Bay Area punk rock band Flipper discusses 33 years of noise and pranks.
There are kisses undelivered
Sighs and moans unuttered
That's the way of the world
- Flipper "The Way Of The World"
The Bay Area is a noisy place. Whether it's the crashing waves against the western shoreline or traffic on the Bay Bridge, there is a life affirming stir of sound around us all the time.
It's no wonder a caterwalling, creaking, noisy band like Flipper sprouted here in 1979.
Flipper evolved in true punk rock fashion by playing dives like San Francisco's The Sound of Music, a transvestite stripclub that showcased punk bands on the weekends.
"We kicked it off in '79, and everything in between is a blur," quips drummer Steve DePace.
They later graduated to bigger dives, like San Francisco's Mabuhay Gardens, New York's CBGB's and other large scale venues over the years.
The group is still comprised of founding members Bruce Loose, Ted Falconi and Steve DePace, but they've gone through a few bass players since the death of original member, Will Shatter, in 1987.
A recent luminary of Nirvana fame, Krist Novaselic, left after releasing one album in 2006. Novaselic is now replaced by Rachel Thoele, a Bay Area native who first began her musical foray in G.O.D. She later joined Mudwimmin, Frightwig and the MTVish girl band, Van Gough's daughter.
Epthets like "Flipper rules," "Flipper still rules," "Flipper suffered for their music, now it's your turn," still abound and Flipper continues to wreak havoc on soundmen and audiences around the globe. In fact, they're getting ready for an international tour, right now (wee dates below).
Stateside dates include March 2 at Oakland's New Parish, and The Lion's Lair on March 29 and 30 which features the work of Ruby Ray and Bruce Connor, two photographers who chronicled Bay Area punk rock back in its heyday.
And if you still haven't got your Flipper fix, watch the video above. I met with the band at their Oakland rehearsal space for an interview and a chance to videotape their glorious noise.
Robert Wellington is an NBC Bay Area staff photojournalist and Punk Rock Enthusiast.