Saturday, March 20, 2010

Boba Fett Youth live on 91.5 KUNV 11/24/94

       This post is for Rockin Chris Crud the first drummer of Boba Fett Youth and a cool guy.  Haven't seen him in a while maybe I'll see him again when he's touring with his new band?

       Transferring that Leap Frog stuff started a domino effect.  I shook out my worldly possesions and found what I thought was the Boba Fett Youth demo.  After playing it I got an even bigger surprise.  This might have been the BFY demo at one point but I taped over it with a live appearance of Bob Fett youth on the "Community" Radio station 91.5 KUNV.  At the time of this show I didn't have a blank tape so I taped over their demo!  Funny how often demo tapes got taped over during the halcyon days of the cassette recorder.  Even more reason to digitize em ASAP!

      Boba Fett Youth was Boyde Wenger on Bass, Nathan Robards on Guitar, Andrew Kiraly on vocals, and Rockin Chris Crud on drums.  Later on Mr. Crud joined the army or something along those lines and he was replaced with Milo.  I can't remember Milo's last name.  This show aired live in 1994.  

       I haven't heard their songs in years so this was a cool surprise.  Boba Fett Youth was a pivotal band for the Las Vegas "scene" at the time.  They were punk as fuck but were not shy about trying new things musically.  The whole persona of the band while a little contrived was damn clever in it's execution.  They assumed Star Wars geek status years before the explosion reignited by those appalling prequels. But it was mostly marketing genius in terms of the name and not so much in the substance of what they were doing.  Which is cool because if they would have been obsessed with droids and Jabba for every song it would have got old real fast.  Instead they were punk poster children that used the righteousness of Star Wars as a backdrop.  

       Looking back it's funny to think how Star Wars had a weird punk connection at that time.  Maybe because it was such a focal point for so many people in "our" generation.  In all honesty I still get all teary eyed thinking about Hoth or Cloud City.  Wrapping themselves in Boba Fett's mythology without actually going overboard was sheer genius.  Even as their music seems to fade into obscurity there will always been thousands if not millions of people who will be curious to hear this band for years to come simply because of the name.  The name fit perfectly with the band's goofy charm, not to mention the punk "don't give a fuck" factor of taking a copyrighted name as your own.  It was also an original sound and personality that broke from the norms in "hardcore" music at that time.  They had straight up punk content, they even covered a Germs song, but they were also intelligent and obviously clever. 

       I forgot how many good songs they had.  I got their 7" and it's cool but I'm glad I recorded this.  Live recordings are always a better representation.  Although the sound quality isn't exactly superior this draws a good picture of what they were like in a live setting and it gives you a few clues as to their personality through brief interviews that are peppered throughout the show.  

       I'm not sure who the host was but I'm sure I knew him.  I was going to UNLV at the time.  I was caller number three at one point in the broadcast and he mentions my name even though I got the question wrong.  
  
       I saw them play at least a half dozen times probably more.  They were like the glue for the scene back then.  Andrew had been promoting show at the Henderson Elks Lodge, or was it the Moose Lodge?  Grimple was supposed to play there but got busted for drugs or some shit.  Anyway, Boyde largely took the reigns for promoting shows when he got his label Bucky Records off the ground.  It was inspirational to see how far Bucky records got and it really changed how bands viewed their music after he released as many records as he did.  

       This recording starts off a little weird as the engineer isolates each player for the first few songs.  I found out later they consiously did that to spotlight each personality in the band.  While I used to think Andrew's vocals were annoying, I gotta admit he was the perfect fit for this band.  He plays up the dork angle by being equal parts Milo from the Descendants and the dude from the Crucifucks with a little bit of Jello Biafra thrown in.  I especially like the snotty Rip Offs cover and remember that being my favorite song from their live set although the Germs cover was great too.  That's not to downplay their originals because Make-Up Mike is a good song as is Culture Factory.    Lyrically they had something to say which was a rarity back then and still is kinda rare.  

     Musically this early incarnation of Boba Fett Youth had more of a traditional punk sound in some ways.  But you can understand the vocals because Andrew was "singing" instead of barking or being a tough guy.  If the singer's actually got something to say and he's passionate about it he tends to enunciate.  That's part of the suck factor of growling cookie monster vocalists.  They don't have shit to say so they try to make sure you can't understand a word for fear of deciphering their bullshit.  


      I thought his vocals were a bit much back then but in retrospect I have to say he was a really good vocalist.  Anyone who doesn't hide behind convention has to be considered an innovator, even though admittedly the template for high pitched whiney punk singers wasn't an entirely a new thing.  When I think about it I have to admit his vocals were the secret weapon in this band that made them stand out.  He never ventures too far into pop punk territory although he's definitely hitting the notes with a sarcastic sneer playing on his lips.          
       I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this recording while transferring it. They were one of the most important bands of the mid 90's in Vegas, if not the most important band.  They helped to breathe new life into a scene that appeared to be on the wane.  

      I tried to edit out the "commercials" during the broadcast and therefore missed a few snippets of the show.  Unfortunately my cassette deck started eating the tape in the middle of the process!  Some portions of the show are now gone forever but there's a good 45 minutes digitized here.  I broke it up into as many chunks as I could trying to keep some tracks as all music and some as all interview.  Since I feel it will keep it's character better by keeping them together I decided to included bits of the interviews in every track. 

      Hard to believe this was over 15 years ago.  It brought back great memories.  Hopefully it will do the same for you.  Couldn't remember the names to some songs.  Maybe Rockin' Chris Crud can fill in the blanks?

Boba Fett Youth live on 91.5 KUNV 11/24/94
2.  Empire Strikes Back Theme/Make-Up Mike (this is the track where each member gets miked alone)

5 comments:

  1. Rockin' Chris CrudMarch 21, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Wow. Just, friggin' wow! Thanks, Chad. I still have Nate's cassette of this, and it's incomplete by about 4 songs. Your version has songs that I haven't heard since we played them that night. I'll fill in all of the blanks shortly, but one thing about this that freaks me out is that I never knew the band member isolation thing was intentional. I just thought the DJ was too high to give a shit. Anyway, this is insane. Thanks a lot, dude!

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  2. Rockin' Chris CrudMarch 21, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    3. Health Nut - Irony Street - Beer Song
    5. Awaken the Giant - Bike Power
    6. Shit. I don't even remember the name of this one!!!! I even remember practicing it quite a bit. Nate needs to chime in on this one.

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  3. Yeah, #6 eventually became whitewash. Dont know what it was called then. Andrew named all the songs and wrote the lyrics. I really liked how every song was a collaborative effort and no one had a self serving publishers attitude. Thanks for the very introspective and spot on review chad!

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  4. Huge question: My band is thinking of covering "Slipping Away" which was #9 on something. I was wondering if we could get permission, and if we could get the official lyrics?

    Boba Fett Youth still rocks! Email me: JeremiahDLong@gmail.com

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  5. You don't need permission. If they tried to sue you George Lucas would sue them first. So- ok I give you full permission even though I wasn't in the band.

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