FINAL FRANKLIN SHOW AT THE KHYBER, 2000

An old friend messaged me today asking if I remembered the date of the last Franklin show. I immediately responded, “1999” because while I did not remember the specific month or day, I absolutely swore I knew the year.

Franklin broke up in 1999 after playing two final shows in Philadelphia. The first final show was an all ages show with Unwound and Atom and His Package. Our second final show was a blow-out at the Khyber where we tried to play every song we ever wrote. When I asked him why he was curious about the dates he responded with a wonderful surprise – he had digitized a video he made of that final show.

This friend spent his own valuable time encoding this video to share it with whomever was interested. Amazing.

Thank you Joe Coyle. Oh, and those final shows? They were played in 2000 not 1999. It seems the details of even the most cherished memories get fuzzy over time.

RALPH DARDEN INTERVIEWED FOR LOUD! FAST! PHILLY!

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Joseph A. Gervasi continues his excellent interview series Loud! Fast! Philly! with a very candid conversation with Ralph Darden. There are no words that could describe Ralph’s importance in my life and the value, exploration, insight and humanity he brought to the experiences we shared together personally and creatively. This interview, however, reminds me that we are all always and at all times desperately trying to learn from (and understand) those we surround ourselves with and this challenge is central and never ending. Ralph continues to work as a DJ under the name Major Taylor and splits his time between Chicago and Los Angeles.

If you have some time, enjoy this one.

Photo of Ralph by the talented Karen Kirchhoff.

FRANKLIN DISCOGRAPHY NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

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I got around to spending a few hours compiling the Franklin discography onto a dedicated Bandcamp page. The goal of course being a clean, easily traversed roadmap of our time as a band for those who may be interested in easily downloaded/digested digital files.

I’m still not sure why it’s so important to me to dedicate resources and energy into documenting these materials but the guiding force of, “If not me, then who?” seems pretty logical.

With that being said, please feel free to have a visit to the brand new Franklin bandcamp page located on the internet at http://gokidgo.bandcamp.com. Enjoy!

FRANKLIN – GO KID GO LP

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Franklin’s first LP, Go Kid Go would be the album of a million faces. Not because we wanted it so, but because it was a record run over by circumstance, mistakes, errors and miscalculations. However, almost 20 years after recording it, it’s another one of those situation where warts and all, it’s something I remember fondly.

After releasing Something Blue, Automotive and They Said it With Fireworks, Franklin set out to record and release our first LP. We had set our sites on launching another record label (having learned nothing from our poor showing with Elbohead) and dubbed it, Energy Network thanks to Jeb Bell’s name suggestion. Again, the goal was to document what we considered to be worthwhile music that was being made at the time. Fracture’s LP would be the first release from the label and we’ll cover that at a later date.

The second release would be the Franklin LP. As we were preparing to record, a fella named Mike Wessel from Toronto, Canada contacted us. He ran a record label called Workshop Records and was apparently, a fan of the band. He offered to help release our album so Go Kid Go would up being a split label release. I wish I could remember exactly how we hooked up with Mike, but sadly, it’s a blur.

We returned to Baltimore, MD to record with Charles Jamison and finished the LP over the course of a very short weekend.

Due to the upcoming Franklin/Fracture tour in the summer of 1995, printed record jackets would not be ready in time. So, we made due with second hand record sleeves that Mike Wessel mailed to us from Canada (details over yonder!). We slit them open, reversed them out and then glued then together again. Using a woodcut that I made with the name Franklin in reverse, hand stamped the individual covers. It was a long, long process made even more stressful by the actual LP’s not arriving at my parents house until the very day that we left on tour. I remember puking the previous night due to stress of worrying that we wouldn’t have our new record for the tour. That was fun.

Of course, we ran out of second hand sleeves so some folks who purchased the record on tour got a hand stamped dust sleeve with the insert tucked inside. Here’s one of those classy packages:

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Eventually, upon our return from tour, we would receive professionally printed record jackets for the LP. However, what was not professional was the artwork. Sadly, once again, not having any idea what we were doing, the idea that artwork needed to be something called, “press ready” didn’t really make much sense to us. So, the cover that we thought would look brilliant (utilizing a cool piece of art that spelled out “Go Kid Go”, duct tape, photos from tour, etc) ended up looking like one of the ugliest LP jackets to ever be made available. You can see it at the top of this post. It was heartbreaking to have the cover turn out so poorly when we were so proud of the LP. Ah well.

Workshop Records would compile the Go Kid Go LP along with the Something Blue, Automotive 7″, They Said it With Fireworks 7″, additional demo recordings and a 4-track tune called Sunshine onto a rather impressive CD.

They would also, finally, give the Go Kid Go LP a proper record sleeve (below). This album was never made available digitally so it’s a pleasure to finally have it available for folks on this site. Hope you enjoy buzzing guitars, out of tune earnest yelps and life in snapshot.

Franklin Go Kid Go

Franklin Go Kid Go

Franklin Go Kid Go

Franklin Go Kid Go

Franklin Go Kid Go

Franklin Go Kid Go