Saturday, October 23, 2010



Here's a preamble.... Back in 1999, when I was at the Knitting Factory in NYC, I found myself in a conversation with Eremite's Michael Ehlers. He'd written reviews for Forced Exposure as a teen in the mid/late '80s, so I began quizzing him about Forced Exposure's enthusiastic coverage of Venom in its early issues. How could they have been serious? He assured me that Jimmy Johnson and co. were serious, and that many punkers back in the day were impressed by the tuneless, leathered-up Geordies, and not just FE (that's true: check the recently-issued Touch & Go compendium). He then delivered the million dollar line: You know, in hindsight, most early '80s hardcore was no less dumb than something like Venom anyway, so it's no big deal. I was about to argue the point - you know, them punkers were all about smashing the system, bringin' The Kids together and making a DIY cottage industry, destroying the music biz, etc. - when I realised he might be right.

The proof... My buddy Joe Stumble over at Last Days Of Man On Earth alerted me to this clip from 1984 by Tucson, Arizona band, Useless Pieces Of Shit (or UPS... you know, like Fed Ex). It's their "classic", "Fuck Shit Up". I assumed it was an Anarchy 6-style parody w/ Dave Markey behind the camera, though he has assured me it's for real. Friends of his had seen this band in the flesh. If I'm posting this under the impression it's the real deal and it's not, then call me a sucker. If it is the real deal, then reality truly is funnier than parody.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can assure you that they were real. I saw them in Atlanta in the mid-80s. They were cartoony to me even back then as an impressionable young lad.

Mrowster said...

Certainly the cultural differences between the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and US Hardcore were very real - sorta like the difference between a campy Hammer Horror costume piece and a Tobe Hooper grindhouse gorefest. But that doesn't mean that both styles don't deliver the goods, now and then. And for my money, hammy VENOM delivered the goods more often than dozens of righteously system-smashing HC bands I could name. I suspect this was where Jimmy Johnson was coming from.

Pussy Galore said...

Just like most other music scenes...there is a handful of originators and then an endless stream of retard sheep who copy but never get it quite right.

So it's not really fair to compare Venom with these 3rd rate Quincy Punx. Minor Threat, Bad Brains,etc. were NOT dumb. Venom on the other hand were originators of their whole scene but were still dumb...or possibly they were just taking the piss....which would make Jimmy Johnson, Euronymous and anybody else who took Venom seriously really, really dumb.

Pussy Galore said...

Holy Crap!! This one is even funnier...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlc7mvx2Xis

And to think that back in 1984, people in a "liberal" environment were allowed to get away with putting on a gorilla suit and saying they'd just come over from Africa...

Anonymous said...

Well this blog has been quiet for a few days, and seems to be on an 80s nostalgia trip right now (Squirrelbait, UPS)....so let's spice it up with this Ron Jeremy and John Holmes classic!!

http://www.youporn.com/watch/439716/ron-jeremy-and-john-holmes-share-a-blonde/?from=search_full&pos=1

"It don't take two stallions to stuff one mare" Yeeeehah!

Dave said...

Jan (I know it's you, I can track these things): so this is what you do with your spare time in Hong Kong? Your attention-seeking is quite lame and obvious.
Putting the likes of Jimmy Johnson and Euronymous in the same basket of Venom fandom is a hell of a stretch, and an insult to Jimmy. I figure he (JJ) was likely just getting a little tired of generic Fuck Reagan bands and wanted to spice up his HC w/ some ultra-raw and ultra-stupid rock 'n' roll. Euronymous actually took them seriously and apparently got his brains eaten for his sins.
I would never compare Venom to Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Black Flag etc. - they be Gods - but their lunkheaded approach wouldn't be out of place at a UPS show.

Pussy Galore said...

It's not attention-seeking...it's just that '03-era Psych Brother vibe that I know you love...