A great, much-anticipated comp of everything put out by these folks circa 1979 into the '80's. Funny thing is, this now-popular band was never really popular back in the day. They seemed to be doing the junkie-punk rock thing when everyone else moved on to the BLACK FLAG/ CIRCLE JERKS thing. This still kicks ass though, in light of all the bands doing the UK '77 or PAGANS thing. Hey, I dig the STITCHES too. Anyways, a great, welcomed re-issue on every level. (RL)
MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL,#184, Sept.'98
FOUR Stars--Top Ranking.
Uglier than yer mama was The Lewd, four real '70's "Punks" from Seattle who churned 3-chord "rock' into sticky snot, then moved to SoCal and successfully "punked" Posh Boy "hardcore" without coppin' mucha that "sound"...like, they was heavier! Um...point bein', the bootleg "Complete Discography" from last Summer done got CD'd. Welp, this CD's legit, tho' not 'complete'. HOWEVER--the lack of a coupla "Previously released" tracks is more than made up fo', as "Kill Yourself...Again" got a MESS of extras...a thorough history, an SMOKIN' pre-45 demos 'n outtakes!! (Mike Nipper)
THE STRANGER, Seattle, Aug.13,1998
The Lewd may be most memorable for serving as the first notice to the world of one Kurdt Vanderhoof, known as "Blobbo" when in The Lewd, who went on to mastermind Metal Church. In musical terms, The Lewd were sloppy punk rockers, though in their sloppiness they embraced the form as well as any other West Coast band. Their sound reflected diverse influences like The Who and The Ramones, but their songs always had such a warm sense of humor that they rose above the usual Ramones-wannabes. "Kill Yourself" is a classic, and songs like "Mobile Home" and "Roman Polanski" express the Northwest punk ethos as strongly as it has ever been stated. (Charles Cross)
THE ROCKET, Seattle, Sept.23,1998
While the Mab, the Vats, and Target Video may be things of the punk rock past, Kill Yourself...Again brings back the sneers, stink, and snarls. Transplants from Seattle the Lewd moved to San Francisco in 1980 and, along with bands like Flipper, the Dead Kennedys, VKTMS, and Sic Pleasure, were part of the thriving Bay Area hardcore scene. If you've only heard Lewd tracks on compilations----the bands vinyl releases are out of print and hard to find----now's the chance to find out what you've been missing.
Kill Yourself...Again, 29 songs that'll smack you like a glob of spit in the face, includes the bands rare self-released 7-inch slab, 1982s complete American Wino LP, and more than a dozen early demos and recording studio outtakes. The old masters were salvaged from the garbage (literally), dusted off, and put through a labor-intensive tape transfer. The results are clean and mean. With chunky, attitudinal three-chord anthems like "Kill Yourself" and "Mobile Home", and the sneering cynicism of "I'm Not Pretty" and "Pay or Die", the Lewds old-school punk rock reeks of an angry energy that is sorely missed in today's music.
Extensive liner notes connect the dots between founder Satz and the Lewd members who came and went over the years, including guitarists Blobbo and Bob Clic and tough girl bassist Olga de Volga. Only a reunion show could top this.
Beth Ramona Allen
San Francisco Bay Gaurdian
July 22, 1998
This talk with The LEWD appeared in a 5 page cover story in the August '98 issue of 'Maximum RocknRoll'.
The interview was conducted with four of the members of The Lewd: Olga de Volga, Bob Clic, Sats and Blobbo. They all live in different places now so this is a real international (OK, make that multi-state) effort.
Q. SO, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING ALL THESE YEARS?
Bob I've been here, in San Francisco, playing in many, many bands since 82-83. I'm currently playing guitar in a psychedelic instrumental band called Melting Euphoria. I also play for a great local bluesman called Big Daddy From Cincinnati.
Q. CAN YOU NAME SOME OF THE BANDS YOU PLAYED IN? ARE THERE ANY RELEASES?
Bob Well, the last few months I was in the Lewd I had already started another band with Nyna Crawford from the VKTMS called Murder. We did record some songs that probably will never be released, but they are pretty good. Now there is a girl that can sing. I went from that into the thrash/metal scene which was sort of exploding in SF at the time. I played in a band called Die Sieger for a few years. We played shows with all the metal bands that were coming to town?..Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Exodus. We even opened for Spinal Tap in San Francisco on their first tour. That was a blast.
Q. WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER BAND MEMBERS?
Olga I've been in a tropical rain forest, a remote island paradise, sparkling white sand, black sand, red sand, green sand, waterfalls, erupting volcanoes and blue, blue water. I've been hiding in the presence of the lord while obtaining my Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance, Drama & Theater Production at UH-Manoa - where there are rainbows.
Q. SO ARE YOU WORKING AT A THEATER NOW?
Olga I was recruited to play Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show at the Akebono Theatre, Hawaii's oldest theatre. I worked with the Hawaiian Island Theatre Co. in their production of Rocky Horror at the Southern Star Theatre in Na'alehu where I did choreography, vocal and physical warm ups for the cast, costumes, makeup and props. Now I'm about to be cast in a production of Cabaret to play in the Fall. I'm hoping for the role of Sally Bolles, but don't know if I'll get it.
