Tales of Terror

Tales of Terror – Self Titled (CD Presents) 1984. Ahhh………Tales of Terror. You knew at some point I would post this monster. Problem is I don’t have my copy anymore which leaves me very depressed. Luckily Bob at drunkinjuns.org had a copy for me to post. Its only 128kbps but its punk rock so I’m cool with it. Of course, if one of my more audiophillic fellow bloggers can post some sorta fancyfied 320kbp uploads of this that would be peachy. Cuz let’s face it, it’s a fuckin’ classic and deserves the deluxe treatment.

Anyhoo…My first introduction to Tales of Terror was of course Gods From Outer Space on the classic Thrasher Skate Rock Volume 2 Compilation. It was an instrumental though so I didn’t get the full impact of what they were all about. Then I saw them in one of those skate rock videos.

Needless to say I was pretty hooked. At the time these guys were really pushing a much less-hardcore, more class of 77′ vibe than a lot of the crossover stuff that was in vogue. It was also unabashedly not emo or revolution summer or straight edge. It was just greasy, nasty Cali-punk rock of the highest order. Now THAT was some shit I could really get into. I bought the album and it really reminded me of Decry, which was one of my favourite bands ever.

I got an Elvis Tattoo, down on my cock!

Of course in retrospect, this was proto-grunge and was pointing towards the Northwest scene of the late 80s. The album ended up on Kurt Cobain’s much coveted top 50 list. Green River covered Ozzie on Dry as a Bone. In a weird moment of synchronicity, Mudhoney just named a track on their brand new album after Tales of Terror as well. It’s not surprising that this was influential with the Seattle folks. There is a rock-n-roll feel to a lot of this that is pretty overt on songs like Elvis Tattoo (and the Hound Dog cover). Other tracks like Jim and Romance could easily be early Mudhoney or Cat Butt songs. Shit, these guys were way ahead of the times!

Which is of course a shame cuz things did not end well for Tales of Terror. Guitarist Lyon Wong died of head trauma in 1986. Apparently a football quarterback punched him; knocking Wong to the pavement and causing him to strike his head on the ground. He died a few hours later at 22 and the murderous jock received a 6 month sentence. Bassist Geff Magner reportedly died in early 2004 of a drug overdose.

Anyway…let’s drink a toast to one of the all-time greats. This played in the background a lot back then and now that summer has officially hit, it’s time to sk8 and fuckin’ DESTROY!

Tales of Terror
1.Hound Dog
2.That Girl
8.Over Elvis Worship
9.Tales of Terror
11.Chambers of Horror

This entry was posted in California, Punk Rock, hardcore, skate. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Tales of Terror

  1. Tim says:

    I have this record. It’s in great shape. But it won’t fit in my floppy drive much like my VHS tapes that I can’t get on to the You Tubes.

    I saw them play in the summer of 1984 at the old Blue Note. It was the only time I ever really had fun in Columbia, worst town ever. Not many people at the show but they played an amazing set. As mentioned already the singer was doing back flips and I remember the bass player that looked to be 14 was slamming beers on stage by putting the long neck in his mouth, tiling his head back while playing. I still play this record at least a few times a year. Tales totally rule.

  2. Joe says:

    Hey Tim,

    I agree about Columbia man! My shitty little hardcore band that I only played in for a few shows did a Columbia show at the Blue Note. It was a pretty lame experience. The crowd sucked and the “scene” there was very depressing. The one redeeming element of the show was that I got to see/hear Suburban Death Trip for the first time.

    I’ve wondered over the years why Columbia just couldn’t get it together. I mean Lawrence, Champaign and Norman were are comparable towns and they had way better mojo.

    Also, I may be able to help you get some stuff off of VHS and onto YouTube. Old Ultraman performances maybe?


  3. Jarrod says:

    Does anyone know what the surviving members of ToT are up to? The only sources of information about the band are scattered in pieces all over the net.

