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I really started :30 Under DC as Limp Records fansite/discography (no shit!), but it grew to be a little bit bigger.
Limp is my favorite DC label. The reasons are self-explanatory: Black Market Baby, the Shirkers, D.Ceats, the Slickee Boys, the Nurses and so on... Unfortunately a lot of the Limp Records stuff is out of print and increasingly hard to find. Aside from :30 Over DC and a couple cuts by the Slickee Boys and BMB, everything's out of print and increasingly hard to find.
Skip Groff was the first person I interviewed for this project, and you can read said interview in elsewhere on this site (check back soon), and see his comments on every single Limp release here.
If you have any records that aren't pictured here, or any sleeve variations, colored vinyl, test pressings, tapes, flyers or photos of Limp Records artists (even Nightman!), email me! The same holds true if you were involved in the production of one these records and want to chime in with some memories of your own.
Put a Bullet Thru the Jukebox / Let's Live For Today // the Girls Want to be With the Girls / Heart On
1000 copies on black vinyl w/blue cover
1000 copies on black vinyl w/red cover, glossy paper
Limp Records EP1001, 1978
Lineup: Martha Hull - vocals and vocal arrangements / Marshall Keith - lead guitar, farfisa organ, vocals / Kim Kane - rhythm guitar, vocals / Howard Wuelfing - bass, vocals / Dan Palenski - drums, maracas, vocals / Andy Charneco - kalimba / Don Zientara - backup vocals (on Let's Live For Today)
Recording Info: Recorded at Don Zientara's B Studio, March-April 1978.
Skip's Comments: They had already put out their Separated Vegetables album and the Hot and Cool EP, which had Psychodaisies on it--a Yardbirds B side that very few people know of because it wasn't on the American 45, it was only on the British 45--and a couple of their original songs. I just wanted to work with them. They had already prepared this next release and I put up the money to release it, press it up. It went from there.
I think that if I'd been involved with the production on this it would sound a little livelier than it does. It sounds kind of flat to me. The performances are good, the songs are well constructed, it just doesn't have a brightness and an edge that I thought I could have brought to it.
Reviews: This record is the one I always play for people to show them why I love and hate the Slickee Boys. For every kick-ass rock n roll song like Bullet, they had to record two or three bland pap turds like Heart On (shame on you, Howard Wuelfing) or dull 60's covers like Live For Today. The Girls Want to Be With the Girls is good, but not great. All in all an above average Slickee Boys record.
I don't have the second press or test pressing of this record. email me if you've got one for sale or trade.
Pyjama Party / Punk Rock Janitor (live) // Girl Talk / Fabian Lips
450 copies on black vinyl w/sleeves (some w/lyric sheets too)
550 copies on black vinyl w/o sleeves
Dacoit Records 003 / Limp Records 002, 1978
Lineup: Jackson Plugs - drums / Rowdy Doody - segova bass, vocals / Dob O'Nair - farfisa organ, vocals / Rudy Protrudi - lead vocals, guitar
Notes: A and B labels pictured. Some copies came with a lyric insert and some copies had the record title colored in w/magic marker. Tina Peel=Teen Appeal. Get it? From Harrisburg, PA, home of Poison.
Skip's Comments: Rudy Protrudi, who later had the Fuzztones, was good friends with the Slickee Boys, and they performed a lot locally. Both Kim Kane and I approached them after seeing a show, and we both wanted to put out a record by them, so we did it as a split release between Limp and Dacoit. Even though it sounds like it's recorded live, we didn't have anything to do with the production of that. They did that themselves.
It's rated very highly as a collectible item, perhaps undeservedly so. I think Knocking Down Guardrails, which got put on probably the Best of Limp...I see you're...
:30 Over DC.
It is? (laughs) Is this going to be on the final test?
Yes, yes it is.
(laughs) Well in any case that was a song that they had left over from those sessions or sessions they'd done later. I thought that was a much better, representative, recorded sound of what they were.
I think that this sounds like a party record. It just sounds like it was recorded live and, obviously, Punk Rock Janitor is.
