Thursday, July 23, 2009


This is one of my favorite records from a totally underrated band. I always wondered why these guys weren't bigger. The only thing I can think of is maybe they came out at the wrong time, (not that's their fault). They were a great punk band on the backside of the hardcore movement. Don't get me wrong they had a strong following, but I think they should have been bigger.When I listen to the material from their second lp, It blows my mind that they couldn't find anyone to put it out. Unfortunately as is the case with a lot of bands from back then, I think their probably appreciated more now,then when they were out. All their records are classics. This is taken from their website. I'll put links at the bottom. Go check them out. Black Market Baby , a Washington D.C. band were Formed by Boyd Farrell and Paul Cleary of Snitch (Cleary was also in Trenchmouth), with Keith Campbell of D. Ceats and Tommy Carr from the Penetrators. The name Black Market Baby was suggested by Keith after seeing a trashy tv movie of the same name. Name or no, Keith, Paul, and Tommy weren't thinking about BMB seriously. It was only when they climbed on stage after a Tru Fax gig in March and ran through half a dozen songs that they realized Black Market Baby was something real. It may have been sloppy and ragged, but it was a hell of a lot of fun and the crowd loved 'em. They had an instant fan base: the Georgetown punks, already in love with the raw hardcore sounds coming out of LA, couldn't help but fall for a fundamentalist rock band with the same edge and intensity as Black Flag. Their new fans packed every shows, and the Bad Brains, Teen Idles, SOA, Minor Threat, and just about every other DC band worth mentioning played with Black Market Baby at least once.
'Course, it wasn't all smooth sailing. They lost their manager, and about a thousand bucks with him. Paul Cleary was kicked out in March, shortly after they finished recording their first 45. Mike Dolfi replaced him, and got his picture on the record, which hit the streets in May. The record was well received, but Dolfi was not. A lot of the Georgetown punks were angry about the lineup shift, and while there was plenty of support for BMB, there was also a lotta angry muttering too.
Add to the mix some tension over straight edge, top it off with Boyd and Keith having a little rough spot, and you've got a recipe for a breakup—which is just what they did. A new lineup appeared quickly, with Scott Logan (ex-Penetrators) replacing Keith on guitar.
The changes were affecting the band's chemistry, and despite a strong lineup on paper, things never really gelled. It wasn't surprising when they split again. Keith brought the band back together, but, soap opera that it was, Tommy and Dolfi left promptly. Adrian Ossea took over on drums, and found a replacement bassist by asking random people if they played bass. One of them said yes, and after a single rehearsal, Mike Donegan joined the band.
After a few more practices they started playing out again, but Adrian, who'd been cleaning himself up, fell off the wagon and Tommy was called back in. It really didn't matter who played drums to the fans, but with the lineup changes and their record label going bankrupt (taking their next record with them), they decided it was time to move on.
The band convened at Inner Ear, where they'd recorded their first 45, on August 1, 1986 to lay down their final album—on spec, since they couldn't find anyone willing to put it out. Ian MacKaye, always a fan of the band, manned the mixing desk. Three days of recording, two days of mixing, and it was over.
Until Howard Wuelfing stepped in, that is. He'd lived in DC during punk's birth and heyday, publishing two music papers, fronting two bands, and running his own record label. He'd moved to New York in the mid-eighties and started working for JEM, one of the largest independent distributors in the country. JEM were getting into the record business and Howard's boss, perhaps foolishly, asked him to name two bands JEM should offer deals to. He picked the Angry Samoans and Black Market Baby.
The Samoans, buoyed by their popularity were able to sign a favorable contract. Black Market Baby—whose existence was hanging solely on the hope that the JEM deal would work out—couldn't negotiate a deal that would preserve their independence. They split, playing a farewell show in January of 1988.
Black Market Baby (with Dolfi on bass), clawed its way out of the grave and took the stage to open for Agent Orange in March of '93. The band weren't "making a comeback," they were just playing for the hell of it. Without the pressure of "being in a band," it turned out to be the longest lasting, most stable incarnation of Black Market Baby. Despite some noteworthy shows (including the 9:30 Club's last blast) and recording an entire LP of material, they couldn't keep it up and split for the last time in '97.
There are occasional rumblings from the Black Market Baby camp, but they have not been back since.
REFERENCES - BLACK MARKET BABY OFFICIAL SITE http://www.senselessofferings.com/


topper said...

always liked them, got thier singles and an "nothing lasts forever"....

thanks for this one


No Problem topper, thanks for the comment

Anonymous said...

I discovered this band in the 90's,with the german repressing(LPs)great songs,great drumming,they had all that was missing in the uk counterparts of the era...now sound like classic.thanks Roberto

oberst.diesel said...

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Keep on doing und stay this way.


Thanks for the comment oberst.diesel, I'm glad you enjoyed the site>