Back in the late seventies, when the punk scene in L.A. was just getting off the ground, like other scenes that were springing up it was predominantly guitar based bands. Some may have had a sax here or some keyboards there, but it was all but written that a band be centered around the standard guitar-bass-drums foundation. This coming from a movement that was about tossing out the old way of doing things and starting from scratch, With the benefit of hindsight, from a musical standpoint it seems almost reactionary. Louder, faster, tough lyrics, yeah, yeah, but that's not exactly turning things upside down. That might be the reason why the Screamers, despite having never officially released a single record, have proven to be one of the most significant bands of that era. They consisted of two keyboards, a drummer and a vocalist. Not a single stringed instrument, Before you go spouting off, consider that this was before synth based bands really existed, and before industrial music was a definable movement.
Rather than rehash what I wrote a few years ago (you can read that here). I'll cut to the quick, The late Tomata Du Plenty was the lead singer of the Screamers. From the violent unfamiliar sound of the Screamers, and Du Plenty's intense stage presence, one could easily be intimidated by him from afar. But if you knew him as many, many people did, you know what an incredibly gracious person he was face to face, I was lucky enough to had a bunch of interactions with him back then. The man was totally disarming.
There's a documentary being made about Du Plenty, and I hope it covers him as a person, his being, as much as it does his music and various other works (acting, painting). Because first and foremost, that, to me, was what made him special, the standout member of a standout band.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
The Screamers - Punish Or Be Damned (demo) mp3 at HoboFM
The Screamers - 122 Hours of Fear (streaming) at Avant Avant
The Screamers - Punish or Be Damned (live) at YouTube
The Screamers - In A Better World (live) at YouTube
The Screamers at Network Awesome Eight live videos, in succession
The Screamers - Tons more at YouTube
Population 1 - Trailer/movie site Expanded two DVD edition for sale, bonus disc with 40 minutes of the Screamers
The Life and Times of Tomata Du Plenty - Kickstarter Campign (Relax, it's funded.)
The Screamers - Unofficial site Very comprehensive
The Screamers - Profile at Beware of the Blog
The Screamers - Profile at Perfect Sound Forever