My friend Jay and I used to ride the number 8 bus on the first leg of our way home from high school. The 8 dropped us off in the University District. We’d then transfer to another bus (for me, the 43), which usually didn’t arrive for twenty or thirty minutes. We’d kill the time between busses by running over to the original Cellophane Square on 42nd and University and searching through the record bins. Maybe we’d grab a slice at Hot Lips Pizza on the Ave.
The original Cellophane lacked much room; anytime more than three or four people stopped in, everybody would jostle for space. It seemed especially cramped on rainy days, which meant the entire winter and most of the spring and fall. Rare and collectable singles hung on the wall behind the counter, and among those singles was the TAD/Pussy Galore "Damaged" split. (The single would have been practically new; those old Sub Pop and C/Z records often attained collectable status within weeks.) A couple of years later, Nirvana would sign to Geffen--you know the rest--and the prices for anything on Sub Pop skyrocketed.
We picked this single up years later (although I found these mp3s on the blog Strange Reaction several months ago), once the prices for grunge records returned from the stratosphere. It feels cool to finally own this. The song itself is no great shakes, but I love the opening ("My name’s Tad, and you’re stuck with me!"), the AC/DC breakdown, and the tongue-in-cheek nihilism of it all. It amuses me to listen to this now and remember that Sub Pop released it only a couple of years before TAD signed with a major label—one of the less likely major label deals that one can imagine. But by that point, Cellophane Square had moved their U-district store to a bigger shop several blocks north, and Hot Lips had shut its doors for good--frankly, everything had changed.
But enough with the nostalgia. Here are the specs: Sub Pop released "Damaged 1"/"Damaged 2" split (SP #0037) in June 1989 as the eighth installment in their Singles of the Month Club. I don’t know how many copies were pressed, but it probably wasn’t many. I’m pretty sure (but not certain) that, like TAD’s first single ("Ritual Device"/"Daisy"; see our September archive) and "Tuna Car" on God’s Balls, Tad Doyle plays all instruments. (Pussy Galore came from the wrong coast, but we’re including their side here as well.)
"Habit and Necessity," which I’m including now because I don’t know when I would otherwise write about it, comes from the third volume of Amphetamine Reptile’s Dope-Guns-and- Fucking-in-the-Streets (Scale 18; 1989). I can’t find much information about this track, although clearly TAD had grown into a full band by now; in fact, on "Habit and Necessity," they sound more like the steely, Big Black-ified band on Salt Lick than the heavy, sludgy band on God’s Balls. I have no idea who recorded it, as it appears in neither Steve Albini’s nor Jack Endino’s recording discography, and it doesn’t obviously bear any of Albini’s or Endino’s hallmarks. It’s a great song, though, so you’re welcome.
Pussy Galore--"Damaged 2"
TAD--"Habit & Necessity"