Thursday, August 21, 2008

Introducing: The Savage Young Smugglers!

The story of rock and roll is a story of degradation. Not particularly the degradation of musicians, though that is inevitable, expected, and not what anyone has had to fight against, except a few like Keith Richards himself. But he's done ok... snorting his dad's cremated ashes and handing down some real scoop occasionally, "Everyone’s a load of crap," he says. "They are trying to be somebody else, and they ain’t being themselves. Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party? Load of crap, load of crap. Posers, rubbish." Pretty adept thinking from an old man, huh? That is exactly the kind of double-edged swords us naturals, us adepts are forced to deal with. In 2008 the degradation is deeper and more abscessed than ever, and I mean EVER! That wasteland of 1969-1976 that spawned PUNK ROCK looks like a damned fertile crescent compared to today! The bands that Richards mentioned (with the possible exception of the Libertines - they saved my bacon one time; On spring break in Clearwater, FLA a few years back I was bunked with two bitches, even more disgusting on the inside than out, who tried and kill my brain and only Grant, Murph (who got arrested on the plane with weed a few days prior) and the Libertines held me together - "I get along/justa singin' my song/people tell me I'm wrong/FUCK 'EM!" I hitched a plane back to good ol' Delaware a little more delicate, a little wiser) aren't even in my scope of knowledge. Are they supposed to be rock and roll these days? Are Fallout Boy (my least favorite Simpsons themed band name) or Spoon, or Kean, or Maroon 5, or Plain White T's? Oh Lifetime! What hath thou wrought? Why did we ever Bleed American? Why!?! No! That is all derived and bland.

So whatever, wherever rock and roll is today, it's not on the charts or radio. During the payola aftermath those kids Chuck Berry records and Little Richard records were not even as old as my Screeching Weasel records... those guys just assumed that it would last forever, and then was taken away by outside forces. Well, in 1997 I assumed that "punk and roll was here to stay, it would never die!" I actually thought that. I had found my music in 1993, two years later every kid in America was listening to it and my band NINJA ATTAK was very popular. By 1998 everyone acted as though they weren't involved in that little phase, that embarrassing pop-punk shit. BUT! They still fancied themselves worthwhile enough to avoid major label-style music. They were wrong, but they did it anyway, and scream-o took center stage. Newark, Delaware was a dirty atonal garbage pit again. Even when the hey-day of Wilmington/West Chester Punk Rock stretched down that far south, the people and kids were not cool enough to get it. (By the way - listening to cool music and REALLY digging it is a sure way to be cool, and the reverse still holds true.)

Anyhoo - what happens every time is this: REALLY great rock and roll happens, organically one way or another, then something stupid happens to fuck it up. Original wave rock and rollers (Elvis, Buddy, Little Richard, Chuck, Jerry Lee, etc...) were wiped out by payola and armed services and god and man's law and plane crashes. Life sucks for a couple years, but all the blues mutherfuckers like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf have been playin' Great Britain and inspiring those limey twerps the same way our cloddish native sons were nurtured. So, the British Invasion comes and saves rock and roll for the first time, spawning the American Garage scene and the Sonics of the Pacific Northwest, who destroy the Stones on a good day. What happened then? The worst thing imaginable. People just stopped needing rock and roll. Unable to tell the difference between a guitar and a syringe, they misidentified the Party that is rock and roll, the personal and social intermingling of intangibles stopped meaning anything to them... but not to everybody!!!

So now we're good and removed from the first wave, which allows for academization and over-thinking. Perhaps there is only a certain kind of person that is really into rock and roll, true patriots! The rest thought it was okay for James Taylor and Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell and the Eagles to goose-step their way right over top America's youth and their hopes and dreams. These people are evil and hurt us. It can be argued that the first rock and roll was unconscious. Nobody really did it on purpose, they just had to do it! But at this point in the early 1970's everybody was doing everything on purpose, and there is actually no way around that. It doesn't have to be bad and at that time it was NECESSARY! It took a conscious rejection by REAL rock and roll fans, because it was now time to fight! This is pretty well exemplified in the difference between the first two MC5 albums. Kick Out the Jams is trash after the first two songs, but Back in the USA is pure genius... even named after Chuck Berry. The MC5 kept thinking, but started thinking about the right stuff. The next conscious crusader is Lou Reed. "Rock and roll is so great, people should start dying for it. You don't understand. The music gave you back your beat so you could dream. A whole generation running with a Fender bass..." Along with the critical thinking aspect came the new and most important aspect of rock and roll: unabashed sentimentality. This translates to sincerity and is ALL YOU NEED. It's okay to try to write rock and roll. Just because you know your doing it doesn't devalue it. Iggy is another sentimentalist. He literally bled for it, there was and is NOTHING else he can do. When rock and roll has done so much for us as a people, ignoring that is disgusting and worthless. The few that understood this saved us all. What if there was never any rock and roll? The four-cornered American fifties would have extended indefinitely, and really, the cyclical absences of rock and roll in American History do mirror right-wing renaissances. And those freeze frames are not the America I want to live in (but I do right now, remember!). Rock and roll introduced the idea of "us vs. them" and the "us" has gotten smaller and smaller and more full of people thinking they're "us" when they're obviously "them".

