FRACTURE/FRANKLIN 1994 TOUR DIARY!

Thanks to Roy for digging this gem up! I present to you, Atom Goren’s tour diary of the first Fracture/Franklin US tour with a nice intro from Atom himself, now 36 years old…

Here it is…. sorry for the large censored portions. I am a scaredy cat. While there is a little embarrassment reading some of the stuff from the 19 year old version of me, it’s certainly fun to fill in the cracks in my memory from a wonderful time with awesome people. I know I have pictures that accompany so many of the entries somewhere… like the one with Jeb and the Indianapolis next door neighbors’ kids… Ralph and the limousine driver in Ohio, us at the salt flats in Utah…. just not sure exactly where they are right now.

It’s particularly cool to see the birth of Roy’s love for the dragon tattoo that he ended up getting, documented. If anyone is interested, I can email the uncensored version, though the uncensored version basically is the same, but includes a lot of references to things like going to the bathroom, which a self-respecting (and employed) teacher doesn’t do.

TRUE HIGH FIDELITY – FINAL RECORDING

Oh lordy, the hits don’t stop. To start the week off right, we have the final document in the True High Fidelity canon.

Last week, I was dumbfounded to discover a hidden shoe box full of cassette tapes and DAT tapes. All of which contained some truly tasty gems that I hope to get to sooner than later. When I found this cassette tape, at first I thought it might be the full recording of the True High Fidelity demo with Mark Scott. However, I quickly realized, that it was in fact the final (and what I believe to be the best) recording True High Fi made.

After the True High Fidelity 7″ on Energy Network, the boys were quickly altering and adjusting their sound. In addition, recent vocalists Chris Staley and Josh Mills were getting more comfortable howling into a microphone. With the boys being not as pleased with their first 7″ as they had hoped they would have been they were very eager to record something new. Their goal being to be release the songs via Energy Network or thru some other, poorly run, record label.

The gents headed down to Virginia, I believe, to record in a studio where bands such as Maximillian Colby had unleashed their elephant sized sounds. The result is a recording that honestly and genuinely reflect True High Fidelity at its very best with all of the boys sharing vocal duties.

Needless to say, I was pretty stoked to turn this up.

Song 1

Song 2

Song 3

Song 4

CUT SHORT!

FINALLY! I’ve convinced someone, other than myself, to spend a little time adding some content to this blog. It’s been a long, hard road of convincing and encouragement but after much hemming and hawing, Atom Goren (one of my bestest friends of all bestest friends) has accepted the challenge. Today, we reflect back to our High School days.

A bit of back story…

Atom and I met in first grade. Almost immediately, we were inseparable and became the best of friends. However, after a few years in Elementary School, Atom moved on to private school while I stayed in the public school system. Now, when you’re young, staying in touch with friends is pretty much impossible. Even tho we only lived about a half mile from one another, I wouldn’t see Atom again until many years later.

Fast forward to High School. I meet a kid a year younger than me named Matt Lieberman. He’s a kid who digs punk music and he quickly becomes a friend. Then we discover Matt lives across the street from Atom and their families are very close. Turns out Matt and Atom are friends and about 5 years after the last time I had seen Atom, we reconnect. It’s as if we hadn’t missed a beat. Amazing how life does that sometimes.

Atom and Matt started a band called Cut Short and this is their story.

Cut Short was a band composed of Jeff Vaders singing, me on guitar, Rob Bell on drums and my friend who lived across the street from me, Matt Lieberman on bass.

I met and became friendly with Brian Sokel, Paul Stefano, T.J. Cooney, Chris O’Neill & Greg Giuliano when we all attended Enfield Elementary school (where my daughter ended up going and son prepares to start at in a few weeks) for 1st grade in 1980.

