50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Watts Records
This is the first iteration of the label, run from the Fair brothers' parents' house in Uniontown, Maryland. The second iteration will be added once I've finished gathering records.
This is almost complete (just one more variation of "Calling All Girls") as far as I know. If there's stuff I've left off or variations I've missed, please, let me know!
Dream Date / Calling All Girls / School of Love / Battle of the Bands // Bogue Millionaries-Cool Millionaires / Ann Arbor, MI / Her Parents Came Home / Shy Around Girls / the Worst I'd Ever Do
black vinyl (two pressings?)
50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Watts Records 7084, 1977
Lineup: Jad and David Fair
Recording Info: Recorded July 23 and 24, 1977. Produced by Half Japanese.
Notes: The name of the record is Calling All Girls, but lotsa folks (including most merchants) list it as Dream Date, thus the slashed title.
There are three sleeves for this record: a brown envelope sleeve, a band photo sleeve with lyrics on the inside, and a band photo sleeve WITHOUT lyrics on the inside. Both band photo sleeves look identical from the outside. All I can tell you about the pressing order is that the brown envelope sleeve is the second pressing (at least), and the hardest of the bunch to find. I've only seen three or four envelope sleeves, versus more than twenty band photo sleeves. Unfortunately I was unaware of the variations in photo sleeves for quite a while, so I have no idea which is rarest.
No Direct Line From My Brain To My Heart // (I Don't Want To Have) Mono (No More) / Rip My Shirt to Shreds
black vinyl w/printed inner sleeve
50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Watts Records 7084, 1978
Lineup: Jad and David Fair.
Recording Info: Recorded July 1978. Produced by Half Japanese.
Notes: This was released in September of 1978, and I'd guess there's only one printing, just because it rarely turns up and I've never seen any variations (aside from the occasional copy that's missing one of the sleeves). My copy has an oversized fold-over sleeve with lyrics printed on the inside and a printed inner sleeve. It's also in a large polybag (about 8X10) that was folded at the top and sealed with a single round, black sticker. I've talked to someone who mail-ordered it at the time, and his packaging is identical. If your record differs from mine, email me!
Anyone have a promo poster for this release? If so, email me!
Caroline Says (Lou Reed) / Lisa Says (Lou Reed) / 10th Avenue Freezeout (Springsteen) / You're Gonna Miss Me (Roky Erickson) / I'm Gonna Go to the Zoo / Femme Fatale (Lou Reed) / John Jacob Jingleheimer Schimdt / Wake Up Sleepyhead (Jonathan Richman) / She Cracked (Jonathan Richman) / Foggy Notion (Lou Reed)/ Farmer John / Fun Time (Iggy Stooge) / No Fun (Iggy Stooge) / Fun Fun Fun (Beach Boys) / Maryland Girls (California Girls) (Beach Boys) / Shakin' Street (MC5) / Battle of the Bands / Mono / Rip My Shirt To Shreds / Oriental Girls / Her Parents Came Home / Rock and Roll Nurse (Bo Diddley) // My Generation (Pete Townshend) / Rock and Roll Heart (Lou Reed) / Who Do You Love (Bo Diddley) / I'm The Man For You (MC5) / You're Gonna Miss Me (Roky Erickson) / Live With Me (Rolling Stones) / Bogue Millionaires-Cool Millionaires / Tangled Up In Blues (Bob Dylan) / Femme Fatale (Lou Reed) / John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt / I'm Almost Grown (Chuck berry) / College Psychology On Love (Armand Schaubroeck Steals) / Nadine (Chuck Berry) / A Girl I Care About (Jonathan Richman) / Oriental Girls / I Saw Her Standing There (Beatles) / Teenage Lust (MC5) / Patti Smith / Let's Play House (Arthur Gunter) / Not Too Cool (Foreign Objects) / Little Doll (Iggy Stooge)
50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Watts Records, 1979
Lineup: Jad Fair - guitar, vocals, drums / David Fair - guitar, vocals, drums / Rick Dreyfuss - drums (DC show only) / John Dreyfuss - sax (DC show only)
Recording Info: Live at the Red Door in Baltimore and live at DC Space in Washington.
Notes: Henry Weld's Half Japanese discography lists this as being a double cassette, with Half Gentlemen being the other tape--I don't think that's the case because:
Also at variance with Mr Weld's otherwise excellent discography is the number and type of inserts. My copy came with three letter-sized inserts (a poster, a list of "things we like", and the tracklist), one half letter insert (a pic of Lon Cheney), a trick or treat bag (originally holding the tape? or candy?), plus a paper sleeve, all in a single polybag that was stapled shut with a strip of cardboard at the top. The I Can't Stand Cats booklet wasn't included with my copy--I'm pretty sure that was available on its own.
