Catching up with Jenny Don’t and the Spurs

THE SPURS: Christopher March (from left), Buddy Weeks, Kelly Halliburton, and Jenny Connor.

Jenny Don’t and the Spurs are making their way across the country, playing songs from their brand new album, Lovesick Crawl, out now via Augusta, GA’s Missing Fink Records. Before hitting the road, the Portland, OR-based group’s founding members Jenny Connors and Kelly Halliburton took some time out of their day to talk about the Cramps, Dead Moon, Wipers, and the songs that make up Lovesick Crawl.

Catch Jenny Don’t and the Spurs when they play the Earl on Feb. 23, and Fink Fest in Savannah on Feb. 24.

Let’s talk about what you had in mind when you settled on the song and album title, Lovesick Crawl. It’s the word “crawl” that really grabs my attention.

Jenny Connors: We were listening to a lot of music by the Cramps. The cover art for the album is by Stephen Blickenstaff, who did the cover art for the Cramps’ Bad Music For Bad People, which is a really cool coincidence. We’d talked about doing something in the style of the Cramps, but nothing turned out sounding like the Cramps as it evolved. It’s essentially about being in love with someone—being infatuated—and you can imagine yourself crawling across the floor just to get their attention.

The song originally had an intro that was similar to the Cramps’ “Human Fly,” but we nixed that along the way. Then Johnny from Missing Fink Records approached us about releasing the record.

Kelly Halliburton: Stephen does a lot of the artwork for Missing Fink. Johnny contacted us less than six months before the record came out. We did the recording sessions in February 2022, and finished songwriting six months before that. The idea to channel the Cramps came to us before we knew that Johnny was working with Stephen so much. It added yet another layer to the strange coincidences surrounding this record.


How did the two of you meet and start making music together?

Jenny: I started stalking Kelly around 2008, until I finally whittled him down to date me. I was up front for a Pierced Arrows show and thought it was great. The drummer was super hot and I wanted to hang out with him, so I wrote to him on Myspace. That puts a date on it!

Kelly Halliburton and Jenny Connors

Kelly: Our relationship as a couple pre-dates the Spurs by about three-four years. It took a while because I was touring a lot with Pierced Arrows. The singer and guitar player Fred Cole started getting sick around 2012 or ‘13 so the band slowed down and eventually ground to a halt. Jenny and I had talked about doing something together. It wasn’t until Pierced Arrows wasn’t really a thing anymore that we had time to make it happen. Eventually all of our other bands broke up and this was the last one standing.

Jenny: Kelly and I have a pretty big age gap between us. I was just about to turn 22 when we met. He’s 16 years older than me and said, “I don’t want to date a 22 year-old.” But I said “Come on, I’m serious!” And here we are. We got married last year.

When we were talking about doing stuff together, Sam Henry and I started gigging around town playing a bunch of songs that I already had, which I used on the first album. Sam became the drummer for the Spurs.

Kelly: At first it was me and Jenny. I had an acoustic bass and she had an acoustic guitar. We wanted to keep it really stripped down, and not rely on anyone so that we could do this at any time, whether it’s on a street corner, in our backyard, wherever. It was purely acoustic and we sounded terrible. Something was missing. We didn’t have a ton of experience playing acoustically. All of our previous bands played amplified punk and garage rock. We wanted to keep it stripped down, but we asked Sam to play a snare with some brushes to keep time. Eventually there was a bass drum, then a high hat, and before we knew it, it was this loud, amplified thing with a full drum kit and electric instruments.

Jenny: Then we thought, “You know what’s really missing are guitar solos.”

Sam Henry was the original drummer for the classic Portland punk band Wipers.

Kelly: He played on the first three Wipers singles and the first album, Is This Real? They started in ‘77-‘78. He quit the Wipers in ‘80-‘81. I love everything [Wipers singer/guitarist] Greg Sage has done, but not everyone does. For most people, all you need are the first three LPs: Is This Real, Youth of America, and Over the Edge.

Sam quit the Wipers and joined Napalm Beach, which is kind of funny. Sam doesn’t play on the Wipers album Land of the Lost, but their singer and guitar player Chris Newman drew the dinosaur artwork, which is the weirdest cover, but they were all weirdos [laughs].