After 4th grade, my parents moved my sister, my brother and me to a private school which, by surrounding me with an abundance of jerky peers, assured that in time, I’d either be assimilated or isolated. Fortunately, the latter was the case. During my eight year stay at this school, my athletic abilities (or relative lack thereof), my cultural upbringing as a Jew (thus making me a target) and my folks’ emphasis of the importance to niceness to nerds, rather than the brutal humiliation of them, which my peers espoused, pointed me towards the path of isolation at the new school over the next eight years. Due to the separation of going to a different school and experiencing a modicum of popularity for the first couple of years at the new school (likely due to my large muscles & good looks as much as the impressive reservoir of baseball statistics that I had memorized), I ended up losing touch with Chris, Greg, Paul, T.J. & Brian over the next few years. I consider one of the most fortunate occurrences in my life that I ended up reconnecting with these folks and many more who would affect the outcome of my life in such significantly positive ways.

I reconnected with these old friends in the basement of my neighbor Matt Lieberman, who lived across the street because he and I remained friends from early childhood and he went to public school with my old friends. Along with the aforementioned friends, many who remain my closest friends to this day, were an additional number of folks who played music and were into similar stuff as I was. Jeb Bell & Jeff Vaders were among those people.

For some reason, Jeff quit Fracture version 1.1  and I had a great time hanging out with him during the summer of 1990 so we started Cut Short.

Matt’s parents were kind enough to let us practice in their basement each weekend and at some point, we recorded the following songs on my brother’s unused Tascam Portastudio – 4 Track.  I didn’t know how to use it well enough to make it a four track, but did know how to use it well enough so that you could record things on it if you stuck a microphone in it.

Once or twice, Matt’s parents allowed us to have a ‘show’ in their basement. During these times, we wholeheartedly considered playing our songs to one or two Springfield High School AV Club members, our friends’ bands (The Random Children, Fracture’s first incarnation perhaps?…) and subsequently taking turns watching them play their songs to us, a ‘show’.  I think these ‘shows’ were the only performances Cut Short had, as the only other aborted show we attempted to play was an open mic night at a bar in Ambler, PA that Matt’s bass guitar teacher had recommended. This, however, didn’t turn out as we had planned, (even though we had printed out fliers on Matt’s computer) since upon arriving there with at least two of our dads, we were quickly found out to be several years short of (even a combined age of) twenty-one.

Hearing the Cut Short songs for the first time in decades absolutely affects me. In fact, I’m struck by combination of emotions that I could feel simultaneously.

SHAME/EMBARRASSMENT: The lyrics of the songs, and the apparently unstoppable urge to put a guitar solo in each song don’t feel great to revisit. In fact, I couldn’t even bring myself to post ‘Cut Short’ the song (the song Cut Short, by the band Cut Short, which ideally would have been released on the self-titled LP, Cut Short), because of the lyrics I wrote, which are like the diary-a of a sad teenager, who missed his ‘camp friends’. I can feel my cheeks blush even typing about this. So, for exhibit A, I produce one that produces a little less of a physical reaction on my part. This is a Vaders/Goren collaboration: Death Syndrome. It’s probably worth emphasizing that it thankfully contains the couplet:

“Out of your mouth is saliva and foam. You’ve got the death syndrome.”

In case you’re wondering, it’s about people who use ‘cocaine, pot & crack’ because they’ll, ‘have more friends, if you do that.’:

DEATH SYNDROME

EXCITEMENT: It’s interesting to hear songs that, even decades after we practiced them to death and recorded them, still appear to be etched into my brain on some level. I don’t recall the name of this next song, but the title ‘Religion is Bad’ fits & may in fact, actually be the original title. I can’t help catch a little of the nerdy & genuine glee the excited screams that immediately follow this song, show, because we couldn’t control our enthusiasm for ‘nailing’ this new song. This feeling still resonates with me as I still don’t think it would have been possible to play this song any better.

RELIGION IS BAD

REVERENCE (this will become clear if you dare to listen to these songs): The shows in Matt Lieberman’s parents’ basement usually concluded with people from the different bands grabbing instruments and combining to play cover songs. Here are some recordings of a few of the cover songs that Cut Short played while goofing around at the end of a practice. They include 1945 by Social Distortion, complete with air raid siren sung by me, No Sleep Till Oreland, old favorite Pat Brown by the Vandals & Small Man Big Mouth by Minor Threat. All instrument assignments were the same, but Jeff played guitar and I sang these. If you listen really closely (with headphones), you’ll be able to tell that these aren’t the original recordings from the original bands’ records.

