Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back in the DMZ

There were many mismatches between artist and producer in the early punk era. Circa 1977-78, did anyone really know how to record a punk band? The Clash allowed Sandy Pearlman (of Blue Oyster Cult) to produce their second album, and the Damned had Nick Mason (of Pink Floyd) produce their second LP. Speedy Keen (of Thunderclap Newman) turned LAMF into sonic muck for the Heartbreakers, and Jerry Nolan quit the band over it. Felix Pappalardi watered down the Dead Boys' second album, and David Bowie has been endlessly reviled by Stooges fans (and Iggy himself) for Bowie's production of Raw Power back in 1973.

So who decided that Flo and Eddie were a good fit for the garage punk band DMZ? Apparently Seymour Stein thought they would be happy together (ha). Sire Records first offered the job to Ed Hollis (the Hot Rods' producer), but Mono Man refused to work with any "Limeys". In the liner notes to the 2004 reissue of DMZ's 1978 debut, Mono Man blames the LP's sound on the studio engineer, rather than Flo and Eddie ("Stop ragging on Mark and Howard, already").

I recently read that the original lineup of DMZ (including guitarists JJ Rassler and Peter Greenberg) will reunite on October 23rd 2008 at the Church in Boston, plus a NYC show. Wish I could be there!

DMZ: Don't Jump Me Mother


At 9/20/2008 11:07 AM , Blogger Nazz Nomad said...

I disagree about your statement re: Sandy Pearlman and The Clash's "Give Em Enough Rope". I think the Clash never sounder better. There's a huge rock sound on that album that really brings out the guitars. I have heard the demo's of this album and they are really improved by the production on the final version.

At 9/20/2008 8:22 PM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

You're right, the guitars sound great. I didn't mean that it was poorly produced, only that it was a mismatch. The Clash didn't want Sandy Pearlman (one of their roadies physically assaulted him the first time he went backstage to say hello). He was forced on them by CBS. He did a good job, but Guy Stevens did an even better job on London Calling. I think that was the first time the Clash got to choose their own producer.


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