Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Eric Davidson and his Garage Punk Book

I was a total New Bomb Turks fan back in the day. When "Destroy Oh-Boy!" came out I fucking LOVED that album. I played it probably every day for two years. So much energy, so much fun. You know how certain bands just do it for you? They hit on all levels? That was, and still is, the New Bomb Turks for me. The perfect mix of punk rock energy, garage rock rawness, speed, and catchy songwriting.

When NBT came to Seattle on their first tour to support "Destroy Oh-Boy!" they played the Off Ramp. I lined up an interview with the band through their booking agent (or maybe even by writing the band directly) and we did a fun hour long interview in a van outside the club that belonged to that dude Reverend Rot'n'Hell that used to do Gee-Zus zine in Vancouver BC (who seems to have dropped off the face of the punk rock earth!). I saw the band a number of times live, including an awesome show in Vegas at the Las Vegas Shakedown. To cap off a wonderful Vegas Shakedown weekend, when Amy and I went to catch a cab to the airport, both hungover and thrilled after an awesome Vegas weekend, the line was totally huge. Crap, would we even make our plane?

Eric, lead singer of the New Bomb Turks, was just getting in a cab and waived us over to ride with him to the airport. Super nice guy! He supported my old punk rock fanzine 10 Things from the get go, he sent me letters of support and I always sent him copies and reviewed everything his band put out. It's those connections in the DIY underground punk scene that can make or break a band, but I always had the feeling Eric didn't give a shit about networking and all that stuff, he was just a cool cat that supported what he liked. And for that, I and a lot of other zinesters always supported the band. It was a great era when zines were at their peak, there was a strong punk rock scene, and bands could almost make a living on big indie labels if they toured a lot and put out new records fairly often.

When I heard Eric was writing a book on garage punk, I really should have gotten my shit together and sent in photos and info on Seattle bands. After all, I've got literally a couple totes filled with photos and have dedicated years of my life to writing about and documenting this stuff. But I had so much going on in the past year I just never did. Luckily Tim Hayes, ex-owner of Fallout Records, gave him a bunch of stories and info on Seattle. And Tim Hayes is the motherfucking man, he has excellent stories!

Last week Eric came to town to do a book reading and sell signed copies of "We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001." Apparently he did a record store gig earlier in the day at Easy Street. At night it was pizza/drink joint Snoose Junction 2 up off of Greenwood Ave at Holman. It's a weird location, but a cool place, I've gone for drinks there a few times and seen Tom Price's Desert Road Classic or whatever they are called band there before. Alot of the usual suspects were there from the garage punk scene, but surprisingly not a huge turn out, maybe 30 people. Eric was very cool. Somehow with all the people he's met over the years he either faked it really well or totally remembered me. Actually, when I introduced myself he immediately said he name checked 10 Things in the book as one of the regional zines covering garage punk during that time, which was awesome. Later we rapped about the first interview I did with the band in the van outside the OffRamp... so long ago at the beginning of his band's career, long before getting signed to Epitaph and headlining big tours. Very cool and fun reading, he's still a stand up guy.

I've just cracked open the book, I'll give a review in a few weeks when I've had a chance to read and digest it all.

Cathy (ex-Fizz zine), Jenny Hayes, and Meghan (ex-Empty Records) and I debated whether this cover photo was actually taken in the time frame of the book, it seems likely it was after 2001. Still a killer shot of The Spits though:

Half the time Eric told side stories and tidbits of info that wasn't in the book instead of actually reading from it, which made going totally worth it:

My signed copy of the book:

He also read some stories that didn't make it in the book, apparently the publisher made him cut the content in half. He read them off printouts... possibly a part two at some point?:

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