Spasmodic Convulsions

Band member photos taken by Eric Baumgartner (from the Be My Barbie single)

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Last updated: November 28, 2017

An Explanation

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 September 1980 to November 1980. This was a dismal period for us. Gigs were becoming sparse, senseless bickering was increasing, Mike quit for a few weeks, Dennis was considering quitting, and we were beginning to get too serious about the band. It didn't seem like we were doing it for fun anymore. Sadly, the best material on this disc are the outtakes from the Devil In The Dark episode of Star Trek.

The disc begins with a number of solo projects where each band member was asked to write and record two songs on their own. Only Ed and Dennis coughed up the goods. Mike provided nothing. I meekly created a new recording of The Tree shortly after having my wisdom teeth yanked. Dog's Life is the jewel in the crown from these sessions. After a failed attempt at butchering a Queen song there is an amusing version of Taxing My System that features Ed shouting over the instruments. More spoofs, and then extracts from a Mike-less session are presented, highlighted by the "difficult listening exercise" entitled Eating Brains (inspired after seeing the Brain Eaters). With Mike back in the saddle we began an attempt to revamp Modern Western World, presented here in an acoustic version that took an entire day to record. Things get worse as the dreaded Shades Of Destruction rears its ugly head. Dennis does his rawk-show impersonation as we present horrendous versions of Day Tripper and Boredom. It all ends unceremoniously with a silly version of My Generation.

The players on this disc were:

  • Mike McDonald: lead vocals
  • Ed Dobek: drums
  • Dennis Lenarduzzi: bass, vocals
  • Scott Juskiw: guitars, keyboards


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