But let's be honest... the MC5, the Stooges, and the Velvets just got us through, never able to entirely toss of the nouveau, slightly too experimental, too long songs, but so close. That's why I can't hold it against the rock and roll fans of the day for still complaining... they didn't know what was about to happen. The smartest guys were about to play the dumbest, and a few bands who knew and understood what happened with their lifeline since 1954 were going to intentionally fix rock and roll. The final precursor were called the New York Dolls. Much like the British Invasion was marked by the Anglo-Mangling of English kids trying in vain to play American Blues riffs, the Dolls followed the trail of rock and roll, used absolutely everything therein and thoroughly ignored everything that had went wrong - folk-rock, singer-songwriter schtick, and country rock. Johnny Thunders played lead guitar like Chuck Berry or Muddy Waters, BUT he was a product of his times, a city-street white boy, not a southern black man. He knew that mimicking his heroes could be a real and important tribute or love-letter, but Johnny was a musical revolutionary and could not help but move forward, so he TURNED IT UP LOUDER. Jerry Nolan played a rolling uber-heavy jungle-style 4/4 beat, and following the speed of his heart, PLAYED IT FASTER. Together, these two revolutionized and signalled the beginning of Modernism in rock and roll. No less important to the Dolls is lead singer David Jo Hanson, a one-man race radio station, vampier than Tina Turner and meaner than Ike. Let's put it this way: Jo Hanson is better than Mick Jagger in every way. His voice is so much more personal and brings you in both live and on disc. The personalness of the Dolls is key. The best band in the world is - if your lucky enough to have a band that practiced regularly in a garage near or around your house, when I was growing up on Delaware and Union in Wilmington, there was a band that rehearsed in the line of garages across the street, in the Diocese parking lot, and that is the best band in the world. Every neighborhood should have it's own rock and roll band. The New York Dolls were the neighborhood rock and roll band that happened to be fucking genius. What happened next was almost a gimmee...

Modernism is a trend of thought that affirms the power of human beings to create, improve, and reshape their environment, with the aid of scientific knowledge, technology or practical experimentation. Modernism encouraged the re-examination of every aspect of existence, from commerce to philosophy, with the goal of finding that which was 'holding back' progress, and replacing it with new, progressive and therefore better, ways of reaching the same end.

The New York Dolls put us here, and now we're smart enough (if we're still paying attention) to start naming stuff that we do, such as "junk culture" and "punk." So we're almost at the best. What could make the Dolls better? Well, they seemed a little too good. Not exactly at their instruments, though they killed it, but more at life... The Dolls may have seemed a little too actually entitled to what they were taking. They were so fucking cool and tough and a little bit elite... though far less and in a much different way that "elite" rock stars such as Elton John and his ilk. What was needed were heroes that were JUST LIKE US, zits and all. Enter Adny Shernoff, Handsome Dick Manitoba and their Dictators. Shernoff's writing was the first of it's kind. Big, anthemic, and SIMPLE songs that would make Springsteen blush and TRUE lyrics, HILARIOUS lyrics. Songs that were exactly about you, well the cool you, not the real you probably... and songs that would make you laugh. In that, admitting that what we're doing is just playing music and we needn't take ourselves so seriously... that is one of the life-saving messages of rock and roll. Shernoff saw what he didn't like about the current "rock" music and culture and consciously did the other, he wanted back what he had been given, what was rightfully his. The heart and face of the operation was Handsome Dick Manitoba. Manitoba is a walking cartoon character, big, bad, and Jewish - the best their is. The Dictators took Mad Magazine, fast food, stupid tv, and wanting chicks and mixed it with that little spark of rock and roll that had been kept alive and passed down and made history. They remain the most underrated band in rock and roll history, and in truth, there was only one band that could have overshadowed the Dictators, the greatest there would ever be...the RAMONES.

