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 June 1980 to August 1980. This era was known as "drive-in summer" for us because we went to see Rock 'n' Roll High School (with the Ramones) twice a week at the drive-in all summer long. There seemed to be a hall or house party almost every weekend and we managed to play at most of them. We wrote many songs during this summer, we practiced a lot, we got much better on our instruments, and we had tremendous fun in doing so. This was the best of times for us.
The disc begins with one of many recordings of Automobile. A very stupid song that was very easy to play. Following some technical problems, spoofs, and several cover tunes are decent recordings of Insomnia and 1984. Our disgust with eating organs is then briefly presented in I Don't Like Liver. This segues into the Save Joey Did Telethon, an imaginary attempt to raise band capital with the brilliantly executed (and improvised) Mediamatic. Much of that entire evening is presented, as it was a particularly good practice session for us with numerous cover tunes and endless pledge drives. Following a silly version of Insomnia is a bizarre interpretation of Money (technically the song that got Joey Did started). This leads to an anachronistic blues variation recorded during an aborted attempt to practice in Dennis' garage before his neighbours complained and shut us down. After torturing Barbara Anne, the disc ends with the prophetic, and improvised, Death Of Joey Did.
The players on this disc were:
- Mike McDonald: lead vocals
- Ed Dobek: drums
- Dennis Lenarduzzi: bass, vocals
- Scott Juskiw: guitars, keyboards