the band that refused to die!

random ramblings on DC music as inspired by hearing that The Slickee Boys played a show in DC and another show in Baltimore this week past...

The Slickee Boys!
The Band that Refused to Die
The Slickee Boys on the WIKI Page

when I was a teenager back in the mid 80's music was a pretty big deal
music was a pretty big deal to me and it seemed that music was a pretty big deal in the small insulated world around me
the radio sucked even if WHFS was on the same street as the Bethesda Sunshine House in downtown Bethesda (Maryland) right across from the Psychedeli... The Psuchedeli being one of the may places that banned Bad Brains... not sure if the Psycedeli did all ages shows... I do know I never saw a show there
when the Sunshine House was an actual house it employed both Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye
this was when the Sunshine House was an actual House.... then when the bright yellow building with surfboard wax coating the sidewalk was torn down in the name of progress and the business moved down the block to the Triangle Towers
the same building as WHFS:102.3 Homegrown Radio
Sunshine House in its new and improved modern digs employed Jason Farrell and maybe even Spike Jonze before it closed that location and sevearl of its other fast growth suburban mall locations
the Ocean City location remained until sold
not sure if it remains today... but would be shocked if it were gone
the business history of the Sunshine House is not the direction of this tangent... music is
but the music was part of the culture
and this culture was intertwined with other aspects of life

although I was not at the epicenter of the DC Hardcore thing
I had an idea of some of what was going on
this was an era of XEROX flyers pasted on walls and stapled to telephone poles
information traveled by word of mouth rather than via Ethernet cables
conversation was the only wireless option... the cell phone had not yet been conceived
much information traveled by word of mouth
word of mouth and dubbed cassette tapes

being a teen had its limits
there were limits to my information
there were limits to my freedom... how far I could travel and how late I could stay out dictated much of my actions
live performances often included opening acts then a mad dash to get home to make curfew
maybe staying a few songs past midnight to get a sample of the headline act so that it could be said that "I saw them... "
matinees later became a popular option in an era of the community center shows
while in the summers there was Fort Reno
most music information was shared between friends
books and tapes were loaned
these things traveled between friends
older brothers and sisters passed things down giving those with older siblings an edge on what is cool

I am not positive... but I seem to recall that The Slickee Boys open and closed the Fort Reno season
they seemed like the house band of that mid-late 80's era
they were the band from DC that was putting the city on the map
sure DC had its harDCore and Go-Go scenes... but that music had not made its way onto MTV!
The Slickee Boys came out with When I go to the Beach
this was in fact THE VIDEO AGE!

as a teen I thought that these party bands The Slickee Boys and The Killer Bees were a bunch of old guys in bar bands
they did not seem punk... wacky? sure... wacky in a hawaian shirt sort of way
not really punk... the guitar sound was more like The Ventures than The Sex Pistols
they got props... they were local
but they were not playing music that spoke to me

Root Boy Slim and Danny Gatton were more names than sounds
familiar with them again because of local pride
in the same way we grab for Robert Gordon, Charlie Bird, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nils Lofgrin and so many others
so many bands that played the Psychedeli rather than the old 930 Club
9353... The Velvet Monkeys... and so many other bands that filled a space between the older rockers and the younger rockers
playing a form of rock and roll that was not punk so it fell into the "new wave" category which may have been a poisonous word to the musician in the same way that "indy rocker" may effect a musician of a few years back
mountain bikers and snowboarders hate the rubber stamp term "extreme" for this same reason... the rubber stamp of society trying to explain something in a word

enough on this...
my ramblings are not going to come full circle
you get what you get and you can take it from there

City Paper article that contains some information on The Sunshine House
photos of the Slickee Boys in Baltimore on some guy named Chip's FLICKR page

The Slickee Boys: The Brain that Refused to Die on YOUTUBE

The Slickee Boys
and then on MYSPACE
When I go to the Beach...
freaky ROOT BOY SLIM Comedy Show I had never heard of

here is a 30 Years of DC music reunion show from 2008... CHECK OUT JAY MOGLIA OF RAMBLING SHADOWS!

before there was FUGAZI there was Minor Threat
Minor Threat on YOUTUBE
MINOR THREAT CLIP from Another State of Mind (I think) a movie about Social Distortion tour


the links alone should let you travel these thoughts


camps said...

I remember my dad driving me from the suburban sticks to the big town of Bethesda to the Sunshine House (the yellow house) to get some skateboard stuff. Saw my first Ferrari that day parked outside it. Didn't know the rocker/skaters worked there. Recall a Blair who seemed to run the place.

Loved 102.3 HFS
Bob Here was my favorite

Anonymous said...

i remember when it was called the bethesda surf shop. bought all my skate gear there, including my favorite: a 27-inch fiberflex bowlrider with full tracker trucks and 70mm kryptonic wheels.

whatever happened to bain kennedy, the guy who ran the joint? he was a cool dude.

this blog, which i stumbled across today (1/23/09), is the best blog i've ever read. dead serious. of course, as i hail from the elitist hellhole known as bethesda, i'm biased.

(it's a love-hate thing with my hometown)