Well, I could write another five thousand words or so about the Ramones, but for our purposes, we'll just say that they influenced a billion kids to start bands (and still do) and one of those bands was the Sex Pistols who made a good record but were way more about publicity than quality, landed a big money contract, broke up and died and everybody who would have been a great punk band changed to New Wave in order to "get signed" and proved they didn't really care or get it. The Ramones, of course, stayed the course into infinity. This led to the creation of the major underground scene, good bands kept going and did it themselves, but then again, so did a lot of shitty bands. This was a new conundrum... rock and roll and punk rock had peaked and fallen in mass popularity again and was being watered down from both sides, the majors who didn't give a fuck and would make whatever they could force people to buy, and the underground, full of people who said they were down, but were either disenfranchised major lovers, untalented dim-wits, art fags... underground music had become the caveat of cool, and that attracted a lot of people, but rock and roll music was not focused on... music cues were being taken from Ramones successor bastards who didn't get it in the first place, so the music wasn't really punk rock or rock and roll... it became "alternative". It became post-modern.

American Radio had nothing to do with rock and roll during the 1980's, everything with big guitars was underground. Actual guitar, not Posion/Motley Crue fake-me-out guitar. The first underground music that struck it huge (not really punk rock, despite what they tell you) was that of the Seattle Scene. Major sludge style pseudo-pop influenced equally by the classic rock (Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk) that the Dictators tried to kill, as by local questionably punk underground acts like the Melvins or Flipper. These bands (you all know 'em and probably love em: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden) ruled the waves for a couple years and we all thought that that was just how things were. There were white boys playing guitars and what not on the MtV right next to the modern "R and B" singers and black girl groups, hip hop and rap. We figured that was just how it was, it wasn't so hot, but it was a serious status quo and it was gonna be tricky to overturn. It was like a methadone bottle to a heroin baby, dig?

Still, while this lumbering behemoth of early nineties grunge-pop meandered endlessly, the farm team was workin' hard in Berkeley and Chicago. In Chicago, a Ramones-centric and well thought out style of punk rock was being played by the Vindictives, Screeching Weasel, and the Queers. In California, Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine, Green Day, the Mr. T Experience, and many others (like Brent's TV and Sweet Baby) were developing a HUGE scene centered around 924 Gilman Street Punk Club, Maximumrocknroll zine, and Lookout! Records, owned and operated by Lawrence Livermore. These bands played a diverse yet decidedly melody based punk rock rooted not only in Ramones style punk but also roots rock and roll, British punk and raggae.

This new wave were very different bands, but were all markedly different from the Seattle bands in their disregarding of all that Gen-X retro bullshit classic rock. It was never cool. Ironically, it was the previous music's biggest star's suicide that allowed the new era to come to fruition. When Kurt Cobain blew his brains out, record execs scrambled like after Sid Vicious' death to rearrange the musical landscape away from the dark and disturbed, brooding and angst ridden, heroin-prone grunge drivel towards...? Pop-punk was pretty much the exact opposite. It was musically pure, not effects driven, and simple, the drums very rudimentary and never experimental. Overall it was brighter, crisper, better. America in the nineties was great. We didn't know the country was about to undergo a make-over into a neo-fascist war-factory. We had a party president and plenty of prosperity. Criticisms of the pop-punk bands centered around the talent issue. Vocals were characteristically nasal, especially in the Chicago sound, sung brattily and frequently very dirty. Also, this era of records are far less "tight" that previous rock and roll records of ANY era. The best interpretation of this is that these records are realer than records that came before.

At this point the New York Dolls happened twenty-two or so years ago and the same academization that happened to rock and roll happened ten-fold to punk rock. What this means is that the new breed was pretty much shunned by first wave first persons or those who fancied themselves as such, and conversely, that the new breed made consciously calculated punk records in the wake of the Ramones, but of their times and of themselves. They did it with love and without tribute, making a true new kind of music. That's why it doesn't matter when someone says that something's not punk rock, (except me). SO, they used Los Angeles' Weezer as a gateway drug and then dropped Green Day on the populace. Green Day were the tightest, cutest, and most marketable of the Berkeley Scene, and the ones that said "yes." Many bands of the time declined major contracts, deciding instead to keep the course of independently released music. This was an interesting thing because it caused more interest in independent punk labels in America than had been scene before or since. Bands like Screeching Weasel and the Mr. T Experience could stay on Lookout! Records and sell a shitload of records. Lookout! was also helped by the insane back sales of Green Day's first two records, once they went major. Lookout! seemed to be the Mecca for independent pop-punk, housing many terrific acts and putting out a stream of seemingly endless great records, with Larry Livermore at the helm.

