Since launching this blog, I guess some folks have stumbled across it and have been enjoying it. People other than my friends. That’s pretty awesome.
One of those folks is a fella named Kurt Morris.
He runs a blog called Welcome to Flavor Country and he asked if I might be willing to do an interview with him for his blog about being a person who used to be in a touring rock band.
I said sure, why not!
I have to admit, it was a little odd answering questions that all seemed to sound as if not playing in a touring band anymore might be something depressing or sad for me.
He posted the article yesterday and you can check it out over yonder.
Now this is one of the coolest things I’ve heard in a while.
Mark Scott emailed earlier this week mentioning that while looking for an old True High Fidelity recording he came across a live recording of Fracture playing at Gilman Street in Berkeley, CA in the summer of 1995. This was during the second Franklin/Fracture US tour and would ultimately be Fracture’s last tour.
Anyway, this recording from the sound board at Gilman is amazing and Fracture sounds fucking amazing. Sadly, some of the bass is lost in the mix so bass-beast master Jeb Bell is lost in most of the recording but the guitars and drums shred and it’s still one of the coolest live recordings I’ve heard. Just fucking killer.
No Way DNA
Thresholds to Adult Living
Because I’m Fucking Invisible
Martha (The Dancing Hippo)
Another sweet submission from Jeff Vaders. He discovered an unmarked cassette tape with no label and no cover just sitting all by its lonesome. Turns out, it was a recording of Up In Arms.
Up In Arms would form after Vile broke up. The band was Jeff on vocals, Jeb Bell on bass, Dan Goldberg on guitar and Fernando Polanco (a recent transplant into our High School) on drums. This tape was recorded on Dan’s reel-to-reel tape and is pretty spot on for being over 20 years old. The recording is from 1990 and features Up In Arms’ cover of The Vandals’ Pat Brown, a favorite at numerous basement shows in the ‘burbs as well as a cover of The Clash’s Garageland.
Sadly, I only have one photo of Up In Arms that I have posted here. It is from the Springfield High School Battle of the Bands.
Up In Arms would dissolve and the guys would go on to be in Public Descent (Dan, Jeff and Fernando) and Fracture (Jeb).
Has Anything Changed?
Uncle Sam Wants Your Wallet
Fracture and Franklin went on two US tours. The first, in the summer of 1994 and the second in the summer of 1995. Being a bunch of kids who were in school during most of the year, summer was the only time available for touring.
At the close of the second tour, it was revealed that Chris O’Neill, who sang for Fracture, would be moving to Bellingham Washington. It was a pretty big shock to everyone as no one ever really expects anyone to leave the gang.
The final show of the tour was at the First Unitarian church in Philly. It was a Cabbage Collective show and once again, Fracture proved why they were a great (yet underrated) band. I believe Frail played the show as well which would explain Don Devore and a bleach blonde Sean McCabe in the crowd.
Now, that’s not to say everyone everywhere was playing punk music around Philly in the early to mid 90’s.
Justin Tripp was a fella who hung out with the True High Fidelity boys. They introduced Justin to me and we got along fabulously from the start. Justin was one of those guys that was everywhere all the time and into everything that was happening everywhere. You’d see him at a show, the record store, a party…anywhere and everywhere. In fact, I think we discussed calling him “Everywhere” for a short while but sadly, it never caught on. I think Justin and I really bonded when we worked at a gas station together. He worked the register and I handled the full service pump. I only lived about 2 blocks from the station but Justin lived MILES from the station. But it was no biggie, he was everywhere all the time so it was just another somewhere to be.
Justin and Josh Mills’ younger brother Drew started a band called Glory Front. Justin and Drew were more interested in the shoe gaze bands of the day and had their own ideas about the music they wanted to play almost immediately. The great thing was that, we were all friends. It didn’t matter what kind of music you played…we were all attempting to do the same thing. Make music that seemed to make sense to us.
Justin and Drew teamed up with Karen Usner and Mike Robinson and Glory Front was formed. Of course, they didn’t keep the name for long since everyone kinda thought it sounded like some right-wing fascist band.
They would go on to evolve into Aspera Ad Astra and later, just Aspera. A long running, super rad band that would release some truly awesome music in later years.
Here are two out of three songs that appeared on this demo. Sadly, the last song, a 9 minute long slow burn is just way too big to upload.