Tuesday, December 11, 2007

He Had To Break My Twenty.

I'm going to post some old journal entries, song lyrics and stuff like that on this blog. The Church Police, or at least Tim and I, aspired to be a literary phenomenon as much as a musical thing. We didn't do much in that area either but here goes. These entries don't have much of a point but they give a glimpse into our life and times. This is from a little 2.5" X 5" spiral notepad that has a bunch of random, undated stuff scrawled into it. It starts in the middle of some kind of narrative - I can't recall the details so it just is what it is... You can date it sometime in the spring or summer of 1981. - DB

He had to break my twenty. Then Tim decided to get one and gave him a twenty but he had to go in back to get it so I gave him two dollars instead because I was getting sick of waiting because he had sat on the phone for 15 minutes while I was waiting to buy my record. Time said "now we'll have to break up my twenty somewhere else! I said "oh well , I just wanna get out of here." So we went to Valco and Tim bought some gum and got change. So then we walked back to my house. Marcy (my dad's housekeeper) was playing the Mexican radio station loud. Tim went upstairs and was checking out Stephen Hero. I made a bologna sandwich (I just saw a truckload of cows!) I swiped a little bit of weed from the Green Jar, enough for two J's while we listened to the Minutemen. I couldn't find the rolling machine so I had to twist 'em by hand. It took longer and it soon became apparent that we weren't going to make his next class so we went down in the basement and smoked a doobie. We talked about Marquis de Sade and other stuff. I wanted to wander around S.F. so I said we should leave soon. Tim seemed reluctant to go so early but he did anyway. So we walked down to BART. Tim curled up and got into the subliminal vibes. I stared out the window and thought about me and Tim, two young artists - took lots of thoughts down, would wander off, get distracted and the start from the phrase, "me and Tim the young artists."

We got off at Embarcadero and walked (I thought) north of Market but it was really south - Tim told me so. I was talking like let's go to North Beach and just walk all over town (my plans) and Tim was not clear on what I was saying. He kept repeating something to me. Fuck! I can't remember but I got pissed, he kept saying it but I guess it's no big deal.

Then we went to Fun Terminal where we met Eric S. He gave us a ride to where he works. I've already told what he did. So he walked over to this grassy patch, some strange lawn elevated with trees in front of a big building and sat for awhile. I started writing this, Tim sat and watched.

After some time we walked up 6th Street to Market digging all the goony looking faces. Then we got up to Powell Street and that area. William was playing bass at Hallidie Plaza. We walked past Woolworth's and saw George from Grr and some other guy playing guitars. We listened for a bit and Tim suggested that we should have got him for our band. Right! So I said let's walk through Stockton Street Tunnel. Tim didn't want to (?) but said he would because it would be great for me cuz I used to do it everyday. Right!

So we walked up thru Chinatown and I remembered Old Master Q - I walked over to the newsstand (Chinese) and they had two fat books and I skim one. I bought a fat book for a dollar. It was pretty funny, better than the last few I bought. Then we walked up to Coit Liquors to buy wine. I saw Brian had grown a beard, Juan was still working there, Mike too. Eleanor had a puffier younger looking hairdo. Mario looked the same, saw me but didn't say anything. Tony saw me and said my name. I said "how ya doing," full volley of greetings blah blah. I forgot, we saw Kurt from the Renegades and the Egyptian Theater, he talked about bands (mainly his) and girls a bit and how scummy S.F. is and that junk. We also saw Charly from Arsenal in this bookstore on Powell or thereabouts. He has a skinhead, talked about tonight's party, their Halloween party (sorry!), reggae, the Minutemen, friendly junk. I discovered another new author, B. Traven - I saw a book called Death Ship by him which looks like it might be alright. Caution: just don't get too eclectic!

So after that we went to Rough Trade. First thing I checked for was Jealous Again. They still had it - then new LPs, nothing interesting, clothbound Joy Division 2-LP set (smirk). then I looked under B singles, saw new Black Flag, couldn't find Nervous Breakdown. Found new Adolescents single, Tim said "Wow, Ray'll freak out!" I ripped off issue of Search and Destroy with Burroughs.