One of the labels that enjoyed Lookout! and Green Day's overflow was Vancouver, B.C.'s Mint Records, who frequently did label splits and band-sharing with Lookout!. On one such Lookout!/Mint tour featuring The Queers, the Mr. T Experience, and the Smugglers in January 1996, at the Trocadero in Philly, I got my young ass rocked harder that even I was accustomed to. I, and every "punk" from my school and the surrounding girls' schools, and everybody from the Wilmington/West Chester punk scene (at it's high-water mark, damn it was fun) were in attendance. I had been driven up (cause I was too young to drive yet!) by my dad, and was with my bassist from Ninja Attak, Brendan, his girlfriend, and, get this: my ex-girlfriend! I was involved in a series of romantic endeavors to win her back, and this was one of them. Of course, she probably was never worth my attentions, but she was in the right place at the right time, and broke up with the right dude. Also in attendance was my competitor for her affections, my frenemy Nick, lead singer of the great Sex Girl Patrol. Don't worry about me though, he ended up stealing my girlfriend, but I ended up stealing his drummer, Mike Cruz, and believe me, I got the better of the deal!

The Queers were on top of the world, enjoying huge success and no compromise of principal, and had the classic line up of Joe Queer, B-Face, and Hugh O'Neil, the best Queers, and the MTX had a similar classic line up with Dr. Frank, Joel, and Gym. They were the bands of the night, and as MTX played all the songs off their new record Love is Dead (now a bonafide classic) I watched Nick and the ex-girl snuggle it up. I felt bad for them, because it was clear that Dr. Frank was there for me, not them. I was the real one, the real punk. But the real story was with the opening band... a near-unknown, Canada's SMUGGLERS. Already fans of the Hi-Fives, Billy Frolic and I rocked with amazement at the five boys in dark suits and huge fisherman boots. They were promoting Selling the Sizzle and they practiced what they preached. As I watched my very own Rolling Stones destroy the stage with killer rock and roll numbers, dance and kissing contests, and excellent moves, the entire crowd rallied against them, chanting for the Queers to take the stage. (A decade later I myself would boo the Cretins, demanding the Queers to take the stage and I was hushed by the paltry crowd.) But the Smugglers didn't care... they had the money and were delivering. Maybe they knew what I was realizing... they weren't there for anyone else but me. They saw their genre's popularity as a fad, not the music itself, but most of the people interested in it, people who wanted a piece of the pop-pie of Green Day and tricked themselves into thinking they understood. As years would go by, punk fans would sell out their music again and again in many different ways, and whittle down to just me, standing alone and screaming for "Bishy-Bishy". But not entirely alone...

"Especially You"

The Smugglers are Canadian... as Canadian as the Stones are British, if not more so. They play a style of pop-punk pioneered by Sweet Baby that is based firmly in roots rock and roil but way faster, not necessarily beefy, but it can be, very kinetic and quick. Also they (like most pop-punk bands of the time) are marked as a band who made it on hard work. They formed in 1988 at Hillside Secondary School in Vancouver, BC, were christened by local celebrity Narduar, the Human Serviette, and set out with but one goal: to ENTERTAIN. Their live shows are legendary without hyperbole, a rocket-fueled sex-spin of energy and charisma. From the early nineties on they put out real rock and roll music, and fate earned them popularity in 1996 with Mint/Lookout's release Selling the Sizzle. Previous to that had been several seven inches and a couple CD/LPs, most notably 1994's Wet Pants Club and 1993's In the Hall of Fame, which are pretty comprehensive of the Smugglers' stuff before U.S. success. Wet Pants Club has notable numbers like the opener, "Paper Doll", sort of an MTX-style number, with clever, funny, sexy lyrics and pop sensibilities, but grounded more in Chuck Berry than most, and "Kiss Like a Nun" originally by fellow Canadian power-poppers the Boys. Now, In the Hall of Fame is fucking excellent and a great intro to the Smugglers, if your just doing that now. The opener is called "Rock and Roll was Never This Fun" and IT WASN'T! Fuck! A bold declaration of conscious genius. A-D-A-E over and over and over and why the FUCK NOT? Followed by "Your Mom's the Devil", one of the harder Smugs' songs. Also great tunes are "Flying Buttress of Love" and "Fun in the USA" and the ode to the neighborhood from the neighborhood band "Vancouver, BC." 1996 saw Selling the Sizzle and success, again opening up with a theme of "To Serve, Protect, and Entertain." They followed that with the high-profile CD/EP, 1997's Buddy Holly Convention, in reference to their penchant for wearing glasses, some prescription, some not. This record includes the anthemic "Cans of Love" and and Elvis cover! ("I Want/Need/Demand Action). Then, the must-have live from Madrid album 1998's Growing Up Smuggler. This is a real good one, because the more you can get of the boys' personalities, the better, especially Grant and Beez. This is also like a greatest hits album, if you will, with almost every great tune you wanna hear.