Jenny: When we were on tour, a lot of people would come up and say, “No way, Sam Henry from Napalm Death!” [laughs].

I was hanging around a record shop with a few older guys when the Wipers ‘96 album The Herd came out. They said, “Uh, this is gonna suck!” But I took the promo CD home, and even though it wasn’t cool to like The Herd, I loved it. The guitar playing is cosmic.

Kelly: Greg never deviated from his formula, so it’s not like anything on that record is all that different. He slowed it down, but it’s still dreamy, twangy, reverb-drenched guitar. He got more into the whole alien abduction thing. That album art has a fence around the world. That stuff follows Greg’s obsession with alien abduction. From what I understand, he firmly believes that he’s been abducted by aliens. If you look closely, that’s sort of a theme that runs throughout a lot of his stuff. 

I’ll never hear “Alien Boy” the same way again.

[Laughs].

Sam died in February 2022, but he plays on Lovesick Crawl.

Jenny: Yes, Lovesick Crawl features the last recordings that he made. At the end of our January 2022 tour, he wasn’t feeling well. We were heading to Seattle to record. His doctor said, “You need some rest,” so Sam told us he couldn’t make it. A lot went into scheduling, though, so we planned to wing it and go anyway. He heard that we didn’t cancel so he changed his mind and came with us.

We finished the recordings and were supposed to have a show in Everett, but he was in really poor shape. We canceled the show and took him to the hospital, which was the beginning of the end for him, unfortunately.

Kelly: He was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I want to say the day after the recording session ended. They gave him three months to live but he didn’t make it three weeks. 

Jenny: Obviously, no one saw what was coming. We were at the end of a tour. He was older and everyone feels like shit after a tour. The doctor said, “Maybe you drank too much on tour,” which he hadn’t. But he did great during those recording sessions. He didn’t complain. He felt uncomfortable, and every day it was getting a little worse. Something was seriously wrong. In the end, it makes these recordings extra special for us.

Is there a song on the record where his performance stands out?

Jenny: The session as a whole stands out for me. But “Lost Myself” stands out because I think about when we were writing the song. He would say, “How about we try this,” or “I’m going to hit the drum like this.” I have a lot of memories associated with that song.

Kelly: It’s hard not to think about how difficult it must’ve been for him to get through those sessions. There are a couple of songs from earlier sessions: His drums are great on “Right From the Start.” We recorded that song not too long after we wrote it. Later, we did the session where the album version came from. There’s the single version and the version on Lovesick Crawl. The later version was recorded after we’d played it for a while.

Jenny: “Black Cadillac” is a good example of his ability to go all out, or scale it back. He’s mainly playing snare and the rim and clicking the drum sticks together, and adds dynamics throughout that.

Not a lot of players can entertain without playing the whole kit. They get bored. There’s a video of Sam playing that, and there’s never a dull moment.

It’s kind of a beautiful thing that he did what he loved doing till the end. 

Kelly: If we’d gone to Seattle without Sam we wouldn’t be able to listen to these songs. The fact that he rallied and did it is a testimony to his dedication. He was 64 and he had a ball every time we played. He was an amazing person to be in a band with. There will never be another Sam Henry.

Jenny: After he passed away, Kelly, our guitar player Christopher, and I asked, “What does this mean for us as a band?” Collectively, we acknowledged that Sam dedicated the last 10 years of his life to this band, and wouldn’t want us to end at this point. We were all on the same page, and having that camaraderie helped with the grieving process.

Kelly: Sam was such a gregarious personality, and such an outgoing, loving person. He was a good counterpoint to someone like me who’s kind of a crab and wants to be alone most of the time [laughs]. He made friends with people all over the world. Everywhere we went there were people who knew and loved Sam. So everywhere we take this stuff when we’re out on the road it’s cathartic for people who loved and cared about him. We see a lot of teary eyes out front. There are a lot of people who are connected with Sam through this music. 

A lot of what we’re doing now is for Sam. Why stop now? What’s the point in creating something that he cared so much about and letting it fizzle out. 

