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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Making Records

Behind Paul Kolderie, originally uploaded by Theresa K.

So many of my memories of Punk come from the clubs and the streets and the daily lives we led. However, the records that were made by our punk friends and heroes did change the things sounded as well as the way radio was programmed.

Most of my beloved records are pretty lo-fi sounding. The Germs first single, "Forming," (featuring my pic of them in Pat Smear's garage! I must digitize and post - soon!) was about as lo-fi as recordings get, not to mention the B-side was recorded on a cassette recorder that Darby Crash who was at the time calling himself Bobby Pyn, snuck into the Roxy when The Germs "auditioned" and performed during the filming of the movie Up In Smoke by Cheech and Chong. I was the one who hit the record button! I had a seat at the front center table and at the right moment, Darby/Bobby gave me the signal and out came the recorder!

Who was with me at the time? I think it was Marcy Blaustein, but I can't be sure. I'm told that she's doing well as a chef now - but I haven't seen her in years and years! We met as I met many of my punk friends, standing outside a club in line for a show.

I met Darby/Bobby camping out for tickets to see David Bowie at the Forum in 1976. I was living in the dorms at UCLA at the time. Darby/Bobby often came to visit and one night the weekend before Thanksgiving, we painted a giant floor-to-ceiling sized turkey on the wall outside my dorm room and put the red "interdict" symbol - the international symbol for "NO" around the turkey. We meant "no more 'Free Bird'," for you see -- it was 1976, a year of transition. My fellow dorm residents were still listening to "Free Bird."

Over the Easter / Spring break of 1977, I stayed in my dorm because I really didn't want to go spend that week with my parents. I played Patti Smith's version of "Gloria" over and over again. Hers began with the line, "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine."

I loved her because she incorporated all this French literature I loved and was studying. Any punk rock woman who could easily extrapolate Jean Genet into the rave up of Them's "Gloria" was alright with me!

Anyway, back to the studio thing... I have pictured here the back of Paul Q. Kolderie's head so you can see the console at Fort Appache. He's calling it Camp Street Studios now - but a great many punk-inspired and post punk records were made there - starting with The Pixies.

The records made at Fort Appache sound amazing, but they don't take away any of the thunder of Punk's opening salvos in the record game that were recorded at studios both plush and poor. Some punk records do sound rather polished but they're still amazing: London Calling for starters. If more records could have that much fire and that much fidelity, I would be one happy camper.

More later - I must dig up more photos!

1 comment:

jenny said...

Marcy owns a catering service and pals with the folks who bought the Wilton Hilton, site of so many great Screamers parties. London Calling -- do I have Clash memories