My friend JB was really big on going to record swaps and scooping up CD-Rs of Masque-era Los Angeles punk bands a few years ago. As it so happens, this period and scene of music (Los Angeles 1977-82) happens to be about my favorite music ever created anywhere. So naturally when a CD burner came with my then-new computer, I was all over his collection of LA punk stuff like the proverbial white on rice. Back in 2004, on my old blog Agony Shorthand, I reviewed this amazing disc he let me burn that had some SCREAMERS ’78 live stuff (from The Masque, of course) and an incredible set of WEIRDOS rehearsals and/or demos. I’m still a little lukewarm on the Screamers in general, but my rabid enthusiasm for all late 70s WEIRDOS stuff – especially the first two 45s - is unflagging.
Here’s what I had to say about this bootleg back then:
“….Ahh, the Weirdos. Now we’re talking. What a powerhouse. Listening to this helped me realize (again) that in their earliest incarnation, they were easily one of the top 10 punk rock bands ever, right up there with fellow Californians CRIME and THE BAGS, and often surpassed both for sheer wall-to-wall sonic roar. Unlike a Screamers’ performance, which appeared to be more akin to a lecture or an art opening, the Weirdos were all about fun, just letting it rip and maximizing audience enjoyment (and I’ve seen the videos to prove it, and saw the band in 1985 on their first of many reunion showcases). Some of this sounds like the same practice tapes that led to the posthumous bootleg “Ranting in a Rubber Room” double-7”, but I could be wrong – nevertheless, every song is gold. “Message from the Underworld”, “Neutron Bomb”, “Teenage”, “Do The Dance” and this incredible start-stop number (really fast and short) that I don’t know the name of (my research assistant believes it may be called “Scream Baby Scream”). The recordings are raw and unkempt, just the way you like ‘em, but mixed loud and in the red…..”
I thought about sharing them with you, in the interest of being a good musical citizen and all. All song titles are within the .zip file itself. Thanks again to superstar record swapper JB and his golden collection of Masque-era bootlegs.
Download THE WEIRDOS – “REHEARSAL/DEMOS 1977” (this is a .zip file)