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 kernal 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.
1-79: An interview with Jon Savage
appears in the British Music weekly Melody Maker.
5-13-79: The Screamers (except Paul) appear on Rodeny
Bigenheimers show on KROQ in LA. The are interviewed and some
of their new songs are played.
Whisky, LA. The "Theatre of the Absurd"
Lineup: Total Media, Screamers
Reviews: "The Screamers are the first
L.A. band to become a parody of themselves before anyone really knew
who they were." - Slash Magazine (double review with staff/
Kickboy Face). Read the reviews.
""I am a mensch!" states Tomata du Plenty. Whatever, Tomata is
great and so are the rest of the Screamers. A new line up with two hippies
on violins and the infamous Sheila on vocals on two songs." - Paul
Problem, Flipside Magazine. Read the review.
show less resembles a standard rock concert than a new form of therapy.
The role of the audience is to play analyst and to observe lead singer;
psychotic patient Tomata du Planty as he reveals his innermost fears,
desires, guilt complexes, etc. Judging by the audience readily at the
Whisky, it was as much a cathartic experience for the doctor as for
- David Gluuerman, BAM Magazine. Read the review.
show was a total event complete with film crew, colorful crowd and a
promotional spot for Screamers T-shirts, buttons and fan club. The Screamers
approach marketing as an art form. and although their performing style
is rooted In 1930s Berlin, their understanding of media is state-of-the-art."
Kristine McKenna, LA Times(?). Read the review.
Recordings: Rene Daalder filmed this string
of performances. Five songs were released as "Screamers May 1979"
on Daalder's Rhapsody Pictures. These songs were: "Nervous,"
"Thru The Flames(w/Sheila)," "I Go For You," "I
Am A Mensch" and "Friends."
Pictures:From Slash Vol.2 #6:
From Slash Vol. 2 #7:
5-25-79: California Hall, SF. The Screamers
play Bill Graham's "Nite of Electro Psycho Rock."
Lineup: Screamers, Units and Tuxedomoon.
Reviews: "Bill Graham has turned that Screamers
gig we mentioned into a whole avant garde new wave show, featuring,
along with the L.A.-based punk superstars, two San Francisco faves,
Tuxedomoon and The Units. The show, Graham's first at California hall
on Polk Street, will be on Friday, May 25, and may well indicate a willingness
on the part of Graham's organization to start getting regularly involved
promoting shows for unsigned local bands." -BAM magazine, 5-18-79
"The Screamers (billed as "a Nite of Electro Psycho Rock"), Tuxedomoon
and the Units show at the California Hall (625 Polk)a few weeks ago
was boycotted because of high prices ($6.50/$7.50) and the Bill Graham
influence." -"Jill", Flipside Magazine
Hurrah, NY. This concert was a four day event choreographed by
Rene Daalder. This engagement featured some conflict between the band
and their road crew.
Lineup: The Screamers were supported by
the Lounge Lizards on the first and last night.
Reviews: " Who is Rene Daalder? Why
is he in the sound booth? Why is he screaming on the headsets meant
for communication between the house and monitor mixers? What has he
done to Tomato? Perhaps Rene's involvement with the Screamers should
be limited or cut off completely. Perhaps it lies in his wallet. It
is undetermined whether Rene's grabbing and turning of dials in the
sound booth caused the problems on stage, but it seems quite likely.
" Flipside Magazine #16. Read
"The drummer plays in conjunction with a rhythm machine, and the
two keyboard players create guitarish jangles and unsettling drones
(the latter effect enhanced by a pair of violinists). This competently-erected
wall-of-sound is repeatedly scaled by a chap who calls himself Tomato
Du Plenty." Davitt Sigerson, Melody Maker 7-21-79. Read
the entire review.
"...Bad News Department: I loved the Screamers last fall in NY,
and was really looking forward to their shows at Hurrah's. Shit, what
a disappointment. Though KK told me that I would like the 'new' show,
I really didn't. For the very beginning, I could tell something was
wrong. The sound system was at its worst, but that wasn't the real problem.
After 2 songs, the band stormed off stage, and didn't return until 45
minutes later. I tried hard to like them. Maybe they're taking themselves
too seriously. Why, one night during their 4 dates, they pulled a typical
rock star routine and didn't appear onstage until well into the early
morning. Oh well, there's always memories of last October." - "New
York - However Small," Jeff O' Matic, Flipside Magazine #16.
remain an eerie experience. Working with extremely crude, massive blocks
of sound and powerful, mechanoid rhythms, they are still learning to
shape them into ever more nuanced forms. The power is still there, and
an intelligence which takes itself seriously, Without summumbing to
self- importance, is cautiously developing into a musical force of impassioned
Steve Ellman, New Yorok Rocker #21, August 1979. Read
entire review and interview.
Roxy, LA. This three day engagement was
the first concert by an unsigned band in the history of the Roxy club.
Lineup: Screamers, The Original Biblical
The World, Nervous, Violent World (Instrumental), I Am A Mensch, She
Frightens, I Wanna Hurt, I Go For
You, Friends, Vertigo, 122 Hours of Fear (Intro), Give The Future a
The Future a Break (Encore)
(7-21 Late show) Why The World, Nervous, Violent World (Instrumental),
I Am A Mensch, She Frightens, I Wanna Hurt, I Go For You, Friends, Vertigo...
Reviews: "By the end of the 40-minute set, du Plenty has
gone through the same disintegration of the human will that we associate
with such books as "1984." Eventually, the tuxedo jacket, shirt and
tie are ripped off, leaving him symbolically naked in his attempt to
maintain some dignity and individuality. As if suddenly put in another
man's body, he asks in horror: "Who am I?"" Robert Hilburn, LA
Times. Read the review.
Recordings: A radio ad exists for this
event. Available through tape traders and on "A Better World"
2xCD. There are also two audio tapes of this series; the 7-20 show,
and an almost full recording of the late 7-21 show.
10-79: Flipside Magazine #16, besides publishing two reviews
of the Hurrah dates in New York, also mentions "Screamers move
out and leave Chloe all alone, Tomato to move in with Gorilla (Rose)."