THE ORIGINAL OUT-OF-PRINT MUMPS COMP!
This is the original out-of-print Eggbert 1995 Mumps compilation, with the original packaging, now at a bargain price! The new "How I Saved The World" Mumps compilation is out on Sympathy For The Record Industry Records as of July 1, 2005, and includes a DVD with an hour of live footage and a slide show of over 60 vintage Mumps flyers, plus 10 previously unreleased tracks! For information on how to order this fabulous new two disc set, go to www.themumps.com or www.mumpsmusic.com. Otherwise, this Eggbert compilation is a wonderful Mumps primer, at about half the price!
"THE GREAT LOST BAND OF THE CBGBs ERA!" - ALL MUSIC GUIDE
Mumps are a sensational pop/punk band from the CBGBS era of NYC 70's alternative rock that developed a rabid cult following on both coasts of the U.S. , releasing a couple of seminal 45's that have been included on many important compilations, and recording loads of release quality demos. All these recordings and more are gathered on this CD for the first time!
Alan Betrock, who founded ( and was editor of ) respected rock rag New York Rocker to document the exploding NYC CBGBS/Max's scene in the mid 70's, and later wrote the seminal 'girl group sound' history "Wonder Women", said, "Mumps balance their intricate and literate songs by augmenting them with an array of nasty guitar attacks. Kristian Hoffman's melodic compositions are ripe for the full production treatment, and to choose a single from such a dazzling array of originals as 'Anyone But You', 'Ideal' , 'Not Again' and ' I Like to Be Clean' would be an impossible task!"
For more raves about this Eggbert CD compilation, as well as a slew of contemporary 70's press, go to the end of these notes.
1. CALIFORNIA DREAMING
Mumps earliest seeds were planted at Santa Barbara High School where the notorious Lance Loud ( of PBS 70's documentary "An American Family" regarded as the first reality T.V. series ), Kristian Hoffman ( writer of 80's New Wave opera singer Klaus Nomi's European top 10 hit "Total Eclipse" -his solo CDs are available from CDbaby ), and Jay Dee Daugherty ( long time drummer for Patti Smith as well as Australia's dreamy psych outfit the Church ) shared like obsessions with the Kinks, the Stooges, the Small Faces, and the Velvet Underground. This resulted in a number of short lived garage bands, often including Lance's younger brothers Grant and Kevin on guitar and bass. An early harbinger of notoriety to come came when Lance and Kristian told their parents they were going to spend the night at a friend's house, drove to Altamont to see the Rolling Stones, and amid the bloodletting and tumult, managed to tape "Brown Sugar" on a portable cassette. Upon returning home, they somehow maneuvered a gig at the Sanata Barbara polo fields for a party for the cast of "Hair", where they previewed "our latest composition: Brown Sugar!" Since the Rolling Stone's version was yet unreleased, this was met with raucous applause as proof of the budding band's talents.
Soon there was no longer any need to "appropriate" material, as Kristian began supplying the band with a slew of proto-glam rock tunes (including his very first composition;"I'm God") and Lance composed two of Mumps' signature songs ( included on this CD ) with S. B. High guitar God David Collert:"Muscleboys" and "We Ended Up". After a crazed demo session in Los Angeles with one of Lance's not-so-mysteriously compliant elder "friends", who put the band up in Greta Garbo's former Hollywood Hills home, Lance and Kristian decided to make the leap and run away to New York - home of the Velvets- for good (read: 'til the allowance ran out.)
2. FULLY EXPOSED ON PBS!
This trek coincided with the filming of famed PBS documentary series "An American Family" by Oscar winning producer/directors Alan and Susan Raymond, so Lance and Kristian were followed everywhere with hand held cameras as they nimbly flounced through a thousand rock personas a day, while staying over a pickle factory at the home of cult band "Silver Apples" producer Barry Bryant.
