Gerry and the Holograms – Meet the Dissidents

Gerry and the Holograms – Gerry Hologram // Increased Resistance (Absurd Records) 1979. This is an amazing slice of minimal synth from the UK. It’s on a label called Absurd which I know very little about other than the fact that they released the amazing 48 Chairs 7inch. Has anyone heard that one? Does anyone want to? Absurd Records reminds me a lot of Dumb Records out of San Francisco and it’s not just because the names are similar. They both have a small list of releases, all of them obscure and very interesting. What’s the story behind Absurd? What’s the story behind this single? My gut feeling is that there was no band called the Holograms. Just Gerry. And Gerry maybe created a group of Gerry-like Holograms to accompany him on what clearly was a major bid for the big-time. His strong Northern English (correct me if I am wrong about this) patois, adds to the mad scientist, eccentric and uniquely British vibe of this. Kinda like hosting the Residents at a tea party. Who is this Gerry?

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13 Responses to Gerry and the Holograms – Meet the Dissidents

  1. Dan Selzer says:

    Snap it Around is one of the best singles of the DIY/post-punk era! I also have Blah Blah Blah’s In the Army, which is pretty weird, and the Eddie Fiction single which is pretty good, iirc. I’ll dig it out and digitize it at some point. The only other thing I know about Absurd, is that I heard that the other Gerry and the Holograms single was actually a blank record glued to the sleeve!

  2. Joe says:

    yes it was an agitprop exercise using unsold Rabid singles apparently:

    http://www.discogs.com/release/1104390

    I love Snap It Around! What a great song.

  3. Mark Early says:

    It shouldn’t be too difficult to upload that other single then, huh?

  4. Empire Hancock says:

    Frank Zappa championed this single during a couple of appearances as “bogus disc jockey” (a series of nights appearing on WPIX New York in 1979 as well as a BBC Radio 1 show in 1980 where he played some of his favorite records), describing it as “the hottest thing to come out of Manchester in at least 15 minutes.” That was my first and (before this post) only exposure to it (and yes, I’m a giant Zappa nerd.)

  5. Dr. Koper says:

    Cockeyed artistry, taking or leaving Frank Zappa… But bear in mind I just wasted one minute of my life doing a search for ‘Bet Lynch’s Legs’ (another Absurd band whose name means nothing to anyone who was not brought up in front of a Television set in the UK during late 70′s/early 80′s) and I hold you fully responsible.

  6. edu says:

    hi joe,

    great to hear this record!
    very breifly: gerry and the holograms was an artist called john scott + a guy from los trios paranoia. and it’s true! their second record couldn’t be played because of the glue . it seems those discs were badly pressed slaughter and the dogs records…

    by the way, any chance to listen to Biking Girl by the four plugs???

    keep doing SOOO AMAZING blog!

  7. Joe says:

    edu — thanks for the info. how did you find that out?

  8. edu says:

    hi joe – mostly from books (in this case, “up yours!” by vernom joynson). but remember clearly first time i saw its cover and got really curious to listen to this band… and the rest of absurd bands as well!

  9. James says:

    I think it was CP Lee from the Albertos who was involved – his website is here and well worth a look: http://www.cplee.co.uk/

  10. Gerry says:

    Check out the Gerry and the Holograms vids(2) on YouTube celebrating 30yrs since release on Absurd Records.Hopeful release of 48Chairs album soon as.

  11. Dutch Jan says:

    C.P.Lee did the vocals on Gerry and the Holograms, Absurd Records was an outfit from
    Didsbury Manchester.

  12. CP Lee says:

    John Scott played the synth on the A side and guitar on the B side Increased Resistance and Bruce Mitchell played drums on that. The Frank Zappa interview mentioned in a previous post is also on youtube Frank Zappa on Dick Cavett … Happy daze …

  13. Fact man says:

    The book “factory the story of the record label” by Mick middles mentions absurd records and the release. It was indeed john Scott & CP lee who recorded this single which was a local hit at the time. Surely just coincidence that it sounds so similar to New Orders “Blue Monday”, which was released after this?

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