Sometimes the logo is more important than the music. Especially for young kids who are more about the idea of a thing than the talent needed for a thing. That’s what makes it interesting.
Rather than trained seals going through the motions of learned musical behavior, they buy instruments and bang on them in new and different ways making a racket that is both chaos and ordered depending on the day.
Similarly, a logo that identifies and classifies the sound as one’s own is never far behind.
Greg snapped this pic of one of the first !franklin inspired apparel items. The screen is juvenile and poorly made and probably the better for it.
This is 252 S. 10th Street in Philadelphia PA. It’s a rather unassuming row home and looks similar to just about every other row home in the city. However, just like any location, there’s always a history.
This is where Ralph lived when he first moved into the city and out of his Mom’s house in Mt. Airy.
He and some friends rented the first floor apartment and his room was where the two basement windows are. Behind those two small windows is where Franklin began to practice that first summer in 1992 after we had graduated High School. Stavroula lived across the street above her parents Greek restaurant and we would spend many, many afternoons on those steps and in Sula’s family restaurant.
I always meant to stop and take a photo of this old building for my own memories…this morning I finally did.
Last night Ralph was in town. What I thought was going to be a casual dinner turned into this odd reunion of sorts. While the reunion aspect of the get together was only in hindsight, its significance wasn’t lost on me nor the others involved.
Starting in the left hand corner of the photo we’ve got Roy Binnion, Brian Sokel (me), Atom Goren, Greg Giuliano, Stavroula Kritikos and Ralph Darden. Or, if we were talking gangs, !Franklin 1.0 and Franklin 2.0 with Atom & His Package. With actual planning I would have made sure to get Josh to this get together for a universal high-five. Hopefully next time.
To add to the silly nostalgia, this photo was snapped by Shawn Kilroy who just happened to be at the bar when we all arrived. Shawn who played in Dizrythmia and wrote this piece for this blog.
If you were to tell me 20 years ago, in the summer of 1992 just after we had recorded this first demo, that we’d all meet up again to hang out, joke around and catch up I’d have said, “I can’t wait.”
So above you have the gang in 2012 and here you have 1992.
Friends don’t die.
A while back I posted a photo taken by Shawn Brackbill. I was able to rifle thru my files and came up with a whole slew of other shots he took of Franklin playing out in Pittsburgh, PA where he was living at the time. These shots were around 1997 (I believe).
Great shots by a truly wonderful fella and photographer.
Here are some random shots of Random Children playing at J.C. Dobbs on South Street. There are no details on the backs of these photos as to the date these were taken or which show, but judging by the length of Ralph’s dreads and Greg’s rather impressive two rack tom set-up, we’re looking around mid 1991.
In the first picture, it’s Greg doing his thing while wearing his, now legendary, blue and grey Swatch watch. Next to him you will see my first major musical instrument purchase. A Peavey, 2×15″ bass cabinet that I bought from the folks who ran Rave Records (remember the Rave warehouse?) The cabinet cost me $150 and featured a blown lower speaker cone and more beer/puke? stains on it than one could ever imagine, but it got the job done. I remember driving home with that speaker in the back of my 1982 hatchback Honda Accord and thinking that with this impressive speaker NOTHING would be impossible.
This photo features my back rather prominently. A back that would go on to be featured at many a Franklin show due to a belief that looking forward to the audience who had gathered seemed elitist and too rock and roll.
Again, notice Greg’s kick-ass double rack tom action. Sick.
Lastly, we have TJ mid-jump displaying his patented “falcon-claw” finger posture for the ultimate in power-chord perfection and Ralph in his ever so stylish Christ on Parade t-shirt, 7 to 8 mini-dreads and a sweet fade.
Behind them, a myriad of framed photos that covered the side wall at JC Dobbs. I never did look closely at any of those photos to see if they were of anyone (or anything) interesting. Truly, the only time I made any sort of mental note of them was when Nation of Ulysses played and Steve Gamboa, bass player of NOU, took the head of his bass to several of the photos, smashing them. I assumed, rightfully so, that someone was gonna be upset about that.