by T Max and Joe Coughlin
20 YEARS AGO
Issue #79 Dec 1988
Cover: Big Barn Burning, Drumming on Glass, Natalie (Werlin, WMBR DJ)
Bands: Mission of Burma, Ed’s Redeeming Qualities, Cxema, the Bags, the Zulus, Willie Alexander, the Titanics, Classic Ruins, Springa, Danny Mydlack, Galaxie 500, Well Babys, Blake Babies, Bim Skala Bim, Gigolo Aunts, Laughing Academy, Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, the Incredible Casuals, Slaughter Shack, Hullabaloo, Condo Pygmies
Gossip & Stuff: Back then I was doing Boston Rock ’n’ Roll Trading Cards, so I needed to gather a lot of information about everyone, including birthdays. Bradley J is 12/18, Randi Millman is 12/23, Jeff Conolly is 12/29, Rich Parsons is 1/4, and Kenne Highland is 1/13! *** A club called the Cage opens in Allston, and you need a membership card to get in. I don’t really remember the Cage. I think got drunk on my first night there and I lost my card. I seem to recall it was five bucks to get in and twenty to get out. *** The Titanics ensure zero radio play with their release of “Fuck You.” *** Springa (x-SS Decontrol) mentions “doing gack” with the Barton brothers. I thought gack was a cross between silly putty and green slime. You can even make your own gack for your kids out of Borax and glue. Nothing says, “Hey kids, I got laid off before Christmas” like a big heaping glob of Borax and glue.” The sack of coal is usually a pretty good clue as well.
15 YEARS AGO
Issue #134 Dec 1993
Bands: Concussion Ensemble, Flying Nuns, Letters to Cleo, Buffalo Tom, the Moors, Kustomized, O Positive, Jennifer Trynin, the Barnies, the Jigsaws, Miles Dethmuffen, Rag Iron, Tribe, Opium Den, Miss Xanna Don’t, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Underball, Dirt Merchants, the Pods, Thinner, Bad Art Ensemble, the Dambuilders, Groovasaurus, Tommy’s Darkling Thrush, Bibliodrome. That’d be the bookstore in the old “Allston Mall,” which replaced Primal Plunge, host to many a legendary reading (one immortalized in the GG Allin documentary, Hated), not to mention some crazy parties which rivaled even the notorious Thayer Street days, which is saying something. A shame the subsequent ownership couldn’t carry the torch, but I’m really not at liberty to share what I know about that, sorry. Let’s just say it wasn’t handled well.
Gossip & Stuff: *** Boston Rock Opera is doing Preservation Act II for the first time. Mick Maldonado and the mighty Doug Thoms square off as the leading characters while I play the mad scientist. *** XTC’s Dave Gregory is on the road with Aimee Mann’s band. *** Chris Mascara (x-the Void) is seeking bass and drums for a new project. *** Ray Mason Band picks up x-Motherfolker Frank Marsh. *** Billy Beard (x-Face to Face) joins Modern Farmers. *** Dicky Barrett gets arrested for kicking a bullying bouncer. *** Miles Dethmuffen gets signed to Rainbow Quartz Records, a division of Dutch East India. *** My son Izzy and I are in an indie film called Paris Hill Project. Izzy is one of the stars. I play an old lady in the church scene. Really. *** Fuzzy gets signed to Seed Records out of New York. *** Helium releases their debut on Matador Records. *** Jodi Sussman (x-Trojan Ponies) joins Rattle Heatre on guitar. Fact: band name taken from a ripped ticket stub from the Brattle Theatre. Yes, really. In the gossip column it also says that Trojan Ponies meet Dr. Ruth at the CMJ conference. I probably just wanted to talk more about the girl I was pursuing. And it wasn’t Dr. Ruth! T, I think at this point, you could probably give Dr. Ruth more advice than she could ever give you anyway.
