CA | Punk/Hardcore
Angry Samoans LINEUPS FAQ: Arkansas refugees and Univ of Texas at Austin graduates (four years apart), Saunders brothers Mike and Kevin founded this bunch of malcontents in Summer 1978, in the large garage/practice space/crash pad (Kevin's) at 14922 Basset Street, Van Nuys, California, where Mike and three other guys (including Dave Roeder of excellent LA power-pop band the Tremors on Bomp Records) lived up in the main house... For the in-depth full story of the "official band meeting" where the band was named shortly before its first gig (on October 31, 1978, opening for Roky Erickson and the Aliens at the Rodeo Theatre; the second gig being the next night, a Sunday SF Mabuhay all-LA bill of Shock/The Zeros/Angry Samoans), see guitarist Kevin's recounting and other highlights/lowlights of the band's nutty first year on http://www.angrysamoans.com/.
Bill Vockeroth joined on drums on a Saturday afternoon in August 1978, and has played every gig (save only one in summer 1985) for the band since. In 1996 he was given additional singing duties and, a la classic Toxic Reasons, gets out front and sings about five songs during the middle of every gig (with VOM drummer Mike switching off in reverse).
Todd Homer joined about two hours later the same day on bass, August 1978, and played ten full years of gigs through our first 924 Gilman St. gig, December 1988. He subsequently recorded/released about five albums with Larry Robinson, as 60's-psych act Mooseheart Faith, all recommended.
Todd was then replaced for three years, 1989 - 1991, by bassist Heith Seifert.
Gregg Turner (like Mike an ex-VOM member, co-vocals in GT's case) was standing around the day Bill and Todd signed up and "jammed" with Kevin and Mike on "Two Tub Man" and "I'm In Love With Your Mom." "What's he do?" "We're not sure." "Huh?" "What do you mean, huh?" "Huh?" He wound up singing some, like in VOM, and once he learned guitar was immediately pressed into duty as a guitarist starting in early 1980 (for the last six songs of any set, Mike ditching axe and switching formation to lead singer proper) and taking over as second guitarist permanently for eleven years upon Mike's depature in July 1980.
Gregg played all Samoans gigs (except when he was sick) through December 1991 (after which the band lasped into one of their many short vacations/hiatuses from regular gigging, except it became the longest one by far). He disappeared from the state of Califonnia a little more than a year later, with no forwarding address or phone number furnished to this day. He has recorded/released three albums since then, as the Mistaken and then as the Blood Drained Cows.
Mike quit after just two years, in July 1980, when he got a big job promotion and relocated 400 miles northward to Hayward Vesper Hospital job's town of Hayward, CA (about 10 miles south of Oakland...ie in the EAST BAY, as in Creedence Clearwater, 924 Gilman St, and Green Day. We're trying to forget about Rancid), where he lives to this day (some two addresses later, all rent control).
Mike was replaced from late 1980 through summer 1981 by Jeff Dahl (on lead vocals), who lasted almost a year (through the peak of the band's "blacklisting" at all LA venues that were within about 20 miles of Hollywood, due to power-mad-vermin-impersonating-a-bad-DJ Rodney Bingenheimer's quite serious attempt to exterminate the Samoans (starting in late 1979 with a threatened lawsuit of "$500,000 in punitive damages," followed by other threatened lawsuits, all of which were used as xerox fodder to make gig fliers). Seems the world's worst DJ was pissed because the band had apparently implied that the great one was a "pathetic male queer" and a pedophile (?? the two accusations are contradictory--and this from a band with THREE college graduates, in late 1978) in the tune "Get Off The Air," so he had X's lawyer Jay Jenkins threaten to have the first Samoans EP "injoined and taken off the market" if they dared to record this peaen to Hollywood's most famous male groupie. In reality, all he (Rodney) could do was strong arm Lee Ving's producer credits into removal (he had already temporarily blacklisted Fear in 1978 when Lee goofed on him in a 1977 Slash Magazine interview right after the release of Fear's "Now You're Dead" 45) for ten years until the album's resissue on Triple X Records. Yes, it is a true Hollywood urban legend that during that most unpleasant year of 1981, nefarious scammer Cookoo's Nest/Costa Mesa club owner Jerry Roach sent the Angry Samoans' $100 gig fee (after playing a second-billed slot to TSOL) to Rodney, as a "peace offering."
Anyway, Jeff Dahl found out that playing in the Angry Samoans in 1981 was about as pleasant as having your head pounded with a double-sized hammer each morning upon awakening, and left sometime before or after Labor Day, 1981.
Mike rejoined (on vocals only, until 1989 when the band reconfigured to a four piece, to this day) in December 1981 for reasons that make no sense to anyone including himself--since he lives 400 miles away from Los Angeles. Basically it was to help get the half-finished BACK FROM SAMOA album finished (only seven of the fourteen tracks that were finally used had been recorded, and only three of them had vocals on them, contrary to Gregg Turner's bullshit stories about that album, oh wait that's anything delusional numbskull Turner's word-vomit back-spews concerning anything factual...to this day Phd Bonehead thinks/tells interviewers the 800 bodies at the Boston Channel gig April 1983 were 2,000! and this nimrod's a MATH PHd!), and then ehh one thing led to another. right, a sane person would've just taken their songs with them, reformed a up-to-standard Mach 2 lineup of the band in their East Bay backyard, and not had to travel 800+ miles roundtrip to every gig for the last 25+ years.
