Subjects – The Subjects

Subjects – The Subjects (Civil Antidote) 1982. Who are the Subjects? Does anyone know more about this band? Here is their lone EP from 1982 released on Civil Antidote and below is their performance from Peter Iver’s fundamental New Wave Theatre.

What I know…

The Subjects were a new wave band from Glendale California. They were made up of Brenda Rodriguez Briggs, Domenic Willison, Gary Ryan, Ken Heiob, Stu Gilliam, Steve Corri Jr., Dan Slavin, Al de la O, Pat Shane, Paul Perez and later added second singer Felice. Is this Felice singing in the video? Because if it is, he deserves some sort of alternate LDoMoE Grammy. I’m not shitting you. Why you ask? Well….

When I was in high school, I had this gym teacher who hated my fucking guts. Let’s call him Coach Kern to protect the guilty. He always walked around in those tight athletic shorts with a whistle around his neck and a baseball cap set so low you couldn’t see his eyes. Kinda like a homoerotic approximation of a cop or a Drill Sargent or something. Except he was a high school gym teacher.

Anyways, I mentioned to him one day that he looked very gay in his shorts and he just completely blew his top. He took me in a back room where nobody was looking, he took off his whistle and his stupid baseball cap and he said, “c’mon take a shot. man to man. off the record.”

Now, I may have been a complete delinquent but I wasn’t stupid. That’s what those douchebags never understood. If I was stupid I probably would have been a burnout or something. I was a punk because I was too smart for my own damn good. So I told him there was no way I was gonna hit him because then he would claim I attacked him and I would get thrown out of school. I told him that if he ever wanted to “run into me on the street” we could arrange that and I would be glad to take him up on his offer. He coughed and sputtered and foamed at the mouth like a lunatic for a few more minutes before sending me back to class.

It was all redundant anyway because I got kicked out of school later that year. But that’s another story.

So, why am I telling you this? Because Felice, who I believe is singing in the Subjects clip from New Wave Theater, looks just like Coach Kern. Just like him. Down to the Village People moustache. And when Felice starts sputtering and freaking out about turning the channel, it is as if I am back in the gym being berated by the dumbass again.

Except that this time, Coach Kern is sputtering over a fun new wave backbeat. And there are these other dudes in moustaches and early MTV striped shirts rockin’ angular guitar riffs. Then Brenda Rodriguez Briggs starts squawking. This is confusing! How can these things be combined? What’s going on? Is this for real?

As far as the EP is concerned, it’s good shit. If you like The Suburban Lawns and Killer Pussy then you’re gonna love this. It’s primarily Brenda’s show but Felice pops up here and there and gets a good Coach Kern freak-out going on Augie. Anyway, it’s on the tracks where Brenda and Felice sputter together that the band really stands out as an excellent example of early 1980′s, LA New Wave.

I would like to know more about the Subjects. Anybody got any information?

This entry was posted in Art-Punk, California, New Wave, post-punk. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Subjects – The Subjects

  1. Subjects Fan says:

    Felice joined Subjects about a year after the New Wave Theater Video was released. The new version of Subjects included Brenda Briggs (stage name) aka Brenda Rodriguez with a keyboard player named Glen and was more electronic oriented. They appeared on a television interview with their manager from KROQ raidio Larry Woodside. Gary Ryan wrote the music for I’m mechcanical whick was played on KROQ by Rodney Bingenheimer andLarrry Woodside in 1982. Felice went solo and played the Whiskey with her “Madonna Ray of Light tyoe of sound. Her show included a mini orchestra as well. She later moved to Boise Idaho. Felice’s CD is on CD Baby and was executively produced by Subjects drummer Gary Ryan. Her web site is at http://www.felice-music.com. Gary Ryan went on to play drums for MS Que earlier named the Modern Sounds of Quiet, whose EP was produced by Earl Mankey. MSQue played shows with “What Is This” who later metamorped later into the Red Hot Chili Peppers, also Los Lobos, Geza X, and Surburban Lawns, the Privates, etc. MSQue EP is a must have and may be found on the internet if you look hard. They were a favorie at Madam Wongs Chinatown and Madam Wongs West in So. California.
    .

  2. Beth says:

    Thank you, thank you! I’m sorry I don’t have any further information to offer, but this is the first time I have been able to uncover any information on this Subjects album that I found a few years ago and bought cause I liked the cover and the song names… Awesome!

  3. i’m still in touch with some of the band members.A great new wave band,to bad ego’s got in there way.

  4. toby says:

    ^^ Larry,

    is there any material available? is there a recording of the track from New Wave Theater? Would love to hear more, this is a great band.

  5. tim says:

    Any sign of the Subjects being online?

  6. Joe says:

    @Tim all fixed.

  7. Ambar says:

    They are one of my all time favorites.

  8. Ambar says:

    Where is Brenda now?

  9. Robert says:

    Domenic Willison was my 9th grade English teacher back in 1981 in Burbank,CA.
    He was a very cool guy and a great musician as well. I remember watching this performance on New Wave Theater when it first aired on uhf channel 22 and was completely blown away that I was a student of the singer of this crazy new wave band. Months later, I ended up becoming a roadie for The Subjects. Well only one show to be honest but still alot of fun for a 15 year old at the time.

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