August 22, 2008
Keeping on with the Quarterstick theme it just wouldn’t be right not mentioning (in my opinion) their greatest band: PEGBOY, ‘Three Chord Monte’ being the label’s birthplace with QS00001. I’ve been putting this post together for weeks & in doing so realised that it can get quite hard writing about bands you like. Lots of times I’ll check out some blog & it will lack any information or personal context as to ‘why’ somebody posted a band’s recordings. I know a few people read this blog now & enjoy the posts which is why I’d rather spend time putting together something interesting. I’m hoping to try and make a post every 2-3 weeks & have some good shit lined up so keep watching! Anyways, onward…
The first time I heard PEGBOY was sometime mid 1991 because the entire ‘Three Chord Monte’ E.P. was the soundtrack to the Strange Notes video magazine volume 6. At that time pretty much all my musical knowledge was coming via Santa Cruz skateboard videos, the Streets on Fire soundtrack being my exposure to the very best of SST. I’d heard NAKED RAYGUN already but PEGBOY really struck a chord since they had more of a hardcore edge… the muscular yet melodic riffs & weighty rhythm section were in keeping with the Chicago ‘post punk’ aesthetic of that period. The band draws heavily from each members past melding the best elements of NAKED RAYGUN and BHOPAL STIFFS but the sum here is far greater than the parts. This hybrid juggernaut really upped the bar for this style of melodic hardcore/punk & In my opinion no band has done anything since to equal PEGBOY’s legacy.
The band has had a relatively steady lineup, the only exception being changing bassists. Steve Saylors quit the band after Strong Reaction & in my opinion the band definitely lost something here cos the guy has one of the best bass sounds I’ve ever heard! Steve Albini filled in on the ‘Fore’ EP until permanent replacement Pierre Kezdy joined in 1994 a few years after NAKED RAYGUN’s demise. Apparently J. Robbins (JAWBOX) filled in on bass at one point. There was a record shop here that sold all the Touch & Go promo tapes weeks before they were released, I scored plenty of cool stuff back then… one thing of interest here was a promo tape for ‘Fore’ which has alternate track titles which are amusing.
About two years back I managed to locate some PEGBOY live sets via a friend, fuck knows where he got them from but I was grateful to hear them that’s for certain! The CBGB’s set had been saved in two parts which I split into separate tracks and tidied up slightly with some denoise-ing & eq, the quality is definately soundboard but a little rough. I also have a live set recorded in Pittsburgh from 1995 but the quality ain’t so good so I’m not upping that, if anyone really needs to hear it then send me an email. The second set posted here recorded at a reunion show in Chicago in 2000 (probably their 10 year anniversary?) & the sound quality is excellent. Hearing these two sets should bring a lot of joy to fellow fans because basically it’s fucking PEGBOY playing your favourite songs.. live! Albeit no comparison to being there (makes you wish you had been) but it’s next best thing you’re gonna get to it. Although saying that it appears they have been playing again since the Touch & Go 25th anniversary. Please leave a comment, I’d love to know what people think of these live sets.
PEGBOY – LIVE AT CBGB’s in NYC, 7-16-91
PEGBOY – LIVE AT THE FIRESIDE BOWL, CHICAGO 2000