When asked to write an ejaculatory fan boy blast, straight from my hot wired little heart, about a combo from SF known as Crime, I immediately harken back to the beginning..... the genesis of my irreverent worship of all things related to this mysterious foursome. My first exposure to these cats came no doubt courtesy of Slash and/or Search and Destroy, Socal and Nocal media stalwarts, from whence I satisfied my long distance romance with all things West Coast. It was after all the dark ages of communications, prior to the invention of that vast series of tubes known as the Internet.
“...Properly tuned guitars are overrated.. nothing reeks more of we don't give a fuck than an outa tune axe.”
Upon first blush and BEFORE I WAS EVEN CLOSE TO ACTUALLY HEARING THE BAND (thats right Weenbags.. you used to have to drive hours, write letters, send $2 and wait weeks, and really seek out this new music.. before it was just handed over to you on a silver laptop) I was struck by the imagery... 4 pouting quaffed boy toys in pancake makeup sneering out from the 2ND 7”.. oh I was struck all right.. intrigued, enthralled and just plain curious as to what these weirdos sounded like, and the quest was on to locate these first 2 45s. Already hard to find in 1980 but I had to have em.. Via tiny chicken scratched ads in my zine and others it wasn’t long before they were pony expressed to my turntable.. The jangly, discordant, and outa tune riff of "Hot Wire My Heart" sealed the deal I was in love LUV. (I know it's getting weird but read on.) Crime were the poster boys for less is more, and that song is a wondrous train wreck coming apart at the couplers.. as it careens along... rhythm section catching up with the vocals and then falling apart again, only to crash back together for the big finish. On dish #2 ‘Murder By Guitar’ sports a grind that still ensnares you into their web of deathly delights.. once again out of tune.. and satisfyingly so.. properly tuned guitars are overrated.. nothing reeks more of we don't give a fuck than an outa tune axe.
Those first 2 platters are seminal.. and as close to perfect records as any 2 in my collection.. and even the later Gangster Funk/Maserati 45 is great.. yea thats right you fingered it out Einstein = I dig Crime. I gushed and rambled and sang it from the rooftops, to the guy at the gas station, to my mom who didn't care, mumbling about the wonders of this band to anyone who would listen.. These guys out junkie rock the Dolls for Satan's sake.. and out imaged every other band on the planet, and out postered everyone in the indie rock world, and even played a godamn prison.
They famously didn’t consider themselves punks.. they called themselves "America’s First and Only Rock N Roll Band" but were borne of a time when they had no choice.. they were punk.
“So put a fork in me.. I'm done.. It's Crime Time peckerwoods.”
I remember the day the phone rang at Barry Henssler’s house and it was drummer Hank Rank who had seen one of my "Crime Wanted" ads and tracked me down and wanted to sell me a footlocker loaded with Crime swag.. Posters, 45’s etc.. he wanted $600 for all of it.. It might as well have been 6 Mill.. I didn't have it.. To this day I regret not begging borrowing and stealing to come up with the dough.... the irony.. resorting to crime to buy a big box of Crime.. but alas I didn't.. pussy.
I think y'all are catching on that Crime can do no wrong in this Klondikes Book of Rock.. I have everything they’ve ever done in duplicate, triplicate and quadruplicate.. even a 45 signed by Frankie and Johnny.. so put a fork in me.. I'm done.. It's Crime Time peckerwoods.. It's not too late to awaken your musical sensibilities and crowbar open your wallets and check out this tasty new Crime box set!
Do it Dillholes