We walked down to City Lights, not much there, I read the Symposium on Finnegan's Wake. I shuddered to think of the task before me. Tim came down reading A Chicken Essay. We sat around for awhile, I checked out various racks of books. We went to Clown Alley before City Lights so Tim could piss, then back again afterwards to eat. We sat outside for a little while. Drunk some wine. I had to take a crap, after I did I found out the toilet was jammed. I found it out cuz I flushed the toilet while I was sitting on it. The water came up and chilled my ass. Whoo! What a surprise. All this water started dumping on the floor and a big turd floated in the middle. I didn't stuff it up though! I walked out of the room, my ass was still a bit damp, the water ran down the back of my legs. We fired up our other joint. We were talking about stuff. I told Tim about Stephen Hero, he told me what he thought of Joyce and other mind-molding things. So then we went to eat and back to City Lights and more stuff.

A Comment From Tim

Tim (the singer) emailed me with some additional information that he wanted to leave as a comment but I don't allow anonymous entries and he didn't want to identify himself, or register with Google, or something. I think the comment is worthy of being a new post so here it is:
Hi Dave,

Very poor memory on your part.

Flipper got lost for the DVC show -- I will always remember Ted's sheepish face when they showed up as we were packing away the equipment. They made it but the show was all over because they were driving all over the Bay Area freeways til they founbd it.

And I played in the Maroons last show with Bruce on drums.

To jove moix dude -- I saw your blog a while ago and no puedo entender quelle languaje it was escribo in-- some sort of castellian spanish? Great to see, thanks.

And Dave, great stuff, keep it up -- Bruce and I put the top poster together.

Of course, he's wrong on all the points where he contradicts me but you know who to trust already don't you?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Church Police Posters

I've recently been in touch with people (on-line) who are fans either of the Church Police, or Flipper, or both, and that has inspired me to get more active in fulfilling the potential of this blog to serve as a repository of information on the Church Police and my recollections of the early-80s SF musical underground scene that I played a bit part in. I have bunches of old journals and other artifacts that deserve some kind of public airing. Not much in the way of photos though - the Church Police are woefully under-preserved in the audio and visual realms, but that only adds to the allure and mystery doesn't it...

Here are some scans I made a few years ago of posters from our shows. They may still be on-line somewhere, if Comcast chose to preserve the pages I posted when the domain was attbi.com but here's a fresh look at them. 

This isn't the full collection though. I gotta save a few things for the 
deluxe edition box set that I hope to release some day.

Bruce made this one. These scans are such high quality that you can see the text from the other side of the newspaper bleeding through.

This one was made by Tim. He was the biggest sports fan in our band, but I follow major league baseball and the NFL pretty closely these days.

I made this one. It's based on the popular Hong Kong comic book
series Old Master Q. You have to read it starting in the upper 
right, then go down, then upper left, then go down. 

I used to work at Coit Liquors in North Beach, right there on Washington Square, across from the big Catholic Church and right around the corner from Chinatown. I would stroll around the neighborhood on my lunch hours and picked up a few issues of these comics. None of them were in English but many of the strips had no dialog so the jokes were easy to understand. I actually combined two different strips to make this poster so it is a truly original work of art.

I made this poster for a show we put on in Pleasant Hill. Maybe Contra Costa was our response to a compilation album called No New York and it's follow-up rebuttal comp Yes L.A. Too bad we never released the album. As it turned out, Flipper canceled on us. I think they were scared to go through the Caldecott Tunnel or something (wimps.)

This is the show where our exceedingly rare single "Killing Myself To Live" (OOP on Stomach Ache Records, released in 1996) was recorded. We played the song two times in a row (even though I didn't realize it until we were about halfway into the performance which is why my guitar playing is even more screwed up and dischordant than usual but it's better that way.) It's the second take that made it to the single, though I think they work better listened to back-to-back. But I had nothing to do with putting that single out anyway so what does it matter...

You've seen this image already, of course. It's the basis for the cover of the Gilligan's Wings single. This historic document notes the first public performance of the Church Police and the last performance by the Maroons, the band that Bruce, Tim and I were in before forming the Church Police, though Tim had already quit by the time of this show.

He and Eric sat in the mostly empty bar harrassing Bruce and me and Ba, our bass player, though she was nice and a good musician and had some difficult personal issues due to the death of both her parents in a tragic car accident several years earlier so no one was ever really that mean to her.

Then, after the Maroons sunk into oblivion after that set, I put my guitar back on after watching Gaga Din and played a bunch of different songs and the Church Police began their too-brief and ill-managed career.