Mark Bernstein- Bernie to us – was a New Yorker who came to Philly to go to Penn and gravitated to the West Philly punk scene. He moved into the Stickmen house on Buckingham St., which, of course, was known as Buckingham Palace.
We started hanging out in 1981 and played music together, Bernie on drums and the two of us on guitar. As an unnamed unit we played at the great basement parties at the Buckingham Palace and at a few other West Philly houses. For one show at the Radio Church of God we transported all of our equipment in shopping carts.
Early punk rock was so seat of the pants. The three of us had such a good time in those days. Having plenty of free time (aka no jobs) we’d watch soap operas and Dr. Who, go for long, meandering walks in Fairmount Park, and go watch bands wherever they might play.
After leaving Penn, Bernie went back to New York. After the first official version of More Fiends broke-up Bernie returned and we started playing again. At a party in some spooky apartment in Germantown we jammed with his friend, Matt Forstater, on sax. The four of us became the new More Fiends. With a crazy new sound we did great shows at Abe’s Steaks, the Community Education Center (CEC), more basements, Penn frats. At a show in Atlantic City some bozo locked the car keys in the trunk and we were stuck there for hours. We drove to Athens, Ohio for one show! Bernie would stay with us in our apartment. Which was great (despite those stinky Converse sneakers).
With that classic crew cut and the stripped t- shirts, and the bright smile Bernie was a great band mate. We miss him. –Allen Fiend
Derelict Hotel were Dane Wilson – Drums, Dave Birch – Guitar, Mark Nolan – Bass, Scott Slagle – Vocals & Doug Anson -Slide Guitar (on the Track from Compulsiv Comp No. 1 7″)
“DH was into old Punk and stuff on AmRep and Touch & Go. Brian Dilworth hooked us up with many cool gigs opening up for Laughing Hyenas, Agent Orange, Killdozer, Helios Creed and Steel Pole Bathtub. We were together 92’ to 94’. We loved to record with Art Difuria” – Steve
Late 80’s early 90’s acoustic band with Andy Bresnan (Butterfly Joe, Junior Mints) on the Ukranian Burda, Chris Unrath (Shimmers) on guitar, Dean Sabatino (Dead Milkmen, Butterfly Joe, I Think Like Midnight) on drums, and vocals of Eden Daniels (Shimmers) For more info on this band check out this post on Rock Town Hall
The Live from Jackie Zahn’s show on WKDU set was from January, 03, 1989 (as they mention all the band’s vocalists were sick at the time so I hope they are ok with this going up)
If you don’t know who F.O.D. are then I’m not sure how you got to this site. But just in case here is an article about them by Yoni from the Key. This post has two early videos one from the CEC and the other opening for the Dead Kennedys in Camden. Both videos are courtesy of the very much missed Lenny Crunch. Plus, a slideshow of some show flyers below.
Mikey Wild the Mayor of South Street. (who very sadly died in May 2011) was a Punk Before You Were Punk, Punk. Mikey was a legend and you could usually find him at the Italian Market or South Street. I wish I had bought a few of his superhero inspired art pieces now. These two tapes I believe are from early to mid 80’s – one is a live solo tape and the other is an early demo from Mikey Wild & the Mess. For more on Mikey check out the documentary – I Was Punk Before You Were… (Youtube links below)
John Gilmour – vox
Jon Graf – Bass
Weezul – Drums
Piss Torpedo – Lead Guitar
Bayen – Rythym Guitar
I started band after 5 Story Fall loved 5sf but it was getting kinda limiting you know? i was digging heavier stuff…. Weezul (Mike Mosely currently in Brown Sugar/Gibbous Moon) was drumming for the Sadistic Exploits who were kinda packing it in….he came on board to join 5sf but i told him lets do something new instead. I met Bayen thru Toby from Mr Mehta. Weez grew up with Piss (who went on to play in Throttle after Shemales) We met Graf who was visiting from VA and decided to move to Philly start the band. When it wasn’t a complete shitshow Shemales was an amazing band.
