22 February 2009

The U.S. Mods and the marvelous time warp

Summer 1980 was a summer of records. In addition to a record breaking heat wave in Texas, our band, The U.S. Mods, had a brand new record to promote. A 7" single of two original songs, I'm Gone b/w Government, it came complete with a black and white xeroxed cover, in the best DIY tradition. We placed a handful of copies in several local record stores, but the largest order came from Bomp mail order in California. Bomp bought thirty copies, or about one-seventh of the tiny total pressing of 200 (in retrospect, we probably should have done at least 500 copies). We now had a place in the Bomp catalog; what we didn't know at the time was that we were slated for a short review in Bomp magazine, issue #22. The only problem was, Bomp magazine ended with issue #21.

Cut to 2007. Our single has become, surprisingly, a Texas punk/new wave collectible - it shows up on eBay once every couple of years, going for around $150. My old bandmates and I have led separate lives of bands, colleges, jobs and marriages. A new book, titled Bomp! Saving the World One Record At A Time, by Suzy Shaw and Mick Farren is released in '07; it's a detailed history of both the record label and magazine. Near the back of the book is a lost treasure - the original page layouts of the never published Issue #22 of Bomp magazine. In those raw pages, staring across a span of twenty-seven years, was this:

The images were photographed from the original paste-up, so it's a little hard to read, but here's the text of the capsule review, in a column titled Juke Box Jury by Bomp's founder, the late Greg Shaw:

U.S. MODS - I'm Gone - Treblephone
The U.S. Mods are more "new wave", dressing like The Jam, no less, but their sound is pure prairie punk, circa '66. "I'm Gone" could've come out on J Beck, and these guys on a bill with the Jades, the Outcasts, and the Stereo Shoestring wouldn't have seemed a bit out of place. A marvelous time warp. (4328 Astor, Mesquite, TX 75149. Available from BOMP)

We've been mentioned in a couple of books, and every time it happens, I'm proud - but also a bit spooked. This review is even more of a ghost sighting - Greg Shaw has been gone for five years, and nearly three decades have passed between the time Bomp #22 was written and finally published. "A marvelous time warp", indeed.


Punk Business Manager said...

Glad the U.S. Mods were fianlly immortalized in the Bomp! book. I have really dug the U.S. Mods 7" over the years. Congrats on scoring a copy of that Rejects "Back To School" EP- wow, quite a find there, that is an extremely hard to find and sought after disc among punk collectors.

adrian of austin said...

Thanks - on all counts...ab.