Friday, May 8, 2009

V/A - Chainsaw fanzine # 14 flexi disk

Another oddity that slipped past my defenses. This 7" flexi disk came out in December 1984 as a freebie with the 14th and last issue of Chainsaw fanzine out of Croydon, Foggy Old England.
Chainsaw fanzine does not only gets props for starting out in the middle of the fateful year 1977 (1st issue features the great humanitarian and philosopher Johnny Moped !), but editor Charlie Chainsaw was also hip to continental European style hardcore punk as early on as 1984. The mainstream UK music press only began getting a clue 2 to 3 few years later, only to consequently - but not too surprisingly - claim hardcore punk was foremostly, if not exclusively a British phenomenon,
heralding Johnny come latelies such as the Stupids and Napalm Death as groundbreaking originators, and completely ignoring the at the time vibrant hardcore scenes all over continental Europe, where an international underground network had begun to develop, long before booking agencies, hardcore labels paid top dollar to place ads in magazines and (let's face it) everything basically went to hell.
A typical night at the Emma in Amsterdam ca. 1985:
B.G.K., Impact, and Scream featuring future Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl

The flexi : even though the flexi disk was an impossible format (paper-thin, easily scratched, dismal sound quality, ZERO dynamics) they were at the time regarded as an economic alternative for costly "real" vinyl pressings, plus, in pre-internet days, they were much cheaper to send in the mail. Regular record distribution companies would not carry these releases, and there was no promotion really.

Apart from the B.G.K. material (a song lifted off the WMD E.P.), there are tracks by a group called Butcher and a fellow Amsterdam group with the curious name Mornington Crescent, who to my knowledge never played many live shows, certainly never toured abroad, and didn't belong to the circle of "B.G.K.'s satellite bands" in Amsterdam.

Yet, these guys would gain minor cult status overseas among hardcore punk fans, when a rather dorky and pasty looking graphic artist, avid record trader and vocalist of Septic Death (who hailed from Boise, Idaho for chrissakes) began raving about their EP in Maximum Rocknroll etc.

Preceding the "deathgrunt" by about a decade these were the gruffest vocals heard to date making it impossible to determine wether the record should be played on 33rpm or 45rpm !

Pushead actually suggested he draw an album cover for B.G.K., an offer we politely declined. Little did we know back then that the artist would be drawing record sleeves and logos for Metallica later.

Where are they now ?
Pushead became chummy chums with the heavy metal elite and is undoubtedly making fortunes with his
personal line of action figures, Japanese monster toys, skateboards, and other crap.
If I had saved the handwritten corrspondence with him all these years I could sell that shit for megabucks on Ebay.

Mornington Crescent were never seen again, but may be heard here
Fanzine editor Charlie Chainsaw resurfaced later in Rancid Hell Spawn, the Sexual abominations, and even has his own Wikipedia entry.
Me, I'm still out there. Whoopee.

Somebody made B.G.K. page on
B.G.K. fan page on MySpace
Another B.G.K. fan page on MySpace

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