Q. SATS AND BLOBBO, WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Sats I've actually been hiding in plain sight. Been here in San Francisco since the early 80s with the exception of a trip to Colma, the Bay Area's "City of Cemeteries" in 1991.
Blobbo Various bands, Metal Church, Hall Aflame, Vanderhoof, my studio and the kitchen.
Q. OK, WHAT ABOUT THESE TWO CDs I HAVE HEARD OF?
Bob We have to credit someone that made this release possible. Our friend Gigi, who in 1984 or so, literally rescued ALL the tapes from the garbage. This is not a joke. It's the truth.
Q. SOUNDS LIKE AN INTERESTING STORY...
Bob After the band ended, Sats had moved out of the Lewd house and into a place with some friends of ours. When he moved out of there, he accidentally left all the tapes behind. At some point Gigi and her roommate cleaned the garbage out of the back porch and saw our name on some of the boxes. She had lost touch with Sats, but hung out with me a lot, so I went over and got them. I kept them safe, and now I'm glad I did. The tapes themselves were in ok shape but many formats just aren't used anymore. I couldn't find one studio in SF that had a machine to play them. They mostly laughed at me. I sold some unopened Lewd records to pay for shipping, and sent them up to Kurdt. Kurdt engineered and transferred everything to DAT, and here we are.
Blobbo The tapes were in various states of condition. For example, one of the tapes was so archaic in its format, we had to stack two reel to reel decks on top of each other to be able to get the proper tape speed and proper head type just to be able to hear the recording. Most of the real strange stuff will be on Volume 2 of the CDs.
Q. SO WHAT WILL BE ON THE CDs?
Bob We have what looks like 2 CDs worth of material. Every song the Lewd ever recorded. We are releasing the CDs separately, with the first coming out soon, perhaps June 98, and the second following in just a few months. I don't have the exact order for the second, but it will have some of the more humorous songs on it, with some radio spots, and 4 songs from the Mobile Home sessions. The second cd will also feature every song ever recorded by Olga's previous band Vs.
Here's the track listing for CD1:
Kill Yourself - Trash Can Baby - Pay or Die - American Wino - Justice/Liberty - I'm Not Pretty - Climate of Fear - Magnetic Heart - Suburban Prodigy - Beyond Moderation - Polluted Brain - Fight - Mobile Home - Cold & Numb - Dressed in Black - Lewd Conduct - We Are Now - Going Downtown - Roman Polanski - Catastrophe - Abomination - Scum of the Earth - Secret Agent Man - Trash Can Baby - Gun Fun - Roman Polanski - Day of Decision - Climate of Fear - (Go To Hell In) Hollywood
Q. WILL THERE BE A REUNION IN ANY FORM? WILL THERE BE NEW MATERIAL?
Bob Probably not, although I would like to. I think we would sound great and I know it would be fun. Likewise, don't expect any new songs on the CDs, there just doesn't seem to be much point to it. At my last show we did play one new song. It was an instrumental, with herky-jerky chord changes that we played while our sound man ran a cassette recording of a really filthy obscene phone call that Olga got on her answering machine. An 11 year old with an INTENSE imagination!
Olga Don't know.
Sats A reunion? Wow! That would be quite a sight. I guess it would not be impossible since no one has died. But it would be a major undertaking after all these years.
Blobbo I doubt it, but I would like to see it happen.
Q. I STILL DON'T REALLY GET THE BAND HISTORY - YOU STARTED OUT IN PORTLAND AND OLGA IN SF, AND THEN YOU MOVED DOWN AND MERGED, OR WHAT?
Sats The band originally hailed from Seattle in the late 70s. As for me this was my first serious band and Seattle was a great place to put something together. We had come down and played in San Francisco a couple of times and this city has always had a magnetism to it. It was good because there were places for bands with that raw edge to actually play. At about that time the Seattle lineup was undergoing some personnel problems and so it was a perfect time for the most dedicated of us to just pick up and relocate. So with Electra, our excellent sound engineer and our lighting tech, Crystal, in tow, we headed on down to SF. It was me and Blobbo, and a drummer we met in SF, then Bob joined as bass player. When Kurdt left to form the Metal Church, Bob switched to guitar and we learned that Olga's band Vs had broken up. We played one night with her and her drummer Alex, and after the rehearsal we went to hang out at the Mabuhay. As word got around the club that we had just played together, we realised it was perfect for all of us. When Alex went on to LA's Green on Red we found a great guy from Reno, Chris Reece to play drums. So this was the lineup that most people know as The Lewd, Olga, Bob, Chris and me.
Q. AFTER YOUR BREAKUP, DID YOU KEEP IN TOUCH ALL THE TIME? IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU'RE STILL PRETTY MUCH FRIENDS AS OPPOSED TO MANY BANDS WHO HATE EACH OTHER AFTER A YEAR.
Sats Oh yes, to a certain degree. It was a mostly cool break-up as they go. Chris Reece went immediately into Social Distortion. I really liked seeing him playing with them, but I understand he has moved on.
Olga I don't waste my time hating anyone.
Bob Well, when I left there were some very bad moments, but they were just moments and with time we seem to have gone beyond them. I did work with my replacement, and finished up a few shows. My last show was at the On Broadway Theatre and it was excellent. The next show was the second Eastern Front, and I did not want that to be my swan song with them. You see, the Lewd never, ever played good during the day. Sean Greaves was a great guitarist who we met through Chris, and I traded my spot in the Lewd to him for a live rattlesnake!
