Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Buck Pets - 1987 demo tape

A brief album review in a 1989 issue of Circus magazine, of all places, described Dallas' Buck Pets as a cross between Guns N Roses and Mudhoney...or was it the Sex Pistols and Mudhoney? One of those two I think. Anyway, it was enough for me to run to the nearest Sam Goodys to buy their 1989 debut LP, The Buck Pets, on Island Records. They epitomized so much of what I was looking for in a great rock and roll band - some punk, a little grunge, '80s indie rock (think early Soul Asylum), but in contradiction to the aforementioned Circus review, definitely not metal. Though a little unaccomplished and rough around the edges, The Pets offered a humble charisma not dissimilar to The Replacements. And like the Replacements, they knew when to serve a scalding cup of Joe, and conversely, when to wax contemplatively. Check out their first album's "Iron Cock," and "A Little Murder," respectively to see what I mean.

That album made a huge impression on me. I can still remember how stoked I was a couple years later when I found an original nine-song Buck Pets demo tape, that served as a precursor to the album, in an alleyway record shop in Schenectady, New York. Independently released in 1987, I'm assuming this is what sealed the deal with Island Records, if only for the fact that five songs (tracks 1, 4, 6, 7, and 9) were recorded for The Buck Pets. "Some Hesitation" wound up on the second Buck Pets album, Mercurotones, and the remaining three cuts are exclusive to this tape. To get a real appreciation of these demos, hearing the first Buck Pets album at the very least would behoove you, but if this is/was your first exposure to the band it's a highly convincing introduction nonetheless.

In 1990, The Pets follow-up, Mercurotones came and went with little fanfare. Uprooted from Island shortly thereafter, their third and final album, To The Quick, surfaced in 1993 on Restless Records, and that was about it. Do yourself a favor and check out The Buck Pets fansite
Worldwide Smile for historical info and links to post-Buck Pets projects, particularly those involving BP lead singer Chris Savage.

01. Song for Louise Post
02. Sometimes
03. Other People
04. Hammer Valentine
05. Some Hesitation
06. Perfect
07. A Little Murder
08. Lost
09. Funny That Way



b. brown said...

NO SHIT! The Buckpets have long been one of my favorites. And I never meet anyone else who knows who they are. Not kidding. Excellent work here. Let's do lunch.

bob said...

It has been a long time.

Unknown said...

Great band, and the first album is a classic! It's become one of my albums of reference, I always buy it if I see it used (happens a lot) and give it to friends to spread the word a bit.

Bill Aitken said...

Who wants to hear a story about Buck Pets drummer Tony Alba?  Well, I'm going to tell it anyway.  In 1983 I was working at Domino's Pizza on Sherry Lane in Dallas and I visited a friend who worked at the DP at Webb Chapel and Royal Lane.  He said he wanted to visit his friend Tony who used to work there.  I said OK and we went over to Tony's.  His drum kit took up most of his apartment.  He was stressing out over some drumming by the Police drummer in the movie Dead Zone.  His drumming sounded great to me but he couldn't find whatever sound he was searching for.  He finally confessed that he was distraught by the fact that he was madly in love with a young lady who he feared would never know he loved her.  I said if you really love her go to her right now and declare your undying eternal love for her.  He said he loved her and he would do just that if I went with him, and I said OK.  We hopped in Tony's VW bug and drove to her work at Crystal's Pizza, but we just missed her so we drove to her house.  Tony added that she was black from the inner city and he was white from the suburbs.  I said that didn't matter if her really loved her.  He said he did, and he told me to wait in the car.  Knock knock.  Her big brother answered the door and immediately started screaming at Tony.  I was thinking about getting out of the car when she showed up at the door and started screaming at her brother and Tony.  Tony started screaming I LOVE YOU!!!! to her.  She started crying.  Tony was crying and screaming.  Her brother was screaming.  I was still in the car having a nervous breakdown.  Finally Tony hustled back to the Bug, hopped in, started it up and floored it out of there.  I said atleast she now knows you love her.  Tony looked at me with disgust and said he almost got killed because he listened to me.Well, that's my Tony Alba sory.  He is a very cool dude.Bill Aitken

Bill Aitken said...

I made a mistake in my previous post. Tony was stressing out about the Police drummer's drumming from the movie Rumble Fish, not Dead Zone. The song may have been Don't Box Me In.

King Voodoo said...

I went to high school with Chris and Andy. Saw them from the start and one of the coolest shows ever was when they opened for the Replacements during our senior year at the Theater Gallery. I saw Chris on the streets of downtown Dallas about 8 years ago and have not heard anything about any of them and quite some time.

holygrail said...

Chris just played some BP songs with Ricky Pearson a few weeks at a reunion of the 1980's Dallas music scene. Chris is in a band called Mic the Tiger. He also has a good Buck Pets myspace page going. Who knows what else is in store? ;-)

Unknown said...

buck pets are playing a show april 10, 2010, at trees in dallas. this is a closer grouping to the original lineup: chris savage, andy thompson, ian beach, and ricky pearson.

jones() said...

I was lucky enough to meet The Buck Pets and interview Chris Savage after their show at Bogart's in Cincinnati in 1989. I was working for my college radio station at the time, and they were the first band that I ever interviewed. The band in general and Chris especially were amazingly cool: great show and no rock star bullshit. Chris just sat and talked with us for nearly an hour after the show. Then the whole band signed a dozen copies of their album and recorded six or seven station ID's. I've got the whole thing still on cassette somewhere -- only wish I'd had foresight enough to record the show itself.

In any case, here's to a great band. Thanks for posting this demo.

take care


Ralph Dodger said...

Fantastic! Many thanks.

Tinsel Heart said...

The link isn't working. Please, update it. I'm only discovering The Buck Pets these days... Thank you. And it's a wonderful story you told here, Mr Aitken. Could have been easily made into a Buck Pets video... :)

spavid said...

The link has just been updated.

Unknown said...

I'm good friends with Tony Alba and he is not only super talented, but the sweetest guy!

Unknown said...

I'd be grateful for a re-up.

lolo said...

hi, I agree with the re-up request!

thank you


Unknown said...

Saw the buck pets at the point in Atlanta in 91 I think. Our band opened for them the following night at rockafellas in Columbia SC.They were really cool guys that didn't give the rock star attitude to an unknown band like ours.They kicked ass both nights