Monday, June 21, 2010
Freestone were a rock band who did a 'joke' 7" back in '77. Turns out the record is the fuckin nerd collector grail. Good shit I'll admit. Some-one just kicked out a more reasonably priced boot of the thing which is worth the 5 bones.... found this on some message board from one of the members..
O.K..... Freestone. In 1977, I was asked to come out to San Fransisco to hook up with my childhood buddies (Bobby Ronco and Drew Berlin) to see if we could get a record deal. I jumped at the chance! Having been in The New Society Band with Drew in the early 70's and Bobby being my best friend, I couldn't wait to get started and be with my good friends again! When I got there, it was fantastic! Free love, free sex, and free drugs! (Freestone) and lot's of music!
Being inspired by PUNK and me finishing my first of many installments in NYC with the SCREWS, Drew began working on a fast little ditty that he'd strum and sing for us casually and we'd always end up rolling on the floor with laughter! Bobby Ronco had written some great POP gems by now and Freestone set out to record them all. There was a little studio time left....so we recorded "Bummer Bitch" as a last minute joke! Along with "Church". Everything was captured in the first take! We did overdub the lead guitar break, pleading with our lead guitarist (Malcom Zane) to not tear it up during it. (and he could tear it up!) To let it be as simple and dumb (fitting the song) as possible. He just couldn't bring himself to play like that, so Drew stepped in and played the now famous 2 string, 1 note solo.
Freestone had established itself as a powerhouse of good musicians, songwriters, and showmen by 1978 with lots of great shows at The Golden Gate Park and downtown at the Mabuhi Gardens, the Fillmore West, and the Troubador in L.A.
It was now time to release a 45 rpm, 7 inch, vinyl record. The "Powers That Be" (our financial backers), preffered "Bummer Bitch" and "Church", so we went down to Los Angeles and pressed up around 2,000 copies. We purchased a half page add in the Bay Area Magazine (B.A.M.), distributed them everywhere and waited........ it took off! Richard Meltzer decared it the "Pick To Click of 1978" in B.A.M. Cyril Jordan, of the Flamin' Groovies (who also helped mix it) said that it reminded him of the Fugs.
The thing is..... is that it was a joke! We were making fun of the PUNK movement and it was taken seriously!
What was most ironic was that by 1979 "Power Pop" became the preffered genre and we had recorded many great "Power Pop" tunes but did not get to release them as 45's. So, thanks to the "Powers That Were" we missed our calling. Right place at the right time, wrong product!
Lou Adler was considering using it in the next "Cheech and Chong" film, (Up In Smoke) but it didn't get used. Seymore Stein, founder of "Sire Records" dropped by and showed interest in it but....never follwed up. Oliver Stone wanted to use it in a documentary a couple of years ago, but didn't.
"Bummer Bitch" becoming a cult classic and a very sought after collectors item, gives me a redeeming feeling, and it feels great to have been a part of our Rock and Roll history.
Me, Willie Braun (composer of "Church") and Freestone, wrote and performed a follow-up to "Bummer Bitch" called "Canine Corruptor", the chorus went like... "She's a Canine Corruptor, animal abductor, Canine Corruptor, God's creatures have all f!*#ed her!"... I wonder how THAT would have been accepted? had we recorded and released it. One just never knows!