  4. Matt From Sac says:

    The “Bonus” track on .rar is “Gods From Outer Space” a Tales song that appeared on the 1985 Thrasher Skate Rock Comp. They also have some songs on the “Them Boner’s Be Poppin’” and “Rat Music For Rat People II” comps. The first time I saw them was in 1985 opening for D.O.A. At the beginning of the set Rat’s Ass, the singer, had his entire head wrapped in silver duct tape. Throughout the show he worked at ripping it out.

    Lyon Wong, Tales’ great guitar player was killed in 1986. He was standing in front of a bar in Sacramento and some local jocks drove by and yelled stuff. He yelled back. They got out and one of them punched him. He hit his head on the sidewalk and he died that night.

    The singer, Pat Stratford “Rat’s Ass”, played around several different Sacramento, SF, LA based punk bands throughout the nineties. The one I am most familiar with, the Whorelords, sounded similar to Tales and put on some great shows.

    Bass player, Dusty Coffin was in a band called Cactus Liquors.

    Although I think Tales is a defining band in punk history, I think they did more to influence the Seattle sound of the late eighties more than anything else. Listen to the LP then listen to some of the early Seattle LP’s from bands that later became HUGE and you’ll hear it.

  5. Matt From Sac says:

    Also, just another random fact, Tales of Terror evolved from a band called The Square Cools. As far as I know, they have only one song on vinyl, “I Don’t Wanna Die For My Country” on the Not So Quiet on the Western Front compilation. The comp is mainly Northern California bands and is highly highly reccomended.

  6. Matt From Sac says:

    I have all the non-lp tracks if you want me to send them for posting. Thanks for putting something up on these guys. They made a big impact on me and I was fortunate enough to hang out with Rat’s Ass (Pat)several times over the years. I had the album hanging up in my living room (my old bachelor pad) and Pat really thought that was cool.

    Another random thought just popped into my head. Pat told me that this album would probably never be re-released because Alternative Tentacles bought the rights to it (from CD think). They were in the process of re-releasing it and the deal went south over rights issues with the band and knows what else, and people got real mad at each other. Anyways, said he was told the album re-release was going to be tubed indefinitely.

    One more scrap… story is that in the mid-eighties Pat lived with guys from Guns and Roses. He swears they stole the Tales of Terror song “Danant” (appears on “Them Boner’s Be Poppin”) and turned it into GnR’s “Used to Love Her”. “Danant” from 1985 has the refrain “I had to kill her/because I loved her.” Might be a fun comparison.”

    Anyways, thanks for the post. Its been fun listening to and thinking about Tales again.

  7. citizenarcane1970 says:

    Hey “JoyBuzzard” thanks for posting the link.. but i was just wondering if it’s still working? Is there a password needed? I’m not sure how to actually access the files.. Anyway let me know I’d love to get those compilation tracks. Thanks again..

  8. KEITH/C2D says:

    Hey C2D has reformed with the other hordes of survivors birthed back in the hard-core/cross-over days!!! We are recording an album for release in 09 along with the re-issue of the “Condemned?” album. We have a MYSPACE page CONDEMNED2DEATH/C2D. We don’t have a copy of the “Thrasher video with us on it, does any one have a way we could load it to our site? We have all our old stuff out on GrandTheftAudio “You can’t kill a VAT RAT” we have some copies if interested. KEITH e-mail: hawkdrum@gmail.com

  9. Chris Shary says:

    So Matt do you have a digitized copy of Search and Destroy? If so email me at c3shary@aol.com. That would be RAD!!!

  10. Snubbs says:

    Matt from Sac!!
    Cool stories man tales were badass
    can you email me Search and Destroy too? at snubbd741@gmail.com

    or send those non-LP tracks to the dude who runs the site for uploading..
    fucking rad man

  11. Steven says:

    Hi, superb blog! Do you have a 192kps iso 160bps sample of Hound Dog to share? I’m re-compiling an old John Peel-tape.

    Tnks anway, you make my day


  12. Danny says:

    What does “tiling his head back while playing” mean?

Leave a Reply