As I’ve said in numerous posts, I do so enjoy the submissions of other people to this blog. A different perspective is always appreciated. However, thanks to busy schedules it can be a while before anyone has a chance to contribute. Such is life. Surprisingly, Jeff Vaders popped up again the other day and sent in some very, very old gems from his very first band, Vile. Starring folks who would go on to be in Up In Arms, then Fracture and Public Descent and beyond, this is a very worthy contribution. Thanks Jeff!

Vile was born into existence when Jeb Bell and I became friends in middle school. Through the combination of Thrasher Magazine, skate videos and watching our friends AK-47 / The Tazmanians play, Jeb & I mustered up the courage to create our own band. After several terrible name nominations, one being Auto Erotica, we democratically decided upon Vile. And that is how our first band came to be; create the band name first, then get the instruments and people.

Jeb had recently purchased an Ibanez electric guitar and Peavy amplifier and was learning tunes from our favorite bands. Rob Bell was already a formidable drum master and had an extensive setup in his parents basement. We recruited our friend Dan Goldberg to play guitar as his chops in 8th grade wowed all of us. Finally, I purchased a microphone and yes, Peavy amplifier as our solution to a PA system and the band was officially formed.

We practiced in The Bell’s basement and my parents garage nonstop. We dedicated hours upon hours on both weekdays and weekends to practicing our favorite punk rock songs. Dan Goldberg was lucky enough to have a reel-to-reel recorder that we used at many of our practices to re-listen and perfect our sound. Like all bands, after a couple weeks we began writing our own songs. Below is a sampling of these prolific tunes that sadly up till now did not get further than a few people’s ears. Sadly, I do not have photo evidence of Vile and its 4 month existence. The original songs below were recorded in the summer of 1989 in my parents garage. Only a few tunes recorded on reel to reel in my parents garage in the summer of 1989. I don’t know which is funnier, the teenage suburban angst etched into each tune or our unique egalitarian approach to counting down the songs. Enjoy.

3RD WORLD WAR – In the midst of the Cold War, would a punk rock band from suburban Philadelphia would not be complete without a Cold War protest song.

DOWN TO THE GROUND – One of the first Bell/Vaders creations. The lyrics speak for themselves. It’s about burning a house.

EVEN THEM OUT – Written right after Down To The Ground, another Bell/Vaders collaboration. Possibly the greatest lyrical writing ever, “a shot in the knee, a shot in the heel, even them out, give them something to feel”. This song is a gem and I am surprised it was never covered by anyone else.

PMRC – Penned by Dan Goldberg, this song was to change Vile’s direction from songs about burning and killing to something more intelligent.

SUBURBAN POLICE – If memory serves me correctly, this may have been the first real group collaboration. Music by Bell/Vaders, lyrics by Dan Goldberg. Our protest song against the local cops.



I guess they say that pictures often speak for themselves. I’m not sure if that’s true when it comes to old photos of teenage kids in a very specific period of their lives but I thought it couldn’t hurt to give it a whirl.

With that being said, this post is filled with photos. Lots and lots of photos. They don’t have a direct correlation to one another and in many instances, they fall out of chronological order. For folks reading this blog, those who weren’t there when these pictures were taken, they might serve as nothing more than reminders of your own youth, discovering music, friendship and the little joys you reflect back upon with fondness. I can say that each of these photos stirs something entirely different in me. While nostalgia can be a deadly thing, it’s a wonderful place to visit from time to time.

More to come for sure! Thanks to Jeff Vaders for scanning and sending these along!


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).

Donald Trump

Has Anything Changed?

Unholy War

Uncle Sam Wants Your Wallet


Pat Brown