The First Gig: The Lead-up
MunRadio, as the student radio station was constantly under funded. From time to time, beer bashes were organized to help in some small way to alleviate the perennial cash shortfall. It is of importance to note that these bashes were only possible because staff members collectively loaned cash to a fund to buy the beer for these bashes, that cash being paid back at the end of the nite and the profit plowed back into the station. Two years later when it was decided to release an album, this process of pooling resources to seed a short term project was how the album was financed.
It was decided that this punk band thing was a good way to draw a few souls to such a beer bash to finance the station and to unleash our newfound anarchy on the unsuspecting populace. The bash was set for Feb 3, 78, the movie room - a sparse student lounge on the second floor of the Thompson Student Centre, just out side the offices of the student paper - The MUSE where we got Pig Filthy, and later Magilla Buzz Saw. Only 4 weeks had elapsed since the first session, but we had a 30 minute set (we got to 25), and the first posters were ready to go.
First, the radio ads. It being a benefit for the station, how better to publicize the bash, than on air around the university than with radio ads with sound bites recorded during the practicing and writing, delicately mixed with a few taunts from Stig Stilletto ..."come to the MunRadio beer bash, ya drinks da beer ya gets drunk, so ya better be there or I'll personally come to your house and slit your puppy dog's throat". How could they resist that one?
Dead Beat, drummer extraordinare (a review in the Muse a year later stated "this just shows what you can get away with if you got a good drummer") was/is a talented, award winning photographer. The Beat's forte is black and white. With the bash slated for Friday, students on Monday were greeted on campus bulletin boards with the first leer of the punk/new wave washing on to the windswept shores of the Newfoundland music scene. New posters appeared each day - new leers, new postures - ON CAMPUS SLYME. MUNRADIO PRESENTS: TOULOUSE AND DA SLYME FEB.3.
By weeks end, rumors were flying , few were sure of what the weekend would bring. Hearsay had it that MunRadio was either bringing in a punk rock band from England or the disco band Toulouse from Montreal. Who could imagine what a financial impossibility either would have been. Worse, could it be possible that the tranquility of the local music scene would soon be shattered by yet another "passing" media fueled music trend. Those first ugly posters on the poles downtown announcing the onslaught of the new attitude and god knew what, would not be far behind.
Around the world old musical orders were being pruned by the record companies in favor of the new. The press loved this and tales were splashed around the world of the adventures of that horde of newest Anglo-Saxon invaders - the SEX PISTOLS. There was no "well...ah...I like some of their songs... singer is great and looks good on tv here" You were either there with the spirit of punk or it was "what the hell is this?" Most were skeptical. It was also the cold war... certainly the residual fear of annihilation was a good reason to be pissed off and nihilistic. As an aside, most of the members of Da Slyme were familiar with the writing of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, doctor of divinity, inventor of gonzo journalism, author of FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL 1972. Some associated with Da Slyme were virtual exponents the gonzo life style. In addition certain members of Da Slyme were fans of the European band known as Gong - Kirt and the Groon were among this camp.
Times being what they were, beer companies being beer companies, it was possible for student organizations, being what they were, to get extra beer; related to the amount that was purchased - a good contact at the brewery meant up to a third more than purchased. Snotty being the station manager did the honors, meaning that the price of a beer at the bash was sixty-five cents a bottle - Old Stock Malt Ale the preferred sludge weighing in at 6.0 % al. per vol. (I should note that at a show I saw in Toronto a year later - RICHARD HELL AND THE VOIDOIDS - the fuel of anarchy was 80 cents for a small glass of lo-octane draft).
All this set the stage for events that could be very good, or...that could be very bad..... Those events began in the afternoon around 4 o'clock - at sixty-five cents a beer. The new wave, I use the word to denote punk as it was, not what the term later came to describe, was set to wash in at 10:00pm....sharp. The room was blocked by six PM - around 220 drunken curious and restless sots. A growing line up marred by the occasional fisticuffs, snaked down the stairs.
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