Two limited edition 7" EPs were released decades after the recordings were first produced. In 1996, Stomach Ache Records released the tracks "Killing Myself To Live," "Jarhead," "Bag Of Lumps," "Robots" and "The Red Glow." In 2007, Skulltones released "Gilligans Wings," b/w "Gourmet Cooking" and "Life Is Fun." The Church Police were formed in 1980 when singer Tim Gallaher and drummer Eric Lundmark wrote a bunch of lyrics one afternoon. Afterward, either that same day or within a day or two, they showed the lyrics to guitarist Dave Blakeslee. The three of them got together and bashed out the rudimentary tunes and rhythms that would constitute most of the Church Police repertoire over the next two years of the band's existence.
The band derived its name from a Monty Python skit. Eventually, bassist Bruce Gauld joined the group because he had a good amp and the most actual musical talent of anyone interested in joining the group. The Church Police were one of the earliest underground punk bands to emerge from suburbia. The band performed their first live gig at the Sound of Music, a cheap, sleazy and accessible club in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, in the fall of 1980. An amateur studio recording was made around that same time at Diablo Valley College, in which the band's guitars were plugged directly into the sound board because live electrical performances would have been too loud and disruptive to the nearby classes.
Only the drums were mic'ed. A cassette recording of this session began circulating through the San Francisco scene, gaining particular favor with two bands who had identified themselves as "pet rock" bands: Animal Things and Flipper. The Church Police, mainly through Bruce's persistence, were able to land weeknight gigs at the Sound of Music with some regularity. One particularly memorable show occurred when Bruce Loose, lead singer of Flipper, made his enthusiastic appreciation of the band highly visible by dancing wildly in front of the stage as they performed.
This convinced many trendies in the audience to consider the Church Police "cool." Even though their musical abilities were lacking, they had a unique stage presence and represented something fresh and unpredictable within the local punk community. A series of musical and personal adventures followed. The band performed at many clubs that have become part of San Franscico's musical lore and legend, including the Mabuhay Gardens (where they were eventually blacklisted for "disruptive performances"), the On Broadway, the Club Foot, Barrington Hall, and elsewhere. The Church Police became known as young proteges of Flipper for awhile, though the two bands only played a handful of shows on the same bill. They opened for the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag and (unofficially) Throbbing Gristle.
The band broke up on at least two occasions due to conflicts between band members and complications arising from drug abuse, financial hardships and disorganization when it came to actually being a band. The final dissolution took place in early 1983 when Dave left the San Francisco area and eventually moved back to his home town of Grand Rapids, MI. The four members went on to live stable and productive lives and contribute in various ways to the on-going betterment of society. Read more on Last.fm.
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