A few weeks ago, Bobby Johnston, lead singer for psycho punk maniacs Load, was sitting in the studio of WAXY during the Beast and Baker Show as his band's raging music roared into the airwaves like drunk Scuds. Between Load cuts, Johnston answered questions about his band, mentioned upcoming gigs, the usual stuff. But as the music played, while he was off the air, the singer wanted to talk about something else: Evil. "Have you heard about this...these guys are incredible...this is the real deal...they might let me do a song with them...I can't wait...."
Johnston's obsession makes perfect sense. Evil once won a Youth Fair battle of the bands, despite the fact the musicians went berserk during a cover of the Who's "My Generation" and destroyed everything on the stage. At another show, the band members wore dresses. On one recording, Evil used a kazoo. No, Evil is not a copycat of I Don't Know. Evil did all this stuff before the members of Load or I Don't Know were born A the Youth Fair spectacle, for example, took place in 1966. Yes, nearly 30 years ago. What's old really is new again. Sort of.
From Savage Lost, Jeff Lemlich's 1992 book about the history of Miami rock and roll: "Lots of bands have called themselves 'punk' in the last few years, but none have matched the vitality or pure energy of Evil.... [I]t's quite unlikely any ever will." And Lemlich has seen his share of punk bands over the decades.
The Evil is long gone. Signed to Capitol Records for a time, the band went through numerous members during its chaotic existence. In fact, there were at least four separate lineups that played under the name in a two-year span. On-stage fistfights helped fuel the personnel problems. Drummer Jeffrey Allen, who also pounded for the equally wild Montells, another garage band that, like Evil, formed at Southwest High School in the mid-Sixties, hasn't played since 1967. But the reinvented Evil is playing tonight (Thursday) at Churchill's Hideaway in a world debut. Allen, now a Baltimore resident, has enlisted Flea (erstwhile bass player for the great U.K. Subs) and guitarist Fernando Garcia (formerly of Baltimore-D.C. metal monsters Rancid Decay, as well as playing with Big Swifty and Fat Elvis) to reform Evil. The trio has been practicing for the Churchill's show, "trying to spread the gospel of the British Invasion and to re-create some of the energy of that era," says Allen.
Back in their day the original Evil shared the charts of local commercial radio stations with Jefferson Airplane, the Byrds, and the Animals. Their cover of the Small Faces' "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" was an especially popular hit. At tonight's Evil resuscitation, expect blasting covers of songs by mid-Sixties British wailers the Pretty Things (Allen considers Evil to be something of a Pretty Things tribute group), the Who, the Kinks, the Montells. And, of course, Evil originals. Johnston is expected to sing "Whatcha Gonna Do About It," and author Lemlich likely will climb on stage for "Daddy Rolling Stone." To Live and Shave in L.A. opens.
Tomorrow (Friday) at Squeeze it's the Sunshine Music Showcase. Six Silver Spiders (Fort Lauderdale), I Don't Know (Hialeah), Unseelie Court (West Palm Beach), Deloris Telescope (Tampa), Tabitha's Secret (Orlando), and Hourglass Garden (Tampa) bring the sunshine, likely orange. (See "Calendar.")
West Palm Beach has a cool club, the Wormhole, where Drive Choir performs on Saturday.
Double trumpet trouble at MoJazz this weekend: Melton Mustafa and Ira Sullivan share the stage.
Rose's, which isn't closed, has a fine lineup this week. Psychedelic blues stompers Electric Mojo tonight (Thursday); funk superstars Raw B Jae and the Liquid Funk tomorrow (Friday); the never-escape-R.E.M.-comparisons For Squirrels on Saturday; and Island recording artist Arlan Feiles on Sunday.
Catch the delicious Suzy Creamcheese at Nemesis tonight (Thursday), or at UM's Rathskeller tomorrow (Friday).
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Liquid's show at Rosebuds tonight (Thursday) will be videotaped for a new clip the band hopes to air on Fox's Sound FX, which has requested the submission.
I called around and checked it out, but I knew I'd forget somebody when I attempted to list the many resources available to local rock fans and musicians. On the reading list, but not mentioned last week: The Flo, a way-cool 'zine based in West Palm. The April issue features an interview with Six Silver Spiders.
And on the tube there's Raw Power, a heavy-hitting cable show that airs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:00 p.m. on Cable-TAP (Channel 37 on most systems); it also can be seen on Dynamic (Channel 16), TCI (Channel 33), TCI-North (Channel 35), and Adelphia-North (Channel 33). Host Alex B. plays death metal, punk, and industrial. The three-week-old show hasn't aired local material yet, but intends to. Send death-punk-metal-industrial clips to PO Box 398675, Miami Beach, FL 33239.
By the way, Jon Secada is god! If you don't know what I'm talking about, you really should spend more time listening to Phil Hendrie's afternoon show on WIOD-AM (610). I hear Phil's going to be doing much less talk and playing lots of Evil songs beginning next week.