Soon Barry had convinced L, K, and Crew to cross the Atlantic under the artsy-commune pretext of spray-painting in silver the words "Milieu Protektion" on some bridge between Sweden and Norway. Hmmm. That "concept"-addled plot never materialized, but the film of Lance and Kristian in outre Bowie/Jagger garb sashaying down the streets of Paris with Andy Warhol superstar Rene Ricard was one of the elements that convinced a disbelieving American public that they were seeing the first true out televized homos in history. The impact was immediate and outrageous, and the Loud Family graced the cover of every magazine from tabloid to Newsweek for years to come, and are still hotly debated in sociology and media classes, with commentary by such luminaries of academe as Margaret Mead! Lance, until he died, denied ever "coming out" on that show, claiming (and claiming correctly): "We weren't dressing like fags - we were dressing like rock stars!"
3. IF THE NY DOLLS CAN DO IT....
That, however, is another story - click onto PBS website for more. Before this outcry occurred, our boys were back in NYC, becoming ever more obsessed with the New York Dolls, who conveniently were playing about five nights a week at the architecturally challenged Mercer Arts Center. L and K attended every performance, seeing Patti Smith open in her pre-rock poetry reading incarnation, catching Brownie camera snaps of a cadaverous David Bowie in the audience, and gladhanding Bryan Ferry at the Dolls infamous Club 82 drag performance. If the Velvet Underground was high school, this was rock and roll college: an intensive course in D.I.Y. that sent the boys back to S.B. to collect their high school buddies and make a "real" band.
4. DICK CAVETT A GO GO!
Because of the impact of "An American Family", the band L and K put together ( including Jay Dee Daugherty, David Collert, and Grant and Kevin Loud) wasn't afforded the luxury of honing their chops in obscure dingy niteries; their first ever gig, and an opportunity deemed too good to waste, was playing "Muscleboys" on ABC's nationally televised "Dick Cavett Show"! The band was raw and underrehearsed, unfamiliar with the vagaries of T.V. sound reproduction, and even without these challenges, laboring in a wild loud trash/glam homo-erotic genre that even Bowie hadn't succeeded in selling to the American public. The expected bidding war never ensued: the doom-like industry silence was only broken by Neil (Casablanca Records/Kiss) Bogart's offer to sign the band if they changed their name to "An American Family." Oh - the roads not taken! But pleading "integrity" - a value the Mumps would later learn you couldn't give away - the boys demurred.
5. GLAM-PUNK GUTTERSNIPES
Members drifted away in the "What-No instant career?" aftermath, but L, K, and J decided to stick it out in NYC at the seedy hotel Belleclaire on 72nd street, with occasional cashflow inspired stints at the even seedier West Village Earle. Finally they got Rob Duprey of D.C. (later to join and cowrite songs with Iggy Pop's Zombie Birdhouse era band) and Aaron Kiley to join, and it is this line up that recorded the earliest Mumps demos on this CD, in the fifth floor railroad walk-up Jay Dee finally got with the salary from his stereo delivery job, from which he "borrowed" the four track Teac for these bedroom (and bathroom) sessions. You can hear the band trying on the mantles of their faves with the Sparks inspired "Before the Accident", the Kinks-ish "Forget -Me-Not", and the Dolls-damaged "We Ended Up"- soon this craft would blossom into an identifiable Mumps sound. But this was the set the Mumps played at their first "official" gig with a week long stint opening for David Bowie's press officer Cherry Vanilla (supposedly she dreamed up the Diamond Dogs promotional byte: "If you want to know the meaning of this album, just spell DOG - BACKWARDS!" Arf!) at the legendary Trude Heller's, where Cherry's concrete Butt print graced the entrance. Bowie even deigned to attend, perhaps due more to the urgings of Warhol/Interview lifestylist, art collector, aesthete, gentleman,and magic powder dispenser Norman Fischer than any real interest, and on the first night Kristian got a flower sent backstage from L.A.'s future Screamers lead singer, Tomata Du Plenty, with a note: "Mr. Piano man - Loved how you violated our souls!"
