"Basically, I got turned out by my bros," said Unwritten Law drummer Wade Youman about being fired from the band he helped found 16 years ago. "They sold me out over money and a woman."
Youman said tensions have been running high in UL for the last year, largely because of personal conflicts between he and vocalist Scott Russo. He attributed the tension to the Yoko Ono-like presence of Russo's girlfriend, singer-songwriter Aimee Allen.
"When you're part of a tribe for as long as we have been, there are certain bonds, certain secrets shared between the members of that tribe," he said. "Scott chose to bring her into that group without everyone's approval, and he defied those bonds."
Youman said Allen's influence on Russo was detrimental to the Poway pop-punk band, whose most recent studio album, Elva, sold more than 500,000 copies. He also said he was fired long before the band announced it on March 9.
"It had happened months before," he said. "I made them put it up on the website because I felt they were being deceptive by not letting the fans know. It was either me or Scott, and Scott couldn't leave because that would threaten our record deal. So they decided it had to be me."
For the past few years, Youman has been heavily involved in StandUp for Kids, a nonprofit group benefitting homeless youth; he has helped to set up Ganeshfest, the music festival that helps raise money for the organization.
"I feel the band was not living up to their responsibility to the community and wasn't keeping with the mythology-the essence of what it means to play punk rock," he said, adding that he's currently looking for a new band that embodies those ideals.
"They'll probably be younger, hungrier and dedicated to that mythology, and won't have forgotten what it means to be punk rock and all it entails. My new tribe will be ready to travel the hero's journey, and I can guarantee it won't revolve around money or any other bullshit."
Bands interested in hitting the road to wonderland with the ousted skinbeater-turned-shaman can contact him through www.wade youman.com.
Unwritten Law's manager, Les Borsai, did not answer inquiries for this story.
Brainless wonders wreak brainless violence
On March 19, brainless wonders stole art from newly opened Golden Hill gallery District 3. The brainless wonders then beat one of the gallery owners so bad he had to be hospitalized. Because of the brainless wonders' actions, the gallery has been shut down indefinitely. The owners of D3 declined to comment and don't want their names used in this story because they fear the brainless wonders will come after them again.
CityBeat would like to congratulate the brainless wonders for destroying a good thing for San Diego underground art and for making sure that people like Mear One-the L.A. graffiti artist who the brainless wonders were so fond of they violently beat people for his work-now has one less place to sell his stuff.
Oh, and fuck you.
Dick-less Farmers get it on
Last week Internet-only archivist label Rhino Handmade reissued The Beat Farmers' 1985 debut album, Tales From The New West. On top of the original dozen tracks, the deluxe edition includes the follow-up six-song EP Glad "n' Greasy, five tracks from the album Live at the Spring Valley Inn, four previously unreleased demos and a brand new song-"Watching the River"-that features Joel Kmak filling in on drums for the late Dan "Country Dick" Montana.
"Twenty years hence, of course there's all kinds of stuff I hear that I would do differently now," said guitarist Buddy Blue. "But it is what it is, and as such, I'm pretty impressed with the amount of great stuff we managed to churn out in three short years. And this doesn't even include the Van Go album because of licensing issues."
Along with Kmak, Blue and original Beat Farmers Jerry Raney and Rolle Love are now gigging under the name The Flying Putos. For Tales from the New West's release party on April 3 at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, however, they will go under the name of The Beat Farmers A.D. (After Dick) in honor of their inimitable drummer.
"There's all kinds of live stuff floating around out there," Blue said about the possibility of additional reissues in the future. "But as far as I know, this is the end of the line for studio work by the original incarnation of the band."
Yet Blue feels it was natural to include the new track.
"I thought it would be good... to let people know we're still here," he said. "I wrote that song in the days following Country Dick's death, so it seemed the right way to cap off this collection. I thought this would give the Beat Farmers some closure while looking towards the future.
"It's an honor to have a package like this released on the band," he continued. "Of course, there's also this sense of getting your gold watch."
The Flying Putos play at Pete's Place in La Mesa (619-464-9535) on March 27.
Hairball 8, the former San Diego record label that recently transplanted to Texas, returns this week to throw two CD-release parties for its new compilation, Dear Johnny-A Tribute to Cash. The shows will include artists who performed on the album. The March 25 gig at The Martini Ranch in Encinitas will feature Supersucker Eddie Spaghetti ("Peace In The Valley") and Stevie Tombstone ("Folsom Prison Blues"). The March 27 show at The Casbah will include Deadbolt ("Orange Blossom Special") and The ScotchGreens ("There You Go").
A few years ago, Leighton Koizumi of '80s rockers The Morlocks and the Gravedigger V was reported to be dead. Now it seems he's made a remarkable comeback. In fact, this month he releases his debut solo album, When The Night Falls, via Italian label Ammonia. For the release, Tito and Thee Brainsuckers, an Italian group that has never been reported dead, back him.
Gearhead Records will reissue The Dragons' 2001 album, Rock 'n' Roll Kamikaze, on May 11-remixed and remastered, plus five bonus cuts. The band recently incurred $2,000 worth of damage on the road with the U.K.'s Wildhearts, so they could use the cash.
Singer-songwriter trio The Gandhi Method is now a co-ed proposition with vocalist Cathryn Beeks replacing Scott Wilson.