Blobbo I'm in touch with Bob, but that's about it. I did produce a >project for Brad last year, called Wolf Pack. But I would like to stay more in touch with everyone.
Q. ARE YOU STILL INTO PUNK OR HARD-CORE AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, DO YOU STILL FOLLOW THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SCENE?
Sats Of course I'm still into punk/hard-core but it's from the other side of the fence. With so many years between being on stage and now I'm afraid I have become very critical of all the groups that have come and gone. I know I'm prejudiced, but I see so many things we did better.
Olga Yes, I love most of everything I've seen. I watch Letterman because I don't have cable TV - he has the best bands. I send off for compilation videos and free music...you know the 10 cassettes for 11 cents. I scan RIP, Thrasher and Rolling Stone to figure out what's good and I have one friend that is totally hip and keeps me informed about new music. I also love Hawaiian music. I'm about to join a new band - they've been recruiting me heavy - but I don't know if I'm recruiting them or they're recruiting me. They're surfer girls, so that definitely makes them da-kine.
Bob Only in theory. I don't ever listen to hard-core. I listen to old punk rock all the time. I think I'm the only one who saw the Pistols last year that liked them. I thought they sounded great, just like they should have sounded at Winterland. I just received a Society Dog CD that sounds so cool to me. I have forgotten what most of the bands sounded like unless they stood out in some way. Because there are a few bands that still remember us, like Turbonegro and the Loudmouths, I find myself interested in what they sound like. But other than the bands we may have influenced in some way??..
Q. IT ALWAYS OCCURRED TO ME, THAT, COMPARED TO MOST OTHER SAN FRANCISCO BANDS, YOUR LYRICS AND MUSIC WERE QUITE CYNICAL AND ROUGH. WHAT KIND OF IMAGE DID YOU HAVE BACK THEN?
Bob I recognized early after I joined the band that we were not even TRYING to provide an answer to any social/political issues. In fact, I like to think we were completely irresponsible. We seemed to appeal to the most street level apolitical hard-core dope-addled punks that ever existed. I hope we still do.
Olga We were raw and simple and we cut to the heart of the matter. We were serving up COLD cuts in a COLD world. We were severely hard core...achtung, hasta la vista baby. We were a prototype of today's sounds and 20 years ahead of ourselves.
Sats As I look back, I was extreeeeeeemly cynical and that did reflect in the lyrics and subject matter. But there was also a satirical side and I firmly felt that every song should have some moral to it, if not a statement or commentary on some value. As for our image back then?.we were always the sum of our parts which I know sometimes confused people. The "scene" was embedded with non-conformity but I always thought it was somewhat hypocritical when the hard-core punks marched all in lock-step and had a problem with those that did not fit the uniform. For us it was always the music.
Blobbo We always had kind a slick approach to the band. Even though we were punk.
Q. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "SLICK"?
Blobbo We were very concerned about our performance, being well rehearsed, having stage clothes, good gear, and being good musicians. These were not very "punk" things to do.
Olga We were well rehearsed, we had backup guitars in case we broke a string and we were always in tune. Each song went directly into the next - the finishes and beginnings were all mapped out. We were a polished act.
Bob One of the big differences between us and most of the other bands was that we worked the way rock bands are supposed to, and punk bands are NOT supposed to. We rehearsed 5 nights a week, played each song twice in a row, had our own p.a., a lighting tech with a lot of gear, and a good crew that supported us. We worked HARD and sounded good because of it. I still teach musicians the things I learned from Sats about how to rehearse. I totally learned how to rehearse from Sats.
Q. WHAT KIND OF BANDS DID YOU HANG OUT WITH BACK THEN? ANY FAVORITES?
Bob I don't have a good memory for many of the local bands. Sure, the early ones like the Avengers, Crime, and Negative Trend are still tattooed on my brain, but the ones that came later were much less memorable. I do remember liking No Alternative, Legionaires Disease Band from Texas, the Misfits, and Olga turned us on to a NY band called the Fast that was pretty good. In spite of our hard-core sound we had a lot more in common with the Ramones and the Dead Boys than we ever did with Dead Kennedys or MDC.
Olga I started the Offs with Billy Hawk and later got Bob Steeler and Bob Roberts. We hung out with the Avengers, The Nuns, UXA and Flipper. Then when I was in Vs. I hung out at the Mabuhay Gardens with Punk Globe, Naked Lady Wrestlers and Mike Fox. The Lewd hung out with Wasted Youth, Social Distortion, DOA, we loved the Ramones...we went to all of their shows, Misfits, 45 Graves, Germs, Spike and Snap and our fan club and its president, Laura Lourda. And then there was the Heavy Metal influence, i.e., Motorhead, Priest, Girl's School, Iron Maiden, Accept, Michael Schenker Group, Scorpions. The U.S. groups we liked were Husker Du, Megadeth, Metallica, W.O.W. & Iggy?...Free Beer and Crucifix. They're ALL our favorites, and Metal Church rules of course.
Sats Back then we were very lucky when it came to hanging out, we had a clubhouse. The Mabuhay Gardens! Bands played there 7 nights a week and hung out there when they weren't playing.
