Got a DVD from Buck the other day. It was a dub from the 1984 episode of Night Shift featuring my old band, the Insects. This was a local show on KTUL channel 8 that was hosted by Greg Roach and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Shots of the crowd offer a virtual time capsule of Tulsa’s new wave scene.
I immediately digitized the DVD and started posting clips on Google Video. Here’s a video of all the songs we did that night: Insects will Prevail. This was just before we changed the name to Radio Milan, and went completely overboard with the Italian theme.
With this crew the band was probably at its zenith- David’s guitar chops added rhythm and Les’ undulating drum style seemed to mesh perfectly with the odd tunes Scott and I wrote. All while Tony commanded a powerful stage presence (plus he could remember all those weird lyrics I dreamed up). The previous incarnations of the group had never quite mustered the overall sound like you see on this video.
A year or so later Tony would leave the band and be replaced by our sound man, Eric Kehr. David also bowed out to do his own thing, along with a couple of “one night wonders” that were thoroughly enjoyable (one was called Roger Staubach for Rolaids). We went on to play regionally and opened for Lords of the New Church at the Cains and The Fleshtones in Oklahoma City. We became minor superstars in Stillwater playing at a club called Nuevo Wavo. The songwriting matured over the next three years, but later versions of the band never quite had that “between the eyes” punch. In 1987 we opened for Wang Chung at the Riverparks Amphitheater and it would be our last gig.
If you’re interested in hearing more tunes I’ve made a CD available through Cafe Press. The Jim Anthology includes the songs from the Night Shift performance, plus live tracks from a Crystal Pistol gig and seven songs from Radio Milan studio recordings. I’ve also posted some Radio Milan T-shirt designs based on the popular window sticker.