My old friend Spot just reissued the first and only Kamikaze Refrigerators record on CD Baby. Spot is a fine musician, writer and photographer, but back in the day, he was largely known for being a record producer for punk and indie legends such as Black Flag, the Minutemen, the Meat Puppets and on and on and on. In the early 80s, he came to town to produce Austin’s Big Boys, then (and still) one of the greatest acts to come out of Austin. The band I played (drums) in, Kamikaze Refrigerators, had more or less survived to that point on the strength of the imprimatur of the Big Boys’ Chris Gates and Tim Kerr. At their urging, we scraped together our band savings (about $400) to record with Spot while he was still in town working on their record. We recorded eight songs, probably because that’s all we could afford. Then we broke up.
A few years later, when Spot relocated from California to Austin (where he lived until just a couple of years ago), he started a couple of small record labels, one for his own music, and one for other acts he liked. His choice for the first release on the latter was the Kamikaze Refrigerators tracks which had been a-molderin’ on his shelf.
Knowing the limited potential of a debut record from a defunct band that few had ever known about to begin with, I tried to talk Spot out of spending the money to release the record. To no avail. So I got my friend Frank Kozik to do the album cover art, which is apropos of nothing, except that it’s a cool cover, and Kozik is now a very successful artist, whose molded collectibles sell out in pre-order.
So, it’s funny how everything comes around and becomes nostalgic. People still occasionally tell me how much they liked the Kamikaze Refrigerators, although at the time we couldn’t draw a crowd to save our lives. But it was my first band, and I loved what we did, and umpteen bands later, I consider myself lucky to have had the experience.
Here’s a video Spot put up with the album’s first track, which was the first song we worked on and done in a single take! Again, the album is available on CD Baby and should be in the iTunes store soon. Buy, buy, buy!