"Vancouver B.C."

"Your Mom's the Devil"

But the real deal Smugglers undeniable number one hit is the album Rosie, and it's title track. This song is insane, and the video... It starts with a mom and dad telling their Asian daughter (possibly adopted?) and her friends (who are like twenty-two but are playing young teenage) that they can feel free to party down ("rock on") while they're gone bowling, but the golden rule is: no boys. They leave and the song kicks in with those Smugglers in their suits and fishing boots sneaking their equipment into the living room, setting it up and then... Meanwhile lead singer Grant Lawrence reprises Jon Belushi's ladder scene in Animal house, the Smuggler's Mugging, playing rave-up in the living room while the girls slumber party spin the bottle, pillow fight antics upstairs, dancing and primping, whilst the parents rock with the Smugglers on the car radio, unknowing of the goings on at home, the dad particularly killing the drum rolls. It is really clear that everybody is having fun here. We just wanna have fun, that's all... They are sooo cocky, especially Grant and MAIN MAN BASS KING Beez... musically he is all over this number, not quite as distinct a bassist as Mass Giorgini, but better, more solid and bad. So, anyway, the reason this number (which is uber-pop-punk G-D-Em-C) is so weirdly bitterwseet is the dual male/female vocals, sung by Grant and Rosie Melburg herself. The song was written by guitarist Dave Carswell in 1987 and finally recorded properly in 1999 (yes, 1999) and is about sexual tension between friends that never seems to pan out, but always almost does. Grant begins, "You use our bed as a symbol..." and Rosie replies, "Fire and Ice." Grant: "A warzone for our horizontal pleasures." Rosie: "But it feels so good." The complete sincerity of the male vocalist's desire for Rosie and her own mild interest that is nowhere near as genuine comes across perfectly. The song builds and builds (clocking in at two-twenty) and the boys kill it... that bass just drives and drives and gets higher and higher... damn Beez. Grant: "We go shopping at the Marks and Sparks." Rosie: "But we don't even talk." Grant: "Just for fun I try on a bra." (Rosie: "Good lord.") Grant: "WHY WON'T SHE LAUGH!?" Rosie: "He's only got one thing on his mind." And then into the chorus, both vocals together, "Rosie, lips of love! Rosie, hand of fate." And then the whole thing breaks down to Beez and the great Graham Watson on drums. Grant looks like such a fucking dick... so good, that is a boy who has had a lot of sex! This time Rosie starts the dialogue, "Tell me baby will it never end?" And then the single most important line that kills me and chills me and tears up my eyes and the best thing to say when you knock one out of the park in R.B.I. 3, Grant: "Look to the north" and he points up slightly. Look to the north, look to the north. Rosie: "Bargaining for yer love can be such a drag." Together, "I look to the left and you look right, lovers and friends but only at night." And then Grant looks directly into the camera and screams "ROSIE!" and the song explodes, Dave Carswell rolls across the floor with his git-box, the Smugglers have fun, make fun of themselves, like looking like goof-balls, being knee deep in pussy and playing POP-PUNK! And that's what I like too... words fail me.


So, yeah, this record came out in 2000, and as we all know, pop-punk was dead by roughly September the previous year. The Smugglers continued to tour everywhere, including Japan, and started their online tour diaries, which are damn good and dirty rock and roll reads. "Your tour diaries taught me everything I know about sex," said a 15 year-old female fan to Grant after a show. And Grant says of the diaries, "If your definition of sex includes the terms "vomit", "jizz", "shit", "cornhole" and "face down in" then read on!!" Oh yeah, the Smugglers carry an air of wild, woman-pleazin' sexuality rarely seen in the primarily masturbatory-celebrating, self-deprecating pop-punk scene.