Blobbo We hung with No Alternative, Mentors. My favorites were Crime, The Avengers, Rubber City Rebels.
Bob Ahhhh, the Mentors!!!! When I joined the Lewd, I inherited the 'tors as friends and they have remained friends of mine. I saw them just a few months before El Duce' died, and I think it's fucked that all these magazines that NEVER mentioned them when they were playing had stories about him dying. They were truly every 9 year old boys fantasy band. Sicky Wifebeaters' guitar style is genius.
Q. HOW WAS THE SCENE LIKE IN SF BACK THEN? JUDGING FROM THE RELEASES IT SEEMS QUITE FRAGMENTED TO ME, RANGING FROM THE ARTSY STUFF AND NEW WAVE TO PUNK AND ROCK. OR WERE THE SAME PEOPLE JUST DOING LOTS OF DIFFERENT STUFF?
Bob On any given night you could go to a show, or party, or even a movie and see all the same folks who "were" the punk scene. They were musicians, photographers, artists, drug dealers, fans and losers. A very wide range of people, but at the beginning at least, we all went to the same shows. If you didn't know the person on your left, your friend to the right knew who they were.
Olga It was fragmented. Because of the SF Art Institute there were the art bands. There were performance cults and then there was the Mark Pauline experience. There was new wavy gravy, punk rock and heavy metal. These were all talented, different people - nobody was doubling up.
Sats Your observation is pretty accurate, and even more so in San Francisco. This city has always been a melting-pot for every form of expression known and a few that have yet to be identified.
Blobbo The punk scene was really strong for a couple years but eventually went New Wave and I got into Heavy Metal.
Q. CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THAT LEWD FAN CLUB? I MEAN, WHAT DID THEY DO, WAS IT A REAL FAN CLUB OR WAS IT MORE FOR THE FUN? HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE IN THAT CLUB?
Olga It was a real fan club. We had shirts, stickers...fans got a package with their Lewd ID card with their name on it, discounts to upcoming shows...all sorts of cool stuff. But Sats would know more - he's the one who did it all.
Sats Laura Lorda I'm sure will be known as one of the more unique personalities on the SF punk/music scene. Before we met I would always notice her at our shows since she stuck out from the usual crowd. She has a great Latin accent and more energy than all of us together. She had run fan clubs for some other more mainstream bands like Greg Kihn and Paul Collins' Beat. She offered to set up a fan club for us and we would have been nuts to turn her down. It was more for fun than anything else, she did a great job with tee-shirts, buttons, newsletters, and stickers, and it did serve a purpose for the kids out there in mid America. I'm not sure how many members we finally had.
Q. WHAT MADE YOU STOP YOUR BAND ENGAGEMENT, WHAT CAUSED THE BREAKUP?
Bob I never viewed punk rock as a vehicle for change, I saw it as a musical movement, so the sound of the early punk bands 77-79 was always my favorite, and as times changed I found myself increasingly unhappy with the way the "scene" changed. The bands sounded increasingly alike, and I was not getting what I needed from the music. That includes what I was writing, it was not Lewd material that was coming to me any more. I had stopped listening to other punk bands sometime around 1981, and although I still really enjoyed playing our wild out of control shows, I knew there was not going to be a second Lewd LP from me.
Sats I guess everyone had their own reason, and I know the reasons were varied and complicated. It is never a simple thing when a group of artists decide not to be united under the same banner any more. For me it took a piece of my heart, but I knew that from the ashes there would be new doors opening for all of us.
Olga Girls...they're always a problem when mixed with male hormones, and too much cops.
Q. WHAT DO YOU MEAN, JEALOUSY?
Olga No, not jealousy. When girls interfere with practice that really bugs me. No boyfriends or girlfriends should interfere with the band and practice...work shouldn't interfere either. We all had to schedule our work, our money making, around practice and when one member would stand the rest of us up to go make $100 that really sucked. They weren't taking rehearsal seriously.
Q. DID YOU HAVE A LOT OF TROUBLE WITH COPS?
Olga Yes. They would close clubs down that they knew we were going to play at. The riot squad came in at one of our concerts in LA - they beat up some of the kids and threatened us in front of 1000 people - then unplugged us one by one - except the drummer Reece who just kept going, like that energizer bunny, cause they couldn't unplug him! In San Jose, where we were playing with Black Flag and a bunch of other southern and central California bands, again, the RIOT SQUAD surrounded the building, pulled the fuse to cut all power, stole all the money at the door then threw tear gas into the building. The punks panicked and started throwing chairs out of windows to let fresh air in. WE couldn't leave because we owned all of our equipment and it was too valuable to risk losing. Sometimes the Fire Department and/or the cops would close buildings before we even arrived! They'd use some bullshit safety code reason or other nonsense....we began to think they hated us.
Q. BOB, IS THERE A SPECIAL REASON WHY YOU NEVER PLAYED IN A PUNK BAND AGAIN?
Bob As far as turning away from punk/hc I just got sick of unpleasant music. I don't mean loud and stupid, I still love that, but crappy guitarists thrashing around a screaming idiot trying to sound like Satan. I'm just not interested anymore. The same thing happened to the metalheads too.
