The Beginning of 14th St.

 

One morning an ad from the Times jumped right off the page. Manufacturing space on 14th St. between 6th and 7th Ave. 12,000 sq/ft will divide. I called and set an appointment for 11am that day. Michael Craig was working the day shift and arrived as I was leaving. Come along I said and we headed to 14th St together. He and I were the first ones to see the new place. As soon as we got out of the elevator and saw the huge loft space Michael said “Oh yea! This is the next Giant Rehearsal Studios.” I couldn’t talk because I knew he was right. The place was massive. As Dave Conrad, a bass player I was working with at the time said when he first saw the space, “That place is so big it has a horizon.” The current tenant was a sweat shop that glued glitter on shirts. That business occupied the top two floors of the building. He was moving everything into one floor which left the top floor open. I liked the top floor because it meant no neighbors to bother upstairs. The floor below was the glitter factory so there wouldn’t be any complaints there. It was in a prime location and it was certainly big enough. Everything looked perfect.
Marty was the owner of the building. He was this 6 1/2 foot tall, kind of jovial Jewish guy. Though he was old school, he had a flair about him which I related to instantly. When I told him I was in the music business he smiled and said, “You make records?” I invited him down to observe the studio on 38th St to see first hand what he was getting himself into. Marty arrived at 11:00 am a couple of mornings later. It was January 28, 1986. There was one room rented to a guy practicing piano. Marty hung out for half an hour or so then said he didn’t see a problem renting to us. We shook on the deal and he left. A minute after Marty left, Michael comes flying into the room. He flips on the TV announcing that the Space Shuttle Challenger just blew up 5 minutes ago. I had a flashback to the lightning bolt at Mr K’s office (see The End of 38th St.) These are some of the coincidences surrounding the facts that stick out in my mind during the transition between the Giant Studio on 38th and the four times bigger Giant of 14th Street.

  • Fred P.

 

Now that you mention it Fred, I remember the elevator opening up and thinking “Oh my god, this is going to be HUGE”! Because it was and it reaked of potential I remember feeling so proud that I was the first one to see it with you. The pictures of Michael Carvin on the other pages remind me of why I don’t remember a whole lot from back then! I think he was my main drinking buddy during the day up there at the old place. He was teaching drums and his prize student was Ben Stiller (this was way before he was famous) Michael only mentioned him to me because his parents were famous.

Another point the picture reminded me of was the “Air Conditioner Covers”. When REALLY loud bands came it, we would let them run the air conditioning ONLY when they weren’t playing. Then they would have to be closed. It was STILL a sweatshop, even though there weren’t any garments being manufactured.

  • Michael C.

 

 

Moving from 38th to 14th street

Moving sucks might as well go for it. From 3500 to 12,000 sq ft. I was either inspired or had certainly lost my mind! Or both; It took 2 years to build; the hourlys first then the monthlys. I think we got up to Studio W? It was a cramped drum practice room squeezed between the stairwell and a storage room. If I could have there would have been a studio X. My girlfreind at the time joked that when she left for work I would have rented her clothes. Such is the mindset of a RE developer. When we were fighting I would sleep on the couch in the oversized reception area. The place was a palace and rooftop made for the best parties. It was 1986 and the rent was 4 dollars a sq ft but I still needed to borrow 25,000 to complete the project. I think it got up to 50 but no matter the place got finished.
For 5 years she was my battleship and I called her Yamamoto. We blasted NY Scum Rock, Hardcore, SKA, and every other kind of everything at the world. And I made Andre from Andre Audio a small fortune. In 1992 someone bought the building. My lease was up anyway. Luckily I was about to go on the road with Black 47. I did the same thing I have done at all my evictions, this was number three, I also lost the apartment on 12th St. I said 6 months free rent and I’m gone. My family used to joke that I made more money getting thrown out of places than actual business. Maybe they were right but at that moment in 92 I threw the keys to Paul and said It’s your’s. He thought I was joking and left the place open. I think a couple of mics got stolen but I was on the road thinkin; this is totally in keeping with Giant rule #2 which is “We don’t care”
– Fred P.

The Glitter Factory

I found another undeveloped roll of film. Probably taken by the same mysterious photographer as The View (1986).

  • Fred P.

WOW, a whole site devoted to Giant, how cool. Thanx for doing this, y’all. I can’t believe Carvin let me put my dirty country-punk hands on his mackin’ suit, that suave MF. I miss the days of Bud in cans at work in the daylight. I also can’t believe how young we all looked, in my mind we were all already delapidated (in a good way).

  • Pete C.

 

Seeing these pics Is a total trip — that one of Pete & Michael Carvin is fucking classic –It’s nice to see that view again — I want to post a lot more but I’m overwhelmed –don’t know where to start — I could write a book- Thanks for getting this shit going Paul — I’m gonna fucking cry

  • Jay W.

