Marginal Man (along with GI & Scream) was one of the few DC Discord bands of the mid-80s to tour regularly. This is a live tape from West Catty in 86 with Last Stand and Last Cry and No Deodorant opening for them.
The picture of The Complaints greatly depends on your lens. The wide angle view was just another high school band who sped up a few rock and roll standards, sang with a vague British accent and called it punk rock. To understand this band though, you need a zoom.
There is no way to answer who, without understanding where. The town of Catasauqua (Catty) in the 80’s was peculiar. The working class birthplace of the American Iron Industry, it was DIY for a couple of centuries. The youth culture in Catty at this time was set ablaze by punk rock. You would have been hard pressed to find a place that embraced the genre with the viscera and vigor as The Iron Borough. The humor, the energy, the sneer fit Catty hand in glove. Even the “nice girls” loved it. The Complaints were that culture’s juke box.
The first thing to know about this band was they were as talented as they were young (14-17). The musical backbone of the band was Glenn (Stoag) Longenhagen. The oldest member of the band, he was somewhat of a savant. He seemed to be able to play any song on any instrument. His younger brother Greg (Story) was charismatic, funny and most importantly, he knew cool, a consummate frontman. The rhythm section was every bit the equal to the front line. Bass player Louis Stubits was not only very proficient, but had a vision for what the band should be. Finally, the youngest member, drummer Steve Roth was a powerhouse. Together, this band was the living mixtape for this odd town during these iconic days. They played it all. First wave standards by Undertones, Buzzcocks, Clash, Gang of Four to covering the likes of Smokey Robinson, The Who and The Yardbirds. They were a good live band but this is where you need to adjust your focus. It was the originals. A small batch of songs that make you look back again. They were tight, smart and had their own sound. Really good songs.
That’s The Complaints, in a snapshot. In time, life moved the lads on to other things. Careers in theatre and science and business called them forward. Such is life’s arc, but this batch of songs are testament to a quirky time in a little place and a bunch of kids who filled it brilliantly.
-Al Zuzic ex Complaints roadie
I was friends with Story Longenhagen and Lou Fabulous but i only ever saw the COMPLAINTS once. They played with The Clap (thee original Lehigh Valley punk band) and SENSELESS HATE (featuring Joe Hanna from
Play It Again Records. As well as a wonderful, weird & young Brother JT, who during their set, fell over and landed on his back and continued flailing at his guitar cuz he couldnt get up, earning him the nickname ‘The Insect’ from my Catty punk friends for years ) at the Runway, which in 6 or 7 years would be called Airport Music Hall, the site of many gigantic harvore and metal horrorshows /riots.
I had heard from a few with-it kids that the Complaints were good and super punk and did perfect British punk covers, which was fitting as they hailed from Little England Catty.
Before we’d met i’d heard that Lou was a sneering Sid Vicious protege on bass. They floored me with their version of “clash city rockers”.
But in true small town teen punk sunurban style, my buddy Jon got his nose busted in the parking lot by a jealous Catty kid over Bobby Almazan’s little sister. Then Joe Hanna’s dog licked up all the blood. ah, youth! what great times!…..
WORD MADE FLESH was the Squirrelbait of the Lehigh Valley. And by that i mean that to me at least, they were total emocore (mostly because of Larry’s lyrics, but also because of their thick meaty and dense guitars).(you know i’m right.) They were the band that morphed out of YOUTH QUAKE in 1987. To me, they were the absolute peak band of the whole Catasauqua influenced LVHC scene. And in true Catty fashion, they were influenced by The RUTS.
Legendary teen punk hero- figure Larry Deiter on vocals and words, Tracey Pain on guitar, Roy Mayorga on drums and his brother Dan on second guitar.
Originally they didn’t have a bass player. On these songs its Tracey playing a tuned down guitar, which always floored me.
Later on, Bobby Almazan RIP from serious heavy OG Catty bands THE LIARS & ENDANGERED SPECIES joined as bassist.
They only lasted from the summer of 1987 to the fall of 1988 unfortunately, but at least you can hear their demo. It was recorded 2 tracks to a hifi VCR in Roy’s bedroom. But you can hear everything, especially Larry’s vox. In a more perfect world wherein the LV gets its cultural due, this demo would have come out on vinyl in 1987 or 88 on Homestead Records or something. It was perfect for that time period, just as Dinosaur, Squirrelbait & Ignition were.
