January 17, 2018

20,000 Vinyl LPs 124: Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club

Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP record sleeve detail
art work by Diana Miami
detail photo of sleeve by Styrous®



photos by Styrous®





In the late 70's one of the great joys of living in the Mission was going to the Deaf Club on Valencia Street near 16th. It was about four blocks from my studio and we'd go to hear the punk groups of the period; The Units, Flipper, Crime and many other groups performed there as well as at the Valencia Tool & Die, a few blocks up Valencia Street from the Deaf Club and just around the corner from my studio.   


Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP front cover
art work by Diana Miami
photo of cover by Styrous®


Before it went punk, well even afer, the space was actually a second floor meeting hall over a laundrymat, on Valencia Street, originally begun as a deaf people's clubhouse in the 1930s. The members of the club weren't bothered by the ferocious volume of the music and the punk bands could blast out to their heart's content. Although the regular deaf members of the club couldn't hear the music, they would stand in front of the stage and feel the throbbing of the music in their guts and soul as it thudded through the floor and into their bodies: it was exciting and inspiring to watch them jump up and down with total abandon in time to it. I'm convinced it's where the mosh started.    

mosh pit
photographer unknown
But maybe not. . . . 
      



In any event, the raucous nights at the Deaf Club on the second floor on Valencia were a hell of a lot of fun and a good time was had by all.


the Deaf Club (second floor)
530 Valencia Street, San Francisco 
photographer unknown



Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP back cover
album photos by Sue Brisk
photo of back cover by Styrous®


Joel Selvin, music critic for the SF Chronicle, gave it a bad review as "one of the stranger scenes on the punk rock scene." Maybe not such a bad review after all.

Tono Rondone, a member of the Frank Hymng Band, which featured Fritz Fox of The Mutants, tells a humorous sideline to the history of the Deaf Club:
"At one point, there was a headline in the San Francisco Chronicle which told of the temporary closing of The Deaf Club whose headline read 'Deaf Club Closed Due to Excessive Noise Levels.'"     
In his daily San Francisco Chronicle column dated Monday August 13, 1979, "Have a Weird Day",  Herb Caen said:   
"I don't know about you, but I find it slightly bizarre that The Deaf Club at 530 Valencia – indeed a social hangout for deaf people – features punk rock groups, such as Zen, Off, The Pink Section, Blow Driers and Mutants. "The louder the better!" beams Edward Juaregui, executive director of Deaf Self Help. "We all like to dance, and we can feel the vibrations." How about the neighbors? "Oh," continued Edward, "they're going crazy. They keep calling the cops, complaining the noise is deafening. Isn't that rich?"            



Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP back cover details
art work by Diana Miami
album photos by Sue Brisk
detail photos of back cover by Styrous®


Robert Hanrahan, manager of The Offs discovered the San Francisco Club for the Deaf, and was able to rent it on a nightly basis. The first show at the Deaf Club was on December 9, 1978, and featured the Offs, The Mutants and On The Rag. Unfortunately, I missed the opening.  

There were over 100 bands from Northern California: The Units, The Zeros, Crime, The Dils, Flipper and from Southern California: Bags, The Alley Cats, Germs, X and Dinettes that would play this wonderful and amazing underground club.  


Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP record sleeve, side 1
sleeve photo by Sue Brisk
photo of sleeve by Styrous®


Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club

I have favorites from this album, of course. The live version of the Tribute To Russ Meyer by the Mutants is punk at the height of perfection!      

Next is Police Truck by the Dead Kennedys. The single is terrific but the live version is: WOW! A run-a-way train on speed! It rips along at a ferocious pace with guitar work out of this world or perhaps on acid!      

Then there's the whacked out cover of the Jagger-Richards song, 19th Nervous Breakdown, by Tuxedomoon only to be followed up with their version of the song, Heaven, from the  the surrealist horror film Eraserhead (1977) by David Lynch. Oh, my lord! Heaven is a beautiful, dreamy and ethereal slow ride to bliss occasionally interrupted by a sublime vocal harmony by the group. 

(YouTube links to songs below)

Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP record sleeve detail
art work by Diana Miami
detail photos of sleeve by Styrous®


The compilation album, released by Optional Music distribution of Berkeley, CA on the Walking Dead label was recorded on a mobile 8 track by Jim Keylor (of Army Street Studios), DJ'ed by Johnnie Walker, produced by Robert Hanrahan who managed and booked groups into the Deaf Club, and coordinated by Peter Worrall.     

The photos selected for the album were taken by Sue Brisk, the album art was by Diana Miami (aka Diana Stumbo) and the liner notes were written by V. Vale of RE/Search/Search & Destroy. It was recorded live at the club during early 1979 and is a vivid record of the authentic underground punk and "new wave" scene during that period in San Francisco's music history. The album featured The Mutants' Tribute to Russ Meyer and Monster of Love and performances from other first and second generation San Francisco Punk bands      


Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP record sleeve detail
art work by Diana Miami
detail photos of sleeve by Styrous®


In researching for this blog entry I was amazed to discover the number of deaf or heard of hearing musicians there were (link below).     


Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP sleeve, side 2
sleeve photos by Sue Brisk
photo of sleeve by Styrous®





Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP record sleeve, side 2 details
sleeve photos by Sue Brisk
detail photos of sleeve by Styrous®


The club closed with a party hosted by the artist and filmmaker Bruce Conner. The club had a history of being closed for various reasons, such as by the fire marshal for the lack of sprinklers.   




Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP, side 1
photo by Styrous®







Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club 
vinyl LP, side 1
photo by Styrous®




Tracklist:     

Side 1: A1 – Dead Kennedys - Police Truck, written by Jello Biafra - 2:30

A2 – Dead Kennedys - Short Songs, written by 6025 - 0:20

A3 – Dead Kennedys - Straight A's, written by 6025, Jello Biafra - 2:05

A4 – K.G.B. (4) - Dying In The U.S.A., written by K.G.B. (4) - 2:55

A5 – K.G.B. (4) - Picture Frame Seduction, written by K.G.B. (4) - 2:40

A6 – Offs* - Hundred Dollar Limo, written by Billy Hawk - 1:12

A7 – Offs* - Die Babylon, written by Billy Hawk, Don Vinyl* - 2:42

A8 – Offs* - I've Got The Handle, Arranged By Billy Hawk, written by L. Sibbles* - 2:15

Side 1:
B1 – Mutants (2) - Tribute To Russ Meyer, written by Brendan Earley, Fritz Fox - 5:20

B2 – Mutants (2) - Monster Of Love, written by Brendan Earley, Fritz Fox, Sally W* - 1:50

B3 – Pink Section - Jane Blank, written by Pink Section - 2:28

B4 – Pink Section - Francine's List, written by– Pink Section - 2:42

B5 – Pink Section - Been In The Basement 30 Years, written by Pink Section - 2:27

B6 – Tuxedomoon - 19th Nervous Breakdown, Arranged By – Tuxedomoon, Lyrics By [Additional] – Blaine Reininger*, written by Jagger-Richards - 4:05

B7 – Tuxedomoon - Heaven [From The Film Eraserhead] - 3:40

Companies, etc.

    Phonographic Copyright (p) – Gammon Records (2)
    Copyright (c) – Gammon Records (2)
    Recorded At – Deaf Club
    Recorded By – BSU Productions
    Mastered At – Sterling Sound
    Pressed By – Hub-Servall Record Mfg. Corp.
    Manufactured By – Jem Records, Inc.
    Marketed By – Jem Records, Inc.
    Distributed By – Jem Records, Inc.

Credits:

    Cover – Diana Miami
    Design [Label & Logo] – M. McCall*
    Engineer – Jim Alcivar, Jim Keylor
    Executive Producer – Robert Hanrahan
    Liner Notes, Sleeve, Coordinator [Final Coordination] – Vale*
    Photography By – Susan Brisk

Notes:

Comes with a double-sided printed insert with photos, quotes, a list of bands that played at the Deaf Club, and liner notes by V. Vale of RE/Search

Recorded at the San Francisco Club Of The Deaf
Location Recording: BSU Productions

Tracks A1 to A3 published by Decay Music - BMI
Tracks A4, A5, B1 to B5 published by Can You Hear Me Music - BMI
Track A6 & A7 published by Bug Music - BMI
Track A8 published by Island Music - BMI
Track B6 published by Essex Music
Track B7 published Copyright Control David Lynch
Barcode and Other Identifiers

    Matrix / Runout (Side A, Etched/Stamped): PVC 7920-A HUB STERLING
    Matrix / Runout (Side B, Etched/Stamped): PVC 7920-B HUB STERLING
    Rights Society: BMI

Various ‎– Can You Hear Me? Music From The Deaf Club
Label: PVC Records ‎– PVC 7920, Gammon Records (2) ‎– PVC 7920
Format: Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Reissue
Country: US
Released: 1981
Genre: Electronic, Rock
Style: New Wave, Punk
    
         
Viewfinder link:          
         
Dead Kennedys         
         
Net links:          
         
KALW ~ Forty Years of San Francisco Punk Rock        
Deaf and hard of hearing musicians      
How to Have a Blast Diving Head-First Into the Mosh Pit of Life   
Are Mosh Pits A Thing Of The Past?          
        
YouTube links:          
         
Mutants ~ Monster of Love      
Mutants - Tribute To Russ Meyer (Live)           
Dead Kennedys - Police Truck (Live)         
Tuxedomoon - Heaven (Live)
Tuxedomoon - 19th Nervous Breakdown [Live]     
       
     
        
         
“your death in life is your government”
                               ~ Deaf Club men’s room graffiti


         
Styrous© ~ Wednesday, January 17, 2018