Thursday, March 26, 2009

Takes One and Two

Journey with me now back to 1980, and the basement of the Roosevelt. From the beginning, The Sponges always practiced at the Roosevelt. At first, it was in an attached vacant store, where we also stored our stage during the regular businessman’s lunch on Monday through Friday. On Friday afternoon, we would drag the stage in and screw it all together. I shouldn’t say "we" on the screwing the stage together part. That was Scot. I remember him snaking around on the floor under the stage. That would also imply the reverse. Unscrewing the thing on Sunday and schlepping it back to the storefront. That brings to mind my favorite Woody Allen quote, “To be is to schlep.”

I remember one time we had the Dead Kennedys and Perry was sure Jell-o Biafra was going to start swinging from the chandelier. Later, after we stopped booking shows at the Roosevelt, The Sponges were still happening. I remember the night we recorded this session. We had to go down into the basement space (which had been a speak-easy in the 1920’s) and through a loose plank in the wall. That was our rehearsal space.

This song, “I Never Knew Your Name” was brought to the band by Joe Belche, the band’s guitar player. Joe has a great rock voice. Today, he does a lot of charity work in the Seattle area as the Rock and Roll Clown. I love this song. I think you get a little more sense of the Sponges on this track, the out of tune guitar, as Scot would say-- “That quality Peavey sound,” Leland Monagle's mighty rolls, Scot’s thumping Yamaha bass (which he was just learning). He actually had had trouble with stringed instruments as a kid. He was excited about finally being able to make he fingers form a chord. We were all kind of just learning, just having fun. That's what made punk so great. The field was open. Musical talent and training were optional.

The artwork for today is a wonderful hand colored etching Scot did in the late 1980’s. I think you’ll see threads out from here to the newer work I’ve been dishing out.

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