I think the band that got me back on track was a drunken, moronic cover band called Ten Inch Gods. We played "classic rock" songs, Bowie, Stones, Humble Pie, stuff like that. Playing with them reminded me of why I was a guitar player, music not stardom (which has eluded me anyway) but having fun with music, playing what I like whether I'm sitting on my bed, or at some club. It doesn't matter. Now I live for the "magic musical moment" and I don't give a shit about much else.
I play with my 19 year old son as much as possible. We are both in a band called Chicken Pussy Queen that is fairly close in spirit to punk rock although we don't care enough to try to get a show. I love playing with my son, he used to fall asleep on the stage at the Mabuhay Gardens when he was still wrapped in blankets.
Q. WHAT ABOUT OLGA AND SATS? AFTER SUCH A GREAT BAND I AM WONDERING WHY BOTH SINGERS NEVER FORMED ANOTHER BAND?
Olga I got tired of playing with Satanists, Neo-Nazis and lazy bums.
Sats I needed to take a break. I wanted to stand back and observe the whole thing from afar. As for jumping into another band, that would have been quite a challenge for me. It would have been a lot easier for me if the Lewd was just a so-so band, but we were hot. It would have been an awesome undertaking to top the last one. Besides, I had been dabbling with other artistic expressions?i.e. film, theatre, directing and acting. I also wanted to relax in the shoes of the consumer for awhile, as opposed to being on the delivery end.
Q. DID YOU GO ANY FURTHER INTO THAT, I MEAN, ACTING OR DIRECTING ETC.?
Sats While the group was going most of my experience was in front of the camera, i.e. Lewd footage. I played a sex-crazed bell bottomed rapist in "Justice For Jennifer". Right after the break-up I put a lot of time into directing. We filmed a remake of "Sunset Boulevard" with Laura Lorda in the Norma Desmond part. It was hysterical, with her accent slaughtering all those lines. It was also one of the last films that featured the Sluts a Go-Go. It was never totally finished but we did enough that it could be released.
Q. HOW MANY HAVE BEEN PRESSED OF THE ORIGINAL 7", THE LP AND THE VS 7"?
Sats I don't know?..
Olga Don't know. The LP?.2000-4000?...I'm not sure. The Vs 7" only 2000....I have a couple hundred of those. Also, there was a SF Underground EP featuring The Lewd, the Fuck-Ups, UnDead and Society's Dog...LOTS of those were pressed. There were 2 Eastern Front LPs featuring a complete international cast of bands.
Q. CAN PEOPLE STILL BUY THE VS 7" FROM YOU?
Olga Yes, they can buy it from me, plus I have half a dozen unopened Lewd Albums for $100 each. The Vs 7" = $25.00. Send requests and post office money orders to : Olga de Volga, Box 241, Volcano, HI 96785.
Q. DID Vs EVER RECORD MORE THAN THE TRACKS ON THE MAGNETIC HEART 7"?
Olga No, not really, but there are some songs that Mike Fox's Sauna Studios recorded, which will come out on the CD they're making in Seattle.
Q. WHAT ARE THE LYRICS TO MAGNETIC HEART ABOUT?
Olga Well, it's personal...due to my magnetic personality.
Q. A GUY I KNOW HAS BEEN SEARCHING FOR A LEWD VIDEO CALLED "LOUD AND LEWD" FOR MANY YEARS. DOES IT EVEN EXIST?
Bob YES it exists and we are hoping to someday see it again!!!!
Olga It's not a video, it's a movie...a 16mm movie produced by Karl Heinz and Sideshow Productions, who also produced several other movies that featured the Lewd, including "Justice for Jennifer", "Congo Confidential" and "Go to Hell in Hollywood". Target Video made uncountable numbers of videos from our live shows and never paid us a dime. This company, owned by Big Daddy Joe, did this to all the SF bands and made enough money to buy a ranch in northern California, a Rolls-Royce, a big cigar and snakeskin cowboy boots - probably silver tipped with spurs! He sent us all a video of himself with this cowboy-booted foot propped up on the Rolls, smoking a cigar, thanking all the punks in SF for making him so rich.
Sats Yes it does. Somewhere??. We just recently got word on the whereabouts of the film maker (he has been missing for years) and so we hope to get our hands on it and somehow get it released in video format. As I remember, it's very raw and was done on film. Even today it would be disturbing to most. I remember the shoot, but not the content. The opening credits were our roadie, Deeogee, carving the title, Loud-N-Lewd into his chest with a razor blade. It got pretty bloody by the last word! Watch for it on MTV!
Q. IS HE THE GUY ON THE LYRIC SHEET FOR THE LP?
Sats Dee-o-gee was our ever faithful roadie and the best friend the band ever had. I can't speak high enough of this person but, unfortunately, he died much too young a few years back. It's truly too sad to even think about??..
Bob These cds are absolutely dedicated to Dee, we love and miss him very much.
Q. IS THAT LOUD & LEWD MOVIE A REAL MOVIE, I MEAN, WITH A STORY, OR MORE A DOCUMENTARY?
Olga I don't know...it has a plot...but I forgot!
Sats I don't really remember. I believe it was live footage from the Mabuhay. We worked a lot with this filmmaker, Karl Heinz. We did several projects with him.