We were in the right place at the right time with the right sound and we looked really cool…. this was before the 90s made all that rocknroll stuff look stock you know? We were taking influences from everywhere…. it was kinda freeing in 86 87 to breakout of that rigid hardcore boots and teeshirts look…. we were dressing like 1/4 crossdressing english post-punk glam shit 1/4 grebo zodiac mindwarp, motorhead etc… it was all fucking thrift store chic at the time. A lot of credit for how we looked goes to our girlfriends at the time.- Mine, Lisa Hilliard, Bayen’s Tammy Diner and Heather who was Dating Jon Young from the Slacks The girls, well Lisa owned a badass thrift shop in west philly called South of Soho Tammy and Heather worked there.. so they had access to tons of cool clothes and used to Hand Make all of our cool shit. I don’t think they ever got enough credit without them no distinctive shemale look
Me and Graf were drawing our lyric inspiration from Birthday party Nick Cave, Vosco from Ruin, Jim Thirwell. Baudelaire, cool cool shit when put on top of cool ass riffs We never wanted to play stock riffs Piss and Weez were music school grads so they were throwing in off time shit and crazy chords in the back ground that on top off Bayen’s absolute ear for killer rock riffs made for amazing tunes….. and we used to fuck with song structure as much as possible… no choruses or putting them at the end rarely verse chorus verse chorus. Then the whole traveling sideshow aspect e. g.
We named the band after a VHS porn series called She Male Encounters… our first early flyers were straight up shemale porn. Our first show, a bunch of Tranny streetwalkers thought it was some kind of support group, lol So about 15-20 showed up. They were awesome, became instant fans. We were the most popular rock band among phila’s black trans sexworkers. At one show three of them Diamond, Fabulous and So What saved me from being stomped by some skinheads around the corner from Revival. They carry razors in there wigs and who knew that high heels are amazing weapons.
Anyway the band had like 2 perfect years and i think we easily would have been on a major in the 90s, we were way ahead of the times e. g. Slash wore his She Male Tee shirt when GnR played their first show at the Troc. Chris Schwartz from Ruffhouse, who at the time was my best friend and our manager, was working his ass off for us but……..
My drug addiction ruined everything. I really let those guys down getting lost in Heroin/Alcohol and just this Ego driven Rock Star entitlement. I mean i was a kid i was 19-21and shooting Dope with Johnny Thunders…… shit so went to my head it stopped being about the music for me, it became about everything else. I stopped being able to create. It was weird after writing like 10 songs a week since i was 12 i spent the last year not being able to put 2 words together in a creative way. I would scat sing and pretend i had written lyrics…. puke on stage….. the whole 9.Same old story about too much too soon. Chris used to tell me “Nothing says nothing like nothing from the oven” He meant that no matter how big the hype at the end of the day if you can’t produce it just doesn’t matter so…..
Anyway She Males was great I had more fun than 100 monkeys…. people, and the band guys, ask me about doing a reunion but i can’t we tried one, it was awful for me lol, i can’t be the singer that the band and the crowd deserves when im sober. She Males need to stay Young Pretty and Mangled.
oh i forgot to mention the rest of the members…. so after Piss we had Trick from Grafs old VA hardcore band Schmyzer on Lead for a minute then he went on to play with Shag Motor Pony which was Charlie and Alice from The Vels band we then got Carl Hinds (later he went on to start Dandelion) on Lead and the line up with Carl was the best, that was the definitive SheMales line up however the line up with Piss was the most interesting
Its actually a little known fact that She Males was a heavy Acid/Shrooms band on top of the Heroin and Booze lol The pic of me with red hair and red white stripe pants was at the Troc first time opening up for Anvil Bitch and Motorhead. I had taken 4 hits of some Mind blowing pink window pane. I spent the whole gig staring at our own light show and rolling around on stage making David Yow hairball noises! I shaved off my eyebrows right before the show like Bob Geldof in the Wall! The metal kids loved it they didn’t know what to think – John Gilmour
Thanks for the tape Jackie
My first memory of Jack was at an all ages show at one of the Penn frats and he was drunkenly moshing in the pit. Then at one point he lay down on the stage and seemed to take a nap. He later got off the stage and returned to the pit. His size made it intimidating but soon it was obvious he was just having a good time and all was good. As most people in Philadelphia, Jack lived in my house rent free for a while when he was dating one of my housemates. Jack was a force to watch during Scab Cadillac. He had a great presence as a front man and they were always a great band to see live. I feel fortunate that I ran into Jack on one of his last times back in Philadelphia – he had a way of making you feel like seeing you was the best possible thing that could happen to him that day. It was devastating that he accidentally drowned in California, it’s still hard to believe that it was even possible.
Jack’s family released this collection of songs with donations going to a fund they set up to send underprivileged children to Cummington, MA’s Shire Village — the summer camp Jack attended and later worked at as a counselor. I couldn’t find the camp fund online any longer but please donate to Shire Village Camp in Jack’s name if you want to support the intention of these songs being released.
Photos of Jack taken by Toni Farina
To the best of my knowledge all of the music links are for recordings that are out of print but if you enjoy what you hear, buy other records and support the artist(s) and/or labels: if you don't approve of having your material displayed and would like to have it down...Email Me @