10 YEARS AGO
Issue #187 Dec 1998
Cover: Baby Ray, the Willard Grant Conspiracy, Honkeyball, Señor Happy, the Burning Sensations. One of this town’s most woefully unsung acts ever. Bottomless repertoire, chops out the ass, not afraid to wing it, and a sense of humor no one would dare attempt, then OR now. Sorely missed. Fans will be glad to know that ringleader Al Sheinfeld has put together the Three Mikes, with new backing, and they play a similar mish-mosh of punk, surf, sludge, lummox-rock, and whatever you can name or they happen to feel like. I’m told the Irish fisting songs have been nixed so far, but still highly recommended, of course.
Bands: January, Juliana Hatfield, the Pills, Butterscott, Gang Green, Silver Star & the Jukebox Angels, the Gravel Pit, Cheerleadr, Ramona Silver, Pistola, Half Cocked, 8 Ball Shifter, Verago-go, the Red Telephone, the Sugar Twins, Big Ray & the Futuras, Tugboat Annie, Gigolo Aunts, Boy Wonder, the Syphlloids, Slept
Gossip & Stuff: Someone’s been leaving out stork snacks: Wayne and Linda Viens (Crown Electric Company) announce the birth of adorable Ruby on November 6th, and Mike Leggio (Sugar Twins) debut little Sophia on September 23rd. Zoom to present dayóI just saw both Linda Viens (Angeline) and Mike Leggio (What Time is it Mr. Fox?) at the Barrack the Vote night at T.T. the Bears. *** The Middle East closes for a few days because the adjacent restaurant has a fire. I was there in person. It was scary. Gail Rush took photos. *** Heavens to Murgatroid—exit stage left. *** O Positive reunites for one night. *** Carl Biancucci leaves the Varmints. *** Jim Collins (x-Scatterfield) joins the Buckners. *** Hi*Fi Records begins Saturday afternoon in-store performances. I saw the Shods, the Pills, and Erin Harpe—all excellent shows. *** Splashdown lands a huge publishing deal with Warner Brothers. *** Silver Star & The Jukebox Angels open for Motley Crüe at the Orpheum. *** Michael Eisenstein and Scott Reibling (both Letters to Cleo) are in Maui with Stacy Jones (x-Letters to Cleo) recording Nina Gordon’s (Veruca Salt) solo album with Bob Rock (Metallica) producing. *** Mike Barry (x-Pooka Stew) starts playing as Mike Barry & Fiends. Not a typo, it’s really fiends.
5 YEARS AGO
Issue #237 Dec ’03-Jan ’04
Cover: The Pills, Bourbon Princess, Ho-Ag, Brett Milano
Bands: Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Seekonk, Gein & the Graverobbers, Paula Kelley, Apollo Sunshine, the Collisions, Loveless, Freezepop, Darkbuster, Jim’s Big Ego, Baby Strange, the Coffin Lids, Tristin da Cunha, Valhalla Kitttens, Dave Derby, Hilken Mancini
Gossip & stuff: Rock E. Rollins (a.k.a. Sal Baglio) has a full page ad in the front—the contact is Mel Shatz, I believe Mel must be pals with Thurston Kelp (who helped out the Incredible Casuals a lot). *** There’s a very sexy photo of then ’FNX DJ Anngelle Wood stroking a microphone with the back of her hand. *** Blake Hazard and Jack Dragonetti (Jack Drag) move to the West Coast. *** Johnny Angel’s old band, Thrills, are releasing their first full-length disc that covers 1977-1981. *** Mark Sandman looks down from heaven and smiles at Morphine’s “Buena” all over TV on a Nissan commercial. *** Hey! There are Christmas CD reviews in this issue and they look very similar to the reviews that are in the current issue. *** The Maxie Award ceremony (remember that?) is happening at Johnny D’s. *** Vessela Stoyanova (Fluttr Effect) is an auxiliary member of Lovewhip. *** The first line-up of the Andrea Gillis Band includes Asa Brebner, Michelle Paulhus, Melissa Gibbs, Linda Koury, Emily Grogan, Andrea Gaudette, Mike Baldino, and Andrea Gillis. *** The Pixies are planning a reunion and possible new album. Well, the tour eventually happened and drew like crazy. I think if they farted out an album in their sleep at this point, it would do just as well (which is not a knock against them, I swear).