Q. WHAT ARE THE OTHER FILMS ABOUT?
Olga Justice for Jennifer - Listen to the Metallica album "And Justice for All". Congo Confidential - Don't let your pet gorillas kill your landlord. Go to Hell in Hollywood - Ask Sats, he was the main star.
Sats Bob did the soundtrack/background music for "Justice For Jennifer". As far as "Congo Confidential", all that comes to my polluted brain is a memory of a choreographed dance number where we got a bunch of punks and bums to get in total blackface body make-up with bones in their hair. They danced this production number while Laura Lorda was the Queen of the Jungle. It was so funny we had a hard time finishing the shoot. "Go to Hell in Hollywood" is like a MTV type short film of LA set to one of our songs.
Q. DID TARGET EVER RELEASE A LEWD TAPE, OR WERE LEWD TRACKS ONLY INCLUDED ON COMPILATION VIDEOS?
Olga He has so many tapes of our complete shows - then he splices and dices them to sell to European video bars - who knows? We've never seen 'em. I just don't know...we never got to see ourselves.
Bob As far as I know, we are only on one released Target video, the song "Fight" is included in the one that I found. However, in the stack of tapes I have, is some very weird format video tape that I have no idea how to view. It is an old Sony format that is unused these days. It has to be early footage of the Seattle lineup but there is only one way to be sure. Perhaps if we find Karl Heinz and get the films transferred to video we can find a way to include this one too.
Q. I NOTICED SOME MYSTIC REFERENCES ON THE LP SLEEVE, HAVE YOU BEEN IN TOUCH WITH DOUG MOODY? I'M ASKING BECAUSE A LOT OF BANDS SEEM TO BE ON WAR TERMS WITH MYSTIC.
Bob Wow, Doug Moody? As I recall he was a very friendly old studio owner who came down the hall a few times to hear us and tell us rock n roll stories. He told us about Led Zeppelin recording some of "Whole Lotta Love" at Mystic Sound because they had a killer old style echo chamber built under the studio. We talked about the Bobby Fuller Four, and many of the other music gods that he had worked with. If we are the only band that doesn't hate him, good. We never cared what the other bands did.
Q. WHY WAS THE LP DIVIDED IN LIVE & STUDIO PARTS? I MEAN, IT'S MORE COMMON TO HAVE A FULL LIVE OR A FULL STUDIO LP.
Sats I think at the time we weren't sure if there would be a second LP, so we used what we had.
Olga Because we wanted our fans to be able to hear us playing live with no overdubs. We had the opportunity to record at Mystic Sound - a gift from God and Clem Fisher - we wouldn't be ANYWHERE without Clem. He is directly responsible for producing us and deserves all the credit....at least much more than anyone has given him.
Bob Sats and Olga are close, but the reason was really financial. We met Clem Fisher through LAs Wasted Youth, and he didn't have enough cash to do a full LP. He wanted us to come down to LA, record side one, then do the rest after he had sold some WY LPs. We suggested using the Target tapes because it was already done, and he agreed.
This interview with The LEWD appeared in Maximum RocknRoll in 1981.
by Cliff Varnell
Last July there was a fundamental change in SF hardcore band, the Lewd. Long time guitarist Bob Clic quit to join another band. The Lewd replaced him with the Greaves, a fouding member of the Reno Rad scene (ex-Thrusting Squirters guitarist, producer of 7 Seconds' debut EP).
The Lewd are currently working on more new songs, a new tour, and enjoying the success of "American Wino", their debut album (recorded with Bob Clic last spring). The Lewd recently granted their first Greaves-era interview.
MRR: Here's a word association quiz. I'll throw out a word or phrase and you guys say what comes to mind.
Olga: Like a psychiatrist?
MMR: Sure. Ready? Violence
Satz: Violence? Violence has been a part of every revolution. Any real revolution will have it's share of violence. But it isn't the ultimate, winning factor.
Greaves: It shouldn't be written off as cool. It sucks. It's the wrong tool.
MMR: Are you revolutionaries?
Satz: Musical Revolutionaries
Olga: We're freedom fighters. We're trying to fight our own way.
Satz: we're fighting big business.
Olga: We're fighting police departments, fire departments, city governments-just to do shows. We've had about 10 shows shut down in the last 2 years.
MMR: Some people interpret Lewd songs like "Fight", "Beyond Moderation", or "Suburban Prodigy" as advocating violence.
Chris: We don't advocate violence.
Satz: Those songs are a narrative of a society gone sour. It doesn't mean-this is what it is and this is great. No, this is what it is and maybe, if you don't like it, you'll do something about it.
Greaves: "Suburban Prodigy" is a parody.
Satz: A lot of the songs are satire or parody, but they are also calculated to make people think, to use their head and take it from there.
Olga: we illustrate the reality of it, of this situation. But at the time, we're trying to have fun. I mean, you got to be able to laugh about it sometimes.
Satz: The trouble is, all this media hype has vivid picture of us as a complete extreme, like something out of the "class of 1984."
Chris: It's a joke.
MRR: All right. What do you think of when you hear the phrase "heavy metal"
Olga: Blue Cheer!
Greaves: Motorhead's good, but even they come out and say they're not heavy metal.
MRR: Some people consider the Lewd heavy metal, or at least they used to.
Olga: No, to me heavy metal means double bass drums.