6. CBGBS UNBOUND!
By this time Rob Duprey had secured employment at Cinemabilia, a cinephile collectibles store, where his co- employees included barely formed Television's Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell, and Ork Records' amiable (sometime jailbird) originator Terry Ork. (Television's first single "Little Johnny Jewel", was released on that label.) Tom and Richard reported that after a long search, they'd found an obscure East Village beer joint they thought they could take over, called, inscrutably, CBGBS, and urged Rob to come to their first ever gig. Rob dragged Kristian along, and with a couple of friends and perhaps four startled aging bluegrass regulars, witnessed the epiphany that was to become Mumps graduate school - a stage to call home, and a band that dared to inspire awe and worship with an outsider psychedelic assault, unapologetic artistry and bracing humour (they'd never be as magical without Richard Hell) - in short, the blueprint to New York's golden era bands: hard, incisive, crazed, confrontational IDENTITY!
7. ALL AMERICA BECKONS!
With this lesson learned, the next few years saw Mumps grow into a top draw headliner at sell out shows at Max's and CBGBS, and on the West Coast the Whiskey, the Starwood, Madame Wongs,and the Mabuhay Gardens. Philadelphia's Hot Club was like their Shea Stadium, a dependable venue for sold out frenzy. The Mumps were briefly sideswiped when Kristian thought Patti Smith's fledgling "rock" poetry readings with Tom Verlaine assaulting his guitar with a knife were so inspiring that Jay Dee would love them. After K escorted J to Max's for the show, he found that Jay loved Patti Smith only too well, as Jay soon left the Mumps to form a band with her! (Tom Verlaine's similar efforts to seduce Rob "Toby" Du Prey away from the Mumps were unsuccessful.) But with newly installed drummer Paul Rutner, a gift from Island recording artists Milk'n'Cookies' guitarist Ian North, the career arc was up and up and up. The Mumps actually fielded overtures from Malcolm McLaren and John Cale, but decided instead to go to California to record their first 45 for Greg Shaw's legendary indie label Bomp.
8. THE SONGS, THE PUNQUE NOBILITY, THE WHOLE DARN THING!
So on this CD you'll hear Mumps first indie single hit, "Crocodile Tears", released in the pre-UK punk takover year of 1976, when punk was still American, and you were allowed to have an idea other than "I Hate You!" The single hit indie playlists from K-ROQ in L.A. to regional stations all over the country and England and it seemed Mumps future was secure. With John Hewlett (of England's notorious 60's outrage band John's Children with Marc Bolan) and Joseph Fleury (also managing Sparks) as a management team, the sky was the limit. Mumps quickly recorded the follow up E.P." Fatal Charm"/"Muscleboys"/ "Rock & Roll This, Rock & Roll That" at the Beach Boys' fantastic Brother Studios with Earle Mankey at the helm (taking time off from producing Helen Reddy with Kim Fowley! And engineering Elton John's"Blue Moves"). During a Mumps headlining Whiskey gig around this time attended by most of the Screamers, X, the Bags. the Germs,
and the ever present Bradly Field from Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, someone managed to drag Johnny Rotten (quickly becoming the uncrowned pope of punk) to the show. Afterwards he snarled pettily, "Sure I like them! They're a good band, but I wouldn't buy the record!"
But it was at this delerious point that the juggernaut began to slow. Mssrs Hewlett and Fleury decided to take on the Dickies as clients-which was understandable: the Steven Hufsteter penned pop punk melodic gems on their records stand up even today as classics. But the team decided to submit BOTH bands to A&M which was desperate to sign a token" punk" in case the movement had financial legs, and A&M chose the Dickies. The hushed whispers of homophobic industry conspiracy and blacklisting may have been overstated, but the psychological impact on the Mumps was the same. Something was off track . The Mumps went back to NYC to, oddly enough, their greatest live successes ever - a whole new generation of shreiking girls barely into their teens had decided to make Lance their personal Elton/Bowie idol, and the rain of panties during the screaming pubescent tribal rioting became a predictable aspect of every Mumps appearance. But there were no label overtures, and after five years the Mumps decided if the one feeble feeler from Sire didn't pan out, they'd disband.
