Song Of The Day 4/27/2015: The Deadbeats – “Kill the Hippies”

General Punk Week: The Deadbeats – not to be confused with the Grateful Dead tribute band of the same name from New Paltz, NY – were from the Los Angeles punk scene of the late ’70s; by all accounts they never made it out. “Kill the Hippies,” a piece of mercenary advice I don’t recommend pursuing, came out in the summer of 1978 on Dangerhouse Records. According to this synopsis from the website Break My Face the Deadbeats were envisioned as “visually (confounding) every cliché and preconception about what ‘punk rock’ meant. Their unique, driving sound consisted of treated sax and fuzz guitar layered over flawlessly executed intricate rhythm patterns.” You don’t get a lot of the sax on “Kill the Hippies,” in fact I don’t think you get any at all, but you do get plenty of hurriedly-scrawled antagonism that magically seemed to find its way onto shellac in quick order during that time. If only it were still that easy. Actually it’s probably easier, isn’t it?

(BTW, I can’t help hearing this song without remembering the time I was at a Deadbolt show at the pre-renovation Brotherhood in Olympia. Enamored as I was [still am] with Deadbolt I actually purchased one of their T-shirts, which read “FUCK YOU HIPPIE” in big block letters on the back. After the show I went with my date to King Solomon’s Reef, an Olympia landmark that’s going through far more fires in the last decade than any establishment should. After a few minutes sitting there I heard a drunken exhortation: “That shirt’s fucked up! That shirt’s fucked up!” It took me a few moments to realize he was talking about my new Deadbolt shirt. I got up and talked to the guy, hoping to smooth everything over. He was not a hippie. We hugged it out. I can’t find the shirt now.)

Another fun possible nugget about the Deadbeats that I can’t find clearly verified anywhere on the internet, but thought I’d stick up here in case someone can independently confirm it: In that Break My Face link above, Scott Guerin says his brother was asked to play the drums for The Whores, who were one of the groups involved in the Battle Of The Band sequence in Cheech & Chong’s movie Up In Smoke. However, he says, his brother “got himself grounded for cutting class too much and couldn’t do it. So I filled in for him. This lineup was scheduled to play the Whisky but then the singer was forced to back out under the advice of his lawyer. It seems he was involved in a lawsuit with the Whisky so playing there would constitute a conflict of interest. There was only one course of action to take. I moved to vocals and my brother was brought back to fill the drum slot.” From there the Deadbeats began. But I couldn’t find any certifiable assurance that these members of the Deadbeats actually made it into Cheech & Chong’s film. (You’re going to draw and quarter me for this, but I’ve never seen Up In Smoke all the way through.) So let’s just leave it out there as a tormenting hope and see what happens.

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