Reviews: I've been after this record for a while now and was excited as hell when Skip turned up a stash w/sleeves and started selling them on ebay. Speakin' o' sleeves, that's a mighty nice looking record, isn't it? That vinyl sure is black. Certainly as black as the Shirkers or BMB 7"s, though maybe not as black as the first Slickee Boys 7". Nice and round too. Yup. Sure is one good lookin' record. Too bad I can't fuckin' play the thing since my stereo blew its little brains out and now distorts everything horribly. Sure is nice to look at though.
2004/05/16: New stereo, for a while at least (this one needs to have its cassette drive belts replaced, since they disintigrated, so it goes into the shop soon). This sounds like an organned-up Slickee Boys (BTW, "I organned up your mother" would make a great insult.). Punk Rock Janitor (Not written about Kim Kane, Montgomery County School System's own punk rock janitor, but written about a punk/janitor from Harrisburg) is a nice little tune, with a bit o' the pizaz that the studio cuts are missing.
2004/05/28: My old stereo (the one that distorted things horribly), is now back from the shop. Some of the solder had cracked, and it's now in fine feckle. Now the new one (with the busted cassette belts) goes in. Not that this has anything to do with Tina Peel.
Does anyone have a tape of the complete show that Punk Rock Janitor was taken from? If so, Email me!
Drunk and Disorderly // Suicide / Suburbs and Oil Paintings
1000 copies on black vinyl in two different sleeves
Limp Records 003, 1978
Lineup: Steven "Stiv" Bialer - sing / Liz DuMais - guitar and sing / Libby Hatch - bass and sing / Thomas Kane - guitar / Jeff Zang - drum
Recording Info: Recorded by Don Zientara in his basement, August 1978. Produced by Howard Wuelfing. Suburbs and Oil Paintings fades out after about ten seconds.
Notes: Two sleeves put out by competing factions of the band. 500 of each. Bialer or Bailer? Make up your minds, guys...
Skip's Comments: This is something that Howard Wuelfing produced. The Shirkers were a band that Kim Kane's younger brother Thomas was in with Libby Hatch--Mark Jenkins' girlfriend. Mark was a good friend of Howard, and he was a reviewer for several of the Washington papers at the time--still is--and he wrote the book that you referred to earlier.
Howard Wuelfing produced the record and Thomas and Libby were the only ones I knew in the group at the time. Howard brought it to me as a finished thing. He had his own label, Teen-A-Tunes, that he'd previously done some of the Nurses things on, but he wasn't really active with it. He thought that having it on Limp would give it greater selling power, greater critical edge.
I like the record a lot. Drunk and Disorderly had that kind of frantic B-52s inner feel, and I really thought that Suicide was a stronger cut, but Drunk and Disorderly has obviously become something of an anthem, and it's a very, very rare record.
Do you know anything about the production? Obviously Howard Wuelfing wasn't too happy with it since he did a remix for inclusion on the Best of Limp.
No, I remixed it.
He didn't remix it, I remixed it. That's one of the things that...
That leads to the famous story, at that same session, when I was down at Don Zientara's, I remixed one of the SOA cuts that I'd done with Henry to possibly include on the Best of Limp. When Henry heard it he pretty much threatened to kill me. He said, "What are you trying to do, ruin my career?" And this was when he hadn't even joined Black Flag! So he really felt strongly about what I'd done with it. He thought I made it too much of a top 40 type thing. That was dropped pretty quickly.
I wonder what he would feel today hearing it...
Reviews: Best worst production ever. Drunk and Disorderly is a punk anthem that's absolutely destroyed, demolished, degraded, damaged, and dumbed down by Howard Wuelfing's production. I don't know quite how to describe it. The production is really a marvel. One guitar is muddy and distorted to the point where it sounds like a dump truck driving through a tunnel, the other is so thin and anemic--like someone plucking on a rubber band. This has to be heard to be believed. It was remixed for inclusion on the Best of Limp LP, and I have to say that the remix is pretty bland and uninspired. Suicide is an okay track. I actually have the feeling that unlike the A side, it would actually sound better remixed/remastered.
Black Market Baby recorded a version of Drunk and Disorderly in 1986 for their aborted second album. The song was later released on 7" by Yesterday and Today and LP/CD by Bitzcore.
I don't have the band member sleeve. If you've got a copy for sale or trade, email me.