Founding guitarist Kevin Saunders left in July 1979 to go to grad school at Cornell University (and let it be noted that Harlan Hollander of the Tremors filled in for four gigs, and that X-8 of Flipside fanzine was one of the early Summer 1979 auditionees for the guitar job). Kevin was replaced in September 1979 by P.J. Galligan from Ventura (and formerly of unrecorded punk circuit band the T.U.M.O.R.S), whom at that point in time was possibly one of the five best punk rock rhythm guitarists on planet earth (two of the others quite definitely being Greg Hetson and Greg Ginn). PJ lasted until Fall 1984, whereupon he was replaced on lead guitar by Steve Drojensky (formerly of RF7). Steve likewise lasted five years. He later played in all kinds of bands (including Fifi on Triple X Records).
Remaining original members Bill and Mike considered doing Lee Michaels/Frosty type gigs as a two piece in 1993 (when Gregg Turner's phone turned up dead, with no forwarding address), but this was about eight years before the White Stripes so nothing of this type transpired (during years 1993 - 1995). And the White Stripes are lame, so why would we wanta do that anyway? Oh wait--Lee Michaels/Frosty. (who at least rocked a little).
In Spring 1996, Alison Victor (formerly of the Guttersluts, and SF Gargoyles, and later AC/DShe) joined on lead guitar (and East Bay local and former Chabot College 3rd string varsity quarterback Mark Byrne, formerly in 924 Gilman punk band AK-47, joined as 5th Wheel guitarist/MC/bunny thrower) for two and a half years of gigs through September 1998.
Bassist Julia Altstatt (also from the SF Gargoyles) played the "northern california" lineup's first gig at UC Davis in May 1996, then moved back east to Washington, D.C. Mike Alvirez of Oppressed Logic filled in for six months, followed by Adrianne Harmon from Vancouver, Canada, who came down for the first six months of 1997 gigs. Tony Palmer (also from the SF Gargoyles final lineup, with Alison) played bass in 1998 at the final gigs of the Bill/Mike Alison/Mark "northern california" lineup (which gigged at every all-ages small town/venue within 200 miles of the Bay Area, including Oakhurst, Gilroy, Turlock, and even Sonora out near Yosemite Park).
In October 1998, Jonathan Hall on lead guitar (formerly of the Porno Sponges on Jem/PVC Records, then later on many recordings with the Kings of Oblivion and Backbiter) and bassist Heith Seifert (see above, the 1989 - 1991 bassist replacing original member Todd Homer) joined up for five years of Southern California (and occasionally elsewhere) gigs, up through the band's first European trip ever ( = germans like California punk rock much, and yes the crowds in the homeland were BIG) in June 2003.
Dave Teague and Rick Dasher from the Dickies started playing our gigs on lead guitar and bass in November 2003, and it was an honor just playing on the same stage as them. Those two guys smoke! (musically) ( = kick ass). Dave quit playing guitar in any bands except his own in late summer 2005, so Jonathan Hall came back/filled in for five months until the next semi-permanent angry samoans 1st guitarist was recruited (there've been seven now). Rick played six years of gigs until mid-2009, when his position was turned over to the younger generation of under-30 angry samoans members, bass player mr Matthew Vicknair.
Kevin Joseph joined in February 2006 as the closest thing to a fascimile (musically) of guitar 1981 rhythm-shredder PJ that we'd had since then, and played four years' of badass gigs until he got marrrieed and had to move to Sacramento. His replacement since Jan 2010 and counting: bassist Matt's schecter-guitars work buddy Colin Aflin. Non math-PHDs please note: if you add matt and colin's ages together you get one metal mike!
Except for Tony Conn (who is impossible to explain) in Oct 1978, and some guy named Scott who played bass for a few gigs in 1979 before Heath Siefert showed up, that would account for every live body who has ever played a Samoans gig--oops, except for Mark Aber from Aggression who played drums at two gigs in Summer 1985 (Bill had quit for a year after a big fight with bassist Todd, then came back). And some fake "Angry Samoans" gig that Gregg Turner played in Santa Fe, New Mexico (where he was teaching college calculus to non-math majors, we were told) during the late 90's with local musicians (we will pay top price for a board tape, video, or even detailed description!).
The band never "broke up," contrary to nonsense from the toiner faction-of-one (who didn't even quit, the chump disappeared without notice or a forwarding address). Me and Bill just didn't feel like doing a Lee Michaels and Frosty routine. We sure could've. But for some strange reason, "Gas Chamber" sounds better with four guys instead of two.
pun ---metal mike, hayward, california / december 2003 (and later updates) from Myspace page 192503 here, posted up DEC 2003 yep ground zero of this new netwoiking world
Tired of bands with gimmicks like trying to please their audience or getting a crowd into some shit hole club so the owners can sell their overpriced watered down crap to the sheep, Pop Gestapo was formed to send punk back to the bad old days. We want club owners to ban "punk" bands for the very mention of said genre again. We want radio directors to force DJs to start calling it New Wave again. We want rednecks beating up every jerk with a mohawk while screaming "Hey Devo" so the kids can have a sense of pride. We want every stupid metal head in a hoodie getting called "faggot" at their high school so they can know the true meaning of "punk". We want Yoo-Hoo and Chocodiles while we watch this planet burn!!!!!!!