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Friday, January 25, 2013

The 30th Anniversary of the Genrics LIVE!

Well, today we are going to do something a little (lot) different...a true friend of the blog, Sean Smith by name, sent to me a recording of a band he played in in the early 1980's, The Generics (Actually form MAINE, I once tried to do a "Bands By States" thing, and I don't remember if I ever DID think of anything for Maine).....anyway, he asked me to give it a listen, and give my honest opinion of honest opinion is it sounds like maybe 5000 OTHER bar-bands I've heard, and that is NOT a bad thing. Bar bands fucking rule. These guys do a lot of expected material ("Gloria", "Break On Through", "Steppin' Stone", lots more, the highlight , I think, is a frantic "Shakin All Over".....the musicianship is pretty tight, the vocals, well........well, the musicianship is pretty tight. I've listened to it a couple times today, and can imagine myself passing out at one of their shows at a local club in 1980 if I had ever been to Maine of listen to it if you want, or don't, likely Sean doesn't care and I know for SURE I don' why am I posting it? Here are my reasons. First of all he ASKED me to......if he wants some other folks to hear some shit he was playing 30 years ago, what OTHER option does he have? Secondly, I hope MORE of you guys send me shit like this, old OR new, and we will put you up there for the blogging world to check out......I've already featured my current favorite bar band SAMAX a few times on here, and hopefully gotten them at least a dab of exposure. And, frankly, I would rather post 1000 discs of The Generics than a single disc of whine-babies like Green Day or Corrosion of Conformity who seem only to care if the "meter is running" when you listen to their shit. Music for the joy of making music, anytime at all, we'll put up here, like I HAVE TO say so often, FIGHT THE FUCKING POWER.

Sean also sent me a "history" of his band, the members, song titles, etc, and I am going to copy/paste it word for word.........Take it away Sean!

The Generics were a garage rock band I was in from late 1983 until mid-1984. Not as far back

as the golden age of garage music, nor recent enough to be part of the late-
80’s revival scene

(we weren’t
Thee Generics). There may have been some other American bands (Chesterfield

Kings, Fuzztones)
in ‘83-84 with similar ethos, but at the time we weren’t aware of anyone else

sounding even remotely like we did.

In late summer 1983, my brother Matt told me there was a jam session going on in his

classmate Lou’s basement
. Matt wasn’t much impressed by their guitarist, so he pressed me to

go over and intrude. I showed up with my Les Paul and Peavey amp, and things seemed to click

right away. The drummer Andy, only 16, had some truly amazing chops. Larry, the bass player

we persuaded to join later, was firmly rooted in jazz (I still hold the opinion that jazz players

make the best rock bassists if you can persuade them to put a lid on their meanderings). Lou

was the default singer, still at a very early stage of using his voice as an instrument and

constantly improving over time. He owned the P.A. and we continued to practice at his

parents’ house
, until we somehow convinced the high school music department to let us use

the auditorium stage on weekends.

The oldest member at 21, I had already played paying gigs for a couple years in a punk/powerpop

band, The Detours, so I was sort of the rock veteran. I was also now at a point of trying to

expand my playing beyond my roots, into Cream, early Jeff Beck
and “Live at Leeds” territory.

But I had no desire to lose the punk energy level, and for the time being had three accomplices

who were willing to ignore what was usually expected of a covers band in 1983. No Van Halen,

no Foreigner, no Eye of the fucking Tiger
…our sound wasn’t commercially-friendly and that’s

how we liked it. A lot of Who comparisons were made and that was fine by us. Our music also

sounded bluesy in a late-
60’s, menacing hard-rock way. To small-town Maine audiences it

probably sounded like we stepped out of a time machine.

Our live set consisted mostly of amped-up covers of 60s classics, except for a few then-current

AOR hits.
“Eminence Front”, then on the radio a lot, actually sounded non-Who-like in our

hands, and had a real proto-grunge sound several years before Dinosaur Jr. Our J.J. Cale-esque

take on
The Pretenders’ “My City Was Gone” was the only instance ever of our toning a cover

down rather than blowing it up. But most of our setlist was comprised of older classic rock, and

could best be described by three words heard frequently from our audience members
: “OWW,

At the time I was sort of a purist who didn’t want any guitar pedals, even a

fuzzbox. I preferred instead to turn my amp way up à la Townshend and try for the best

possible outcome. The other guys had no choice but to compete with my volume level in order

to be heard.