 

Pete!

This is going to be the COOLEST thing about this site! Seeing posts from people who were MY LIFE back then! Pete, I have the picture from the steps were there was Guitar clobbering! (I’ll try to find it). What about the PERPETUAL night time at 38th street? Damn everyone does look young, I’m freaking old and fat now, with kids who hate me because I am the strictest Dad in the world!

Let’s make the whole site live, tell everyone you know!

Paul, Wacko is righter than right you DO rule! And Fred… you my good man are responsible for ALL of this. I use the “being the boss” skills I learned from you EVERY day at my store!

Thanks to ALL of you!

  • Michael C.

OHHHH SHIT!!! Michaelovich, you freak. Great to know you’re out there. I’ll email you back — I gues your real name is Littlefield, right?

Paul, thank you for getting this up and running, you reggae bum. Doug and I still sing the song we “wrote” about you entitled “Sunday’s My Only Day to Chill, Mon.” I couldn’t agree with you more that the late 70s and ealr to mid 80s in NYC were special, the punk rock ethos of DIY applied to ALL kinds of music, and people from everywhere converging and just making shit happen. You think it’ll always be that way, and then you wake up!

I have a daughter and I still play music, still write songs, gig a fair amount, record a bunch, wish I knew then what I know now, but wish I had now the kind of energy and freedom I had then. I’ll get Hubel to visit the site, that big fairy!

Howdy to all of y’all! Ups to Fred, nice to see old pix of you wandering the as yet unbuilt caverns of 14th Street. And thanx Wacko for cluing me in to this site.

  • Pete C.

I still sing that song ….. to my kids!

  • Michael C.

 

Eric Hubel at the Glitter Factory

Eric was part of the Giant family and played in many bands at the studio. Big Fat Love, Flophouse Society Orchestra and Sounds of Fishing plus others that just wont rise out of my fuzzy burnt out brain. In these pics I think he was roped into the Giant move from 38th to 14th and had just hauled up an ungodly amount of sheetrock, studs and joint compound.

  • Paul H.

 

The Sean Taggart poster in the front area

I think this picture says it all about the 14th St. Giant.

Fred had Sean Taggart, who did many Giant posters and T-shirts, do the artwork for the poster that announced the move from 242 W 38th to 142 W 14th St.

This was put blown up large in the front area of the studio. You saw right in front of you as you came in through the front door.

  • Paul H.

I still have my red T-shirt. The black one and the white one bit the dust along the way. Anybody got any backstock on that? I would pay top dollar for one more black one (not one pickled in Hubel’s flop sweat, though!)

  • Pete C.

Black shirts are the holy grail of Giant paraphernalia . The first one I don’t know anybody who has one. They were so cool that they got worn to death.

Any shirt photo postings would be appreciated. I’m going to post a list of the bands on the back soon. I would pay top dollar for a “Da Willys” T-shirt also.

  • Paul H.

 

That’s how I’m Livin’

 
Paul had this shirt (that he bought on 14th street) that epitomized the 14th street era. It featured a ho, drugs and guns and the slogan “That’s How I’m Livin'”. Not that Paul was livin’ like that but 14th street certainly was. You could listen to the same radio station from the the cars on the street all the way to the unemployment office near 6th Ave “WBLS”

  • Michael C.

 

Drumstick Battles

It started out innocently enough. A thrown drumstick by Jay or me, aimed to miss. Then a drumstick thrown back a few days later.

The front desk was in the center of the lobby of Giant. It was in front of the large windows facing 14th St. then if you sat at the desk and turned you head to the left you could see all the way to Jays control room. Before the control room you would have to enter a storage area from the lobby, Fred’s office then the recording/bedroom area of Jay’s studio.

Either Jay or I would start by hurling the first drumstick. All I would have to do was stand from behind the desk, lean forward a little and let one hurl. It would spin and hurtle its way down 4 rooms till it barley missed Jay sitting in his control room. He would cackle with glee and run wildly around the room collecting drumsticks. I of course had a handful ready. Each would take turns hurling the drumsticks down the hall. Once in awhile one with a broken end would hit a wooden door and stick in like an arrow.

Sometimes I would be sitting at the desk with a band standing in front of me paying or trying to book some time and a drumstick would spin out of control in between us then come crashing against the area on the side of us. They would look at me like what the fuck was that. I would stare back blankly as if it was no big deal. And it wasnt.

I would return favour and hurl one at Jay as he was mixing or recording a band.

The wars sometimes would extend out into the studio.

For whatever reason no one ever got hurt or even hit I dont think. We probably would of felt really bad if we did hit or hurt one another. Even though they were hurled at certain times with all ones might the aim was calculated not to hit but create the biggest crash on the other side.

One could not help but be caught up in the madness and anarchy of Giant.

