So as many of you know, I’m going to be gone for the next month on tour with the Comedians of Comedy. However, I desperately want to update as much as I can and provide the T&G25 goodies I promised. So here we go…..
In 1987, I had just graduated high school and lived in southern Alabama. It wasn’t until 1989 when I lived in south central Pennsylvania that Scratch Acid became part of my lingo. As with many, living in the sticks (at least then, maybe not now) was a big limitation in knowing what was going on. Zines, mainly, kept me informed. Siltbreeze, Forced Exposure, Your Flesh and (obviously) Conflict were my crib sheets and hey, I was in college in the late 80’s. There wasn’t anywhere else to find out about anything. Except CMJ. But really, have they ever been tastemakers?
So where does Scratch Acid fit in this puzzle? They don’t really.
I found out about The Jesus Lizard’s first EP, and then as with everything else, I cross referenced back to find Scratch Acid. Lucky me. As many of you are well familiar with Scratch Acid, I’ll refrain from writing a review. However, I do think it imperative to mention that Touch & Go reissued of SA’s Rabit Cat releases along with Berzerker on The Greatest Gift CD back in the mid-90’s. Obviously, I hope that if you don’t own this, you’ll figure out a way to get it. Although they cribbed heavily off their influences (namely Birthday Party), I think I’d be hard pressed to think of a more impressive body of work for a bunch of yokels from Austin in the mid-80’s other than Big Boys, Dicks and the Butthole Surfers.
And so as luck (or perceived coincidence) had it, I was in Austin this past weekend and saw Scratch Acid’s first show in 20 years. As much as I like Emo’s, I really don’t like sweaty Texas venues in late summer. However, it didn’t take long for Scratch Acid to make me forget about how much I hate being wet and sticky. Starting off with "Mary Had A Little Drug Problem", the band didn’t really wow me as much as just make me really happy that I got to see one of their three shows. By the third song, Yow was leaning on the post in the center of the stage (seemingly) to catch his breath. You can’t fault the guy. He’s a bit out of practice. Brett flubbed a lot. However, Rey Washam and David Sims (probably the best rhythm section ever, other than maybe Sims and Mac McNeilly) didn’t miss a single beat. And I never get tired of seeing Sims on stage. He just held it down without so much as acknowledging the crowd. God, I love that sort of animosity. But anyway…..
The show got the better of me after the encore and I had to sit down and relax my legs. On the encore, Yow hoisted his body over the crowd and clocked the show in at around 50 minutes. A perfect set.
The recordings this time are from Scratch Acid’s 2nd to last show from back in 1987 in Pittsburgh at the infamous Electric Banana. This tape came to me straight from Damon Fitzgerald (neé Che) when he camped out at my house in Athens back in 1995 for a few weeks. God, time flies. The great b-side to this tape is Sonic Youth at the Banana the next nite. Ah, yes, those were the days.
Scratch Acid – Mary Had A Little Drug Problem (Pittsburgh ’87)
Scratch Acid – This Is Bliss (Pittsburgh ’87)
Scratch Acid – Skin Drips (Pittsburgh ’87)
Scratch Acid – Live (VPRO ’87)