Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I must have seen these guys at least 10 times through the 90's, and let me tell you they put on one hell of a live show .The Swingin' Neckbreakers only seemed to burst out of nowhere (although Trenton, New Jersey may be pretty damn close to nowhere). Brothers Tom and John Jorgensen had been champing at the bit to go out and do some rock 'n' roll damage for years. However, the odds on finding like-minded rabble rousers in their neck of the woods were against them. The duo recorded some home demos, and played a couple of obscure gigs here and there with different names and band members, until they adopted Don "Shaggy" Snook. John Jorgensen moved from guitar to drums, handing the six-string seat to Shaggy, while Tom continued to play bass and scream. In the spring of 1992 the trio recorded some demos, which they passed on to Maxwell's booking impressario and Telstar Records chief Todd Abramson at a Lyres/A-Bones gig at the Hoboken, New Jersey, club in the hopes of securing a gig there. Abramson liked what he heard so much that they not only got a gig, but an offer to go into the studio and record for Telstar. These sessions resulted in the band's first release, "Diggin' A Grave" (Telstar 008). The three song 7" offered a promising glimpse of the future. The Neckbreakers began doing local gigs, starting with a Lyres/Rising Storm show at Maxwell's that brought the band to the attention of many local hipsters. Based on the strength of these gigs -- and impressive sales of the debut single -- the Neckbreakers headed into Coyote Studios to record their first album in January of 1993. The resulting album, Live For Buzz (Telstar 012) has been hailed by critics and fans alike as a stunning masterpiece. The long player consisted of a strong mixture of well chosen cover tunes and excellent Tom Jorgensen originals. The opening cut, "You", became an instant favorite with its driving organ (courtesy of Dave Amels). The title track is a good old fashioned-hedonistic ode, not unlike the album's single, "Little Pink Medicine". Covers of The Rogues' "Same All Over The World" and The Jay Jays' "Shake It Some More" became the Neckbreakers' most requested live numbers. The pounding medley of "The Girl Can't Dance"/"Look Away" closed the album and most live shows, leaving fans breathless. A dramatic step forward from their original recording, Live For Buzz really put the Neckbreakers on the musical map. Area gigs began filling up to capacity as sales climbed. Later in the year, the Neckbreakers took Estrus up on their offer to record a Crust Club single of the month, the pounding "Workin' & Jerkin'". Which is my favorite single from them . some of this info came from http://www.neckbreakers.com/snhist.html


YankeeBoy said...

I bet we were at a lot of the same shows as I used to see those guys all the time back in the day. The first time I saw them they opened for the Lyres at CBGBs and were so amazing that the Lyres almost seemed like an afterthought. And that ain't easy to do! My personal favorite of theirs is "Rip Rip Rip it Up" which came out on some Spanish (I think) label as a 45.

Frank Miller said...

We probably were at some of the same shows . my first time was at maxwels in Hoboken . I think the high fives or maybe the woggles opened up for them that night . It was early 90's because shaggy was still with them . I remember they did a awesome version of the Sonic's, he's waiting that blew me away. Funny, everytime I saw them after that and had a chance to talk to them, I would ask them to play it, and every time they would say , we haven't done that in a long time . I guess it wasn't part of their set anymore and they didn't want to do it. rip it , rip it up was a great single, it was on rock and roll inc, out of Madrid, Spain . The flip side was this bottle of mine. It came out in 1995. Thanks for the comment.