  • Jay W.

If I had me a drum stick & real good arm right now — you can bet I’d try to nail paul — Yeah It’s fucking amazzzzzing no one ever lost an eye — I loved it when the battles would extend into the zig zag halway and when a drumsick would repeteaaly catch a wall at 45 mph there was no telling what it was going to do. All you could do is throw your hands around your head, wince -& hope for the best —

The innocent bystander/ human sheild componant of this is what really made it all worth wile. —

  • Jay W.

 

Radio Games 1980s

When I was on the road (circa 1980s) doing gigs I used to tape off the radio on a sony walkman. When Cubase XT came out in 95 I burned all the best clips to my hard drive and boiled about 40 tapes down to 2 90 minute cassettes. I played the tapes once in the van while on the road with Black 47. The first few minutes on Tape I Side A have some excerpts off the Giant answering machine including Dino Sax.

  • Fred P.

Tape I

Side A:

Side B:

Tape II

Side A:

Side B:

 

Cool stuff.. Dino Sax…Razor..oh shit..I remember him. He would give us cocaine so we wouldnt kick him out and close down. Plenty of times I would wonder out of there at sunrise becuase of his treats. THe guy who says he is a great actor is awesome “Im good!! Im good i tell you!!”

  • Paul H.

 

The View

I found this roll of film in a drawer at giant. I finally got it developed. It sat so long that the colors faded. I don’t even remember taking the pictures.

  • Fred P.

 

Da Willys

One of my all-time favorite bands at Giant has to be Da Willys. I never went to see them live. Never really heard them play except sticking my head in the practice room to give them 5 minutes, but they still rank as one my favorite Giant bands. They were the darlings of the short lived “Scum Rock” scene. Ill post more about this later.

Da Willys consisted of 4 people. Willy was the the bass player. He was really tall with a wild bushy red untamed afro and thick reading glasses. He was a true fan of rock and roll and punk. I see him in all of the old videos and movies with footage from CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City in their heyday, shaking his head wildly in the front row. The drummer was a slight nerdy guy with a mod haircut and geeky square glasses.. the guitar player had greasy wild hair and a leather jacket with hardcore buttons and tight black pants and pointy boots. The lead singer was a large girl who always dressed like a trash movie star from the 30’s or slightly punk with always changing hair color and style.

To me they represented the apex of punk DIY music. Their style spoke loudly when they walked in the door. They were always the most friendly group of freaks (and I mean this in the best way) that walked through the Giant doors. Sometimes Willy would just come up and sit on the couch drinking a 40 and bask in the cacophony of 20 or more bands playing at once. He truly loved rock and roll. The Ramones gave him an audition as a bass player once because he was around the scene for so long and knew everybody.

Scum Rock to me was the apex of rock and roll and its last gasp of creativity before it truly died.

Р Paul H.

They were a real “Band” indeed — Willy was like 7 ft tall–I remember when the village voice finally caught on.. too late — and the drummer died — & then there was “Sharkey’s Machine” –a lot of those people were artists & worked at mags like “High Times” — & a pro wrestling zine years before WWF was in vogue.. all those guys were always extremely nice– Must be how the ended up backing GG Allin –go figure

  • Jay W.

 

Da Willys recorded output consisted of 1 7-inch single in 1989 and a full-length album, issued on both CD and vinyl, entitled SATUHDAY NIGHT PALSY. Great stuff on them online if you poke around. Check out:
trouserpress.com

  • Jay W.

nywaste.com
 

The DRUMS! Those goddamn DRUMS!!!

I remember I was working the first Saturday morning (ie., noon) shift at the new space at 14th Street. Everybody had pitched in and framed out the first coridoor’s worth of rooms over a couple of days as I recall (Correct me if I got that wrong Paul, Fred, Mike, or Jay) — I learned about the wonders of sheet rock for the first time, working alongside Bosco, Jay, and my old roommate Ted Proferes who always needed work. And I vaguely remember staple-gunning that wacked out Marcus Garvey print fabric all over one room, with a beer in one hand.

Anyway, I got the new keys and I come in Saturday for the first daytime full-on new Giant shift — I think Fred met me for this one. I got my donut and coffee from the joint on the northwest side of 14th street with the big fat Greek girl who was really nice, and take the elevator up and open the doors. And within a few minutes of being open, this guy comes in: 50-something, an old-school NYC popeye with big black-rimmed glasses, dented, ill-fitting black fedora over gray hair, needs a shave, a cheap-ass long black raincoat. He was short and he looked exhausted and stressed out. He was one of our new neighbors from the 13th Street side, and he wasn’t exactly rolling out the red carpet.

“Jeeziz Christ, the DRUMS, the DRUMS, it sounds like the goddamned jungle up here, what are you, boiling people in oil like in freakin’ Africa… Oy vey, the DRUUMMMSS!”

