“What we had going for us was that we put on wild ass shows. Anything could happen at our shows, and it usually did.” – Jerry Anomie, Legionaire’s Disease Band
Interview by Henry Wild Dog & Dave Roadhouse
Purveyors of modern psychedelia, the FLAMING LIPS are Norman, Oklahoma’s latest & greatest rock export. During their first stay in Houston, we spoke to Wayne Coyne, guitarist & vocalist, outside the AXIOM.
H: The sound tonight, the hard fuzz psych guitar, and the jamming reminded me a lot more of the first record than the other two.
W: We’re a lot more psycho live. We get out of hand. We love to play with each other, cuz [sic] we’re all into the same thing, just to psycho-out.
D: What would you want everyone to go away with?
W: I wish they would go away after seeing us and know that they can do whatever they want. If they wanna start a band, they can go out and start a band tomorrow. We just do what we want, and that’s a lot.
“We’re a rock band, we’re people who should have no limits. The people who are building nuclear weapons should have limits. But we shouldn’t. We should be as creative as we can get…on records we try to present a lot of ideas.” – Wayne Coyne
(Sicko #4 courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)
Culturcide in Europe
The first of Houston’s underground bands to play in Europe, Culturcide received a warm welcome from Dutch and Belgium audiences. They landed in Den Hague and went on to play a government-sponsored rock festival in Amsterdam at the Paradisio theatre, with such acts as Bad Brains, Nick Cave, SPK, and many other bands. They also played in Eindhoven, Vin Ray, Nijmegen (Holland) and Ghent and Antwerp in Belgium. Another week of dates in Germany unfortunately fell through, but Culturcide made lots of new contacts and friends in the cities where they played.
They received coverage in the Dutch magazine 007 and Britain’s SOUNDS. While in Antwerp, they caught an art-video installation about violence in America which featured Ed Gein and replicas of some of his gruesome “leather” crafts.
Upcoming Culturcide projects include recording their live set for release, tunes like “Pizza Hut,” “Death Speaks,” “Feeling I Was Gonna Die,” “Pass for Normal” and all of their other great songs which until now have been heard by a lucky few. Dan Workman, their guitarist, will do a solo performance at Lawndale as part of the “On the Edge” series on September 26. Be there.
(Sicko #2 courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)
Wild Dog: Didn’t you debut at a Pearland High School Talent Show?
David Bean (vocals, guitar): It wasn’t a talent show, but a school dance. Kinda wild, we blew the circuit & fuse a couple of times. And we threw beef liver and spinach all over a bunch of girls. We threw out the green spinach on “All the Pretty Girls.” It was a punk show or something.
(Galley and media courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)
As the curators of Wild Dog Archives reflect on the project’s first year of existence nearing the eve of a new year (35 years after the so-called death of punk in Houston), an expression of gratitude is in order for our virtual spectators who have commented on or shared an artifact from Henry Wild Dog’s collection and kept the story alive. Here’s to 2015 and the hope that the remnants of punk may yet “feed many generations to come.”
“At this time a cruel accusation can be heard from many mouths. As much as we might try to persuade ourselves, inspired by the spiral of the punk scene in ’79 — the accusation is true. Punk really did die. It died in Houston on January 1, 1980, at exactly 3:47 a.m. Just like Beethoven, idealism, Hendrix, and Disco…Punk would never be heard again.” (from PUNX’s “History of Houston Punk” series published in 1986)
(Scans courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)
Houston’s youngest band at the start of the scene, Vast Majority recorded its lone studio effort I Wanna Be a Number in March 1980 on Wild Dog Records. Henry Wild Dog, who helped produce the 7″ single, had a brief stint with the band as part of its second lineup. His contribution to gigs at Paradise Island earned him the DIY-inspired handle Henry “Bad Guitar.” Original member Scott Telles (vocals and trumpet) recounts the band’s history with WDA’s namesake on the Hyped 2 Death Archive Series #201.
As verified in an interview with the original members in WILD DOG, the politically motivated teenage punk band performed for the first time alongside AK-47 at Houston’s inaugural Rock Against Racism show held on April Fool’s Day 1979 at the Island.
(Original galley courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)
In a 1979 review of British new wavers the Tom Robinson Band at the Texas Opry House, WILD DOG zine chronicled a post-show piece of Island performance history when vocalist and bassist Tom Robinson joined original Texas punk legends Really Red on stage for a surprise guest performance.
Robinson, described with TRB as a slick, polished, and mainstream act, plugging Texas hardcore punk at his own performance is a testament to the impact and influence of Really Red, who are considered to be “the backbone” of Houston’s underground music scene. The Red/Robinson ensemble, Wild Dog recalled from the audience, “did a surprisingly tight impromptu set of such rock-root numbers as ‘Louie, Louie,’ ‘Waitin’ for My Man,’ and Jumpin’ Jack Flash’.
“Such grassroots support of our scene by such a celeb is not to go unnoticed,” Wild Dog underscored. “Robinson is definitely not in it just for the bucks. His guest appearance at Paradise was an encore above and beyond the call.”
The political bent of Wild Dog Zine is evident in this review, with a nod to Robinson’s activism and support of the Rock Against Racism (RAR) campaign in the UK. In an earlier post, WDA recalled Henry Wild Dog’s efforts to organize a Houston RAR concert at the University of Houston, which was cancelled. On April 1, 1979, the original lineup featuring Really Red, Legionaire’s Disease, and Christian Oppression performed at the Island, where Vast Majority and AK-47 debuted as part of the effort.
After querying the Island collective, Vince Layton informed WDA that he rode over to the Really Red gig with Robinson following the TRB show, which was, by his and others’ account, “great but woefully under attended.” A friend of Layton’s who worked at Cactus Records, then on S. Post Oak, talked Robinson into going to the Main Street dive. If you attended this show, please consider archiving your experience in the comments section.