Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Verdix - "Lookin' Around" b/w "Media" (1981)

We're going to dig into some early punk vinyl for a bit. Golden Rock asserts that this 45 is one of Calgary's first indie releases, and . The Verdix were the brainchild of the late singer-guitarist Mick Joy (a.k.a. Mick Memorex, who also played in early incarnations of Golden Calgarians). 

Here's an additional snippet from FFWD's piece on the genesis of our city's punk scene:
“The Verdix were different from the Calgary bands that had gone before, which tended to be pretty young, like 17-, 18-year-olds,” says Allen Baekeland, the former station manager of CJSW. “They were a little bit older and they could play. So immediately the scene sort of coalesced around them.” Their only single, “Media,” backed with “Lookin’ Around,” showcases a band that absolutely held their own against the lean aggression of the Sturgeons and the melodic skill of the Nasties, and while a palpable, friendly tension still exists between the two camps (the Verdix were “suspicious”; the Nasties were “nerdy”), all three bands co-existed and flourished at the Calgarian.
This one comes courtesy of Radio Radio co-founder Dennis Burton, who is also working on a two-disc collection of live Verdix tracks. Dennis is doing amazing CalgCon restoration work--like the double-disc RipChords retrospective GoneForeverGone. Thanks tonnes, Dennis!

As a special bonus, we found this video on the youtubes. It looks like there's more Verdix recordings out there somewhere...

And, for even more bonus content, here's an article on the band from from May 17, 1980 edition of the Calgary Herald (via the Calgary Public Library Local History Collection, one of our favourite places in the city):

Get this crucial slice of early punk here


Anonymous said...

Thanks. That's one of the few "early" Calgary releases that hasn't been posted anywhere that I'm aware of.

Another missing one is the Animal Kingdom tape. It would be great if you could post that.

Golden Rock said...

Glad you enjoyed it!

Yeah, we'd love to get our hands on the Animal Kingdom cassette, too...and the Cutz 7"...and any recordings of the Sandwiches, Breeders, Cigarettes.... If anyone out there has that stuff, do drop us a line!

Morris the spider said...

You know, I think you should mention the Unusuals in this post... they were really the first pink band to get a gig in the Calgarian. I remember the first night - there were not very many of us there. A bunch of my friends wouldn't even go -- they said, yeah, you go, tell me how it is... We were back the next night with a pile more people.

(Been looking through some of my old tapes - have the Unusuals and Sturgeons on it... have one tape made up of song from the 'dix, unusuals, etc... None from Virginia and the Breeders, but have the covers she sang... I also have a tape of the Modern Minds (Moe Bergs band before Pursuit of Happiness, and after the Minds... got that tape from Alvin the guitarist of the Sturgeons.)

Who remembers the gig at the University where the lead singer (he was a big boy, but his name escapes me) of the Sturgeons pogo'ed right through the stage!? Classic stuff.

Morris the spider said...

Man that's a terrible post I just put in there...

- Should be "first PUNK band"

- Moe's band before the Modern Minds was called the News, not the Minds.

Another great gig was in the park in Edmonton when the RCMP chased us through the woods! (Led to Moe writing a song about the Great Punk Rock Riot.)

For a further bit of trivia - we sponsored a community center gig on 5th Ave, which featured 5 bands - the Sturgeons, the Boys, and pretty sure the 'dix played too - but the headliner was DOA - first time Shithead and the boys came to Calgary. We offered them a lot more money than the other bands, and they declined - Joey said - pay us 1 more buck than the next best paid band.

That afternoon we were playing floor hockey on the dance floor, and Dimwit gets booted in the hands and it's bad. We take him to the hospital and they say, yep, it's busted, have to put it in a cast. He says no, got a gig to do. So we leave, he tapes one stick to his busted hand and plays the gig like that!

Gene Poole said...

Morris - thanks for the great stories. If you have any more, can you contact me at

Anonymous said...

CJSW used to play a Verdix demo tape with a song called "Lucifer". Maybe someone out there has it.

Leeanimal said...

I thought I'd responded to this thread quite some time ago, but maybe not? It was a long time ago I see. Since then, CCPS may or may not have received a copy of our only cassette (Animal Kingdom). My memory is so not what it used to be. If received, let me know. If not, I must have a copy around somewhere (cassette perhaps, probably CD) - let me know if you want it. Since the tragic passing of Allen Baekeland, I have especially recalled a time when I had lost or misplaced my last copy of our cassette and needed to track one down. I knew if anyone would have one, it would be Allen and sure enough he work and tape kept in impeccable condition. RIP Allen :(