1318 4th Ave. - An Aural History, Vol. 2

Because of the overwhelming guilt I’ve felt for my lack of recent contributions, I decided to prematurely unleash the second volume in the “1318 4th Ave.” series for the readers of this blog site.

I would like to clarify, however, that these playlists merely feature a sample of the bands and artists that performed at either Gumby’s and/or Drop Shop during the years 1990 to 1998, and is not meant to be all-inclusive.

What I have decided to do is present these playlists chronologically, to some degree, in the order in which the artists appeared at either venue.

With that said, quite obviously, the previous volume featured those whom performed at Gumby’s during the years 1991-1993.

This next volume picks up where that one left off, literally, as the first band featured, Control Freak, actually served as support to the previous volume’s last act, Die Monster Die, in November 1993.

Also, moving forward, I will attempt to offer my take on some of the artists featured on each particular playlist, while including the dates when they performed.

Lexington’s Control Freak, whom I had the privilege of seeing live just once (and still have the t-shirt hanging in my closet to prove it), was a short-lived band led by former Black Cat Bone guitarist/vocalist Dave Angstrom and also featured Guru Lovechild drummer Chuck Nicholas, as well as bassist/vocalist Will Pieratt and guitarist Elwood, both of Abusement Park (who will be featured on volume three).

Stranglmartin was a contemporary of both Black Cat Bone and Control Freak, and fronted by David Butler, who also owned and operated The Wrocklage, a Lexington venue that served as inspiration for Gumby’s. The band also appeared at the same show I witnessed with Control Freak, but also performed at Gumby’s in February 1994.

The band that can lay claim to having appeared most frequently at Gumby’s and Drop Shop would, undoubtedly, be Huntington’s Chum, with 18 documented performances. I have written extensively about Chum and, at the band’s behest, penned their biography some time ago. That bio can be found at the following link: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=2361831622#!/group.php?gid=372007439759&v=info

Huntington’s Fuzzbucket was also a short-lived union of guitarist/vocalist Kevin Allison (later of The Heptanes and Red Carpet Bombers), bassist/vocalist Joel Hatfield, drummer Alex Kendall (also a member of The Heptanes) and guitarist/vocalist Tyler Massey. The band appeared at Gumby’s in April 1994, but had some of their most memorable performances at Calamity Café.

West Virginia’s adopted sons Clutch made their inaugural jaunt to Huntington when they performed at Gumby’s in July 1994. Although the band would perform nearly a dozen more shows in town in the years that followed, the reckless self-abandon on display at that initial performance has often been cited as their best.

Many people like to lay claim to the fact that they were at the original Woodstock when, in fact, they were not. If one such Huntington show has earned a similar distinction it would have to be the August 1994 Gumby’s performance by Kyuss. For the record, no, I was not there. Truthfully, I wasn’t even a fan of the band at the time. Like so many others, it took a few years to convince this hard-headed listener of their importance. A wise man once said “regrets, I’ve had a few.”

Morgantown’s Karma To Burn was still trying to find its identity when they first appeared at Gumby’s in February 1994, but they had already established their now-instantly recognizable instrumental prowess when they opened for Kyuss. The band would later credit Gumby’s and Huntington as an integral component to their eventual, worldwide success.

The remaining artists on this volume and their history with Gumby’s:

  • Brainiac performed with Huntington’s Electric Lullaby in February 1994.
  • Craw appeared with Torque and The Econothugs in April 1994.
  • Ed Hall headlined a show which also featured Chum in April 1994.
  • Black Market Flowers and Dandelion performed in May 1994.
  • Eek-A-Mouse also appeared in May 1994.
  • Crowbar, with support from Verga and Chum, performed in May 1994.
  • Sam Black Church opened the Clutch show in July 1994.
  • Souls At Zero headlined the venue in July 1994.
  • Christian Death and The Electric Hellfire Club appeared together in August 1994.
  • Buzzov*en topped a bill which included The Melts and Chum in August 1994.

--- email Justin at:


Anonymous said...

Not sure where much of this information came from . . but there are as many incorrect details as there are correct ones.

Karma to Burn played their first show at Gumby's in March of 93. They never opened for Kyuss in Huntington. That bill was Stompbox, then Type O Negative . . . followed by Kyuss. Although John Garcia of Kyuss did later perform a show fronting for KTB.

There never was a bill consisting of Econothugs, Craw, Torque. Torque opened for AMREP's Today is the Day and KTB. And Torque drummer Ted had overdosed on Chicago heroin before Econothugs ever blackened Gumby's stage.

Buzzoven played on a Monday with Chum opening. The Melts played a week prior.

I could go on but it's been a while since anyone sought my opinion.

- Barlow

WVRockscene! said...

I'm surprised (as are others) that Justin remembers as many details as he does about shows from so long ago.

That there would be a few details that get mixed up or forgotten over the many years since this time period wouldn't surprise anyone.

But the main thing -- and the reason for this series -- is to just remember and try to document this time period that pre-dated the internet and give a home to people who care enough to write about it.

Justin's done a great job with this and it's no shame to say it's probably one of, if not the, coolest things on the blog here.

If this is the Barlow I'm thinking of you might remember me -- I was the one with the theremin, groovebox and bullhorn that wrote for Hotface for a while.

And if Justin's like me (who doesn't have nearly as much to offer from this time period) he'd rather have someone constructively correct him than just leave something up that might be wrong.