It has to be rough for your new drummer fitting in as you move forward.

Kelly: Sam’s shoes are impossible to fill. It would be unfair for us to have those expectations for anyone. Also, the band is more than a working relationship. We knew Sam before the band existed. It worked better than any other band that we’ve been in. For someone else to jump in, that has to be hard and we respect that. 

Jenny Don’t and the Spurs

Jenny: For a new player, the songs have to fall into the structure they’ve been written in. But obviously if they bring other inspiration to it, it’s the band’s responsibility to respect everyone’s talents individually. Even though it’s called Jenny Don’t and the Spurs, we’re all equals.

Kelly: The band that came before Pierced Arrows was Dead Moon, which had an almost cult-like status. I stepped into an environment that was probably a lot like what anyone who’s playing with us is stepping into. The guy that I replaced with Fred and Toody was Andrew Loomis, who is universally loved. Everywhere we went for the first few years everyone was looking at me saying, “You’re not Andrew.”

Fred and Toody went out of their way to reassure me that I didn’t have to try to be like Andrew. I didn’t have to try to make my drumming style like his. Obviously I wasn’t going to do that anyway, but it felt good to be reassured. I want to extend that kind of welcoming courtesy to anyone who’s stepping into this band.

I joined Dead Moon in about 2007. They were on tour in the fall of 2006. They did a really long European tour and that was pretty much the end. They were all getting sick of each other. Initially Fred and Toody wanted to take a break, but Fred was always so restless. It didn’t take them long to form a new band. They called me out of the blue in March of 2007—maybe three months after Dead Moon played their last show.

I didn’t even play drums. I’m barely a bass player, but they wouldn’t take no for an answer. With so many expectations, it was terrifying at first. Not only am I not a good drummer, I’m also stepping into this kind of high profile situation where I’m in front of all of these Andrew Loomis-Dead Moon fans.

People were brutal about it. I was at a bar in Portland shortly after Pierced Arrows got going. There were fliers wheat-pasted on the bathroom wall. There was a Pierced Arrows flier with a photo of us and someone had drawn an arrow pointing at my head and wrote, “Worst drummer in Portland” [laughs].

Honestly, I couldn’t argue, but that was the level of hostility that I faced in that band. People warmed up after a while. It was also funny, because people invented a feud between Andrew and I—like Andrew was pissed because I took his spot. But Andrew and I would get together and laugh about it. He was as sick of Fred and Toody as they were of him.

Jenny: Another layer to all of these weird coincidences that lined up to where we are now: When I moved to Portland in 2008, I randomly moved into a house where Andrew hung out a lot. He introduced me to Sam, and then we started playing together. Small world! I didn’t know anything about Dead Moon and Wipers before I moved to the big city of Portland from Acme, Washington.

Kelly: In a bizarre, round-about sort of way, the existence of this band owes something to Andrew Loomis, which is awesome.

You have a new drummer now?

Jenny: His name is Buddy Weeks and we’re enjoying his presence in the band. Hopefully, if he still likes all of us after this tour, we’ll have a long relationship together.

Kelly: Playing together is one thing, but we love being on tour. Luckily he’s had a lot of touring experience. That’s almost as important as being able to play, because it ain’t easy. Putting four people in a tin can and carting them around the country for six months out of the year … There are only so many masochistic personalities that can endure that.

Jenny: You’ve gotta be able to play well and you have to be a good hang. You have to be funny. You have to be able to connect on some things outside of music a little bit, so you enjoy each other’s time together. There’s one hour of playing and 23 hours of being around each other.

Kelly: Christopher March has been playing guitar with us for almost six years. We’ve got him wearing a lot of hats. He’ll have the lap steel set up on stage, then he’ll play a baritone guitar for a couple of songs. We don’t have him literally juggling on stage yet, but we’ll incorporate that at some point, just to make his life that much more difficult [laughs].

There are moments throughout Lovesick Crawl that remind me of Hank Williams Senior’s recordings. It’s also rooted in punk rock mingling with country music—stripped down and rough-and-tumble. You roll with the mistakes.