10. SEYMOUR - OR LESS?
In the cramped basement of Sire's plush upper east side townhouse offices, the Mumps were given about two hours and no overdubs to throw down their latest sure-fire crowd pleasers, all included on this CD: "Brain Massage"," Just Look-Don't Touch", "Scream and Scream Again", and "Did You Get the Girl?" - to the disinterested "hurry up" glower of the oppressively indifferent studio hack apprentice engineer.
During this recording a strange incident occurred: Kristian was asked up into the offices of Seymour Stein, and nervous, embarrassed, and sweaty from the rush of moving equipment and trying to get a stellar performance on tape in the challenging circumstances, he was ushered into the music maven's imposing office.
"What did you mean by this?" Mr. Stein abruptly demanded, holding up an issue of the Soho News where the cover story was a drunken interview with various Dead Boys, Void-Oids, and Kristian. Kristian still recalls leaving the interview mid-afternoon, stepping into the blinding glare of Canal street, proudly showing off the pilfered half liter of rotgut lukewarm Ballerina Vodka to an equally tipsy Walter Lure. So being tested on that particular group blatherfest was mystifying.
"What?" asked our befuddled Mump.
"This quote:"I LOVE Seymour Stein!"
Taken aback, fumbling for words, staring around the office, sensing a make-or-break moment, Kristian couldn't get the gist. Wasn't it obvious? That he wanted a record contract? Kristian wanted so badly to say the magic incantation - the words Seymour wanted to hear! But these words were the only ones that tumbled out in uninspired if honest diplomacy: "I DO love you, because you've given a home to some of the greatest musicians and bands of our era: the Talking Heads, the Void-Oids, the Ramones, Blondie-when no other label dared to! I'd love to be part of that family!"
Mr. Stein did a little non-commital sighing, and then proceeded, "Well, I sure am TIRED today - I stayed up all night doing coke with Dee Dee Ramone!"
This was an odd turn. It was common insistent gossip among everyone on the CBGBS circuit that the way the Ramones got signed was because the then boy-toy-cute Dee Dee regularly slept between Mr. Stein and his wife. Could Mr. Stein be unaware of this rumour? Or was he PLAYING with it? Momentarily (and at precisely the WRONG moment) Kristian was rendered moronically incapable of playing along, and blurted out the inept confession,"I've never tried cocaine!"
That was the end of the conversation. Mr. Stein said with a chilly air of professionally distant dismissal, "I'll get back to you about your demo", which he never did, and thus, by previous agreement, the Mumps career officially ended. (Mr. Stein then went on to sign the numbingly talent-free Alda Reserve, who were lucky enough to have a lead singer with a spectacularly angular Starship Troopers face. Hmmm.) Lance harangued Kristian for years that the Mumps had been only one blow-job away from a dazzling recording carreer, and HE would have handled it differently.
12. BACK TO THE MUSIC!
Fortunately, we still have the music, which was met with these cries of adulation when first released in 1995:
MICHAEL STIPE(REM): "Mumps came along with Sparks, New York Dolls, Blondie, Rich kids, and Buzzcocks, and they all rewrote the book on pop music and cool guitars, righteous snotty vocals, and great big hooks!"
DEBORAH HARRY (BLONDIE):"Mumps were one of the best rival pop bands we ever shared a bill with. Just thinking of dueling it out with them at CBGBS or Max's still makes me go into a competitive heat!"
RUSSELL MAEL (SPARKS): "There is more intellect, wit, brashness, style, sarcasm, emotion, charm and enjoyment in one Mumps recording than in Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the Stone Temple Pilots combined. There is no justice!"
ALTERNATIVE PRESS: "Mumps had the queenie camp of the New York Dolls down, with a "Virginia Plain" era Roxy Music lilt. They were serious FUN. A veritable who's who of punk rock/new wave attended their NYC/LA shows religiously. I wasn't there. Neither were you. Get "Fatal Charm" and we'll cry in our beers over it!"
