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Shredder Comp Vol.3 - Fresno 1989
The 80s were winding down and another opportunity to promote Fresno punk bands presented itself. Mel Cheplowitz, of Maximumrocknroll zine, had put out 2 volumes of his series of 7-inch punk compilations, The World's In Shreds: 1-http://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Worlds-In-Shreds-Volume-1/release/1588389, 2-http://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Worlds-In-Shreds-Volume-2/release/727330?ev=rr. I asked him if he would be interested in doing one on the Fresno punk scene as it stood in 1989. He said yes and I put this comp together of the Fresno punk bands that were gigging at the time. My band, Capitol Punishment had been around for 8 years by this time and had gone through some member changes. But were still doing what we had been doing from the beginning in 1981.
The real stars of this compilation were The S.A.D. BOYZ. With their song "Shut up and Drink" they were the hottest thing in the Fresno punk scene at the time. And now, after all these years the telephone answer maching message of someone's mom laying down the law about punk girls and dyed hair is just as funny and poignant as it was back then:Quality of musicianship is always a standard we hold high, but there's also something about the value of sincerity. The kind of sincereity that speaks of truthfulness. When a musical act misrepresents themselves or is phoney in some way people like myself are turned off. When searching for a high standard of sincerity I always go back to the old blues artists. John Lee Hooker was the same guy on stage as the guy off stage. I like to ask myself when questioning whether or not something is cool, "Would John Lee Hooker do this"?
That's what The S.A.D. BOYZ had in spades: They lived the life they sang about in their angry, raging punk rock songs. When Mojo screemed "SHUT UP AND DRINK!" it rang true to not only Fno punks but punk rockers around the world.
Capitol Punishment's song, "Liquor Store" was the flip side of The S.A.D. BOYZ' story. Where the younger SAD BOYZ were singing about going back and forth to the liquor store to wash their troubles away, we older punks had risen to a job at the liquor store and sold the sadness juice to the minions of unhappy alcoholics and had a different take on it all. Perspective is everything.:
"Gangs, cops, prostitutes, hombres, bikers, leather boots. Homeless buying dirt-cheap wine, in the gutter do they mind? Everyone here's a human wreck, swastikas tattooed in their neck. Sell their body to get smack, this whole scene's gonna make me crack. I can't stand working at this liquor store, don't want it man, don't need it no more. Work experience has made me sour, seems like a day but it's been an hour": Liquor Store lyrics by Joe Leggett jr.
There were four other bands on this groovy, colored vinyl 7-inch compilation:
Plaid Retina of Visalia came in with "What we're Not":Kondom Nation screamed about Random Contamination:Slut Vinyl sang about Welfare Junkies:Abducted Children rounded out the comp with a smokin number called Life:6 bands, 6 songs on a 7-inch record. That's what punk rock was all about in the 80s. Louder, faster, shorter. Be as efficient and economical as possible without compromising a minimal level of quality and performance.
It's funny how that so very many of the thousands of punk gig flyers over the years I've seen always tried to use every square inch of the page of paper to be printed on. No margins. We don't need no stinking margins. Paste-ups laid out and printed to the very edge. Need more space? How tiny can you hand letter? Some of my most cherished documents of the 80s punk era are the home-made fanzines and cassette J-cards hand lettered in the tiniest letters to facilitate the most information.