The Delinquents debuted their 1960s garage/psych/fuzz rock inspired Alien Beach Party 7″ EP in 1979. The band formed out of the Austin music scene that, unlike the Houston underground, was recognized internationally during the 1970s for its cosmic cowboy, outlaw country, and psychedelic/acid rock influences. As part of the emerging punk and new wave scene, the band performed at Raul’s rock club, Austin’s counterpart to the Island in Houston.
Lester Bangs, “America’s greatest rock critic” and famed writer for Detroit-based CREEM magazine, lived in Austin for a brief stint and recorded his lone studio effort with the band at Earth & Sky Studios in 1981. Both albums were released on band members Brian and Melinda Curley’s label, Live Wire Records.
The surf pop punk, new wave sounds of Alien Beach Party (Side B1: Do You Have A Job For A Girl Like Me?/Side B2: Motivation Complex) were created by the band’s initial lineup (there were several iterations): Layna Pogue (vocalist), Andy Fuertsch (guitar), Tim Loughran (engineer and drums), Mindy Curley (keyboards), and Brian Curley (bassist and producer).
“I think The Dicks were one of the earliest poster bands…When I returned from San Francisco, several friends said, ‘It’s too bad all of us want to be singers and none of us can play anything.’ I said, ‘Why don’t we just lie? Let’s make up a band, and call it The Dicks.'” – Gary Floyd (Vocals)
“Austin’s surf punkers The Delinquents are joined on stage at Club Foot by professional rock critic Lester Bangs. Bangs, who is swinging the microphone stand in the [below] picture, is also featured as guest vocalist on an upcoming elpee [sic] by the Delinquents.” – 1980 photo caption, WILD DOG zine
That LP was Jook Savages on the Brazos, which Lester Bangs and The Delinquents recorded on the band’s label, Live Wire Records, in 1980. According to Let It Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs, America’s Greatest Rock Critic by Jim Derogatis, the famed music journalist briefly transplanted in Austin in an earnest attempt to front a band in the local music scene widely recognized for its outlaw country and psychedelic influences.
Most notably, Lester Bangs and The Delinquents opened for NYC experimental rock new wavers the Talking Heads at the Armadillo World Headquarters Nov. 21, 1980, before Bangs would record his lone studio effort with the band. After packing the house on the eve of its final closure, the Armadillo (formerly the legendary psych venue Vulcan Gas Company), shuttered on New Year’s Day 1981.
Formed in the late 1970s in Austin, The Delinquents debuted their 1960s garage/psych/fuzz rock inspired EP Alien Beach Partyin 1979. Its self-titled album was independently released the following year via Live Wire Records.
Lester Bangs, the writer whose poison pen and harsh criticism of MC5’s Kick Out the Jams first landed him a gig with Rolling Stone in 1969, died from an accidental overdose on April 30, 1982.
(Photo by Michelle Levinas; original galley courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)
(Original Delinquents shirt courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)
“Punk rock is wanting to indulge in one’s own kicks unmolested in a society that doesn’t allow it, and in the meantime having to live with the fact that man can destroy himself and is on the verge of it daily. It’s a way of letting everybody know, hey, this is fucked up and that we want to change it and that the plastic bullshit that’s happening everyday just isn’t it.” – Ron Posner, Stains guitarist (From a 1981 interview with WILD DOG zine)
By Wild Dog’s standards, The Dicks and The Stains were Austin’s leading punk bands during the scene’s formative years in Texas in the early 1980s. Along with Big Boys, The Dicks and The Stains frequently gigged together in Austin before both bands relocated to San Francisco, after which The Stains became Millions of Dead Cops (M.D.C./MDC).
Original Stains songs “John Wayne was a Nazi,” “Born to Die,” and “Dick for Brains” were later included on the Millions of Dead Cops LP (1982). The band went on to record music with Jello Biafra through his Alternative Tentacles label.
WILD DOG zine sat down with The Stains in 1981 to discuss revolutionary ideals, what constitutes a good band (influences include the Sex Pistolsand Black Flag among others), and the band’s personal definition of punk rock.
NOTE: The Stains had released their own zine, The Austin American Stainsman, at the time of publication.
(Photos by Amy Mann and Michelle Levinas; original galley courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)
HYMNAL, a punk and hardcore fanzine originally headquartered in Houston, debuted in December 1981. The first three issues were based on the Houston scene, after which the publication relocated to Austin. Its fourth and final issue was published in 1982, with featured coverage of Houston and Austin bands.
The full run, Nos. 1-4, can be accessed in the private archives of Henry “Wild Dog” Weissborn.