All this aside, Larry Livermore had sold Lookout! Records in 1997 to Chris Appelgren, who took it in a more indy-emo-horrible music direction, and public interest just wasn't their anymore for punk rock. Kids wanted to listen to rap-metal. Or hippie-style jam bands, but not rock and roll. Popular music is, of course, in no way random. As far as radio/chart music, 'Merica can only take what they give us, which is what they think they can make the most money off of AT THE TIME, in whichever way they can. From 2001 on, the seeding of U.S. youth with bland eighties-style pop began, closing the gap in the difference in sound of what kids and grown-ups would listen to. Also, these kids have grown up in a right-wing war-mongering, citizens scared of everything, ain't got no money but we spend it anyway America. This is a brilliant strategy. These kids have never known the goods. They never lived in one of those odd times in America when and where good music, rock and roll, was also popular music. It probably only happened in three or four chunks ever, so far, but the heartbeat is always there, in between dreams. I don't think it's conspiracy-minded or even far reaching to say that the Status Quo wishes to dampen that heartbeat, because SOMEHOW, sex, drugs, and rock and roll really do work well together, and to me it is the most innocent thing in the world. And, you know, that Status Quo just believes what it's been told, which is the key... critical thinking. Rebellion equals critical thinking. First wave punk rock was easy! All those people remembered CLEARLY "rock and roll radio," for fuck's sake! They new what they had had, and what they may have again! You can't stop evolution, man! But dampen they do, so, never having had a taste, we may be looking at the most brainwashed generation yet! But, obviously that leaves room for greater heroes still, an ex nihilo baby doll, needles and all, who thinks up rock and roll all by himself.

So... there were no new Smugs albums for a while, but divine providence gave us one more, 2004's Mutiny in Stereo. This record is great and interesting, as all new pop-punk records have been, since the same academization that happened to rock and roll and punk rock happened to pop punk... but only by a learned few. The opener is called "Pirate Ships," and Grant says, "Back in the late 50's and early 60's, rock and roll was essentially banned from the airwaves in Great Britain so these pirate radio ships would anchor themselves off the coast of England and Wales and spin records, blasting it back to shore. Kids would hide under their covers and listen to forbidden rock music on their homemade transistor radios." Also, finally Beez gets his due in "Don't Mess With Beez." Grant says, "The danceable pace of the song is in classic Sonics style. We got this Scottish skinhead guy to play sax. And of course it's all about Beez, by far the most popular Smuggler, much to my chagrin. The verses basically chronicle some of Beez’ more outrageous adventures. Since he’s spent the last six months in India while this record was being manufactured, I’m sure we’ll have to do a "Don't Mess With Beez" part two pretty soon. What rhymes with 'violent diarrhea?'" Most interesting is "Larry, Where Are You" about Livermore's absence from American Life. Grant sings, "And in 1994 was when we first met. In 1995 we were the teacher’s pet. In 1996 punk broke again. In 1997 we were broke again." And you know... that was it. Most of the more prominent pop-punkers made records into the millienium, but sold about a tenth as many. Money equals funny, and vice versa. The underground music went darker and less melodic again, and music in general got a lot less important to America.

Not enough clout to keep it up like the Mighty Queers (who truly are the Ramones of the present day, with their inability to make shitty music or stop touring), the Smugglers are never officially broken up, but no new stuff is on the horizon. Grant Lawrence is the host of CBC Radio 3, heard across Canada every Saturday night. Guitarist Nick Thomas is a seasonal geologist and also works with disabled high school students. Guitarist David Carswell co-owns JC/DC recording studios, which has produced bands like the New Pornographers and Tegan and Sara. Bassist Beez recently retired from his hugely successful international phone-sex company, and is now traveling the world with his wife between Smugglers activities. Dr. Frank wrote teen-fiction King Dork and released the aptly titled Yeaterday Rules with the Mr. T Experience in 2004 (which is outstanding), Ben Weasel recently released his second solo album (the first being 2002's Fidatevi and pretty fucking good, at least most of the songs) with that poser group All-American Rejects as his backing band and it is wussed. I think Joey Vindictive lost his marbles... BUT - the Smugglers WERE so good that I still play them all the time AND are one of the very few post 9-11 albums I own, and that is sayin' somethin'! They tried. They greased the rock and roll gears with blood and semen and jumped in, they are Candian pirate bastards. Rosie?... Yes?... Rosie!?!... I'm right here...


Bobby Campbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobby Campbell said...

Nah, never mind on both counts!

Dan said...

I missed 'em.