(all the above bands would’ve made the perfect bill for a show at West Catty in ‘88 if the punks were still able to have shows there.)
Here’s what Roy Mayorga had to say when bugged about all this stuff:
“Looking back on it I always felt it was like another version of The RUTS. Which was my favorite band at that time. I wish we could’ve continued as a band and maybe we would’ve put out a record eventually. But the demo definitely captures the time perfectly. We recorded this demo before even playing a show. I remember we came up with all of these songs within that week at rehearsal and then we went to my bedroom and recorded it.”
“I think Word Made Flesh transitioned from Youth Quake in the summer of 87. This started when Tracey suggested doing a cover of “you’re just a” by THE RUTS. Why youthquake stopped? I’m not sure. If I remember correctly our bass player at the time Roy Grube (ex Youthful Aggression & Last Cry) might have quit so that was probably why we wanted to start something new. So after jamming that RUTS song it sparked another idea for a song & then we found that we had something new and different for us. Then we had the idea of getting a second guitar player to fill out the sound, that’s when my brother Dan came into the picture. We played a couple of shows (Dead Milkmen and The Exploited) (the infamous Exploited show in the LV where Wattie got maced by the crowd. and just kept singing like nothing happened) as a four piece until we found a bass player. That being Bob Almazan. He was the final piece of the puzzle. But unfortunately the band lasted only until the fall of 88.
Larry had the simplest lyrics and the point was really made damn clear what was going on in his life at that time and you can hear it in his performance.”
Roy and Dan moved to NYC so Roy could join NAUSEA, and Dan restarted WMF with Jae from A.P.P.L.E. but that didn’t really last and without Larry it couldn’t really be the same….
Both of these compilations tapes were put out by Chainsaw Fanzine from Bethlehem PA. After I posted I learned that this fanzine was put out by Dick Destiny of Dick Destiny & The Highway Kings.
On the Annoy Your Neighbor tape Senseless Hate, Tony T And The Bad Seeds, and Russian Meatsquats were from the Lehigh Valley. Some members of Tony T were later in Original Sins.
On the Please Stop tape Suburban Aggression and Professor Schnitzer were from Reading, Senseless Hate was from Bethlehem, and Wasted Talent was from State College PA. The drummer, Mick Begnal, from Wasted Talent was later in the Philly band Oblivion.
YQ was a band from 1985 to 1986 from Catasauqua in the Lehigh Valley.
Larry Deiter, charismatic teenage hero who ran away from home and lived in the little league dugouts for awhile, was the singer. he’d sung in a band called Zero Factor previously.
Tracy Pain played guitar, Bobby Fegley played bass (RIP. he died in a car crash in the 90s) and Roy Mayorga played drums. Somewhere late in their ‘career’ they got Roy Grube from LAST CRY to play bass. (I never saw this lineup…) Mike Gentilcore, local king of LV BMX, played second guitar in an early lineup.
They were from Catasauqua, which kids on the scene used to call Little England. Catasauqua (or Catty) was one of the punkest small towns in America. there were some truly amazingly stacked shows from 84 to 86 there. it was like the Huntington Beach of Pennsylvania; as if Catty High was the PA version of Edison High in HB. And most of those kids were a bit crazed and tough. it was totally Class Of ‘84.
Every other high school in the LV had maybe 5 or 6 punkers each. but at Catty High it seemed to me like every single student was a punker, or at least wouldn’t give you shit for being a punker. i mean i would go to the Catty High dances with Larry Deiter and Story from The Complaints and hang high up in the bleachers with the punkers. I never even thought of going to a dance at my own high school in Bethlehem! I mean fuck, that thought gives me shivers.
By the early 80s for some reason Catty had such a deep punk tradition and i don’t really know why…. To this day i still wonder about Why That Was. Someone brainiac should figure it out and do an ethnography.
There were even dances at some church in Catty that I and other LV punkers would attend. First time I went my mind was fucking completely blown: little elementary & middle school kids (no lie) pogoing around with spiked hair, sid vicious chain necklaces with locks, and engineer boots. Tracy Pain’s gnarly older brother was DJing (999, pork dukes, sex pistols, uk subs, all Catty faves). The chaperones were all singing along to Friggin In The Riggin and dancing around.