He had tossed and turned through our first full-on Friday night with the jungle drums of scum rock and ska and punk and all that good Giant stew rattling his rent-controlled apartment. He was old-school SRO NYC all the way!

He sat on the couch and complained to me and Fred (I think) like that for about half an hour, occasionally throwing in: “What is it you people are DOING up here?” Um, we’re a music studio. We just moved in. We can’t afford to wait for construction to be completed, but I assure you, more insulation and soundproofing is on its way! I remember Fred had prepped us for complaints, though I don’t remember exactly what stonewalling tactic we were suppposed to use. Plus I was terrible at that kind of thing, way too sympathetic for the plight of this beleagured old sod, and at the same time trying to keep from laughing.

Anyway, that was one of the first of the encounters with our new neighbors — and as I remember it, Fred ran great interference for a long time to come, keeping the Giant wheels turning and the engine greeezy.

  • Pete C.

Hi Pete
I forgot that you were there that day. I’ve forgotten a lot. Now you spur my memory. I remember that poor guy. His bedroom window was 50 feet from Studio C. He kept saying to me over and over, “Boom, boom,, boom, boom, every night, I feel like I’m being boiled in oil! Who ahh these people.” Eric imitated him best. I had to keep disappearing into the back office. I too couldn’t contain my laughter. Later I realized he was the beginning of the noise complaints which ended in a law suit from the retired lawyers judges and doctors who lived behind us on 13th St. That was 1986-7. Can you imagine trying to do that today?

  • Michael C.

Yeah –Eric had that guy down perfectly

“Boom -BoomBoom What the hells wrong with you people” –I almost forgot about that guy –He seemed to just kind of go away– I hope he wasn’t driven to suicide.

It probly didn’t help that at 5 am the morning after the move Pete and the gone fishn drumer(wish I could remember his name) & I jammed in studio B pre. AC with the window wide open.

Welcome to the neiborhood!!!

  • Jay W.

Oh man, Fred, I’m glad you confirmed that for me… I didn’t realize how close that poor guy’s window was… And yeah, imagine doing any of what you did as a wildman entrepreneur NOW in post-Rudy, post-Bloomberg NYC. Different town, no question. On the other hand, that poor guy wouldn’t be able to hold on to any decent real estate now either.

Jay, you have a sick memory, I had totally forgotten that you me and Doug jammed but now that you mention it I do recall that… wow… Wish I could hear what the hell THAT sounded like. Or maybe not.

  • Pete C.

It’s Amassing that I have I have any memory at al…..l considering my close affiliation with the beer machine. That’s a whole new topic — imagine that in ’06

  • Jay W.

 

 

CBGBs w/ Paul, Eric, Pete, Bosco, Fred, etc.

 

I still have soundboard cassette tapes of a couple Step Outside gigs from CBs in ’86 — the lineup with Paul holding down the bottom, me and Hubel on guitars, and Doug Ryan on drums. (I remember our band changed its name every time we got a new bass player, which was every year for 3 yrs in a row — we changed names more often than we played gigs! We were Sounds of Fishing in year 2, then when Paul joined up, we became Step Outside.)

I have a tape of one gig where Bosco and Fred jump onstage as “The Giant Horns” for an encore cover of Big Fat Love’s “Cold Rail”… and you can hear Michael Craig drunkenly yelling when we introduce Bosco.

And we do like a 10 minute version of “One Long Bad Trip”, that tune I wrote about my brother dosing the trick-or-treaters with LSD in the halloween candy when I was a kid.

Anybody have any cool recordings of Giant bands? I’d really like to hear any Interns, Boilers, etc. stuff that’s floating around out there… (Wacko’s got lots of cool stuff up on the Web including some of that old Swiss Army Bass/Johnny Skilsaw stuff.)

  • Pete C.

 

Was that gig the at a giant party at the “Voodoo Club” (off center theater)?? I remember a lot of shit about that night — Da Willys played last. I CLEARLY remember Willie passed out on the floor w/ a 40oz bud clutched in his hand– Rock & Roll baby

  • Jay W.

ow about the SOF gig at CB’s during the world series when I kept running up on stage with updates of the score? I was REALLY drunk that night! You guys are remembering all the great bands, and they were many (My personal fav Scab (previously Cut later to become Scar the all girl speed punk band who’s kids sang a rousing rendition of “Reality Street”). But how about the WORST band of all time: Letch Patrol! The lead singer used to have stuff thrown at him and would stage dive and people would jump out of the way so he would fall on the floor. Some punk at the studio said that he used to bring a big old slurpy to all of their gigs, just to throw it at him!

  • Michael C.

