I found out about his passing.

I knew that he would be one of the most talented and enthusiastic guitarists I would ever see in my lifetime.

Smith's influences stretched all across the musical landscape. According to Pallas Athena fanzine in 1982, he called Jeff Beck "God," said he stole everything from Jimmy Page and also fancied the New York Dolls, Hendrix and myriad jazz guitarists.

"One time, me and Chris spent the day driving around town listening to James Brown, and that night at the show he played some James Brown and dedicated it to me," said artist Lee Ellingson last week.

He was a humorous guy, as well, both in conversations and when rolling through the main part of the "Green Acres" theme song before live versions of the BATS' "Intercourse."

He was sharp-eyed in spotting the small Minor Threat sticker on the back of my flannel the first time I saw them and telling me of an upcoming gig the BATS were playing with Ian MacKaye and company in San Diego. (Husker Du was also on that epic bill, which I attended with my friend Mike Paul in the summer of 1982.)

And when my brother informed me that he spotted the BATS on the Loyola Marymount University campus in Los Angeles, Smith was the first one to offer me a handshake -- and a beer -- when I arrived with Paul to sit in on their KXLU radio-station interview.

He was a rough-and-tumble guy, as well, as some friends noted on a San Diego punk website.

Here's what people have to say about Smith today:

* Ellingson:

I think the main thing I wanted to say was Chris was a tormented genius. He had so much potential and it's been thrown away -- it's a real tragedy.

Chris, if you really dug deep, was also a very smart and a caring human being with a big heart, but he was also a master of hiding that fact. I wish he was still around sometimes. But I always say, it's not how long you live, it's what you do with whatever time you have. I know he left his mark in history. He will always be remembered with either hate or love, but his talent can't be denied.

Battalion of Saints comic. (Lee Ellingson)

* Alison Braun, photographer:

I do remember that we hung out when they were recording at Mystic Records. He was always very nice to me and we would have great conversations. Being I was like 17 years old, he was kind of like big brother/ protector. He would never let anyone mess with me when I was taking pictures.

Editor's note: I actually found out about Smith's death through Braun's "Memos from the Mouse Trap" column in an issue of Maximum RocknRoll.

* Don Cowan, Kraut:

He was a great addition to Kraut -- losing Chris was losing a good friend and great guitarist. Kraut was moving into another area of expertise with Chris. 

Chris' reputation preceded him as a bad boy ... causing chaos before he even got there ... All not true. The Chris Smith I knew was a great fun guy who loved his guitar and girlfriend Shannon more than anything.  

Kraut was about to record our third album just weeks before we lost him. I think that after the auditions we had gone through to find a replacement for Doug -- from a midget to refugee girls -- it was all a bit too much for the rest of Kraut (and we broke up).  

My fondest memory of playing with Chris was performing at a '70s night at Danceteria as a band called Motorbutt! We worked all the classic tunes from "Ziggy Stardust," sex Pistols, Motorhead to "Sweet Jane" ... and everyone went crazy at how good it was. Lots of fun -- fanks for the memories!

* Doug Holland, Kraut/Cro-Mags:

He was a great git player who, when I left the reins of Kraut, I thought he would help them. He was a Van Halen type of guy. That wasn't really my taste, but he did complement my writings that I left with them. It was a shame of his sudden death.

Watch Smith shred away in this video from 1984:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Road-trip time: Checking out Oly's C Average, Survival Knife and The Narrows

C Average. (All Cat Rose photos)

So, it was "business trip" time for the There's Something Hard in There staff on Friday.

Olympia, WA was the city of choice --- and the mixture of loud, soft, angular and all-out rip-roaring rock came from the hands and mouths of C Average, Survival Knife and The Narrows at McCoy's Tavern.

Since we hadn't journeyed from Seattle to Olympia for about eight years, we made the most of what this fine city has to offer: drinks at The Brotherhood Lounge and the China Clipper Cafe (or "Crippler" as the locals call it) and food and more beverages at King Solomon's Reef and the McMenamins Spar Cafe.

Here's what Cat caught from behind her camera lens: