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MP3 Benjamin Russell - Madman

Loud, fast, underground pop punk with intelligent but sometimes naive lyrics, from Montreal, recorded in 1979 with some serious attitude, remastered 2009.

16 MP3 Songs in this album (39:16) !
Related styles: Metal/Punk: Garage Punk, Pop: Pop Underground, Type: Lo-Fi

People who are interested in The Clash Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers XTC should consider this download.

Album originally recorded in 1979, remastered 2009


I was a folksinger. I had turned off the radio when corporate rock and disco took over the airwaves. I hated that stuff.
Elyce and I hid out in a highrise. I was writing a ton of songs. They weren’t folk songs. David said, “Those are rock songs. You should join a rock band.”

I thought, “Jeez, I don’t want to play Journey and Styx and Supertramp!” But I thought about what David said. Finally, I figured, “What the hell!” I opened the paper and found a band looking for a singer. They came over with a tape of the songs they were playing, all covers.

Yikes!!! I didn’t know rock could be this good! What was on the tape? Clash (Safe European Home, Tommy Gun), Ramones, Bowie, Tom Robinson, T Rex, The Jam.

I started practicing with Phil and Mike and Bob in the basement of the Legion Hall on Sherbrooke Street in an 8x10 foot cell under the stairs.

We broke out of the basement for a Jam at a school in Dorval. I had my AKAI and a couple of cheap mics. We recorded “Broken-Hearted Lovers” while the kids were playing basketball on the other side of the curtain. It’s the unlisted Bonus Track at the end of this CD. It is the only recording I have of The Strokes. (YEAH, I KNOW, but we had the name first even if that was the last day we played together.)

When The Strokes broke up, I stuck with Mike. Mike Bessette. What a drummer! He looked like a skinhead and played with drumsticks the sized of baseball bats. He hit the drums so hard the sticks would keep breaking all the time. He pretended to be a dumb “drummer” but Mike was smart and he knew everything about music.

Mike taught me to love the NAIVE! I wrote a ton more songs under the influence. Then we found Kevin and started practicing in his basement in Pointe-Claire. Kevin Farrington - incredibly talented! Played guitar coming from southern fried influences, but he got it! He knew what Mike and I were up to and he GOT IT!

We started auditioning bass players and went through a bunch of guys but none of them got it. One guy was pretty good, but when we stopped to talk, he told us, “I’m into junk and I don’t want any hassles.” He wasn’t THAT good… Mike got fed up and split. Kevin and I, with Brian on drums, recorded this album. Kevin played bass (and better than any of the guys we auditioned), and guitar, and sang backing vocals.

We broke up right after that. We never got out of Kevin’s basement.

… 1979

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