The CBs gig you’re talking about was not just any World Series game, but Game 7 of the Amazin’ Mets’ 1986 triumph of the Sawx. I’m not sure if I have that on tape, but I know we had changed to Step Outside by then, with Paul on the bass. Letch Patrol were indeed right up there with the worst of the worst. And if you wanna talk about cool girl bands, how about the one that started as FRENCH LETTER BANDITS and morphed intpo the very sexy PISTOL WHIPPED. That lead guitar player w/ the bleach blonde hair was awesome, and she had a kind of dark-lady Joan Jett style counterpart who was smokin’ hot! Then there was Spinster Playtime… Ahead of the curve on the Lez-rock scene, should be playing with Le Tigre and The Butchies today.

  • Pete C.

PISTOL WHIPPED evolved into “Everets Body” I recorded them –Oh man..Slone & that red head–

lets not forget the Lunachicks

I remember that night a CB’s what a fucking night!!

I remember Ted & I sort of passing out on that brick stuff on that little island across from st. vincents hosp.

I want to do that again sometime

Was Chicken John the main dude from Letch Patrol???

  • Jay W.

 

Learn To Drive – Rent A CAR

I have the 1/2 inch mixes from Bat Cave, at least I think they’re half inch, maybe quarter? I dont have the 8-track masters, I don’t think. They too need baking.

Ahhh, Dorfman, that guy was so cool. That was when we were Step Outside, definitely the best sounding stuff I was part of back then, Paul’s style really gave the band a cool drive. He played “Shortnin’ Bread” as the bass line to one song!

Yeah, the “Fez Sessions” did wind up being Dog Face Boy, it had that psychedelic new wave cover of Morning Dew on it, right? And that song in 6/8 called “Eye of the Chicken.” And the tune where all the lyrix were taken from the film classic “I Spit On Your Grave”? And my girlfriend at the time, Beth, came in all innocent and sang that stuff about “I’m gonna hang you from the highest tree…” Very weird song which I have no record of anywhere.

And the more I think about it, the more I think you’re right, that crash into the Learn to Drive sign DID happen when we were there, there was like this ungodly sound of steel and we all just jumped up to the ledge to see it…

1988, right?

  • Jay W.

I think I remember “The Fez Sessions” — I have tapes that are all boxed up, some mislabled & all need to be baked before they get transfered to somekind of useable formatt. It’s going to be a tough project -paul has the 8 track machine & we plan on getting it into working order at some point. I’ll Let you know If I have anyting when I get into pawing through the stacks. Sooner than later I hope. Do you still have any of that SOF bat cave stuff to dub off?? I’d love to get my hands on a coppy of that! Not sure—did you ever hear BFL “Hell House”?–has some of those great tunes from that era. I could swear that you were the guy that pointrd out the irony with the car crashed into a storefront wit “Learn To Drive” emblazened above.

  • Michael C.

I know it’s not funny, & then again — one night a guy & his girlfried ran their white tr-7 into the car rental place across the street — the guy was reeling in agony on the sidewalk while his girlfriend stood there with her arms crossed chewing gum.. Above them in huge letters “Learn To Drive -Rent A CAR”– I think I was recording Pete that night –anyone remember?

  • Jay W.

Man..some of these stories remind me how fuking burned out I am. I can hardly remember any of this shit. There are like 10 stories to be told in just these post above..argg..me ‘ead ‘urts.

  • Paul H.

Man, that kind of DOES ring a bell… Was that when you were recording Dog Face Boy? And by the way, would you have any tapes from that session?

  • Jay W.

 

Dino’s Sack

 

 

I’m really surprised that no one has posted yet about Dino Sax. I guess everyone’s still trying to repress the memories. But if you worked at Giant either in the last days of 38th or the first years of 14th, chances are at some point you would be doin’ business with the naked drummer.

Dino was a drummer who had a power trio of sorts, with 2 Polynesian brothers on bass and guitar. The brothers had bushy black hair and were skinny as hell, seemingly because they were serious speed freaks. When adjusting the PA for them, the guitarist/lead singer wouldn’t say “check one two,” he would yell “SOUND CHECK!!!” at the top of his lungs in a Geddy Lee-like high-pitched freakout. I think he played a Flying V.

But the real attraction was Dino, who disrobed for every rehearsal. Down to his sweat socks. Then he’d ask for like 8 mics — “Five for the drums, and three for the vocals.” He never seemed to take the hint that our PA’s were mostly 4-channel jobs and that miking the drum kit in an 8 by 10 room was pure insanity. He’d just come walking out to the desk with a trenchcoat on to cover his, um, manhood, and ask for more mikes. He’d inevitably saunter out mid-rehearsal too, for change. “Can I have 12 quarters?” He spoke in kind of a flat mutter and would’ve really been at home in the back row of a porno theatre on 42nd Street circa 1974.