MOJO: "Mumps were everything the New York Dolls pretended to be: three of them were really gay, and coming from Los Angeles they had uncritically absorbed far more trash and glam than any New Yorker could. They were an un-punk band: melodic, influenced by the Kinks, yet writing songs like "I Wish You Could Have Seen His Face (Before The Accident)". This is their complete released and unreleased work. An acquired taste, but I love it!' "
THE SPLATTER EFFECT: " How this group slipped through the fingers of pop history is beyond me, because this collection is a testament to greatness above and beyond almost anything else from that generation. The Mumps music is without a doubt the apotheosis of organ pumping, teenage angst, party-til-you-drop pop. Every cut is a minor masterpiece and the accompanying booklet contains a complete history of the band and the era, plus annotations describing the tracks individually. This must be what an archaeologist feels like after unearthing a long lost artifact in a parched desert. Buy while available!"
RUTGERS REVIEW: " Mumps unique brand of anglophile-pop-cum-NYC-streetwise-sincerity flew in the face of their leather jacketed alumni who found their wit and bravado too clever. This was a band that could speak at the gutteral level, that spawned amny of the era's legends as well as throw in a candy-coated curve which left many bewildered. Their two independent singles were highly praised for their innate sense of melody and cynicism. The band kicks like everyone's favorite memory and there are fifteen or so lost tracks to get lost in. Yeh Yeh Yeh!"
MOUTH2MOUTH:" Mumps were pretty much the most fun band to come out of the early New York rock scene. Singer Lance Loud was famous for camping up the early 70's equivalent of "the Real World"; the keyboardist is pop-tart Kristian Hoffman. Closer to Sparks than the Stooges, but still pretty darned cool (four stars)."
VINTAGE CBGBs ERA REVIEWS
CIRCUS:"Mumps are a five man band that bristles with vast potential, and have something most of their N.Y. competion lacks: a front man in the oft misunderstood Lance Loud. Inventive, hard edged, powerful!"
PHONOGRAPH RECORD MAGAZINE:"New York Bands - the Top Ten: Mumps are pop, Anglo, and passionate about their beliefs. Visually the group is always exciting, and their songs have the seedlings of super pop petential. Best is "Anyone But You", a commercial songwriter's dream - an utterly effortless but absolutely intelligent pop song. Assets: wit, ingenuity, good visuals, and energy!"
THE SOHO NEWS: " Lance Loud is CBGBS very own Conrad Birdie. During last weekend's Mumps performances eager hordes of prettily permed teenage girls pressed the stage and screamed, bounced, and shrieked along with every sweaty, sinewy, effusively acrobatic movement the evry muscular Mr. Loud made. Today's Mumps are a hard-driving tightly pulled together powerhouse package with a genuine teen idol out front.. The Mumps sound is raw rock, deliciously defined by the thunderous beat of Paul Rutner and Kristian Hoffman on piano. The Mumps have been criticized as not punk enough, and too intellectual, to which Lance answers, "That doesn't matter - we're built to last!"
PUNK MAGAZINE: " Mumps are now met with crowds of screaming fans that seem to feed on Mumps' innovative sound. They seem to have found the chemistry together that the Kinks once had. They are visually entertaining and musically fun. Kristian Hoffman has the wit and dexterity to become one of rock's best writers. The Mumps are a unique band bound to go places. Their biggest asset? They just keep getting better!"
TWISTED MAGAZINE: " 'Crocodile Tears' is an ultimate pop song with a brainwashing captivating bass riff you'll be humming all day!"
SLASH MAGZINE:" The Mumps are a really talented bunch whose songs gave you boppin' along before the first chorus, and the lyrics are funny, tongue-in-cheek arty. "Crocodile Tears" is the kind of song you can play over and over, and still get a big reptilian grin every time you hear it!"
THE AQUARIAN:"Though it's easiest to talk about a band while relating them to another, I hesitate to do so now. In a few years people will compare other groups to Mumps!"
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: "The songs are bright, catchy and funny, and Mumps exuberant stage manner rings with energy and spontaneity!"
