Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Notes from Underneathica





I did a fanzine as a teenager in the early 1980's, and was privileged to receive a number of records to review from the Subterranean label in San Francisco. This single has been a lasting favorite: for over 20 years, I have enjoyed its unique sound. I know very little about it, except that the music was performed by the duo of Johnny Glenn and David Herbert, and was produced by Tommy Tadlock (who worked with Tuxedomoon, and released a single of his own on Subterranean). A Google search for these names reveals nothing except a new band called The Ballad of Johnny Glenn. This 1981 single (Subterranean SUB 19, b/w "Ectomorphine") was the only release from Pre Fix.

The Subterranean compilation album Red Spot (SUB 15) was also released in 1981. The Woundz were the most rock-oriented of the bands included on this compilation. The singer sounds a bit like the singer for Pre Fix. I wonder if there is any connection between Pre Fix and any of the bands on Red Spot.

(This mp3 is a poor quality vinyl rip. I will try to improve the sound quality in the future. Sorry, smart boy wanted...) This first post is dedicated to my wife, who has put up with me and my record collection for 18 years.

Pre Fix: Underneathica

Woundz: Grey

10 Comments:

At 1/28/2006 8:18 AM , Blogger stevedomino said...

thanks for the link! enjoying what you've posted so far - by the way, when i rip mp3s from vinyl, i use Audacity, an open source program - it allows you to edit audio files and also increase the overall volume of tracks. Cheers.

 
At 1/28/2006 4:52 PM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Steve. I need to pump up the volume on these vinyl tracks. I've been enjoying Domino Rally for months; you post a great variety of music.

 
At 1/31/2006 2:46 PM , Anonymous peecat said...

Prefix is from Tucson, AZ and only released the one single, as far as I know. Johnny Glenn was the leader and his follow up band was, I believe, The Ballad of Johnny Glenn. Another band he formed was Johnny Angel but I don't believe there are any recordings available. He recorded one more single with yet another new band but I can't remember the name at the moment...

 
At 2/01/2006 10:10 AM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

So it is the same Johnny Glenn! Thanks! I may try to contact him to find out more about his discography. There was a strong connection between Frisco and Tucson at the Subterranean label.

 
At 8/02/2006 5:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the woundz (also wounds) were a san francisco band that later featured a flautist. I saw them opening for Echo and the Bunnymen way back when. Great band who would've been more popular if they'd been from NY or LA, but they were in San Francisco and didn't do much besides a 12" and the Red Spot compilation.

 
At 8/03/2006 7:47 AM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

Thanks for the info. I've often wondered why the SF punk scene has been underrated (and underdocumented) in comparison to LA's.

 
At 6/25/2008 10:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there, just bumped into your blog, two years down the line. The Underneathica sessions with PreFix were recorded at my house, a loft in SF's Tenderoin, much to the consternation of my roommates. I'd worked with Tommy Tadlock for a while, performing on his single and club dates, and acted as engineer for these sessions (basically just doing what Tommy told me to do). Tommy's initial interest in Prefix was lust, he wanted in Johnny's pants, but he became engaged by the band's primitive energy. Johnny played a Danelectro, David played a fretless Fender bass, propelled by a Boss Doctor Rhythm plugged into overdriven amps.
Tommy's recording engineering and producing techniques were learned in the early 60's pre-multitrack era; mike placement, everything recorded with pinned VU meters, mono. He combined this with his knowledge of electronics to produce some wild sounds, perfect for Prefix.
John Glenn was one of the strangest persons I have ever met, and I've had a lifetime's worth of strange persons (Tadlock's up there high on the list, RIP). He reentered my life in the nineties, briefly, with a new name, or pseudonym, and then was gone again. David was one of the gentlest people from an era of skeeves and hustlers.
Keep up the good work...

Ron Morgan

 
At 6/26/2008 10:36 AM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

Ron, thank you for the information about the recording of the PreFix single. Do you remember if any other songs were recorded besides "Underneathica" and "Ectomorphine"?

I got an email about a year ago from a French label that wanted to reissue the PreFix single, but I had to tell them that I didn't know how to contact Johnny or David.

I know that Tommy Tadlock also worked with Tuxedomoon and Factrix, two great SF bands of that era. (I have the Scheintot lp, and I recently got a copy of the Factrix 2cd anthology.) Thanks again for visiting my humble blog.

 
At 2/22/2009 5:46 PM , Blogger BB Church said...

I'm sorry it's taken so long to get back to you, I just noticed your comment on my comment. Subterranean Records still existed as a distribution house the last time I was in San Francisco (9/2006). My guess is that Steve Tupper, Sub's pres, still has the masters of the Prefix material. I recall Tadlock recording at least five, maybe six, songs during the sessions but I don't remember what they were titled.

 
At 12/16/2009 2:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pre Fix pic can be found here:

http://www.sledbag.com/splooft/bands_bd/scene.html

 

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