Satz: Our old guitarist was influenced by heavy metal, but the Lewd has never followed a heavy metal formula. I think heavy metal is basically mindless. Hardcore is about trying to be aware.
Olga: But there is a crossover influence occurring between the punk and heavy metal scenes. A lot of heavy metal bands are starting to simplify and become more like punk bands. And then you have the punk bands incorporating the trick of heavy metal, like a cool guitar part-but just not stretching it out 20 minutes. Simpler punk rock progressions seem to be getting more complex.
MRR: The newer Lewd songs seem to be more sophisticated, some of them.
Chris: There's a lot of different influences in the lewd, everyone if the band has their own tastes.
MRR: Say something about the lyrics that are being written now.
Satz: We're trying to take a more constructive approach.
Chris: "Thee, Thy, Thou is about becoming your own preacher, your own pope.
Satz: Lyrically, a lot of the stuff on the first album were comical things like "Mobil Home", "American Wino". But the serious stuff is bitching about situations or bitching about society, our civilization. The stuff we're getting into now is like-OK , now that we've bitched about it let's do something constructive to change it. Not just sit around and bellyache.
Greaves: We want to keep a more positive outlook.
MRR: That brings about our next word association. What about "Nazi Punks"?
Chris: What about Nazi cab drivers, Nazi teachers, Nazi cops? They all suck!
Satz: It's kind of hard for me to say
I haven't been exposed to that many Nazi's
Olga: I'm against assholes and assholeism, myself.
Greaves: Looking at this whole word association thing, I don't think it's doing much good. When you flash us these words, and we give you an answer, it gives people a generalization of what we're not really about, see?
MRR: All right then, what do you want people to think of when they hear the words, "the Lewd"?
Chris: Dwel backwards.
Olga: If your nude, your Lewd.
Satz: There's a denotation, but the name develops a connotation, and that is whatever it's gonna be. It's a band, whatever energy they create. Like the Beatles-do you think of little bugs crawling around? Or the Dead Kennedys-do you think of dead guys in a coffin? No, you think of a musical group.
Olga: I think if you're going to call your band a name, your band has to be that. The initial impact, anyway. That's show biz.
Satz: The name Lewd creates a real rough first impression. A real raw immediate word. For some people it's a terrible thing to think of-"A name of a group, what on earth could that group be about?" These are the people who put rules on free expression by labeling this or that obscene. I've put those people on the defensive immediately by calling myself the worst thing they could accuse me of.
MRR: So they're powerless to limit your free expression; in effect, your saying anything goes, right from the beginning, every time. Symbolically-"I've got a licensee to make a fuss."
Satz: Not every time, just when you need it. Taking the name "The Lewd" literally doesn't go beyond the first impression. That's why I'd rather people thought of the word lewd as a musical group, not an obscene gesture. If your going to be obscene every time, your putting strict rules on your own free expression.
MRR: Last question, what would you like to see happen in the SF hardcore seen.
Olga: More all night parties like we used to have.
Satz: It would be great if the bands could get together and throw their own shows like they used to.
Chris: It's been talked about.
Olga: It's harder and harder to find a place.
Satz: Get a warehouse together and charge at the door.
Greaves: No matter what there will always be good bands coming out of San Francisco.
Satz: I think things are getting a little better. Like, I haven't seen any violence at a show in a while. The last two times we played LA there was no need for that much security to keep kids from writing on the wall.
Olga: That's why they're paying $9 a ticket, to pay for security.
Satz: For the past year or so a lot of the bands and fanzines have been saying to the community, "If you do this crap, this stupid stuff, you're off-the-wall, you're wrong. Come on you guys, you're ruining it for us." I kind of see it having an effect if ever so slight. But I have gone to shows lately where people weren't beating up on their brother, or destroying the place just to be doing something. Because they finally figured out , they grew up that much, that there'd be no place to go or they would have to pay $15 a ticket for security.
MRR: Maybe the bands can get together and do shows again-as long as they know they won't be done over by their own fans.
Satz: Yeah. I know it's cliché, album title, but I really think the future looks bright.
Anyone who has heard the Lewd's great late '70s single "Kill Yourself" can vouch for the raw, crazed energy of this young Seattle punk combo. Their self-released single has commanded high prices based on its rarity, not to mention the fact that it kicks ass.
The Lewd were an outgrowth of an earlier band called the Sixteen Year Old Virgins, who changed their name to the Knobs. Lead singer J. Satz Baret was formerly as "Satin Sheets," and played in the later, non-cabaret version of Ze Whiz Kids, circa 1975. Ze Whiz Kids, primarily a theater group, also included Tomata Du Plenty, later of the Screamers. The Knobs formed in 1976 and included Satz on vocals, Drake Eubank on drums, Sheldon Gomberg on bass and Jeff Gossard (cousin to Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard) on guitar. Other Knobs members at various points included guitarists Marc Cain and Mark Bowen. According to Satz, The Knobs "never really played. We were going to play, had publicity ahead of us, photo sessions and a flyer than announced that we were 'coming soon!" Yet the Knobs never played an official show, because as Satz says "we had no songs." Like that's stopped anyone else? However, the Knobs did play one intimate "performance" at a Fremont rehearsal space called The Funhole. This A-list evening was written up in a Seattle punk fanzine "Twisted." Satz chainsawed a stage monitor during "Chain Saw Sex." 'Nuff said.
