25 July 2011


Responsible, 1980


As the great soul-patch philospher and unmatyred monochrome t-shirt
saint Aaron Lewis of the band Staind might say: 'It's Been A While.'

Been a while since my last post and definitely been a while since it
was fashionable for good, long-loined, round-eyed American wimp rock
to garner any attention round the roost of ye olde Sing Sing blog.
And to that I say no more! No more! With this post I demand a return
to North American normalcy! A risorgimento of suburbanity! A
return...to responsibility AND an excuse to post both sides of the
Responsible Teenagers' excellent lone single!

Familiar to most from their track on Teeline (and to Evan Dando
enthusiasts for containing a couple of pre-Lemonheads), this was the
Responsible Teens' lone NYC bow from 1980 on their own Responsible
imprint. Despite the 'R & R Warhead' tagline, the R.T.'s keep it
short and play it clean; two beer limit cos they borrowed mom's car.
And while the presumed A-side to this double B-side single has hogged
the majority of the Hyped2Death spotlight (thus far), I'll stump like
Stephen Douglas and go to my grave believing forever that it's the
faux-Byrds-y D.I.Y. flipper that's the true Most Likely To. Also, if
you harbored any illusions as to the dwindling amounts of cache
remaining within the reservoirs of Max's Kansas City's back room at
the dawn of the Nineteen Eighties, you need only glance at the
rear-side of the sleeve and catch the three dweebs slack-assing there
to realize that it was all over.




Pajas records 1977

This totally incredible LP was recorded in Vermont in 1977 by 21 year old identical twins Brian and Bruce Mcelroy and pressed in an edition of 1000 copies. Ever since i first heard this record a year or so ago I've been totally obsessed with it! The songs are written around familiar 60's British invasion type structures but the recording and instrumentation are totally unique.. Both brothers are still playing today as the Fab 2

Did you guys play
music together at a really young age? Were you encouraged by your parents? Did you sing together in church or anything like that?

we got more or less started around 8yrs old being taught the accordion. That didn't last too long for Bruce who decided to take up drums shortly there after.
We grew up with our older brother Kerry who had an extensive record collection that all of us enjoyed. We seem to remember a lot of Rolling Stones Beatles, Animals you know the British invasion stuff. Kerry was really into that and we just followed his lead. He also had a couple of bands later when we were about 11yrs old and we would sneak down the basement and play on their equipment.
Brian had by this time a Doric organ which was anItalian model of the Farfisa. Bruce had an original rough rider drum kit/ Japanese made. By this time we already started our first band the Spiders. We played at our 5th grade schools talent day and got our first taste of what roadies and musicians had to do when we packed down and and set up at 3 different classrooms with Brians doric, Emeny organ, melodica, rough rider drum set, one cheap mic that Bruce used (he being the only singer at that time) a set of bongos that a friend played and the other friend played that Emeny organ. Brian had an old Hilgian amp for his organ and mic. we did stuff like "Nowhere Man" and "Here We Come" by Monkees etc.

From watching those Fab 2 videos online I can tell that
you guys love to play live. Did you do a lot of gigging in the late 70's? What type of places did you play? any noteworthy shows or bands you played with?

Right out of high school we were gigging all over Vermont. In the winter we'd be up at the ski areas a lot Jay Peak/Mad river glen/ Bolton Valley/Stowe.and in Middlebury, Montpilier, Bristol, Vergennes and Burlington. We were seen by the Case and Munson agency from Austin TX when we were at Waterville ski area in New Hampshire and they hired us to play the southwest. We played all of Texas from Brownsville to El Paso to Dallas to Houston and then some.
Playing live is where its at... Later on in the 90's we would open up for a variety of big bands at our local Palace Theater here in Myrtle Beach-acts like The Beach Boys who asked for us personally the second
time we opened for them. the Righteous Bros. and the Monkees.

Did you guys build a big local following?

We had a nice following in Vermont when we started, they definitely loved that album we made! We played from 75 through 79 up in Vermont-a good 4 yrs with an album and 45 to boot. Then we left them for the Case and Munson entertainment. I Still think they are in business...

We recorded first at Pajas Studio in Westport NY across the lake from Burlington Vt.
James Starbuck was our man recording. We started with the Hammond and bass pedals with Bruces drums. A base track/rhythm track. Then Brian would layer in Piano, Poly Korg, mini Korg, elec piano etc... each on there own tracks. Think we had 16 tracks to use but i remember punching in alot and not wanting to waste tracks so that we would have overdubbing for vocals at the end of recording. Took us one night to sing the whole album and we remember there was alot of beer
around. By the time we did Ego of the grave...bout 4am, it was time to close the celebration.

Which came first, the 45 or the LP?

The LP came first in 77.. we were in the process of writing another album the next year 78- and decided to put the 45 out and give'em a taste. We knew the jukebox hero that ran the business of changing out the 45's on the machines so he helped out alot. He would pay us like 30 to 60 dollars royalty money for the 45 every time we saw him, we thought we were something alright!

Can you tell me some about the recording sessions for the LP? Didn't you say you guys recorded in a big barn converted into a studio?

Pajas studios was a big barn turned into a beautiful,multi-leveled living area that had three floors. The studio was primarily the first 2 levels with living quarters in the 3rd level. The dang silo was a trip in itself!! It had showers and bathroom at its base.. taking a spiral staircase up you came into the bedroom and up again to the crows nest on top of the silo all glassed in with
a big round captains table,swivel seats and full bar! This was some operation!!! We liked to record late in the day like suppertime and then sometimes late into the wee hours. Bruce used extra tracks for doubling up on floor toms and even uses a baritone ukulele on You and I which he wrote. It was all quite simple just adding the layers of keys where needed and then finally singing to the whole thing like some great karaoke session!! We just knew what we wanted when it came to recording each of the songs. We wrote it together.. Brian would start it out and I would jump in and add a new direction in the melody or add something to a mid 8.... It would happen spontaneously this way every time we wrote together.



LP and 45 here