Jean Encoule

An Oral History Of Crime

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JOHNNY: “After Hank left, Ripper and Brittley rejoined, and Joey started playing synthesizer. We were trying something new, and sometimes when you try something new, it works, and sometimes it doesn’t! I don’t think it worked. Live, you couldn’t hear the synthesizer, anyway. Berkeley Squared records released a single: ‘Maserati’/’Gangster Funk’ – before we finally called it quits. What originally set us apart from the other bands around, at least in SF, was that we were a lot older, being in our late 20s, when most of the other bands seemed to be in their early 20s – plus Frankie and I both had older siblings, so we grew up listening to a lot of 50s rock’n’roll, blues, jazz, and all the rock’n’roll and soul in the 60s – and that gave us a broad and solid base. I don’t know what happened with that last single. All I know is, it wasn’t happening! Something was definitely lost.”

RIPPER: “It was depressing, because I knew the end was coming, I couldn’t change Frankie and Johnny’s minds, because they thought things were going nowhere. Brittley and I were doing fine as a rhythm section, and we were happy with our direction. But the guitarists, as frontmen, had their directions, and it seemed like Johnny wanted to go more techno, and Frankie wanted to go into funk-a-billy. Frankie and Johnny were basically married, and couldn’t go to parties every night, like Brittley and me. And I said: “Look, Berkeley Squared is going to come up with more money. Just sit tight.””

JOHNNY: “By 1982, things were getting stale. A few of us were strung out, and nothing exciting was happening with the band. We were on a hundred bucks a week salary from Berkeley Squared, our managers/producers. They started paying us off in drugs, and then lost interest completely! I saw it was time to either get back in gear and take control, or bail out. We weren’t even rehearsing at this point, we were just waiting for Berkeley Squared to realize that they couldn’t live without us, and call us. I could see that this wasn’t going to happen, so I called each member, and tried to convince them that we had to start taking care of ourselves, again. They wouldn’t budge. I set an ultimatum: either we get off our asses, or I was quitting. The rest of the band evidently thought I was bluffing. That was the end. CRIME’s initial idea, in fact, was not to make it. Our original idea was that we would not sign any contract, period. Of course, that idea was long forgotten by 1977.

Michael Lucas – Ugly Things Magazine #14, 1995:

Crime Official Website


‘Hot Wire My Heart’/’Baby You’re So Repulsive’ – 7″ (Crime Music, 1976 – out of print)

‘Murder By Guitar’/’Frustration’ – 7″ (Crime Music, 1977 – out of print)

‘Gangster Funk’/’Maserati’ – 7″ (Berkely Squared, 1980 – out of print)

Hate Us Or Love Us, We Don’t Give A Fuck – live LP (Planet Pimp, 1994)

Cadillac Faggot – live CD (Red Legacy, 2003)

San Francisco’s Still Doomed – demos CD (Swami Records, 2004)

Exalted Masters – studio LP (Vinyl only, 2007)

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2 Responses to An Oral History Of Crime

  1. Pingback: Crime (the band) – Invisible SF

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