Out of the Knobs came two mind-bending combos: the S'nots and the Lewd. The S'nots included Gossard, Cain, Gomberg and Eubank, and released one three-song EP on Edge City Records in 1979. The first line-up of the Lewd featured Satz and Eubank, Peter Tabor on guitar and Mike Van Dyke (nee Davidson) on bass. Shortly thereafter, Eubank was replaced by Dave Drury. This line-up recorded some demos in 1978, nine songs of which are on their new CD for your enjoyment.
Drury was replaced by John Sticks (nee Nay), who was from Rhode Island. Their first show was in the Northwest punk Bethlehem, Vancouver, B.C. The Lewd opened for the Ramones on June 8, 1977 for an evening of pure insanitainment. Sometime later Mike Davidson was replaced by 17-year-old David "Buttboy" Rudicrona, who was originally from Aberdeen, Wash., later the home of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. Mike Davidson, Dave Drury and Jeff Gossard were also in a band called Clone with Upchuck, later of the Fags. When Rudicrona quit eight months later, he suggested his friend Kurt Vanderhoof, who adopted the stage name Blobbo, as a replacement. Peter Tabor quit next, and was replaced by Brad Rammels. Johnny Vinyl, a member of a local band that used an unpronounceable symbol for their name (it's commonly pronounced "Aaiieee!") remembers the Lewd opening up for the Ramones at Seattle's Paramount Theater in 1978, and people throwing stuff at them. Joe Finn, who saw the Lewd open for the Ramones at the same show, had this to say about them: "It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. There was nothing threatening about them at all, it was just comical. But them and the Ramones -- it was a three-chord tour de force!" Gas Huffer's Tom Price also remembers seeing the Lewd around this time. "I was especially frightened by Satz and Brad. They seemed like these scary, older real punk guys to me." This line-up recorded and released a great three-song EP on Scratches Records in 1979. The label was basically Robert Bennett, a local rock writer who supported the band. Produced by Marty Frasu, the record was a home studio recording, and included the insane "Kill Yourself." The B-side numbers, "Trash Can Baby" and "Pay Or Die" are equally great crash 'n' burn punk tunes.
In 1980, Satz and Blobbo moved the Lewd to San Francisco. Blobbo had switched to guitar, and they got Bob Clic in on bass. Carl Socco was on drums .The band recorded some demos, and then Blobbo quit to form his new venture, Metal Church before moving back to Aberdeen (and subsequently starting a new Metal Church who released quite a few albums). Bob Clic moved to guitar, Alex Flex joined on drums, and part-time model Olga de Volga came in on bass. Olga had played with other bands, including one called Vs. with Alex Flex, and often played Lewd shows wearing outrageous black leather outfits, and handled the occasional lead vocal. Alex Flex also left, and was replaced by Christopher Reece. Previous to Flex's departure, the band appeared on the 1980 seven-inch, four-band EP S.F. Underground 2 (Subterranean Records) doing the fast-paced punker "Mobile Home." With Reece in the band, they released their only LP, "America Wino," on ICI Records in 1982. Having fully absorbed the emerging faster hardcore punk sound, this blistering document features one side of studio recordings produced by Clem Fisher and recorded in Hollywood at Mystic Sound, and another side culled from a live performance at Target Video Studios. Target Video was a San Francisco video group that often shot bands live in their studio (sometimes with an invited audience) for compilations such as Target Video Four, which features the Lewd performing "Fight." That song, as well as another version of "Mobile Home," is also featured on the ICI LP. The LP also includes a great song sung and written by Olga called "Magnetic Heart," and one tune co-written by Satz and Vanderhoof called "I'm Not Pretty." The rest of the songs were penned by Satz and Clic. Side Two was engineered by Mike Fox (guitarist of Sick Pleasure and Code Of Honor), who recorded many San Francisco groups and is particularly engaging. No doubt, this album is a crucial document of the San Francisco early '80s hardcore scene, right up there with releases by Society Dog, Sick Pleasure, Code Of Honor, Flipper, VKTMs, No Alternative, Dead Kennedys, etc. The Lewd also appeared on the two volumes of Enigma's "Eastern Front" live albums.
After the LP was released, Bob Clic quit and was replaced by Greaves, a Reno native who played in a band called Thrusting Squirters and who produced the first EP by Seven Seconds. The band fizzled out not soon afterwards, and Olga moved to Hawaii; Alex went on to play with Green On Red; Chris Reece was a member of a number other outfits including Social Distortion. After the Lewd, Bob Clic had a band called Murder who included ex-VKTMs singer Nyna Crawford. These days, Bob plays in the spacerock band Melting Euphoria, who have a CD out on the Cleopatra label. Satz retired from music, although hopefully not permanently. While the Lewd's records have been out of print for years, songs from the "Kill Yourself" single have reappeared on a few '70s punk compilations. Recently, all their material was compiled onto a bootleg vinyl release entitled "The Lewd - Complete Discography". At last, the Lewd's material has been made available on CD, including a slew of never-before-released early demos and outtakes. The Lewd have recently had their songs covered by bands such as The Loudmouths and Turbo Negro. Yet no one can recreate that demented Lewd sound. ROCK N ROLL!!!