Gotta Tell Me Why / Forbidden Alliance // Golden Love / Glendora
20? test pressings on black vinyl
1000? copies on black vinyl color cover w/insert
1000? copies on black vinyl b/w sleeve w/insert
Limp Records 005, 1978
Lineup: Mark Noone - lead vocals, tambourine / Kim Kane - rhythm guitar, wanktone lead / Marshall Keith - lead and rhythm, farfisa organ / Emery Olexa - bass guitar / Dan Palenski - drums, backup vocals
Recording Info: Recorded 1979/06/23 at Don Zientara's B Studio. Producer - Skip Groff.
Skip's Comments: That's one of my greatest achievements and greatest disappointments.
The greatest achievement part because I think it's one of the finest things I was ever involved with in terms of realization from start to finish of how it should sound on a record and how it ended up sounding on a record.
It's one of the greatest disappointments because of Ted Niceley, who was my best friend at one point in time--he was the best man at my wedding.
I had taken him to the studio that day--he had never done any production work before, other than working with the Razz--and I took him to the studio for the Slickee Boys session. Later on I came back and remixed the tapes, I did all that by myself. I did that entire recording, and he helped with some suggestions. As a courtesy I gave him co-production credit on it.
Years later in an interview in the Maryland Music Monthly he said that was the first record he ever produced and the one he was proudest of. I called him up that day and laid into him and I've only talked to him one time, briefly, since then. I won't stand for that, that's total bullshit.
Who was Joe Sasfy, the guy who wrote the liner notes?
Joe Sasfy was the milder side of Richard Harrington. Joe Sasfy was a long time Washington music critic who was friends with a lot of the early DC new wave bands but he was more of an elderly, older father figure type thing. He now runs Time-Life's music division, and he vets all their projects in terms of deciding what goes on CD and licensing things, that sort of thing.
He and Steve Lorber were good friends as well, and again that's part of the interconnection with the thing and Steve Lorber to Joe Sasfy to Kim Kane to me. It's one big circle there.
A circle of jerks (laughs).
Reviews: Gotta Tell Me Why is a top notch rock song, but as per usual the Slickees have paired it up with two lesser efforts and one outright stinker. I'll let you decide which are which.
If We Had Met / Best Friend's Girl Friend // On The Beat / Nobody's Robot
? test pressings on black vinyl
1000 copies on translucent blue vinyl
Limp Records 007, 1979
Lineup: Martha Hull - lead vocals / Keith Campbell - guitar, vocals / Harrison Sohmer - bass, vocals / Vic Quick - percussion
Recording Info: Recorded at Lion Recording, Washington, DC, November 1978. Engineer: Jim Fox.
Skip's Comments: I'd known Martha from the Slickee Boys and when her new band was ready to do something they approached me because there were really only two labels at that time in DC, my label, and there was Wasp Records, Bill Asp's label over in Virginia.
We were like two camps on opposite sides of the river--you're either with us or against us. The bands on his label shopped at my store, the bands on my label shopped at his store, but he and I didn't see eye to eye. We both had different perspectives on how to do things. He wanted to put out records and make money, and I didn't care if I made money as long as the records got attention for the groups.
Reviews: I liked the A side better at 45. My first thought was, "Whoa, those tracks on the Best of Limp were glacial next to this." Unfortunately it's nowhere near as good at the proper speed. Staid, unimaginative roots-rock on the first cut, Slickee-Boys-at-their-worst pop for the second.
The B side on the other hand, is great no matter how you cut it. Less conservative, more up front, more rockin' and a teensy-tinsy hint of funk throughout. On The Beat is Chuck Berry-to-almost-funk/almost-new-wave/almost-Cramps rock and roll blitzkrieg. Skip compared this record to the Nurses, but that only holds up for Nobody's Robot--Keith does a great Marc Halpern impression without compromising the originality of the track one iota. It's is a ragged, speedy, and most of all LOUD rock song with Martha really lettin' loose and GROWLING in a few places--really, when she sang, "and you don't want me / you don't wanna rock" what I pictured was a wolf, teeth bared, snarling into a microphone. Based on the B side, it's really a shame that D.Ceats didn't do another record or two--they coulda been great. But hey, without the collapse of D.Ceats, we wouldn't have Black Market Baby, so that's something at least.
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