Chronology And History.
Hello. Here is a work in progress: a complete picture of the Screamers
in action. Additions and corrections are not only encouraged, but Required!
The kernel of this chronology came from the feature "A
Better World Begins With You" from Slash Magazine #10 1/2 (The
free issue). Original wording has been changed and corrections made.
Click on the pictures to make them bigger.
The Screamers play the Whiskey in LA, CA.
Tomata opens the show by ripping through a 50-foot-wide wall of black
Lineup: The Screamers, Rubber City Rebels
and Baby Blue.
(1-6-78): The Beat Goes On, In A Better World, Punish or Be Damned,
Anything, GO Guy, Magazine Love, Vertigo, Sex Boy, Violent World. (1-7-78):
Vertigo, Beat Goes On, Magazine Love, Don't Pay The Whore, I Wanna Hurt,
(Peer Pressure?), Anything, Punish or be Damned, Violent World, I'm
Going Steady With Twiggy.
Reviews: "There's more variety here
than in the usual three-chord punk sound. Its instrumentation... leads
the sound into an electronic area, where it develops pleasant hypnotic
patterns and occasionally approximates a more conventional rock band
sound."(1-5-78) - Richard Cromelin, L.A. Times. Read
the whole review.
"...Gear, ya look wonderful, you're a maniac, you're violent, yr
hot-shit and ya know it. Tomata, yr only the most desperately unhinged
personality this side of anywhere, and you've got perfect, spasmodic
control of the stage. Yeah, K.K., yr the best drummer in Hollywood,
ya play while ya fall across the stage, someone's plugged ya into an
electrical-outlet. Jeff, yr great...", Pleasant Geham, Lobotomy
Magazine #3. Read the review.
Recordings: On the middle day of this engagement,
January 6th, the Screamers' and Rubber City Rebels' sets was filmed
(32 minutes for the Screamers, black and white) for the documentary
"Never mind the Sex Pistols--here's the Bollocks." UCLA has
a copy. The footage is also available on the bootleg videocassette "Live
The last day of this engagement was (audio) taped. Good quality.
1-20-78: Party at the Screamers house (Wilton
Hilton). Reviewed favorably.
Reviews: "Heard about those swingin'
parties; have ya? This was no exception! The place was loaded with loaded
'personalities' ... Tomata served ice-cream, potato salad, and p-nut
butter sandwiches.", Pleasant Geham, Lobotomy Magazine #3. Read
The Whisky, LA, CA.
Lineup: Screamers, Deadbeats, F-Word.
2-24-78: The Screamer play the first night of a benefit for the
Masque Club at the Elks Hall in downtown LA, CA.
Lineup: Zeroes, Dils, Eyes, Screamers,
Germs, Controllers, Deadbeats, Bags.
I'm Going Steady With Twiggy, Punish or be Damned, Vertigo, Peer Pressure,
Reviews: "The show climaxed with the Screamers who lived up to
its strong local reputation with a well-placed set ... lead singer (Tomata)
fashions a style of techno-punk completely his own.. Keyboardist Tommy
Gear... delivers vocals with equal fervor. The Screamers have a unique,
high-voltage personal that should take them a long way."-Kristine McKenna,
L.A. Times. Read the LA Times review
#1. Read LA Times review #2.
"The poor lighting took away from Tomato's exciting stage presence,
but the Screamer's set was, as always, great."-Basic Black #1.
"I've seen few performances that reached this kind of perfection.",
Generation X #5. Read the review.
Recordings: Geza X made a professional
audio recording of this entire event. A company called Year One (run
by Exene of X fame) did a "Live at the Masque" series. They managed
to release three installments, but could not obtain permission to use
the Screamers set. Tapes exist and circulate.
Photos: From Wasteland
3-78: The Screamers' interview with
Flipside Magazine is released in Flipside #8.
Screamers play the Marquee Club in Arcadia, CA.
First appearance of "The Girl in the Car with the Glasses and the Gun."
Lineup: Screamers, X, Alley Cats and the
3-23-78: Easter Dance at Camarillo State Mental
Hospital, Camarillo, CA.
Lineup: The Screamers
Reviews: "The affinity was obvious-anxiety
level music for anxiety-wrought minds... All attention was focused on
the Screamers, however, as they ascended the stage. Some were repulsed
and others were fascinated... (The performances) was a welcome deterrent
to the confined, regimented existence of those less fortunate that us."-Bob
Taylor, Slash Vol.1 #10. Read entire
Pictures: From Slash:
3-25-78: Straighta Head Ballroom, San Diego,
Lineup: Screamers, Pop!, Zippers, Gary
& The Blind Dates
Reviews: "They opened their set by proclaiming,
'We'd like to thank the first groups for playing you music of the 1960s
and 1970s, now we'll give you music of the 1980s,' and they backed it."-Mikel
Toombs, Slash Vol.1 #10. Read the
4-8-78: The annual Artists and Lawyers Ball at the Elks
Lodge, LA, CA.
The Screamers sell out the Whiskey in LA, CA.
"122 Hours of Fear" is introduced and a new version of "Eva Braun"
is introduced. The band play in front of a wall of construction-site
Lineup: Screamers, Zeros, F-Word.
