Bush Tetras
Knitting Factory NYC
Nov 22 2006
sponsored by
WWWhatsup Online Pinstand
with thanks to Knitting Factory and ROIR

'You can't be funky..'

The first time I visited NYC, in 1980, the Bush Tetras were just about the hottest band going in the city. They had a corner on the rhythm and noise style of the day, plus three of them were attractive girls. Emerging out of the Ze Records punk/disco explosion, they were formed by Pat Place, the former guitarist with The Contortions/James White & The Blacks. The single 'Too Many Creeps' was already a hit, the fledgling 99 Records biggest ever, hitting the Billboard dance chart. Unfortunately, Ed Bahlman, who ran 99, refused to licence it, so the band remained a cult favorite in the UK, unlike, say, the later ESG which came out on Factory to much acclaim. The only way US bands could get a rep at home in those days was to crack the UK. The Tetras did get to visit as part of Ruth Polsky's package that played the Rainbow in Feb 81, and this led to a deal with UK indie Fetish. They recorded 'Things That Go Boom In The Night' (first clip) on that visit. The Clash were fans, and the Bush Tetras got to open for them, leading to a move to Stiff Records for a Topper Headon produced EP. But none of these labels really gave the band the push they deserved. Without a decent US deal, and as things turned to metal/hip hop in the late 80's, sadly, they eventually gave up. The flag was kept flying via a popular live cassette on ROIR. In the mid-90's they reformed at the behest of Henry Rollins, another fan, to make an EP - 'Page 18' (second clip) on Tim/Kerr records and compilations were released on ROIR and Thirsty Ear. CMJ commented "...15 years later, this stuff still sounds like the future." And indeed they were right as it wasn't for another 5 years that that post-punk funk w/jagged guitar sound became the vogue in Brooklyn and NYC, and then worldwide. But the buzz was sufficient that the band did score that major label release, the Nona Hendyx produced 'Beauty Lies' on Polygram. However they did then go back on hiatus, thus missing riding that post-punk wave when it did come. Finally, in 2005, with Julia Murphy stepping in on bass, the band revived, playing a SAVE CBGB's show with Ari-Up, and touring Europe, leading to recognition by a whole new generation of fans. I'd been waiting my opportunity to get a shoot of them, and a slot opening for their old pals Pere Ubu at the Knit delivered it. Enjoy!

Clicking the images will take you to the clips on YouTube. The h.264's are iPod-ready. There is a DVD. Thanks to Tary Yu for manning the second camera.

capture captain: joly
date posted: 1/20/07

myspace Bush Tetras
CD Baby Boom In The Night

wikipedia Bush Tetras
Rolling Stone review of Beauty Lies

codes to add punkcast#1076 to your page