No Cause for Concern? Issue #8 | October 1983 | Page 9 | Flipper show review
with The WISE GUYS
(May 27th, 1983)
Even though I don't quite remember the Flipper "experience", maybe because it was so bad, instead of just sitting in Janine's living room and playing with the Fisher Price camera, she made me write the review on them.
Ready to rock your socks off, well, here they are: the Wise Guys. The opening band did not suit the occasion. The Wise Guys are a rockabilly outfit from God knows where. I don't even think God cares, ha ha. Now for rockabilly, even Geoff Brown gave 'em the thumbs up "ayyyy". There guys were good for rockabilly.
Well, on to the headlining Superstars: Flipper. Rumour HAD it that Flipper only played bad on record but were great live. Christ, who thought that one up? They stunk with a capital 'C.' I mean crap.
Good points: while playing "Ha Ha Ha" the bass player (who, by the way, was a really cool person) laughed maniacally filling the room with crazy sounds. This song was the best one they did during the evening.
With a bass that was so distorted and feeding back all the time, and with a guitar that couldn't be heard, I couldn't figure out how the hell these guys got all the way to Ottawa. Maybe as a last resort?
If you like drinking and having a good time, laughing and talking to friends, go see these guys. They'll grow on you. Besides, no one says you have to listen to them.
Also after you get really wasted you can go swimming on the stage where the lead singer might throw up. If you're lucky that is!
- Tim Mech
[got this response in an e-mail June 21, 2002]
It is hilarious how it was common at the time (when your magazine was in circulation) for most "punk" and "hardcore" fans to marginalize Flipper. Looking back, one can make a strong argument that they were more original and influential than any other punk band of their era(but not during their era, when 'generic flipper' and 'sex bomb baby came' out). Truly ahead of their time, it seems as though many of the "intelligent" and more adventurous punk/noise/indie rock bands of the late 80's and early 90's were highly influenced by Flipper (including Big Black, Melvins, Jesus Lizard, etc.) unlike the boring and formulaic bands who stayed within the accepted realms of punk, whose influences stretched only as far as canonical punk bands like Black Flag. Sure, Black Flag were a great band, but they inspired a LOT of mediocrity.
I'm referring to issue #8 where Tim Mech remarks "Rumour HAD it that Flipper only played bad on record but were great live." Interesting how Flipper's records sound so brilliant today.
I think most people would rather hear Flipper than some outdated, cliche pseudo-political punks or some super-fast hardcore 'nihilistic' stooges rip-off band. Flipper were just too brilliant. What other punk band at the time even had the guts sing the lyrics "life is the only thing worth living for!" and still be more aggressive and confrontational than the bands who filled their records with expletives and songs about stabbing themselves and killing people? A simple song like "ha ha ha" said more about the decaying state of the capitalist system and american consumer culture than the entire Dead Kennedys catalog, if you ask me. Long live Flipper...