Mmmmm…. smell that coffee now!
The other day I was reviewing all the wonderful products available in the Official Insect’s Department Store. There was a noticeable void in the housewares department. Shame on me!
To rectify this temporary oversight I crafted these lovely dishwasher-safe coffee mugs with an antique photo of the bugsters playfully leaping in the air.
Look how Les’ leg is sticking out of the picture. Wow! How’d they do that?
What better attire for
watching golden oldies?
The Insects T-Shirt!Okay, gang. Here’s the Insects appearance on the Night Shift television show in its entirety. Complete with closed captioned lyrics!
The video previews appear in the order the songs were played on the show. My apologies for the low resolution- but they’re good enough to get the general idea.
Forget Your Orders
Sofas in Motion
So Many People
Vampire For You
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.
A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Steve Liggett, the art magnate who runs Living Arts in downtown Tulsa. He was going through some old photos and found one of me and some co-horts circa 1986.
That’s me on the right accompanied by Les Mobley (left) and Geoff Williams (center) as we’re sipping Tecates during a sound check at Club Nitro. Les played drums and is now a fixture with California alt-country sensation Red Meat.
Club Nitro was on 6th Street just east of Peoria and offered live original music and the latest alternative bands. Radio Milan played frequently at the Nitro (or Club Knifehole as some referred to it) until the finances got muddled. But that’s another story.
This photo was taken before a Radio Milan show that featured art between sets. We were oh-so ahead of our time! Anywho, that’s why Steve was there to snap said photo.
Most people that were at that show remembered it as The Night That Guy Stuck His Head in a Bucket of Mud. It would later come to be known as “performance art.”
When you’re shopping to find big value for your music dollars where do you go?
The mall? I hope not.
Not Available in Any Store!
I hope you’ll consider this CD of retro new wave tunes from the local Tulsa boys that were known as Radio Milan. The disk features songs recorded between 1981 and 1986, a period experts call the Golden Age of New Wave.
Give the Gift of Music
The disk is a collection of live tracks and studio recordings from Radio Milan and, their original name, the Insects. Locales include the Crystal Pistol, Cain’s Ballroom and Dance Cafe. It’s fun. It’s real.
And for that other stuff– that “popular” stuff– it’s hard to beat Amazon. But for true musical value you might consider an alternative. Eighties alternative, to be exact.
more radio milan