So here, 30 years later, presented for the first time are the Generics and their live wall of sound,

including v
ersions of “Shakin’ All Over”, “Gloria” and “Steppin’ Stone” that could stomp just

about any other garage band’s versions
. Here are feedback-laced blues bashings of Clapton’s

hippie anthem “The Core” and CCRs hoary Keep on Chooglin’”, on which I play my own

invention, the
breaking glass chord. Our one original, “Generics Jam Blues” (then considered

unnamable by us, for some reason), was our most technically proficient song. Audiences

seemed to love it. Also included is our failed first attempt
at “Johnny B. Goode”, my sole lead

vocal turn that, once we worked it out, allowed me on a couple of memorable occasions to preenact

famous scene in “Back to the Future” two years before anyone heard of Marty McFly.

Like I said, we had a time machine.

Please note: these tracks
aren’t sequenced like a modern CD, but more like a traditional album.

ou won’t necessarily hear the best songs first, but the music flows better as a whole.

I make no claims for
The Generics’ significance in rock history (I know we really had none) but I

can safely say we were anything
but generic. We weren’t about money and we definitely

weren’t afraid to take chances.
Our audiences were incredibly open-minded and enthusiastic.

Special thanks to all those kids who got drunk at our shows and woke up the next day with

splitting earaches.

Sean Smith

January 23, 2013


THE GENERICS: Sean Smith - lead guitar & l
ead vocals (on “Johnny B. Goode”); Lou Morin - lead

vocals & tambourine; Larry Williams - bass guitar & vocals; Andy Cloutier

1. Eminence Front

2. Break on Through (to the Other Side)/Gloria
(Doors/Van Morrison)

3. Johnny B. Goode/Frying of the Amps

4. Shakin’ All Over

5. Stage Introduction

6. (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone

7. The Core

8. My City Was Gone

9. Sunshine of Your Love

10. Generics Jam Blues

11. Roadhouse Blues (Ending)

Keep on Chooglin’ (Fogerty)

13. Moby Dick

14. Crossroads [sound check]
(Johnson; arr. Cream)

15. Barney Miller Theme [sound check]

Tracks 1-4 recorded
at Lou Morin’s parents’ living room, Skowhegan, Maine in Dec. 1983

Tracks 5-15 recorded at The Barn at Eaton Mountain, Skowhegan, Maine on 4-21-84

Source for tracks 1-4: 2
nd gen. cassette, mono miked boombox

Source for tracks 5-15: 2nd gen. cassette, narrow-stereo soundboard


Sean also requested that I include his contact information, and here it be:
contact Sean Smith @” so he can get all his hate mail "directly....

I REALLY want to know what you guys think of this. I'd LOVE to amature, bar bands, new and old, on this blog, LOVE to, listening to that stuff is REAL LIFE, listening to blowhards like Corrosion of Conformity is phony, ANTI-rock n roll.......and we know, ROCK N ROLL is FOR REAL

I have no artwork for this post, so I will simply do what I ususally do in such a situation and put a series of hot-ass bitches out there for your (mostly MY) pleasure!



  2. I agree with Scott's point. All you have to do now is buy the right clothes, have the right hair, some bitchin tattoos and you're a bona fide rock star. Doesn't matter if your music sucks or is a knock off of Nickelback knocking off Limp Bizkit knocking off Korn. Shit sells.
    I love bar bands if they're not just going thru the motions and the Generics sounded pretty inspired. In the UK pub rock gets some of its due respect, here in the USA not so much. People should get up of their asses & see more live music.

  3. In response to a couple of people, I have this in lossless and it's much clearer-sounding than the 320 conversion I sent to Scott. Anyone who wants it, drop me an email and I'll send you the links.

    I'd also like to thank Scott for his generosity in posting this. He offered months ago to post another vintage band I was in (The Detours) but I couldn't dig up enough recordings so I counter-offered this instead, which he accepted. Thanks Scott!

  4. Actually I like this version Keep On Chooglin better than Creedence's, it's probably the best thing on their "album". Gotta love their influences, I think I even hear some Stooges in with all the Who, etc. And I don't believe their singer really bad, just a few obvious mistakes, NOT ALL ROCK SINGERS CAN ACTUALLY "SING" THAT WELL... case in point, Lou Reed, Dylan, etc. Very nice work guys,