Demo – 1983
The summer of 1983 was an eye-opener for me, musically. I was living in the Washington, D.C. area, and had been going to see locals like Minor Threat and Government Issue for a couple of years. In 1983, though, a new club named Oscar's Eye opened in D.C. It was a tiny room a couple of floors up from a gay bar. There was a stage at one end where, allegedly, they sometimes had drag shows. Hardcore bands played there, but also bands on the musical fringes played there. Touring bands like Your Food and oddball, abrasive locals like No Trend and Nuclear Crayons.
And Man Ray
I thought they were amazing. They were hypnotic, dark, and the soloing from the guitarist, Neil, and multi-instrumentalist, Eley, was anarchic and free. I mean, what they played sounded random but also perfect. I'd already been enjoying playing of that nature on a couple of songs by Bill Nelson's Red Noise and New Zealand's Split Enz, so it's not too surprising that I loved it. I was also heavily into Flipper at the time, and still am to this day.
I mentioned the guitarist was named Neil, yes? His last name was Hagerty. After Man Ray split, I saw him play with his new band Jet Boys of the N.W., opening for the always amazing Half Japanese. Not too long after, there was this new local band in town called Pussy Galore. I can't say I was a fan, but then, all of a sudden, there was Neil playing with them . . . and they rocked!
After PG split, Neil went on to co-lead Royal Trux with Jennifer Herrema. After they split, he went the solo route for a few records, then started a new combo, The Howling Hex. It's all good.
Jennifer's new band, btw, is RTX, and I may feature them here, too, as I was lucky enough to snag one of the 200 copies of the 7" single with their cover of Pentagram's