Grupo: THE GRAVE DIGGERS
Título del disco: MOVE IT!
Año: 1989 / Edición: USA
Yeah, The Grave Diggers, baby!! 1st off, this site is maintained by Michael Kaiser, host of RadiOblivion: The Grave Diggers biggest fan... But, I DO have Jason Goodman sitting next to me right now! He's not too computer savvy, so I'll be doing the runnin' and he'll be doing the informing. So, without further ado... Jason, you talk and I'll type.
"I met Mike McCarthy back in the 5th grade and he was reading Skateboarding magazines and I was reminiscing about surfing on the island of Maui. The next year I met Wally Hersom, his next door neighbor and that summer I brought a box of records over to Wally's house. We were listening to a bunch of Surf, Rockabilly and Rock and Roll 45's and trying to stay out of trouble. That brought us up to Wally's upstairs room, where we started goofin' with some broken-down instruments: guitars, old drums... and a homemade Washtub Bass! So that was really the beginning of The Grave Diggers; all acoustic instruments until we got some "real" guitars and stand-up bass.
Let's see... After learning a handful of songs we started playing backyard parties around the Winter of '83 or Spring of '84. I'd say in the Fall of '84 we played a show at Radio City in Anaheim, CA. We got that show through either the Rockin' Rebels, or the Moon Dawgs... hard to remember that far back, man. We started playing around Los Angeles that next year; and Safari Sam's in Huntington Beach, CA. Then there was Raji's in 1986. Now, Quinn Millard went to the same Junior High School as we did, and he wasn't too far away from Mike and Wally... Just down the street a ways; skateboarding around on Mike's homemade skate-ramp. So, he was messing around upstairs in Wally's house with us. We pretty much decided that he would be the drummer!
In 1985 we recorded the "Monsters At Play" EP up in Wally's room. I had met Mark Lee Goodale at a record store that I had worked at a couple years earlier, and then met him again after Robert Williams' (Big Sandy) father told us about a guy selling records out of his house. So we went over there and got to talkin' with him about the band and wanting to put something out ourselves on our own label, or with his help through his label "Bobbette Records". So, the EP ended up on Bobbette Records. Will B. (AKA Stuart Middleton) helped out with those recordings; he was our roadie.
After we recorded those songs, we kept recording and messing around upstairs in Wally' room cum Recording Studio. We had a lot of musical influence from Tupelo Chain Sex, Levi Dexter, The Red Devils... bands that we could go and see quite often. And we started using older recording equipment (mics, recorders, etc.) to get a more "authentic" sound - just like Sanford Clark's "A Cheat" (that we're listening to right now - M.K.), or early Riverside Trio from London on Boz Boorer's Norwood Records LP; and of course the "Sin Alley" records that Tim Warren of Crypt Records gave me!
We were trying to put together enough recordings for an album - doing some recording at Tim Magg's (AKA Touch Hazard) studio in Fullerton, CA. Also, we were quite busy playing shows around the Southern California area! There were also side projects with Robert Williams - whom we had befriended a couple years earlier - doing recordings up in Wally's Room along with Gator. Wally and Quinn played and recorded with Eddie Reed as the "Blue Hearts". They also played with Mark Lee Goodale as "The Wolf Men" and "Rockin' Lee" on Bobbette Records; and backing-up Robert Williams as "The Rustin' Strings".
The Grave Diggers ended up getting quite a mixed following of fans/friends from playing 50's Punk and 60's Garage & Surf! We opened for, and played with, Tav Falco, The Untold Fables, Saddle Sores, Rockin' Rebels, James Intveld, The Red Devils, The Blazers, Eddie Nichols, Russell Scott, The Beguiled, Melvis & the Megatones, Bobbi Brat... man, and a whole lot more.
Eventually, Quinn left the band for a season and Will B. took his position; then Bobby Trimble became Will's "drum assistant". We did more recordings in the garage of Wally's grandmother in the the hills of Villa Park, CA. and kept busy playing shows until Tim Warren began asking for a Grave Diggers album. So, we sent him the pre-Wally-Phonic recordings and he said that they were "too clean" sounding! He wanted them more... RAW or raunchy sounding. Between that time Will B. was out and Quinn was back-in in order to do the Crypt Records "Bad Music Seminar", and to record the "Move It!" album at Coyote Studios in Brooklyn NY. We flew out there and played both nights with Thee Mighty Caesars - which both shows were recorded - and then the next day we recorded the album with Billy Childish at the knobs. Over 20 songs were recorded that day! After that, we probably played a handful of shows and then just went our separate ways..."
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