PLAYBOY: "Intricate lyrics distinguish Mumps' often infectious originals, flavored with attractive cover versions"
SOUNDS U.K. " 'Crocodile tears' is an attractive slice of the Angloid/ post Raspberries/ Sparks uptempo beat that seems to constitute some of the American Renaissance. This is fine: pop sense, jangly guitar (as in Byrds), slightly forced vocal, handclaps, pulled together by a perfect guitar solo. Everything fits into place - a clean machine!"
MELODY MAKER: "Smart anglophile power pop! Rewarding and enjoyable!"
NEW YORK ROCKER: " 'Crocodile Tears' is an immediate favorite for all walks of life!"
LOS ANGELES HERALD EXAMINER:"Mumps have all the fun and drama of a soap opera. Reminiscent of the early Kinks or the Turtles, Mumps is thankfully free from the morbid pretensions that plague its New York cohorts. It's "Fleetwood Mac meets the Ramones"!"
PHILADELPHIA EVENING BULLETIN: "Lance Loud has found his niche as a rock singer, and his energy - which finds release in a whirl of hair-whipping, high-stepping, and pelvis-grinding - is marked by an authoritative aura of New Wave theatricality. The Mumps project a good-natured playfulness, but their songs rock with a convincing toughness and a gripping back beat. What's more, the material proves more ambitious than most New Wave rock; it icorporates a raw yet inspired sense of vocal trade offs and harmonies, while the songs themselves are cleverly and dynamically structured, full of melodic changes and bridgings that build dramatically. This balance of unrefined technique and good musical ideas gives Mumps a punk integrity on one hand and genuine pop potential on the other. The Mumps prove they not only have something to say, but they say it very well!"
L.A. BEAT: "As of this writing, Mumps are one of the most important of the unsigned New York bands. They surpass a lot of the signed bands right now for songwriting ability, pop appeal, and overall togetherness. Mumps have real statements and lifestyles to go along with their amazingly 'today' songs. Their current 45 "Crocodile tears" b/w "I LIke to Be Clean" is a slice of American ingenuity mixed with all the stuff that made the early kinks so much fun: bashing chords, crisp crescendos, and strong vocalizing, all not in excess of two minutes and thirty seconds per side!"
CHICAGO TRIAD: " Kristian Hoffman writes charmingly catchy tunes which Lance Loud sings a la Ray Davies. When their new single "Crocodile Tears" hits, you just can't stop singing it!"
L.A. FREE PRESS: "On notable compositions like 'Crocodile tears' and 'I Like to Be Clean', Mumps display an imaginitive, wholesomely humourous approach permeated with 60's sensibilities - a healthy show of incurable musical madness!"
NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS: " The more I think about the them, the more I like the Mumps. When I saw them, they featured an appropriately zombied guitar player, and a tinkling piano player called Kristian, who I'll swear was playing Brian Jones riffs and who, the other night, attacked the keys with a knife and fork. They have a curly haired pretty-boy bass player who makes Peter Frampton look decrepit. Their best song, "Photogenia", has a great ending: "Flash! Pose!" and they all do, outrageously. There's an amazingly beautiful girl standing in the audience who begins to loosen her clothing and leaps on stage clad only in a skimpy leotard. "I'm Sable Star - I used to be a famous groupie!" And she did. It was burlesque meeting Muscle Beach as Lance culminated the act by picking her up like Tarzan. It was great! Why, since every other talentless punk band in NYC has been approached by a record company, has no one signed them? I don't think it'll be too long before they appear in our album column, because Mumps are too good to waste. Maybe I should record them myself!"
LOBOTOMY MAGAZINE: "There's just something about the Mumps. It's the perfect people at the right time and the right place!"
Go to "the Official Kristian Hoffman Website" at www.kristianhoffman.com for more trivia, special offers, vintage photos, rare MP3s, website-only releases, and full length reviews of the Mumps and other Kristian-related projects.
You can also check Alan and Susan Raymond's website www.videoverite.tv for some rare live footage of the Mumps in performance, and extensive information about their history with Lance and all the Louds as friends and filmmakers.