The Malibu Kens (originally called Joey Did & The Necrophiliacs) formed rather casually while we (Mike, Ed, Dennis, and I) were in high school. We never intended to be a proper musical group; we were just a bunch of guys that liked punk rock and who were looking for something fun to do after school.
During the Joey Did era, I made an effort to record many of our practice sessions, and even a few gigs. We never had a proper P.A. system at our band practices to allow us to hear the vocals. At our first practice it occurred to me that we could use a cassette tape deck as a microphone pre-amp. Plugging the deck output into a stereo system, or a guitar amp, allowed us to then hear the vocals. By putting the deck into record mode, I was able to record our practices onto cassette tapes. Following each session, I would then listen to the tapes and make an archival copy of whatever I considered to be an amusing incident or a well played song. I managed to collect almost four hours of material, most of it during the first 12 months of our career. These tapes become known as "the basement tapes" since most of the material had been recorded in Ed's basement or my basement.
In 2002, I revisited these tapes with the intention of converting them to CD before they deteriorated any further (as cassettes do after 20 years). The recording quality varied considerably from one track to another. Several tape decks and numerous borrowed microphones had been used to create the original recordings. We never used proper recording equipment such as compressors or equalizers; everything was recorded directly from microphone to stereo tape. Tape dropouts were rampant. I used various tools to clean up the sound as well as possible during the conversion to CD. I used the same titles for the CDs as was used on the original tapes. I had never made artwork for the tapes, but I managed to scrounge up a few embarrassing pictures of the band members from 1980/1981 to use as artwork for the CDs and released them under the name Joey Did & The Necrophiliacs.
This disc covers the period from December 1980 to June 1981 although most of the material is from the first three months. During this era we continued to get too serious about the band, even changing the name to Malibu Kens and releasing a record under that name. But we were still Joey Did, still only a joke band.
The disc begins with an enhanced version of Modern Western World, It's Not San Andreas Fault, a botched attempt at Detrimental, and some cover tunes. These were all recorded in preparation for the New Music Festival, from which live versions of Modern Western World and Crude City are then heard. Following that disastrous gig, and after buying a new guitar amp, we reconvened to the basement to record Living In The Right Wing and an instrumental version of X On My Forehead. We surprise ourselves with how much better we sound with new equipment as we work our way through more cover tunes. Suddenly I find myself having a bad guitar day and one disaster after another takes its toll. Eventually I give up and send everybody home. Ed stays behind for some Karmic Relief. Following our name change in January 1981 we created demo versions of Crude City and Wednesday Morning (previously known as Insomnia) for the upcoming By My Barbie record. These demos kick butt. The disc ends with three terrible renditions recorded during one of our last practices. These are punctuated by some on-air teasing following the Burgers and Coke hunger strike at a certain FM rawk radio station.
The players on this disc were:
- Mike McDonald: lead vocals
- Ed Dobek: drums
- Dennis Lenarduzzi: bass, vocals
- Scott Juskiw: guitars, keyboards