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.
As I mentioned last week, Fracture reunited on Friday, July 18 to play a show at the Ruba club in Philadelphia. While tons of photos will be coming and additional video, I wanted to get these up. They were shot by Chris Zang. Thanks Chris.
Of course there’s more from the Springfield High School Battle of the Bands. Today, we’ve got two songs from Up In Arms. I’ve mentioned them on this blog before and, as far as it can be described, Tazmanians and Up In Arms were sister bands.
Just as there was so much to enjoy in that Tazmanians video, there is a slew of enjoyable mentions in this video as well. Jeff’s 1989 Batman t-shirt rebranded “I Hate…Batman”, Fernando’s sliding drumset and of course, Jeb’s Sid Vicious t-shirt.
I remember standing in left field absolutely convinced I would get hit by a fly ball. Batter after batter came to the plate yet luckily, no hit ever found its way to my corner of the outfield. Fortunately for me, our defense had to only deal with sad grounders and loopy infield fly balls. Had it been an actual game and not just an after school practice I’m sure Murphy’s Law would have guaranteed a hilarious outcome. Something involving me underestimating the depth of the hit and trying to run at breakneck speed in an attempt to catch up to the ball that was already flying over my preoccupied head.
But frankly, at that moment, I couldn’t have cared less. You see, The Tazmanians had a show that evening.
Finding places to play for our high school punk band in 1990 was pretty difficult. In fact, outside of this “show” I think up until this point we had only played engagements that exclusively included our closest friends and their bands as spectators. These might better be described as “community band practices”.
But nevertheless, immediately following that soon-to-end baseball practice T.J. and I would head for the locker room to change and head over to our High School auditorium. We would meet Ron and Greg and set up for the Springfield High School Battle of the Bands.
I’m not sure whose idea it was to scheduled a Battle of the Bands but it was certainly out of the ordinary. At the time, I believe the only groups in our school were two punk bands and two metal bands, one being more in the vein of hair-metal than actual metal.
Nevertheless, our band The Tazmanians was one of those punk bands and we were on the bill! While the event was a competition where one band, chosen by the audience, would win some cash prize, I remember not being at all concerned with that. For us, just playing to a crowd that had never heard our songs seemed more important and revolutionary to our small lives. It gave weight to the hours we had spent in our parents sheds, garages, basements and living rooms learning to play our instruments. It gave us a chance to present songs that we hoped described our uniqueness in a sea of horrifying conformity and ultimately it presented us as a unified gang set against the horrors of modern suburban life…or so we desperately hoped. Sure, that sounds rather dramatic now but then? It’s probably not an overestimate.
Funny how important every moment can be when you’re so rapidly adding experiences to your life. And frankly, trying to describe the importance of those moments 22 years later is a lot like trying to catch a ball that’s already flying over your head.
If you’re interested, here are the recordings of the songs we play in the live video above.
I saw Atom the other day and he nagged me about not having encoded more video after the purchase of my handy Elgato video converter. Thus, I went home immediately and started encoding. Atom’s nagging is legendary.
He passed me a few videos and one of them was a show recorded at Saint Genevieve’s Parish in the summer of 1994. St. Gen’s was (and still is) a Catholic school and thus, not the most logical location for a show. However, considering most of the bands who wound up playing St. Gen’s rec center were straight edge hardcore bands, I imagine it was one of the better uses of the center.
I can only remember going to two shows at the center. One when Franklin played along with Fracture and Frail and the show filmed here. Perhaps these two shows were one in the same? Who can really remember.
Sadly this video only captures a few moments of Fracture (with cameos by Dave, Tim, Carly and myself) but it does offer a captivating glimpse at the pokemon like cuteness of Danny O’Neill, bass player for Disregard. You could pinch him! I have no idea who filmed this.
Two interesting side notes:
1. These days, my nephew attends Saint Genevieve’s.
2. This video was recorded on my wife’s 15th birthday, 8/27/1994.
In this shitty, shitty quality video the boys hammer thru Anton’s Syndrome and Thresholds to Adult Living.
“Symbolic knife in my heart and my head, one false move and I’m symbolically dead…”