Thursday, February 24, 2011
The Descendents Interview (not Wherehouse, but still great)
In a previous incarnation I was known as Sam Slam. I worked at a college radio station for one year before I dropped out. By the end of that year, I was basically living at the station. Sleeping on the couch in the lounge, so that if someone didn't make their shift, I could substitute. Not like I didn't have my own show, but the more airtime the better, as far as I was concerned. My show was called The Slam Show, and I was Sam Slam. I played whatever Hardcore and Punk I could find without cursing and eventually convinced them to let me play that after midnight (with an announcement made at every break).
Since I was always around, I ended up taking the station's mobile recording set-up to try interviewing The Bangles, who were playing our Spring Fling concert. The microphone was ridiculous and attached to the charcoal grey cinderblock of a recorder by a stiff industrial grey cable. I looked like a reporter from a 1970s Monty Python skit, but it was 1986! Needless to say I have no recording from that interview, because the infernal machine didn't work right. Lesson #1: check your equipment BEFORE you try to interview someone. It's just as well, as the interview with Susanna, Vicki and Debbi lurched to a stop when bass player Michael walked in. The fact that she had been in The Runaways and an obscure New Wave band I liked called Slow Children, had absolutely nothing to do with it. I stopped breathing and was literally struck dumb to such a degree that I had to leave the dressing room. Interviewus interruptus. I felt like the DJ on Northern Exposure who lost his voice to a lovely stranger.
I ditched the ten pound antique station equipment and bought a Walkman with a built-in microphone the size of a pencil eraser. It worked beautifully. I interviewed a band called The Sociopaths that I attempted to manage for about a month. In a primitive attempt to produce it for airing, I played a song off their demo cassette, then the unedited interview and then back to the demo on my next Slam Show. Then I transcribed it and got it published in Tate Harmer's Psychedelic Print fanzine out of Charlotte. The print version is all that remains. Lesson #2: edit and polish the thing BEFORE you put it on the air.
I added a nice compact little disc camera (an outdated format from the 1980s) to my equipment list for snapping live action shots and pics of me with famous musicians. LOL! Whenever I could, I'd go with anyone that was driving to shows in other towns. I ended up doing interviews with the Canadian band D.O.A., the drummer for Reno Nevada's 7 Seconds, the drummer for California's The Descendents and the Athens Georgia band Mercyland. I got to talk with The Dead Boys on their final tour, but can't honestly remember why I didn't have my walkman with me. (Though I did manage to get some righteous photos.)
The interview with Bill Stevenson of The Descendents was recorded @ the Brewery in Raleigh, North Carolina; March 4, 1987. My best friend from highschool Jimi 45, had also become a Punk & Hardcore DJ at a college station up in Boone, North Carolina. We traded questions so we could play the interview on both stations and have it make sense for our separate shows. I took a picture of him with Bill and he took the one of me. At this point the picture of Jimi seems lost to the ravages of time, though a negative could still potentially pop up one day. I've gone ahead and put a watermark on the pictures, just to protect them from ending up in someone's book or documentary or on a bootleg cover without my knowledge or permission. If you legitimately need to use them contact me:
Much respect to Bill for being so gracious as to let us corner and question him while still sweat-drenched from smashing out an awesome show. And yes, I'm aware that the audio for the songs is shaky, and I could have replaced it so very easily with a personal computer. My respect for the Descendents is such that I wouldn't want to in any possible way infringe on them or impact their publishing rights. So the songs have been left as crappy bootleg quality on purpose. Thanks to The Brewery for being there and supporting the scene. This one's for Jimi.
If you enjoy the music, the songs are: Hectic World, Der Weinerschnitzel, Hurtin' Crue, Kabuki Girl. Buy the Descendents music.
Get the interview HERE.