The real tough part was having to go in to give them 10 minutes, then 5; they always ran over and he was ALWAYS NUDE. The inevitable jokes about handling the drum stool after his sessions were based on genuine revulsion and with damn good reason!!! I mean, as scummy as I was living back then, it couldn’t hold a candle to Dino’s ball sweat adorning our drum stools.

Dino was a real distinctive NYC character, another Giant regular who probably couldn’t be part of our new Disney-fied town. He had a strange pubic-looking beard that hung down off his chin and was often dyed blue, or rainbow colors. I used to see him on the street, both during and for years after my times at Giant. He was a bike messenger for years, and he went on to play for GG Allin (a good fit).

The last time I saw Dino play was at a historic show — the big Nirvana/Breeders gig at the New York Coliseum where now stands the Time Warner Center in Colombus Circle. The opening act was Jad Fair’s Half Japanese, a great weirdo underground band from the NYC/Hoboken scene of the 1980s. So I’m near the front, and thhe band starts playing, and I look up, and fuckin’ Dino Sax is playing drums for Half Japanese. And yes, he is 100 percent nude.

  • Pete C.

Ok so some of these memories are a little easier on the psyche than others…. repressed memory for sure!

  • ?

I was kind of thinking for Eric would have come along to give the keynote address on Dino but I think you dida great job here summing it up Pete Dose anyone remember “the helmet years” — That Chicken John guy told about a time that they were at a party somewhere when they were backing GG Allin. Dino flipped a chair over & started sticking one of it’s legs in his ass– To that he said “Dino, how many times have I gotta tell you not to fuck with the furniture”

  • Jay W.

Damn! I’m fat and all now, but at least I keep my clothes on! SHEESH!

  • ?

Oh my god..Dino Sax..or Dino Sachs …Ive found it spelled both ways.
Dino truly is on the top ten list of Giant characters. I wanted to post about him..but just couldnt get my brain around it. But now that Pete has broken the ice..

Dino’s main thing..besides playing drums, which he was actually pretty good at.. is that he likes to expose himself. Most of the time it was a subtle thing. He would stand in the main area and as people were paying he would drop his skintight biker shorts down exposing his ass and then pull them quickly back up. People would catch this out of the corner of their eye..and be like..what the fuck? a ‘did I just see what I thought I saw?’ look would appear on their face.

When you would go into a room to give him 5 minutes to get the fuck out he would be totally nude playing the drums. He had magazines spread out all around him. Mostly underwear catalogs, some softcore porn and Lunachick albums. Some people would get mad at him at shout at him to put his clothes back on..but most of us were like..yeah ..whatever man. We had seen it all and didnt even blink. It was actually a source of great amusement.

One time I was leaving Giant with my ex-wife and Eric Hubel. It was one of those brutaly cold, blusty and windy days…and as we got to the corner of 7th ave. and 14th st. there was Dino..He has his pants down to his ankles and his shirt hiked up presenting his naked body for all to see..I saw cars driving by gawking in amazement.. and as we started to pass him he turned and recognized us… He nodded his head and said “Hello” in a very casual way.

There are tons of Dino stories. Im sure that every day of that guys life is a story.

One of my favorites, told to me by the lead singer of Urban Scarecrow, is that Dino had been called at the last minute to sub for a drummer who couldnt make it to a gig. That gig was playing in this band that was supposed to play in the background for one of those PBS fundraisers that they have on televsion. It was a station in Connecticut I think. So sure enough Dino gets there and proceeds to freak everyone out by exposing himself and removing his clothing..so they call the police and he gets arrested. He goes to court the next day and the judge books a court date and gives him like $100 fine or 30 days..and Dino was like..Ill take the days..so Dino spent some time in jail. The actual figures are a blur..but you get the idea.

  • Paul H.

Wow, Paul, that jail time story is wild. I didn’t remember the magazines being spread out, when giving them the countdown, but that explains Jay’s comment about “Redbook” and Lunachicks records… Someone oughta write a biography, like you said, every day of Dino’s life must be a story.

  • Pete C.

If nothing else, you have to give the guy points for “style” It evolved to a point where he became strangely specific about the mags & whatnot strewn about him. Never porn…& then And then he started with the motorcycle helmet. (what the fuck can I say wearing a lumberjack hat & who really knows what worse at the time) If really want to see the glory –there’s an account of GG Allins funeral out there on the internet. It’s some webzine reporter relating exactly what he saw and we would expect. Dino was apparently in full forum doing his thing, that included LunaChicks records. I wish that I bookmarked it…or maybe not. It’s a trip to hear a 23rd persons account Was it Dave Scott that he used to play with when he was semi normal on 38th st?

  • Pete C.

 

The Fly/Buy Extraviganza

I never really liked Burger King (and I can’t eat it at ALL now) but the fly buy extravaganza started when Burger King put out a coupon for a buy one get one free whopper. I ate SO many whoppers and Wasco went and got them for me! I don’t remember how we ended up with so many coupons but we had a shit load of them and used them almost every day! Thanks for running Jay! I’ll buy you a beer from the machine too (oh wait, I have the KEYS!)

  • Michael C.

No — I have the keys ¬†(for the beer machine) I owe Fred $28,000 I remember just about everything — but the BK treck less then I should. I do remember a trek skiing w/ you, Joe Bannon and Sara Green — To this day that’s the best time I’ve ever fucking had. You’re the dude that opened up your arms to me & brought me into Giant. I’m not kidding when I say that that’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever done for me.. Thanks man –miss you dude–

  • Jay W.

The first Giant T-Shirt in red

Here is the first shirt in red. The back is the same as the second one but with less names.

Classic!

  • Paul H.

I still have my red one, it’s in great shape, cuz basically I had one of each and I wore out the black one and the white one before I wever broke the seal on the red one! It’s a fuckin’ HEIRLOOM!

  • Pete C.

Studio L,M,N,O construction October 1986

There was a plumbing school on the 3rd floor. Here is Fred P. consulting with the plumber teacher from that school. Rooms had to be build so they didn’t conceal any sprinkler system shutoff valves.

 

Classic Giant drums

 

 

Jeff Meyers vacuuming. In those days NYC was raw. People would put their cigarettes out right on the carpet.

 

Studs and sheetrock. You know the drill.

 

Fred P. with a classic set of Giant drums.

 

Walls of hardware at Giant 14th.

 

Walls of crap at Giant 14th St.

 

More crap

 

And yet more crap

 

Fred P. and his pops.

 

A young Fred P.

 

L. Dub Bunny AKA Michael Craig AKA L. Michael Craig.

 

Front room at Giant 14th St.

Where the fuck is my tail (aka Bitch the Cat)

Bitch the cat was the Giant cat for many years. We rescued her from living in the basement of the building 123 W.14th st. She was terrified at first of all the people and band noise but gradually acclimated to her surroundings and roamed the rooms and hung out with bands all over the large top floor space.

The photo is not her but kind of looks like her and has her swagger and street smarts.

Comments follow.

 

People would always ask..”awwww..whats the cats name?”. And you would have to reply, truthfully…”Bitch!” One time Bitch got her tail caught in the big metal door to Jays apartment/studio and it ripped off an inch or 2 of skin off of her tail so that just the bone was exposed. People would go “awwww..hey kitty…aww..err..akkkkk!!!” and pull their hand back quickly in horror. Jay and I finally decided that it was best to cut it off. I held her and Jay bravely snipped off the exposed bone. She didn’t even flinch.

  • Paul H.

 

I’ll never forget out near the desk, Adam Youch goes to to pet her(him) less than a week after the incident- runs his hands from Bitch’s head to tail like anyone would pet a cat — his hand shot up real fast when he got the last part of the tail– I’ll never forget the look on his face. a portion of the cat’s tail was sheered off in a door but there was this dried out bone that remained. Bitch (or Ed or Alice that we attempted to call her) was still a stray at that point She lived in the basement for some time under “Henry rule” When she first came up she hid in a pile of construction shit on the east side of the loft for about a month & a half The first time that I saw her acting social was seeing her hanging directly outside of studio N while “The False Prophets” were playing with their door wide open. After that she finally came out front. She (he) became a great pet & friend to us all She died at my studio on 27th st. We all did what we could but Alex & co footed a big vets bill from an abscessed tooth -the meds closed in. From my research — that cat lived more than 20 years. Not bad & not really that much younger than ANY of us at the time

  • Jay W.

 

Yeah. I had to put up more than a cat should. someone talk to me, or just feed me from my dinosaur bowl…ahhh screw yous all, I’m going back out on the ledge.

  • Bitch the Cat

Bag Kites

 

Bag kites were one of the many fun diversions at the studio. Jay Wacko invented this contraption in his laboratory/apartment. All you would need for a bag kite was a large black garbage bag and a cassette tape rewinded to the beginning. There were no shortage of cassette tapes as just about every band had one. You pull the tape out and break it and then you tie that to a corner of the garbage bag. Giant was on the 7th floor and the front windows looked out to 14th street. Not that much wind was needed to launch the bag kite out the window. A simple opening up of the bag would allow the wind to open it up and take off. Like a kite you could feed it out as far as you wanted and have a little control of where it went. There were times that we would get the bag kite almost all the way down to 6th ave. at which point you could barely see it. The best was when you could get it to go down and hover over the sidewalk. People would walk by amazed at this large open garbage bag floating above them. Once there was party on the roof across the street and we got it hovering just above them. The whole party just stood there and with bewilderment, because at night you couldn’t really see the tape that controlled it, as they tried to figure out what the hell it was and how it was there menacing above them.

  • Paul H.