I couldn’t believe it.
Me & a couple kids started skanking around 1982 style and bam! Tracy’s older brother put me on the floor with a sucker punch. He didn’t like this new kinda punk dancing.
YQ practicing in some basement
Prior to Youthquake the Catty bands were pretty tough & raw and late 70s-ish. The LIARS, The CLAP, The COMPLAINTS (whom i totally loved), etc. They all kind of sang with english accents.
But with YQ came a more hardcore approach, as if intentionally they were reacting against the older punkers ( the Complaints had a song called Johnny Please Come Home, which i always hoped & imagined was about Johnny Loftus from The Clap) YQ wrote a darker themed song called Johnny’s Not Coming Home)
They broke up in 1986 I think?
But with roy’s brother on bass, or down-tuned guitar, they morphed into WORD MADE FLESH who were, to me, thee greatest LV band ever (not just up to that point). But for whatever reason they didn’t last too long either.
Larry went on to sing in Fathead, and continues to ‘live rough’ to this very day i hear. Roy went on to play with Nausea, Soulfly, Stone Sour, Amebix and probably others.
When i think of all these old friends and the things they did I cant help but feel good, and sad; about having once been a 16 year old punker, and about how much time has gone by.
– Eric de Jesus (raw pogo on the scaffold zine/ easy subcult)
– photos by Jen Buck Knies & Jen Chapelle
This is the first band I am putting up that played a show at my house. I first saw FFM at an early show for me (maybe my 2nd) in the Leigh Valley. Their lyrics opened my eyes to Animal Rights and I also liked the anti hardcore conformity message. Years later when I went to College in Philly I asked them to play a party at my house with Meister Squad. Sadly both their later period drummer DC Dave and their singer Steve are no longer with us. They were both great guys who are very missed
I’ve collected a bunch of their music here – I’m not sure if the first demo recordings are different then the first album but I included them anyway.
They released one self-titled album in 1985 (include here – it used to be available online but I can’t find it now), toured the USA with Italy’s Indigesti and recorded an album in 1987 at Inner Ear studios that was produced and mixed by Ian MacKaye and Don Zientara (available here).
For the 1986 Demo – The first song was re-recorded for their second album and the other song never saw the light of day. Sound quality is very good. The 87 demo has another version of “What About Tomorrow” and two more songs.
The live show from Club Pizzaz has 5 songs that were on that album. The live show was recorded through the soundboard so the quality is very good.
Last Cry were from Lehigh Valley (Bethlehem) Pennsylvania and were around for only 6 months or so. In that time they opened for some big touring bands – Descendants and Marginal Man among them. They never made it out of the Lehigh Valley and their last act together was to record a 9 song demo tape. They are believed to be the first female fronted Punk Band from LVHC
This is Constraint opening a show at the CEC with Electric Love Muffin & Government Issue. I know I saw Constraint either in the Leigh Valley or in Philly but I didn’t have much info on them so here’s a guest commentary by Eric from easysubculture If anyone can fill in the song titles please add a comment.
They were from bethlehem. my best bud dave clewell was the singer. he was later in last cry, mugface, forthright, maddog surrender, etc. (check out maddog. pretty great) [see the FOE website for lots of LVHC bands]. They had the coolest punk logo of the day back then, wings and skull and peace sign that graphically stands the test of time, and was always painted on a sheet behind them. mike and rob the guitar and bassers were 2 pretty tough dudes you did not want to fuck with. ahhh, when punk = tough kids. total bad ass older kid bethlehem kids. I forgot how much i loved CONSTRAINT. they were tough dudes and totally bethlehem. i remember being so bummed i couldn’t roadie for them to this show. one of the buddy’s of the guitar and bass player, who were a few years older than me and dave (singer and mike (drummer) wanted to kick my ass over some punker comments i made and i had to lay low for a few months when they / he was around. but anyway and all that personal teen punk drama aside, they were the best LV band at that point (1984 – 1985). rob (bass) and mike were ovo-lacto vegetarians and peace punks but they were still bad ass and intimidating like punkers used to be. ‘do-gooders with a violent streak’.
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