Tn Tn Tn Tn Ki / ???? (2 songs?) / Till Victory / ???? / 10th Avenue Freezeout / Patti Smith / ???? (2 songs?) / Shhh-Shhh-Shhh / ???? (2 songs?) / My Girlfriend Lives Like a Beatnik / ???? / Hey Laurie / ???? (3 songs?) / T-T-T-T-T-T / ???? (3 songs?) / Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr / ???? (2 songs?) / I Love Oriental Girls / No More Beatlemania / Tangled Up In Blues
50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Watts Records, 1979
Triple LP Boxed Set:
Double CD reiussue:
Lineup: Jad Fair - guitar, vocals, drums / David Fair - guitar, vocals, drums
Recording Info: Recorded between 1977 and 1979.
Notes: I don't have a tracklist for the original cassette, but it does differ from the 3xLP version--it's only sixty minutes long, there are several songs that aren't on the vinyl version, and some of the songs that are on the vinyl version are extended (like Tn Tn Tn Tn Ki which is almost three minutes longer). The recordings appear to be the same, though--the changes in duration seem to be entirely due to editing.
The guy I got the tape from remembers it coming with a bag of goodies (like Half Live), but he couldn't find it. If anyone out there has the original tracklist or goody bag--email me!
Yes, the picture is cropped like that on the tape cover.
I would guess that there weren't many of the cassette (mine has 125 written on the label, though whether that's a catalog number or what is up to interpretation). I've seen a several of the triple LP that are missing some or all of the inserts--though again, I can only guess as to whether that's because the inserts have been lost or there weren't enough to go around when the record was pressed. I've only seen a handful of the CD reissue, and don't have one myself, so I pulled the tracklist from an ebay auction. It may be wrong.
O Nicole Told Me / Girl Athletes / Night and Day With Angela / Lucky Star / Zombie / T For Texas / No Direct Line / On the One Hand I Do... // Louisiana Man / Route 66 / Electricity Respect / Thing With a Hook / Perfume / Fortunate / Only Dancing / I Walk Through Walls / Rosemary's Baby / Double Trouble
50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Watts Records, 1984
Rosemary's Baby / Louisiana Man / Route 66 / Electricity Respect / Thing With A Hook / Perfume / Fortunate / Double Trouble / I Walk Through Walls // Nicole Told Me / Girl Athletes / Day and Night With Angela / Lucky Star / Zombie / T For Texas / No Direct Line / On the One Hand
Calypso Now, 1984
Lineup: Jad Fair - guitar, vocals, harmonica / David Fair - guitar / John Dreyfuss - saxophone / Mark Jickling - guitar, vocals / Rich LaBrie - drums / Howard Wuelfing - bass / Don Fleming - guitar / Andy Jickling - guitar / Joey P - percussion / Jay Spiegel - drums
Recording Info: Recorded in 1984.
Notes: The original version doesn't have a label name anywhere (it predates the revival of 50 Skidillion Watts by a year or so), but it was self-released, so it makes sense to list it here. My copy came with a drawing of a cat on acetate.
Reviews: This is NOT my favorite era of Half Japanese (I think they started to lose it around 1981), but this is an absolutely smokin' performance. The band are tight, well-rehearsed, and definitely with it. The recording quality is pretty good (nice thick sound), but it's marred by the extremely low levels--jack it up high enough to hear and the hiss is pretty astounding. In spite of that this is undeniably better than Big Big Sun or any of the later live albums.
No discussion of Half Japanese would be complete without at least a mention of the bands' other DIY projects...As a completest collector, I've got to find everything there is that's possibly related to the bands that interest me--including test pressings, flyers, photos, press kits, coffee mugs, wall clocks, commemorative cuff links, and with Half Japanese, children's books. I only have of three, but I'm sure there's more stuff in this vein floating around out there (like David's Worms In It booklet, which I'm still looking for). If you know of more, email me!
7"x7" 24 page booklet
Reviews: I don't have this one, though I'd dearly love to. Shoot me an email if you have one for sale or trade!
Notes: Listed in Henry Weld's discography as part of the Half Live/Half Gentlemen package. My copy was not, however.
Notes: Included in some copies of the 1/2 Gentlemen/Not Beasts 3xLP boxed set. I've seen a couple loose copies as well, though whether they just got seperated from the records or were available on their own is unknown...
7"x8.5" booklet w/8.5"x5.5" explanation sheet
Notes: My copy has a loose explanation sheet inside--for the benefit of anyone whose copy doesn't, here's the text:
(AN UNUSUAL COURTSHIP)
John Dreyfuss talked Margie Moremen into picking up a worm.
She picked one up, dropped it, screamed, and ran away.
A year later John and Margie were married.
John Dreyfuss was the saxophonist for the Chumps, early Half Japanese, and late No Joe. Margie Moremen played somethingorother on Our Solar System (and maybe some others). And for the record, earthworm based courtships are not that unsual. I once spent half an hour chasing and throwing earthworms at a girl I liked. I was 22 and I have no regrets.
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