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Black Market Baby - JPop.com
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Black Market Baby

Black Market Baby

Black Market Baby


To say Boyd Farrell's got a reputation is an understatement. He's a troublemaker, loudmouth, prankster, and sometime drunken-brawler—and I don't think he'd deny any of it. This is, after all, the guy who went to Yesterday and Today Records to beat up a music critic over a negative review. Oh, and did I mention he's a singer too? Boyd was singing in the Snitch—who weren't great, as he'll happily tell you—but they were his first real band, and he wasn't gonna take a badmouthing from some self-important little toad of a critic sitting down. Read more on Last.fm
To say Boyd Farrell's got a reputation is an understatement. He's a troublemaker, loudmouth, prankster, and sometime drunken-brawler—and I don't think he'd deny any of it. This is, after all, the guy who went to Yesterday and Today Records to beat up a music critic over a negative review. Oh, and did I mention he's a singer too? Boyd was singing in the Snitch—who weren't great, as he'll happily tell you—but they were his first real band, and he wasn't gonna take a badmouthing from some self-important little toad of a critic sitting down.

He set out, along with bassist Paul Cleary, to get some payback. Their quarry, like a lot of early scenesters, worked at a record store. He worked at the record store: Yesterday and Today. But when Boyd and Paul showed up, no amount of quiet intimidation or bluster could draw him away from the counter. He wouldn't even look them in the eye.

Denied attention, boredom set in and they went back home to watch some TV, leaving the critic to carry on ringing up customers and running his record store. bmb with paul Yeah, Boyd's first run in with Skip Groff was when he went to kick his ass. When the Snitch disintegrated, Boyd decided his next band was gonna be different. They needed more original material, better original material, better musicians, and most importantly dedicated musicians. He knew just who he wanted, too: Keith Campbell on guitar, Paul Cleary on bass, and Tommy Carr on drums. The fact that they were in other bands didn't even phase him. He set up a rehearsal space—well, he didn't set it up exactly, since it was being used by his bassist's real band—and invited the guys to jam.

They didn't even need to bring their own gear! The first practice went well, so they did it again. And again. And again. What was going on in Trenchmouth's rehearsal space wasn't exactly secret, but I doubt anyone outside the band, Jay Rabinowitz, or John Bailey knew about it.

Trenchmouth, of course, had no idea that their space (and bassist) had become a time-share. Boyd knew that the project would stick: Paul was a friend of Boyd's—and bassist in the Snitch—so there wasn't any doubt which way he'd go. D.Ceats and the Penetrators were in a terminal decline, leaving Keith and Tommy guilt-free about their nameless side project. 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. bmb at the chancery Trenchmouth, D.Ceats, and the Penetrators were all gone by April. Black Market Baby were on their way up. 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.6 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. bmb with scott 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. nothing lasts recording 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. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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