Unfortunately, as that wonderful summer turned to fall, R.B. and I began clashing. We'd argue over set lists, who would design the flyers, what gigs we would play, how songs should go, you name it. Although we'd started bickering over everything, nothing marred the joy we all felt rehearsing, gigging, and hanging. While we were playing, that's all that seemed to matter! We sold out the Playroom on November 8th regardless, supported by Reagan Youth, Garth Ripton's band Use of Force, and Beastie Boys. Berry had told me the Beasties couldn't get a gig anywhere but A7 (which was like an open rehearsal). The woman booking the Playroom was impressed with our turnout with The Undead, so she let me pick the bill for this follow-up, so we can claim to have given the Beasties their first official, advertised gig!
After each higher paying gig, we'd put the money into a recording kitty. By November we had enough to enter a studio for the first time in our lives. A few days after our hottest show - November 14, in front of 500 people with Bad Brains and the Mob at CBGB, we hit 171A, with Williams manning the mics and the four-track, and finished five songs in one day. Everything was recorded live, even vocals, in multiple takes.
Sommer played our studio recordings on WNYU, and his and Graziano's ample features in the Rocker and Sounds, and mentions in Trouser Press, Daily News, and Soho News, all hit the streets. As a result, we played our first Max's sellout on November 25, 400 folks on Thanksgiving eve, with Heart Attack, Kraut, and Reagan Youth. Wow! It was amazing how big the scene had grown. Next we hit Mile Square City in Hoboken, December 12, with new SST band Saccharine Trust, who joined us on stage for Black Flag's "Jealous Again." A nasty brawl between Hell's Angels and punks broke out afterwards as we were moving equipment! One huge fist missed me by inches as I blithely carried a floor tom, and another gent offered to shoot me. Whoa. Our next Max's December date was abruptly canceled when the club sadly closed (a mortal blow to our scene!). But we played the celebrated Peppermint Lounge (of '62 Joey Dee & the Starlighters #1 hit "Peppermint Twist" fame) January 3, 1982 with Heart Attack again, as part of their brand new "Punk Sundays", producing Barry Koopersmith's photos you see here. We were also videotaped there, but were too broke to even buy the copy the club offered for $50. I've always lamented that!
We returned to 171A in February with Williams, and recorded all our 11 originals and two of our covers on that trusty four track over a couple of days, oh my! That's Williams' friendly southern drawl we're bantering with. The idea was that a few cuts would appear on a compilation the Bad Brains planned of punk/hardcore groups from D.C. and N.Y. (which was compiled but never released). They were hanging out during this recording. I remember Earl Hudson tuning the studio's drums while Daryl Jennifer and Dr. Know gave us little last minute tips. So this is it, the great lost Even Worse LP. Eric recalls, "We were at times, a powerful band. I always thought we were sort of analogous to a young couple's relationship: great at first but looking to get over the first big hump. Listening to this now, I had no idea that we had such an appealing band. I mean, someone might have actually thought we were cool!"
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