Jenny: We enjoy it more when it’s stripped down and not super polished. We like music that’s a little rough around the edges.

Kelly: That’s certainly the music that I’m drawn to. I still own every piece of music that Discharge ever pressed to vinyl. A lot of people say that punk and country music are coming from these disparate places, but I’m not so sure their worlds are all that different.

Jenny: If the crowd is really entertaining and you mess up while you’re jumping around on stage … Entertaining is a lot more fun than worrying about perfection.

Kelly: Dead Moon was genius in their own way. No one in the band was a virtuoso musician. It was a lot more emotive than technically flawless. That resonated with people a lot more than these bands that really try to be total shredders. There’s a place for that, but there’s also a place for raw, emotive expression that comes from a different place than musical virtuosity.

That’s what attracted me to music in the first place. When I heard Black Flag for the first time I thought, this is it!

Kelly: Exactly, it doesn’t get more raw than “Nervous Breakdown.” It’s just a few minutes of raw aggression and teenage frustration. That set the template for a lot of things that are still important to me now, and I’m in my 50s!

Some of my earliest studio experiences, going back to when I was 19 years old, the drummer for Poison Idea, Steve Hanford, “The Slayer Hippy,” was a renowned producer. He did a bunch of studio work with some of my old punk bands. I learned a lot about recording while working with him. One of the things he would put into practice was if you can’t do it in a couple of takes, just ditch it and move on. Maybe come back to it in a couple of takes, maybe not. He always felt that the energy would dissipate if you ran it into the ground. I don’t know if it’s true that Poison Idea did that, but he always maintained that Poison Ideas stuff was done in one or two takes. That’s kind of our approach.

Jenny: The magic will go away if you do a solo 50 times. When I do a vocal I’ll do it three times. One warmup and two runs through it. It’s how I sound and it’s not gonna sound better if I keep doing it. On any recording you can listen and think about how you should have done something differently. When you’re in the studio you can do something over and over, but you learn to be ok with imperfections. This isn’t for us. It’s for the listeners, and they’ll make it their own.”

Jenny Don’t and the Spurs play the Earl on Thurs., Feb. 23, with Andrea and Mud and the Resonant Rogues. $15. 7:30 p.m. (doors). 8 p.m. (show).

Jenny Don’t and the Spurs also play Fink Fest at the Lodge of Sorrows in Savannah on Fri., Feb. 24, with Los Rumtones, the Creature Preachers, and Electric Frankenstein. $20. 7 p.m.

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The Creature Preachers: ‘A Night to Dismember’

Scary Gary (left) and Greg Regular of the Creature Preachers.


The Creature Preachers from Warner Robins, GA return from the depths of the Southern abyss with a new single, titled “A Night to Dismember.”

Greg Regular (drums, bass, guitar) and Scary Gary (guitar, bass, drums) embrace the spirit of Halloween with a menacing yet melancholy dose of surf rock and horror punk ambiance, blending yearning and mystical imagery with moonlight and the macabre.

“A Night to Dismember” strikes a haunting balance of ‘50s horror movie scores and the melancholy vibe of the Misfits’ “Hybrid Moments”—with a clear inclination for all things the Cramps, the Pixies, CCR, B-52’s, and The Ghastly Ones. It’s an instrumental number, but the organ, guitar, and rhythmic traipse tell a story for the mind’s eye to behold.

“It definitely tells a story which is what you always want in a song, especially with an instrumental,” Greg says. “That’s never easy because there aren’t any lyrics to tell the story for you. We didn’t start out with any particular ideas in mind when we wrote the song. It just kind of wrote its own story. All we had to do was move out of the way and let the song do it’s thing.”

That thing is an equally nuanced and anthemic hellride to the wicked fringes of the darkside.

It’s shaping up to be a busy year for the Creature Preachers. The group will be appearing on a few different Halloween compilations this month. There’s also a split 7-inch with their Altered State Of Reverb label mates the Mysterics. There’s another 7-inch and an appearance on a Planet Of The Apes-themed comp. for Missing Fink Records. There’s also an appearance on an Otitis Media Records comp. After that, they’ll start work on their debut full-length album for next year.

