Bad Times - Streets of Iron LPLabel: Goner Records
In 1998, things were going south for friends Jay Reatard, Eric Oblivian, and King Louie Bankston. In between broken relationships, shattered homes, dissolving bands, and feeling low down, a collaboration was proposed. Jay and Eric trekked down from Memphis with some songs and ideas for songs, listening to Funkadelic and bad Killed By Death-styled punk songs for the six hours to see Louie in New Orleans. One day was spent learning songs, one day recording songs. Eventually they played one show in Normal, IL, opening up for Guitar Wolf. The result of this recording was a blast of punk, garage punk, and psychedelic mayhem. Indeed, the hours listening to Funkadelic did pay off. Jay stole some lyrics and some heavy fuzz solo style from George Clinton and the gang. Eric stole a couple songs from Japanese punk legends Friction and Texaco Leather Man, and tried to mention his favorite sumo wrestler Konishiki whenever possible. Fittingly, when Jay and Eric returned to Memphis, Jay found all his belongings—clothes, guitars, amplifiers—out on his front lawn, as his mom had returned to their house and kicked him out while he was away. Bad Times, indeed!
A release on Sympathy For The Record Industry combined tracks from this session and from their one live show, and has become a cherished collector’s item going for top dollar on the secondhand market. This edition restores the original tracks from the recording session—Eric’s “Wrong Way To Love” and Jay’s “Lick On My Leather,” eliminating two live tracks. A new track order provides a punchy new way to experience the music as well, and the music has been carelessly remastered from a dub of the original cassette. Behold the final product—this is how the Bad Times was meant to be heard!