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Couch Flambeau. Born in a suburban basement in 1980 and still thrashing today.
Couch Flambeau started as the Couch Potatoes (I lifted the name from a Micky Rat comic by Robert Armstrong). The band is best known for it's wacky brand of rock and or roll.
I started the band with Jay Tiller and he brought Neil Socol in on bass about a year later. As a two piece band, Jay and I would trade instruments. First I would drum and Jay would play guitar - we'd be wearing pajamas and paper bags over our heads. This was the "real" version of Couch Potatoes and we did early versions of songs that you know and love today. (We used to toss out raw potatoes at shows, but one drunk fan ate one and got sick, so we stopped.)
After nearly passing out with the bags on our heads, we'd switch and I'd play guitar and Jay would drum. I didn't know any full songs, just parts of them, so I'd play part of Smoke on the Water, then part of a Cheap Trick song, mangle a Hendrix tune, then I'd put three guitars on and do terrible solos until I got down to the last guitar which would get smashed. (I have photos which I'll post sometime...)
After Neil joined we stopped the instrument switching/smashing and focused on the songs - "Mobile Home," "I Don't Want to Be an Eddie" and so on. I wrote the gory love song, "We'll Go Through The Windshield Together" after a real life experience while taking my girlfriend home (we didn't actually go through any windshields but close enough to inspire the song).
I left in 1986 and there's been three excellent drummers since then including current drummer Rusty Olson (of Rockhaus fame).
NEW!! Couch Potatoes / Couch Flambeau articles from Milwaukee and Madison:
A Serious Look at Couch Flambeau by Marty Graham/page 1 (Loose magazine, November, 1984)
A Serious Look at Couch Flambeau by Marty Graham/page 2 (Loose magazine, November, 1984)
The Day The Band Was Taped by Neil Socol (Loose magazine, June, 1985)
Is Couch Flambeau our Randy Newman? (Milwaukee Journal, April 6, 1984)
A review of Couch Flambeau live at G.S. Vigs in Madison (Daily Cardinal, January 26, 1984)
Couch Flambeau's record release party and other music news (Milwaukee Journal, March 23, 1984)
Review sticker placed on "The Day the Music Died" LP (1984)
Faiola's hand drawn cover for the "Curiosity Rocks" cassette release (1982)
Couch Potatoes / Couch Flambeau posters:
Couch Potatoes at Nikos (January 6, 1983) Poster by yours truly.
Couch Potatoes and Die Kreuzen at Nikos (January 21, 1983) Poster by Jay Tiller. I'm sure Die Kreuzen headlined that night.
Couch Potatoes and Boy Dirt Car at Nikos (February 12, 1983) Nutty poster by Jay Tiller.
Couch Potatoes "New Name" party at the Toad (April 9, 1983) The new name: Couch Flambeau (inspired from a line in a Canadian fire-prevention film). Poster and Couch Flambeau name by Giant Wow, aka Ron Faiola (that's me).
Couch Flambeau at Niko's (July 8 & 9, 1983) Poster by Jay Tiller. With Prestige and Honest Disgrace.
Couch Potatoes at Ludwig Van Ear Records (August 13, 1983) I like the list of bands that had played at Ludwig Van Ear (later Atomic). It's um, eclectic...
Couch Flambeau at the Junction (November 23, 1983) Butt-ugly poster by who cares. The place was completely packed this night. Venturing down to Bay View was unheard of back then. It certainly wasn't anything like it is now. The only cool place down there was Rush-Mor Records. I like the newspaper clipping on the poster: "Couch Flambeau: Milwaukee's Musical Gift to the Ignorant Masses." And this line: "Couch Flambeau have captured the essence of Milwaukee in under three minutes! Even Bad Boy can't say that." Ouch! On a personal note, this was the night I got the real-life inspiration to write "We'll Go Through The Windshield Together." John Gaskel from the XCleavers sat in on drums while I was going through the windshield with my honey. But I came back and finished the set and wrote a new song.
Couch Flambeau at Teddy's (June 8, 1984) With the Blackholes.
Couch Flambeau at Irene J's (October 12, 1984) Shamelessly exploiting my birthday (which is actually the day before) as a Ford. Irene J's Dead End. Now days it's best not to drive by the place. Poster: photo clippings and sloppy pasted on letters by me and the hand lettered parts were by Neil Mickey.
Couch Flambeau at Yano's (February 16, 1985) Poster by Peter Flessas, who ran Yano's (until the MAN closed it down after only being open for 4 short months!).
Couch Flambeau at Cafe Voltaire (August 17, 1985) Hand drawn and colored poster by yours truly. I made about 20 custom colored posters, then my hand broke.
Couch Flambeau at the Kenwood Inn (September 27, 1985) Poster by yrs trooly. This was one nutty night.
NEW! Couch Flambeau at Bradford Beach (August 23, 2008) Great Betty and Veronica poster - and complaints from the neighbors (Michigan) about the noise.
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