The group also has an appearance slated for the Inuhele Tiki Weekend coming up at the Sheraton Hotel Jan. 28-30, 2022.

In the meantime, press play and sink into the Creature Preachers’ ghoulish sonata.

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Didi Wray blends Latin melodies and surf rock kerrang on ‘Misión Tango Surf’

Didi Wray “Misión Tango Surf.” Artwork by Stephen Blickenstaff.


Didi Wray was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but has spent much of the last decade living in Mexico, Brazil, and in Santiago, Chile, where she currently resides. Surf music and wild rock ‘n’ roll are coursing through her veins, and if her travels have revealed to her one universal truth about music it’s that the most powerful recordings harness the energy of everyone playing in the room together, feeling the energy, and sharing the moment. It’s the chemistry between players—the strength of the performance itself—that turns so much reverb, rhythm, and tremolo into the stuff of magic heard throughout her second album Misión Tango Surf.


The CD was released by Surf Cookie Records in 2019. Two years later, Augusta, GA’s Missing Fink Records has reissued the CD and pressed the songs onto vinyl with new cover art by Stephen Blickenstaff, who’s best known for creating the artwork for the Cramps’ Bad Music for Bad People LP. Misión Tango Surf harbors 13 cuts of traditional surf sounds and old-school rock ‘n’ roll played with taut authority and nimble dexterity. The album’s opening title cut moves at a measured, psychedelic pace, blending classic kerrang and reverb with Latin flourishes. Songs with titles such as “Amazonic Hully Gully” and “El Sombrero” find balance in subtle restraint weighed against the full-throttle tremolo picking of “Por Una Cabeza,” and “Terremoto Stomp!” When placed side-by-side here, each song carves out a smooth and cohesive body of instrumental jams.

All told, there are nearly 40 musicians and engineers dubbed Liga Americana del Surf coming in and out of the frey. It’s a fellowship featuring a survey of South American and Mexican musicians including members of Brazilian acts the Dead Rocks and the Pulltones; Chilean groups Los Kanibales Surf Combo, Sindicato Tango Surf, and Los Yawares; Peruvian group Los Protones; Estereofónikos from Argentina; and the Tango-Surf Combo from Mexico.

More guests are sprinkled throughout the album as well. “The Godfather of Mexican Surf” himself, Daddy O Grande of Los Straitjackets brings winding grooves to “Blue Tango” and “Cielito Lindo.” Fellow Los Straitjackets guitarist Gregorio El Grande amps up the pace in “Pisco Saico Twist.” Caleb “Sr. Ramírez” Franco of Lost Acapulco brings steel-string heat to the closing number “St. Katharina Twangwest.” Each of these players dutifully serve the unified, oceanic ambiance of Wray’s vision.

With so many players lending a hand, though, the most Herculean feat here is Wray’s ability to rein in such an impressive cavalcade, and focus on creating unfettered, uncluttered music. Misión Tango Surf pushes the heavily-mined waters of surf and rock ‘n’ roll to thrilling and mysterious new places, while bolstering her flair for Latin cadences and melodies, offering a little shoreline beach break for the hodads and the hardcore alike.

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It’s another Bandcamp Friday! 12 ATL release for your pandemic playlist

It’s another Bandcamp Friday! If you want to spread a some love, support, and a little cash to some local artists today—or any other day for that matter—here’s a quick list of releases I’ve been blasting throughout this whole global pandemic thing.


Warm Red’s debut album, Decades of Breakfast is out now. Vinyl copies should be arriving any day now via State Laughter Records. In the meantime, catch this bit of Atlanta post-punk’s saving grace on Bandcamp. For fans of the Birthday Party, the Jesus Lizard, early Pere Ubu and the likes.



Lowtown has a self-titled, six-song EP posted up on Bandcamp right now. Guitar player and singer Beaux Neal shows off an impressive vocal range, and the group of musicians on the album—singer and guitarist John Pierce, drummer Russell Rockwell, and bass player Aidan Burns—create a rich and mysterious Southern post-indie rock ambiance.



