A History of Sacripolitcal: The San Francisco Years: 1989 – 1993

John joined the Army. Matt became employed as a sociological researcher. Craig disappeared into the nihilist void, never to be heard from again. The band seemed ready to disintegrate and disappear.

Twilight of the IdolsBut then John returned from training and with Matt and Rob established The Headquarters, a flat in San Francisco that served as a new base for revolutionary operations. At the Headquarters, friends, outcasts, people on the run from the law, and those down on their luck found a place to stay. This was also where the ground-breaking fanzine Twilight of the Idols was conceived and published by members of the growing Sacripolitical army, including Juneko Robinson, John Gillheany, Matt Forestal, Stuart Jakl, Kent Daniels, Dario Goykavitch, and Vince Giacomini. While working on TOTI, the band once again began practicing. Doug Raposa (who wrote the songs “Anthem,” and “You Don’t See”), Mark Wallace, Whitney Wilson, and Eric Mead all rotated through the lineup until the band achieved its final assembly with John Marmysz on vocals, Matt Schmidt on guitar, Brooke Johnson on bass and Jeff Isotalo (AKA Dick Tator) on drums. This was to be the band’s finest embodiment, just as it also initiated it’s final push toward oblivion.

sc000464ceSacripolitcal set to a consistent and disciplined routine of practice and performance. Gigs still occurred in Marin, but more and more they played in San Francisco warehouses and dives; places such as Club Foot, The Sixth Street Rendezvous, and Club Chameleon. The usual absurdity and drama that they attracted remained unabated, with bar room brawls, confrontations with pimps, and near misses with the police lending a certain joie de vivre to their public performances. Ah, it was a time of musical excellence and passionate excess. It was a period during which songs such as “Nihilist Void,” ”White Suburban Brat Problems,” and “Sex Slave” were written, perfected and performed. It was a delightfully nihilistic time.

SacricaseWhile Sacripolitcal had often recorded and archived their practice sessions and performances, never had they thought to enter a professional studio. This changed in 1993, when they recorded seven tracks at Klub Kommotion. The session was engineered and mastered by Jeff Mann (later to be re-mastered by Paul Hollander). The title of the resulting EP was initially to be “Music for Men,” but due to disagreements between members of the band, it ended up being called simply “Peace: Under Our Supervision.” Rob designed the cover, and it was released as a cassette tape (Price: $4). Slicker and more polished than anything that they had ever done before, it was difficult to imagine that Sacripolitical had started as one guy banging on pickle drums, one guy strumming a guitar and one guy yelling impromptu lyrics. But there you go. The two extreme ends of the Sacripolitical continuum were now defined by Dionysian chaos and abandon on the one side, and regimented Apollonian discipline on the other. Their very existence was always a contradiction, but now it was more so than ever.

Sacri#2

Sacripolitical at Club Chameleon

What turned out to be the last performance of Sacripolitical took place in 1993 at Club Chameleon in San Francisco. The event was recorded for posterity by original “pickle drummer,” and Sacripolitcal’s newly promoted Minister of Progaganda, Rob Underwood. The band was in rare form, belting out all of their favorites as well as covering DEVO’s “Mongoloid” and the old classic “Time Has Come Today.” Quizzes and prize giveaways complemented a night of energetic and good-humored punk rock. The crowd even demanded an encore, which was graciously granted by the club’s management. A grand time was had by all; even by Kent Daniels who suffered only minor injuries when hit square in the face with a US Army issued MRE, one of the many prizes distributed during the band’s performance that historic evening.

NEXT: A Legacy for the Ages

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