Reviews: "Screamers' set vintage,
and the elaborate scaffolding behind was hardly used. Entering a subdued
phase?" - Slash Magazine Vol. 1, #10. Read
4-78: Jeff McGregor goes back to school. Paul Roessler becomes
the new keyboardist.
5-78: Screamers begin their first West Coast tour.
An interview with the Screamers is published
in the May / June issue of Synapse, an electronic music magazine.
They are also featured in Trouser Press #28 in the Los Angeles scene
report. "The idea here, I guess, is to reduce the intrinsic
elements of R'n'R down to nothingness, then start over and wind up with
some kinda avant-gardness or, geesh, I give up." - Karlo Ferdinand
and Jim Green, Trouser Press.
The Screamers play Mabuhay Gardens, San Francisco,
Lineup: (5-13): Screamers, The
Zeros, The Mutants (5-14): Screamers, Zippers and Space Trash.
5-18-78: The Screamers play the Beaver Hall,
Lineup: Screamers, Products, The Reds(??)
Reviews: "The synthesizers were played
aggressively, and their sounds were set for trebly distortion. They
did arty monotonous stuff as well as more hook laced rock songs. The
drumer was tight and aggressive, and Mr. du Plenty raved archly, aggressively
forcing prolonged eye contact regularly with each individual member
of the audience. Us lumber-jacks had never seen anything like it."
- Joe Carducci, Rock and the Pop Narcotic, 2.13.61, Los Angeles,
The Screamers finally return to Seattle, WA, playing the Bird
(in exile). The Bird, a Seattle new wave club, was for this event,
located in the Carpenter's Hall.
Screamers, The Telepaths and The Enemy.
Setlist: Eva Braun, The Beat Goes On,
Magazine Love, I Wanna Hurt, Peer Pressure, Vertigo...
Reviews: "The beat has gone from Robert
Johnson to the Beatles to the Screamers. Hello, reggae. Hello, African
drums. Hello, Tibetan chants and drones. This is the flip side of disco.
Hello, LeMonte Young and that sixty-cycle hum. This is the big beat.
Technological primitivism," John L. Wilson, University of Washington
Daily, May 1978. Read the entire review.
Courtesy of Michael Campbell.
5-20-78: Live on KRAB radio, Seattle, WA.
5-21-78: Screamers play in the windows of Dreamland,
a clothing store in Seattle, WA.
5-23-78: Screamers play Mabuhay Gardens, San
6(?)-78: A four page feature called "A
Better World Begins With You," detailing the Screamers' history,
appears in Slash Magazine #10 1/2, which was given away free to celebrate
Summer 78: Geza X produces a "live" demo session. Committed
to 4-track are: "Beat Goes On," "Thru The Flames,"
"Sex Boy," Anything," "She's The Girl," "I
Wanna Hurt," "122 Hours of Fear," "Government Love
Affair," "Peer Pressure," "Punish Or Be Damned,"
"Peer Pressure," "Better World," "Vertigo,"
"Magazine Love," "Violent World," and "Eva
Braun." Virtually the Screamers' entire set at that time is recorded.
Recordings: A two track dub of the tape
was circulated(the original was erased by Tommy Gear), and was the source
of the "Demos 77-78" LP, which featured all the tracks except
"Eva Braun." "Eva Braun" can be found on the "Trying
To Be Like Jesus" CDR.
(canceled) The Screamers were scheduled to play Beverly
Hills Highschool in LA by former band member and student, Jeff
McGregor. The show was canceled though, due to the school's reaction
to the flyer's content.
Rock Corporation, San Fernando Valley, CA.
A biker bar.
6-26-78: Mabuhay Gardens, SF, CA.
Lineup: The Screamers, The Mutants, The
Offs, DV8, Avant Guarde
7-78: The Screamers are in the Los Angeles Times Calendar.
7-1-78: The Whisky, LA, CA.
Setlist: Eva Braun, 122 Hours Of Fear,
Matar Dolores, She Frightens, Magazine Love, Vertigo, Sex Boy
Recordings: Audio taped, included, but
mislabeled on, "A Better World" 2xCD.
Stardust Ballroom, LA, CA.
Lineup: The Screamers, the Weirdos, Crime
and the Controllers.
Setlist: Violent World, 122 Hours of Fear,
Magazine Love, Anything, Punish or Be Damned, Peer Pressure, Last Four
Digits, Vertigo, Better World
Reviews: "The Screamers and the Weirdos
appeared with San Francisco's Crime and the Controllers at one of the
biggest punk gigs since the ill-fated "Punk fashion show" at the Palladium.
The high ticket price of this event at the Stardust Ballroom, and the
somewhat misleading promotional devices for the show (being advertised
as having a "bitchin van ... bitchin tan" contest), left many of the
Punk purists wondering what the hell Brendan Mullen, the concert organizer,
was up to." Belsito, Davis, Hardcore California.