Thousandaire’s self-titled LP (The Colonel Records) has been making the rounds for a few months now, and you know I’ve been championing it from the beginning. The riffs have only become more potent over time. It’s got that Pavement, Superchunk, Meat Puppets, Dinosaur Jr., mid-’80s SST kind of vibe going on, and we could all use a bit more of that in our lives right about now.



Zano Bathroom has a new full-length out, titled Afrikan Sciences Presents: Zano Bathroom’s Universe From A Different Hip Hop. True to the album’s name, this is hip-hop from the outer limits— culled from the same hallowed Huntsville, Alabama soil that transformed the man Herman Poole Blount into the almighty Sun Ra. Zano has never been afraid to dive headlong into some abstract, avant-garde places while honing killer beats and rhymes. For this offering he joins forces with his old cohort Eric Porter aka Afrikan Sciences, and they take hip-hop to deeper into the cosmos than ever before.



Misanthropic Aggression is back with the Covid-19 Reset EP via Boris Records. The tape features six new songs that find bass player and vocalist Jake Benedict taking over drumming duties—at least for this recording—alongside vocalist and guitar player Chris Hammer. The first song to be released from the EP, titled “The Effect of COVID-19 Isolation on the Mind / Unda Nona” is a twisted maze of scream therapy that goes head-on with quarantine/election season anxiety. The Full EP is available on Bandcamp now, with a handful of bundle packages available. Tapes are out November 17.



Adam McIntyre of the Pinx recently released Black Planet, is a twisted rock excursion that finds McIntyre embracing a mixed bag of musical elements (free jazz, funk, and so)—sounds that he’s been denying himself for years, while keeping the Pinx on course as a modern psychedelic rock band from the South.



Symbiote’s latest five-song, Privilege Of A Daydream, blasts five cuts of no nonsense screaming, riffing, classic hardcore, with no real guitar leads to speak of. It’s a powerful and direct release that’s primed for a year of socio-political turmoil.


In August, death rock and goth-punk trio Tears for the Dying unveiled their second full-length, titled Memories. The album was engineered and produced by Tom Ashton of the March Violets, and recorded at Subvon Studio in Athens. Adria Schlenker, Debra Beat, and Candy Cancer shed the keyboard for most of the album’s tracks in favor of a raw, guitar-driven assault—all three members share guitar and bass duties here. Check out that smoldering cover of Christian Death’s “Spiritual Cramp”!



It’s been a minute since Cave Bat last checked in. Cetacean Creation finds the reconfigured experimental musical trio of Nathan Brown, Priscilla Smith, and Phi (Rob Sepanski) returning with a more song-oriented approach to their sci-fi soundscapes.



Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf‘s latest LP, Big Other features four musical pieces that are bursting at the seams with droning beauty, anxiety, texture, and ambiance. The album includes contributions from Jarboe (SWANS), James Joyce (Cheifs, Noot ‘d Noot, Car Vs. Driver), Shannon Mulvaney (MaganpopAnna Kramer, Clobber), Brian Halloran (Smoke, W8ing4UFOs), Billy Fields (Follow For Now, Dionne Farris, W8ing4UFOs), and Xander Cook, with liner notes by author Blake Butler.



Near and dear to my heart, the Cheifs’ four-song 7-inch (Missing Fink Records) stamps in time bass player and vocalist Bob Glassley’s next generation Cheifs lineup—drummer James Joyce, guitarist Scott Hedeen, and vocalist Brad Castlen—expanding beyond the original L.A. hardcore outfits early ‘80s repertoire. It’s an Atlanta punk rock sleeper classic, mixed by Bill Stevenson of the Descendents! I was honored to write the liner notes for this one and final offering from the group.



Duet For Theremin and Lap Steel‘s Scott Burland and Frank Schultz returned this year with a new, eight-song masterpiece of haunting, luminous atmosphere, titled Halocline. Read an interview with Burland and Schultz on RadATL!

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‘Creature’s Surfin’ Shindig’ in Flagpole

My review of Missing Fink RecordsCreature’s Surfin Shindig compilation LP is in this week’s Flagpole Magazine. It’s the culmination of the landlocked Augusta, GA label’s dedication to probing the outer limits of where rockabilly, punk and surf sounds collide with sci-fi cinema and monster movies from the 1950s.