1945
NO SLEEP TILL ORELAND
PAT BROWN/SMALL MAN BIG MOUTH MEDLEY
DIE DIE MY DARLING

Looking forwards to Jeb’s comments, or at least the knowledge that he is sitting somewhere, shaking his head,

FRANKLIN – ROY IS DEAD 7″

By the end of the summer 1995, Franklin and Fracture had completed our second US tour. However, the tour of 1995 included destinations north in the great white hope that is, CANADA!

We snuck across the border using forged documents that claimed our bands were visiting the country to record music (a very common practice in those days). Which to the Canadian Mounted Police meant, we were Americans entering the country to spend money. Without these documents, bands were forced to pay taxes on the meager earnings they made and in many instances, were simply denied access into the country entirely.

While in Canada, we met a fella named Yannick Lorraine. He ran a record label called The Great Steak Religion. I never asked Yannick why his label was called this, but he was an awesome French Canadian and his label, at the time, was putting out some pretty wild stuff. Primarily, he was focused on serious grinding music…music that offered complete brutality like Shotmaker or One Eyed God Prophecy and the like, but for some reason, he dug on Franklin and he asked us to record a 7″ for him. While this seemed odd at the time considering the bands he was known for releasing, we jumped at the chance for two reasons.

1. He wanted to put out a recording of our band. Good enough reason.

2. Yannick’s label was known for having some really beautifully designed album covers. Again, considering this was before the internet age had taken hold and home computers could do little more than play Pong, it was reason in of itself.

Thus, we were 100% down to record for Yannick. We headed back to Baltimore once again to record with Charles Jamison and we knocked out three songs. It’s interesting to note that I started this blog off with a song from this recording entitled, The Nuda. For more details about this song and what I consider to be it’s importance in Franklin’s history (if you care!) jump yonder.

As I’ve said before, I always preferred Franklin on 7″ rather than album. It seems like we had more focus when we were working within a limited scope. This 7″ was a key moment for us as a band. Not only because of the stylistic changes that were clearly happening, but more so because our beloved Roy Binnion was leaving the band. Roy had decided to make some changes in his life and to our sorrow, leaving the band was one of those changes. We named the 7″, Roy Is Dead in honor of his leaving. Also because we thought it would be funny to recreate our own version of the Beatles, Paul is dead thing. So for the cover of the seven inch, we turned Roy’s back to the camera for his portrait, colored his image blood red and included lots of odd death references. It was a lark.

However, we were startled to find that within months (remember, this was before email!) letters would start arriving from folks who had seen or heard the record asking if our bass player Roy had truly died.

Not exactly what we were expecting, but our darker sensibilities loved the confusion and so, from time to time, we would indulge certain inquiries explaining that yes, in fact, Roy had died.

The Roy Is Dead 7″ was released with only the songs The Nuda and The Didelpho. No markings on the 7″ cover of song titles, nor labels on the 7″ indicating side a or side b. I suppose that might have been a little annoying, but we liked it.

For the first time however, I’ve dug up the third song we recorded during this session. A song called The Baptisto. We played it many, many times live but never released the song in any official capacity. So, hope you enjoy it!

The Nuda

The Didelpho

The Baptisto

MORE PHOTOS? WHY NOT!

I figured I should keep the photo train rolling. Again, thanks to Jeff Vaders for this supply. Hopefully, I’ll be able to scan some myself this weekend…


Ah, the mighty Invid playing at Dobbs. Jamie Mahon on bass who many folks still know and see regularly.


Greg from Random Children (however, we might still have been the Tazmanians here)


Fernando playing the drums with Up In Arms after Rob Bell left the band.


Dizrythmia playing at Dobbs.


CUT SHORT! Amazing name.


Chris and Jeb in the early days of Fracture.


Atom and Chris outside the Oreland super market.


Your author and host playing in Matt Lieberman’s basement.


Atom, TJ and Matt Lieberman


Up In Arms