welcome to the blog for the reactionaries 1979 record on water under the bridge records.
photo by noel tamburovich-vuoso.
craig's idea for the first release was to document a 9-song practice tape of san pedro's first punk band (the reactionaries) that was recorded in george hurley's parents garage in 1979 (as a 7-inch) on the a-side and a b-side of 38 pedro-related musicians covering the same 9 songs. but first we had to get mike watt's permission and not only that but we had to see if it was possible for him to remember or transcribe the lyrics because you can't really understand what martin is singing on the tape. without the lyrics this record wasn't possible. here are some exchanges between craig and watt:
Subject: the reactionaries possible 7-inch.
Sunday, November 9, 2008 9:57 AM
me and (pedro) bob archer are thinking about starting a new record label with the money we make off of the new issue (12) of the rise and the fall. we wanted to see if we could put out the 9 songs from the reactionaries tape as the first release on a 7-inch. the idea is to put the original 9 songs on side a. on side b we want to do the same 9 songs, but with various members from different bands past and present from the town doing them. what we would do is put the names of the various members (interested) in a hat and pick them and the first 4 members picked would do one of the 9 songs and so on. i plan on asking rawl and kevin if they would be interested in doing the recordings at their home studio. i wanted to see if it was ok with you if we could go ahead and do this project first. if you are cool with it there is one thing that i was worried about is the lyrics. do you have these written down or is there any chance that you remember them? let me know what you think...
I don't think you could get all ten reactionaries songs on one side of a seven inch, craig. I'd be into it. I wrote all the music and the words to all but two - pretty lame but they were some of my first songs ever.
thank you for thinking of us.
on bass, watt
10 SONG 12-INCH
this 7-inch idea quickly turned into a 12-inch. we decided that we wanted to start with 500, 12-inch vinyl records for the first pressing. there is a website called corndogs.org that posts live and rare audio and video from various mike watt incarnations and mike watt sent them 9 songs from the reactionaries practice tape to post. that's how craig found out that the tape existed. we also found out that the song "tony gets wasted in pedro" was also part of the same reactionaries tape and was used on the minutemen the politics of time (sst records) record and that's why it wasn't on the corndogs site. so now, 9 songs turned into 10. (big thanks to sir demon brown and his corndogs.org site for the inspiration.)
JOINT RELEASE WITH 45 RPM RECORDS
after pondering if kid kevin would be up for doing the recording and how much it would cost, craig came up with an idea. craig talked with kid kevin and raul morales who have their own pedro based label called 45 rpm records and struck a deal with them. the deal was if they recorded the record for free that we would make it a water under the bridge / 45 rpm joint release and we would give them 100 of the first 500 records pressed. both sides were happy with the deal.
RECORDING / CALI MUCHO STUDIO
kid kevin has an 8-track analog home recording setup and recently recorded his band killer dreamer's latest record 1,000 years of servitude (razorcake/45 rpm) in his bedroom. kid came to the realization that it would be unfair for his girlfriend and roommate to deal with 38 different musicians coming in and out of his bedroom to record so he decided to take it to the basement. not long after his decision, the basement was transformed into a two room studio complete with window and control room in less than two months, thanks to bradley williams and friends. cali mucho studio was born.
flip video footage: craig ibarra
we couldn't believe it, mike watt eventually came through with the lyrics to all 10 songs. he said he had to listen to each song a million times to remember and figure them out. big thanks to watt for coming through. we couldn't have done this record without the words.
COVER ART / RECORD TITLE
victor gastelum mentioned to craig that he should ask joe baiza (saccharine trust) if he was up for doing the cover art. craig ran it past mike watt and watt said that he'd be honored to have baiza do it. baiza also did the minutemen buzz or howl under the influence of heat (sst records) cover art among many others. baiza agreed and he needed a title so craig came up with 1979. an easy pick since it was recorded in 1979.