There’s a ton of great stuff on this comp. Didi Wray, Fred Schneider and the Superions, Messer Chups, and more. Check it out at Flagpole!

The Cheifs: Liner notes for the group’s final 7-inch


I was honored to write the liner notes for the new and final 7-inch by the Cheifs.

Bob Glassley was a man out of time. He was a hardcore sleeper cell who reawakened in 2016 with the uncompromising spirit and forgotten insights of Los Angeles’ early ‘80s punk snarl…in Atlanta. And he arrived like a thief in the night.

James Joyce called me that summer to ask if I remembered or knew anything about an old punk band from California called the Cheifs. He explained to me that he had been tapped to play drums with a new version of the group and wanted to know if I was interested in doing a piece on them for Creative Loafing. It wasn’t long after that we were all gathered around a table at Manuel’s Tavern discussing the legend of the band, and listening to Bob’s stories about his involvement in the early West Coast hardcore punk scene. Absorbing so much Cheifs history and lore was like discovering another great band that had been there all along, albeit buried by the sands of time, now uncovered and brought into full view.

At the end of 1982 in a set of circumstances singular to Bob’s life, he stepped away from punk and playing music altogether. He traded his bass for a computer and never looked back. As a result, his knowledge and familiarity with punk was a perfectly preserved time capsule. It also fostered a beautiful state of arrested development; he knew West Coast punk circa 1978-1982, but nothing beyond that. However, he understood the art of the outsider, the art of being an individual driven by righteousness, and the self-reliance of punk before fashion and hairstyles eclipsed the lifestyle, and before mainstream attention introduced the elements of violence and intolerance that ultimately pulled the scene apart.

Bob’s return to music was a reaction to right-wing influences gaining a stranglehold on America. He took a no-bullshit political stance –– he was outspoken with his opinions, and punk gave him direction and purpose in the shadow of the Trump presidency. But Bob also projected a raw, down-to-earth wisdom, and a forgotten knowledge and etiquette that affected everyone with whom he crossed paths, from his bandmates to the faces in the crowd. While loading out after playing shows at The Earl and 529 in East Atlanta, he connected with homeless people who were asking for spare change. He treated everyone with dignity and respect.

With the new Cheifs lineup in place, the group gigged hard in Atlanta and eventually the Los Angeles area. Bob seemed to know, maybe subconsciously, that he didn’t have much time left on earth. Not wasting any time, the group played and recorded as quickly and as often as possible. Whenever Bob took the stage wearing a “We the People” T-shirt (brandishing an image of the Constitution of the United States), he embraced the audience, reveling in the moment and screaming defiantly into the void of mortality.

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Bob unexpectedly died of complications related to liver cancer. He had been diagnosed with the disease a mere two weeks prior. He was 58. The following Saturday the Cheifs were set to play a sold-out show at the Masquerade supporting the Descendents, a big coup for the new lineup. Just four nights after his death, the Descendents opened the show by unleashing the most powerfully cathartic blast of “Everything Sux” the group had ever performed.

During the encore, James, Brad, and Scott joined Milo and Karl on stage for one last send-off, playing four final Cheifs songs as a dedication to Bob, and to all that the new lineup had worked to create.

The four songs captured here are bookends to the Cheifs legacy. Both “1988” and “Heart In Chains” were originally written and performed by Bob’s pre-Cheifs band, Portland, Oregon’s Rubbers. On the B-side, “Alienated” is a new jam that Bob penned. Loosely based on a forgotten early Cheifs song, “Mechanical Man” was partially reconstructed from memory, and hammered into a new form by the current lineup.

The 7” single you now hold in your hands stamps in time the one-year period of intense creativity and rediscovery that Bob and the reignited Cheifs unleashed. The distillation of ’80s punk songwriting and hardcore’s graceful, physical melodies, filtered through a lens of contemporary production, is filled with a new fire and spirit, channeled into a lifetime of fierce, empowering, and truly timeless songs. Fuck cancer. Cheif Out! — Chad Radford