CRIME by maclaren1

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									The music of Crime was and still is some of the wildest, loosest,
confrontational and violent noise ever created. Proclaiming themselves
“San Francisco’s first and only rock n roll band” they were the first
punk band on the West Coast to release their own record with the Hot
Wire My Heart b/w Baby, You’re So Repulsive single in 1976.

Ironically, Crime never considered themselves “punk“ as they felt it
was a media concoction and too safe to represent their abrasive output.
Armed with feedback drenched and amphetamine induced crude blues riffs
and donning full San Francisco Police Department regalia, not only in
performance but on the streets as well, Crime was a magnificently
creative and subversive force backed by a furiously rebellious
soundtrack. Unfortunately, the legacy of this highly influential band
has been regulated to shady bootlegs and exorbitantly priced copies of
the scant original offerings. Swami is honored to reissue San
Francisco’s STILL Doomed, a posthumous collection of Crime’s most
venomous offerings re-mastered and including two unreleased outtakes
from their first studio session. San Francisco’s STILL Doomed is a life
affirming sonic baptism for the uninitiated and for the already
converted it is mandatory artifact that honors this creative and
uncompromising band.

Guitarist Frankie Fix and Johnny Strike first started playing together
in 1975 in a short-lived glam band called Space Invaders. Bass player
Ron “The Ripper” (who was from the 60’s band The Chosen Few which would
later evolve into The Flamin’ Groovies) joined as the band phased out
their glam sound. Trading in glitter for black leather, they became
Crime. Once drummer Ricky Tractor (who later would form The Sleepers
and Flipper) joined the band, the first line up was in place. Their
debut was at a Gay political fundraiser on Halloween 1976. By the fifth
song, the plug was pulled and the crowd clenched their ringing ears and
headed for the exits. The band became regulars at the Mabuhay Gardens
(a Filipino nite club that would soon become the epicenter for the SF
underground) and cemented their reputation as the most alienating band
on the scene. In a scene of freaks, dropouts, junkies, artists, flakes,
leftover hippies and society’s outcasts, THEY were the outsiders. Crime
thought nothing of burning an occasional bridge or two (whether it was
canceling a gig with The Damned on their first trip to the states
because Crime refused to open or verbally assaulting record shop owners
who were afraid to sell their records). In a nutshell, they didn’t
give a fuck about anything except for their own universe that they
created. It is because of this attitude that they were able to create a
sound that is still unmatched in it’s extremity to this day.

In 1977, Crime self released their 2nd single Frustration b/w Murder By
Guitar with Brittley Black on drums. The band played a landmark
performance for the inmates at San Quentin Penitentiary, filmed and
released by Target Video. Watching Crime dressed in cop garb, violating
a captive audience of hardened criminals with a sonic bloodbath, is one
of the most surreal spectacles I have ever witnessed. The band
continued to perform and record with Hank Rank on drums, but found
little interest from outside agencies. Due mainly to a severe
antisocial behavior (Frankie Fix once told an interested Seymour Stein
of Sire Records that The Ramones were “hippies that should cut their
hair”), the band had increasing difficulty finding opportunities to
advance as a group.

A third single (Macerate b/w Gangster Funk released by Berkeley
Squared) saw the band trying to update their sound with keyboards. They
continued for a short while, but by this time the fire that propelled
the band to such individualistic concepts and visionary heights had
burned out. They packed it in around 1981 remained in relative
obscurity until their music was resurrected for a whole new audience by
way of Sonic Youth covering “Hot Wire My Heart” on 1987’s Sister album.

The recordings on this release represent almost all of the Crime’s best
material. The majority consists of sessions that the band had
forgotten about until tapes surfaced in a closet around 1990. It is
these spacious recordings that capture the band at their musical peak
and have continued to amaze and inspire me for over 12 years since I
was first introduced to this release. Never before released versions
of “Hot Wire My Heart” and “Baby, You’re So Repulsive” have been added.

Hear for yourself. In my opinion, it doesn’t get any more reckless than
this. Listening to Crime is like getting pissed on by Elvis. A holy
golden stream of salty heat that you never forget for the rest of your
life.

I hope you cherish it as much as I do.

Thanks for listening,

Swami John
          SAN FRANCISCO’S STILL DOOMED
           Swami Records
          August 31, 2004

For more information, please contact:
  Jessie Jane Tappis at Outlaw Press
310.666-6462 / jessie@outlawpress.net

								
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