Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mumps in Los Angeles

BW bromly

Pleasant and I read all the UK music weeklies and fanzines and its no secret that she was rather taken with Billy Idol and we both were fascinated by the Bromley Contingent for their notoriety based on nothing more than their own personalities....not unlike our friends Lance Loud and Kristian Hoffman of Mumps. Thanks to the very first reality television ever, PBS's "An American Family," Lance Loud was famous simply for being Lance Loud.

In this photo, taken in the alley/drive way/parking lot in between the main structure and bungalows of the erstwhile Tropicana Motel on Santa Monica Blvd., Pleasant and Mumps Kevin Kiely and Rob duPrey posed in their own version of those NME and Melody Maker photos of the Bromley Contingent.

Mumps were spending months in Los Angeles to make a record and look for a deal. They were recording nights at the Beach Boys studio in Santa Monica - Brothers Studio. What a swank place! Gold records all over the walls and all the usual rock star stuff, but what I really got a kick out of was Brian Wilson's piano. It was a Bluthner...one of the best pianos made.... hand made! Paul McCartney played one in Abbey Road studios and you can see it in the movie "Let it Be." That piano had the most amazing sound. I practiced my Beethoven sonatas on it. Much to my surprise, Rob duPrey identified the second movement of the "Pathetique" Sonata by name and Opus number designation! So not punk that it was punk.

double kevin gold recordBW-small

Here, Kevin is clowning around with the Beach Boys gold records.

Mumps were so photogenic and such willing subjects, that every photographer I knew yearned for a session with them. Perhaps the very best pictures of Mumps were taken by the late Jules Bates. The photo below, of Pleasant and me in the studio with Lance was taken by the late Herb Wrede.

wrede pic4myspace

Keep your eyes on this spot for more fun with Mumps photos.

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