Tuesday, December 13, 2011

THE EUROPEAN LIQUIDATORS - 'Why Don't You Shoot Me With Your Sex Pistol'

Angel Sound Studio acetate, 1977. (USA)

01 - Why Don't You Shoot Me With Your Sex Pistol

Matthew Simmons - vocals/guitar, Karl Tsigosdin - guitar, Rob Falk - bass, Deborah Frost - drums.

This record is the stuff of legends. I first saw it mentioned in Greg Shaw's book 'New Wave On Record - England & Europe 1975-78' where it was listed in the appendix of additions and late info. The fact that Shaw listed the record indicates that he believed the band were British. The same sparse info (only the band name and song title) was repeated in 'Volume' though unlike the vast majority of entries in B. George and Martha DeFoe's book there is no country of origin next to the artists name.

There's many a head-scratcher between the pages of both Shaw's book and 'Volume' - Bradley Previous, High Society etc. The European Liquidators were long thought to be another of those myths to give us collectors headaches many years later. It later turned out that The European Liquidators did exist and that they were American and not from the UK. As for the record, well, doubtful was the word on the street. Then a couple years ago one of the band's guitarists Karl Tsigosdin let me know that the record did indeed exist though not as a commercial release.

The European Liquidators were based in Cambridge, Massachusetts where band members were studying at Harvard University. Though the band never gigged they did do a lot of rehearsing. 'Why Don't You Shoot Me With Your Sex Pistol' was written by singer/lead guitarist Matthew Simmons as a reaction to the British punk bands who were beginning to make waves across the Atlantic. In early June 1977 while the Sex Pistols were threatening the top spot in the UK's singles chart with 'God Save The Queen' the European Liquidators recorded 'Why Don't You Shoot Me With Your Sex Pistol' and three acetate copies were made at Angel Sound Studios in New York.

One of these three acetates was recently discovered in a garage in Tennessee. How it got there is unknown but it does mean that we can now hear the thing thanks to the person who found it. The song is very much short and to the point, and is rather crude in it's delivery. It also includes a guitar solo that sounds like it should be somewhere else entirely. The sound of the record coupled with the band's origins means it's bordering on fake punk, but then there's nothing wrong with that.

Nothing to confirm on Matthew Simmons later life, but Karl Tsigosdin (or Tsigdinos as he seems to be known as) moved to Ireland after the record was recorded where he became a writer for Irish music paper Hot Press. He has since continued to work as a journalist and as a broadcaster on Irish radio. He also fronted a Top Gear type TV show for RTE.

Rob Falk played with a band called Supreme Pontiff between 1977 and 1979 before joining The Boom who released one rare punk single 'Nancy Packs A Piece' in 1981, a song inspired by a comment made by Ronald Reagen that his wife carried a pistol in her handbag for protection. The Boom 45 would later turn up on one of Chuck Warner's 'Homework' comps.

As a 16 year old in the early 70's, Deborah Frost was a drummer with all girl hard rock/pre-punk band Flaming Youth, a band who played the same Manhattan circuit as the early New York Dolls and Kiss. Following her stint at Harvard, like Tsigosdin she became a rock journalist writing for many publications like Village Voice and Rolling Stone and interviewing some of the biggest rock stars of the 80's and 90's. More recently Deborah played guitar in the band The Brain Surgeons which she formed with her husband Albert Bouchard, ex drummer with Blue Oyster Cult.


bristolboy said...

Great Post - Thanks!!

garychching said...

Great find James. Thanks again

Worthless Trash said...

Unfortunately not my find Gary. The person who did find it just pulled in $3,227.77 on eBay! Thought I'd share the background though.

Anonymous said...

This needs a proper reissue.

garychching said...

Whoooh $3,227.77 - that's a nice pay day.

Bradders said...

An official release is being worked on for 2012 with the band's approval. Watch this space!

Anonymous said...

Loved the story, it is just wonderful! A lost punk pearl refound... Thanks for the post!

Fred Peterson said...

I made even rarer Punk records on Angel Sound with The SPINES. from 1978 through 1980