25 YEARS AGO | By T Max
DECEMBER 1985 ISSUE #44
Yeah, this month we’re skipping 5, 10, 15, 20 and timewarping back 25 years to 1985. Please examine this cover. Band 19 was lead by Richie Parsons, who still makes it out to play and manages one of the more successful Newbury Comics stores. Fritz and Ed Riemer from that band are also still playing out.
Now look down at Three Colors. Who would have known that that skinny good-looking punk second from the left would end up being Boston finest baritone sax player. You may not recognize him, but that’s Dana Colley, who toured the world with Morphine. Now you can see him with the Ever Expanding Elastic Waste Band Members of Morphine with Jeremy Lyons and Dub Apocalypse.
And on further examination of this cover, you may ask, what the heck was Chetstock?—well, it was a psychedelic mushroom-driven love fest knock-off of the hippiest festival ever—Woodstock—with a bummer tent, a food tent, brown asprin—the police had to shutdown Causeway Street because the city wasn’t prepared for the mass convergence on the North End. Rain and mud were shipped in for one night at the legendary Chet’s Last Call. The musical line up included Children of Paradise, Condo Pygmies, the Flies, Valdez the Sinner, the Dogmatics, Scruffy the Cat, the Turbines, and Guitars From Hell. Okay, I may not remember Guitars From Hell but every one of those other bands made major contributions to the Boston music scene.
Look closer and read the line under the masthead of the Noise Rock Around Boston, you’ll see that also in this issue is Throwing Muses—the most successful band ever to come out of Newport, Rhode Island. When they hit Boston, the Noise (read: Eric Van)wrote about them so much that they exploded out of this city and landed on 4AD Records in 1986. Last year (2009) the band reunited for a European tour.
Notice on that same line the name Moving Targets. That hard-hitting post-punk outfit was led by Kenny Chambers and if you look on page six of the Noise’s December 2010 print issue you’ll see that Kenny is another musician for life.
The back page advertiser is WBCN. Imagine that! A leading major radio station actually promoted themselves in a little rock rag that devoted itself to the underbelly of the Boston music scene. Rarely does this range of support ever entangle itself so completely. It’s a big part of what made what people call “back in the day” so special and alive. WBCN gave airplay to local bands and the station’s top three local songs were listed in the Phoenix each week. On any given week, if your band made it into the top three, you were guaranteed a sell-out show. And support of the scene didn’t stop there. The Boston Globe had regular coverage of the scene with Steve Morse and Jim Sullivan double-teaming the city’s activities. Other fanzines were also around—the Pit Report, the Liberty Guardian, Conflict. Somehow the Noise is still around—maybe to remind you how much comaraderie it takes to make a thing called a music scene