"They played two feet higher: Tied to no trend, progressing beyond
the law. The Screamers - one year later - have become caged icons of
their former selves. Tomata's tight-bodied, shorthand contortions, the
whack attack of his voice. Tommy Gear throwing his body around like
a mallet in a rubber room. Their set was a model of surgical efficiency,
ice on the bare wires of tension. In the pit beneath Tomata's teeth,
the audience, like iguanas, slithered faster to the cold beat. "
P.M./Gamma/Alucard, Slash Magazine #12. Read
the entire review.
Recordings: This concert was videotaped
(black and white), but never released, by Joe Target. Audio tapes survive
Abbey Road, San Diego, CA.
Lineup: The Screamers, The Zeros
Mabuhay Gardens, SF, CA.
Lineup: (7-15-78): The Screamers, Snot
Puppies, The Twitch
(7-16-78): The Screamers, Snot Puppies, Middle Class
The Whisky, LA, CA.
The Screamers appear on the cover of Slash #12, which features the article
"The Screamers' West Coast Tour."
8-29/9-3-78: Target Studios, Oakland, CA.
The Screamers produce promo videos at Target Video.
Setlist: Vertigo, Magazine Love and 122
Hours of Fear.
Recordings: The only video released from
these sessions is "122 Hours of Fear," which was featured
in Target's "Hardcore Volume 3."
9-2-78: Mabuhay Gardens, SF, CA.
Lineup: The Screamers played with the Dead
Kennedys, Mutants and Yoel.
Setlist: (partial, ordered like the video)
122 Hours of Fear, Vertigo, Last 4 Digits, Magazine Love, Beat Goes
On, Punish or be Damned, Better World.
Recordings: Recorded by Joe Target, later
released commercially. Available from Target Video.
9-7/9+14/17-78: The Whisky, LA, CA. The
Screamers play two weekends at the Whisky. For the second weekend, they
were joined by Andy and Pat from Arthur J and The Gold Cups for "Sax
Lineup: The Screamers played with X on
Setlist: (9-14): Peer Pressure, Peer Pressure(reprise),
The Girl In The Car With The Glasses and The Gun, Cholo Jump, Anything,
Magazine Love, Don't Pay The Whore, Punish or be Damned, Violent World,
(9-16): Violent World (Intro), 122 Hours of Fear, Beat Goes On, I Wanna
Hurt, Peer Pressure, Last 4 Digits, Punish or be Damned, Violent World,
Reviews: (9-17-78) "Well, my mom came
and she liked it.", L'Amato, Slash Vol.2, #2. Read
"Three grey, seamless photo drops backed the group-- was it the
Whiskey stage or Caligari's Cabinet??-- twenty foot forced shadows of
KK dukin' out his drum kit and Paul skateboarding across his keys shot
across the screens." Herb Wrede, Screamers Newsletter. Read
the whole thing.
Recordings: 9-14-78 and 9-16-78 were both
audio taped. The 9-14 show features lots of group/audience chat and
is a recommended show. The 9-16 show was released, along with the 11-12-78
Montreal, Quebec show, on a tape called "Screamers" by San
Francisco label Shout (Shout 1) in the late 70's/early 80's.
Fall 1978: The Screamers begin an East Coast tour.
Fall 78: Philadelphia, PA.
Fall 78: Pittsburgh,
Setlist: Eva Braun, The Beat Goes On, Cholo
Jump, She Frightens, Sex Boy, Punish Or Be Damned, Peer Pressure, Better
World, Violent World, 122 Hours of Fear
Recordings: An audio tape exists and circulates.
Fall 78: Akron, OH.
Nunzio's, Lincoln Park, MI.
Lineup: Screamers, Boners, Bored Youth
10-17/18-78: CBGB's, NY.
Lineup: Screamers, Terrorists
Reviews: "Their music is loud, aggressive,
and (chiefly because of the presence and key role of two synthesizers)
spacy. They have been labeled "techno-punk." They do not make lightweight
or escapist music; "purgative" is more like it. Just tuning the synthesizers
when the band walks on stage is enough to shut up the crowd. "We require
everyone to be courageous or leave," says Tommy." Steve Ellman,
New York Rocker #15, 11-78. Read the review.
Horseshoe, Toronto, Ontario.
Lineup: Screamers, Drastic Measures, Card
11-(?)-78: Private warehouse party, NY.
The Screamers played in a large freight elevator.
NY. According to KK
Barrett, the Screamers played the second half of their set (divided
by Eva Braun) with Robert Fripp.
Reviews: "Garb is black, although
Plenty is shirtless by the set's end," Kirb, Variety, 11-29-78.
Read the entire review.
11-8-78: The Rat, Boston, MA.
Lineup: Screamers, Marc Thor and The
11-12-78: Montreal, Quebec.
Setlist: Better World, She's The Girl,
Eva Braun(...), Violent World, 122 Hours of Fear, Beat Goes On, I Wanna
Hurt, Peer Pressure
A San Francisco cassette label called Shout put this concert on its
first release along with their set at the Whisky in LA, 9-16-78.
The Screamers arrive back from their tour and immediately begin work
with Rene Daalder on a multimedia project. The first results are three
demos, co-produced by Daalder and David Campbell: Why the World, I Am
A Mensch and Scream.