Monday, August 6, 2007

Finding KK Barrett

I've been in contact with KK Barrett, the drummer for the Screamers, through email correspondence. KK has shed some valuable light on the source of the demo tapes, demystifying their rarity to a degree, but his information satisfyingly closes the chapter on the origin of the recordings. The Eva Braun tape is from a video made at UCLA and retained in their archives. The versions of Peer Pressure and Punish or Be Damned are from the '77 recording sessions with Pat Garrett (see July 9, 2007). Chronologically, this would explain how the demos could have ended up in the CEAC collection in Toronto, since Crash & Burn operated in the art centre's basement from May to August 1977 before being shut down. The Screamers did not perform at Crash & Burn during its brief existence.

However, according to KK, the band eventually made it to Toronto for a gig in 1978. (Anybody out there remember seeing this?) KK remembers "playing at a club in the basement of the George Nelson Hotel" and "going to the FILE magazine offices and also spilling [his] college French to a drunken fan outside." I double-checked this with AA Bronson (KK->AA!) who wrote that the Toronto venue was the King Eddy (King Edward Hotel) not the George Nelson. (AA Bronson published FILE magazine with Jorge Zontal and Felix Partz under their collective name General Idea.)

KK recalls that tapes of that show circulated, which he's never heard. Rarities for sure! AA Bronson says he isn't aware of these tapes, but pointed me in the direction of FILE's punk issue, which may have information on the Screamers' stint in Toronto.

KK Barrett is now a successful production designer and art director. He has worked on I Heart Huckabees (2004), Lost in Translation (2003), Adaptation (2002), Human Nature (2001), Being John Malkovich (1999), Crack House (1989) and Cheerleader Camp (1987).

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