Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Part Two: How Slickees Meet Flies... OR.... Who Is This Martin Guy Anyway?
When we last left our heroes, (below in yesterday's posting) they were still operating out of various bedrooms scattered across the DC area, but Martin wanted to get their sound recorded. Marshall remembers:
He had this whole concept. He was changing his name to Kim Kane for the record, and the band would be called The Slickee Boys. Martin grew up on a base in Korea, and "slickee boys" were street punks that sold the GIs black market items. He played us a few obscure 1960s punk songs that we learned. He gave me chords to a song he was trying to write. I added a bunch of lead guitar to it. He gave Martha three times as many lyrics as were needed, and she chopped them down to fit. "Hands slide down snakes, a curling black-eyed sweetness, we're in a mandarin red-veiled dream." I had an instrumental version of "Exodus" I was working on. The record was called Hot and Cool. We went in a studio, and actually recorded it. He took care of all the art work and printing, and we actually put it out. I was shocked!
Getting the outfits for the cover photo started us all on a lifelong fascination with thrift stores. It matched the music. We were playing music that no one wanted anymore, just like the clothes in the Good Will. Recycling to the max.
Meanwhile, those three lost beatnik boys of Bethesda had moved into a group house in Wheaton. It was 1976, and something happened that changed everything according to Joe Dolan:
Somehow we came into possession of a "NY ROCKER" magazine which featured a pictorial of the NYC punk scene. Well, that was it. It was like a revelation from God above. Out came the real amps and drum kits. We were possessed, we were going to be punk rockers ( I couldn't play the electric guitar for shit, but I wasn't going to let that stop me). We spent the next few years playing the usual basement, garage, friend's party etc., but we never played at real rock clubs because we didn't think we were good enough. Then somehow by the grace of the rock gods, we were invited to play at DC Space.
We were playing with Black Market Baby. The place was packed; it seemed like anyone who was anyone in the DC music scene was there. When we got up to play our set, I had my shades on. After a few numbers I took them off and the audience started shouting " put the shades back on" ( that's how the shade thing got started). After we finished playing, Skip Groff came up to talk to us. He told us we would be perfect with The Slickee Boys, so we gave him our number. Lo and behold, a few days later Kim Kane called us and invited us to play with them at the Psychedelly in Bethesda. The rest is history, I've long since lost track of how many times we've played with them, but the excitement has never left.
Get over to the Surf Club tomorrow night and you can catch the excitement yourself in a rare reunion of both The Beatnik Flies and The Slickee Boys. Get there early and check out Prabir. The show starts at 9 p.m. Don't miss it.
P.S. And TONIGHT another legendary band comes back to life- The Rosslyn Mountain Boys
are at El Boqueron II in Rockville. (And I can't help using the word legend. It's not an exaggeration- this town has quite a few.)