 

Copernicus Tour of Europe 1989

 

Fred P. played with Copernicus. He was and I’m sure still is a crazy mofo.

This tour happened right around the time of the Berlin Wall coming down I think? Maybe Fred will post more about this?

  • Paul H.

Actually the Berlin Wall came down after that tour. I was tagging along on my sister Betsy’s tour which started in France and traveled up the Rhine River into Germany. She was the featured soloist with the Frankfurt Orchestra. After a gig we would find a wine house to hang out in. The vineyard was usually the back yard of some 600 year old stone house, so we would order a bottle and look at the grapes that made the wine from the back window. Anyway, the gig on November 9, 1989 was in Metz France. Earlier that day we had visited the Douaumont Ossuary. It was my birthday so after the gig we went to a wine house and ordered their best bottle. About an hour later a sudden cheer roared through the crowd and many bottles were being consumed rapidly. I turned to Betsy and said, “Well you found the right place for my birthday celebration!” She asked around and found out that the Berlin Wall had just fallen.

  • Fred P.

Copernicus website

Giant T-shirt Black Front and Back

 

The much desired and hard to find Black Giant T-shirt.

I wish I had more. Actually this is the last one. And I had to dig to the bottom of my t-shirt dresser ( I must have 500 in there ) to find this one. I have asked Hammy if he has the black, older shirt. I always gave him Giant shirts to wear on gigs with Black 47.

  • Fred P.

The Band List A-Z from the back of the shirt:

A Kings
Aberration
Abomination
Accidental Tribe
After Image
Aggravated Assault
Agnostic Front
Alice Donut
All For One
All Of Us
Alyson
Angat
Angel Rot
Antiem
Apollo
Artles
Astrid Gilberto
Baby Flies
Bah Gah
Bee Me Seed
Big Fat Love
Big Fence
Big Game
Big Hoot
Big Stick
Black 47
Black Light
Black Orchids
Black Strap
Blenders
Blessing In Disguise
Blind Rage
Blood Sister
Blood Suckers
Blue Jays
Bonehead
Born Against
Breakdown
Brimstone
Bubba
Bugout
Burn
Buzz By
Cahgo Cult
Cap’n Crunch
Captain Blackburn
Captain Bug
Casualities
Catatonic
Chameleons
Chemical Wedding
Chll Hoga
Chucky Suicide And The Velvetones
Circus Of Power
Citizens Arrest
City Beat
Clockwork
Club Fred
Column Five
Common Haus
Copernicus
Cornog
Cosmo
Counter Attack
Crash Club
Crash Conference
Crazy Not To
Crew
Cro Mags
Crobar
Crocodile Shop
Cross To Bear
Crowflies
Crucial Force
Crunch Berries
Cryptic Cookies
Crystal
Cult Failure
Cunning Linguists
Curving Dog
Cyborg
Cyclopse
D. Saxmo
Da Willys
Dad Bought A Gun
Dance Hall Road
Darkstar
Dashboard Mary
Dave Donut
Dead Tired
Dean Of The Weenies
Deans Of Discipline
Death In A Box
Department Of Corruption
Diabolix
Diet Tribes
Dino Sax
District
Dog
Dog Felt Days
Dosa
Dot Dash
Dow Jones
Dueling Dogs
Effigy
Electric Circus
Electric Skin
Elevator Men
Emerald City
Erotikill
Everets Body
Everything Must Go
Exciting Lives
Exit 21
Expletive Deleted
Fade To Black
Falafel Mafia
False Prophets
Fast Lane
Fat And Ugly
FBI
Final Liquidation
Final Notice
Flashback
Flavor Chamber
Flea Circus
Flophouse Society Orchestra
Flower
Fly Ash Tray
Flying Sheldons
Foob
Foreplay
Fractured Cylinder
Free Enterprise
French Twist
Friends Of The Family
From Outer Space
Front Line
Full Of Noise
Fungi
Funk Nervosa
G Jam
Gab
Gang Bang Gang
Gantizers
Gary Korb And The Wrecks
Girl Scouts
Gods Crotch
Golden Dawn
Gorilla Biscuits
Grease Monkeys
Great Wall
Greese Monkeys
Guilty Pleasures
Guns And Fish
Gut Bank
Hammer Brain
Heads Up
Heart Worm
Hell Hounds
Hell In A Handbasket
Hit By A Truck
Holiday Slides
Holy Crow
House Of God
Hypnodude
Icemen
Iconoclast
ICU
Imaginary Boys
Insane Unknown
Interns
Invisible Culture
Jerry Lewis’ Hair
John Barley Corn
Johnny Skilsaw
Joyful Noise
Juice Pool
Just Us
Kajou
Kat
Kimio Therapy
King Of Kings
Kingdom
Kitchen Ethics
Knockout James
Lack Head
Larry Band
Last Child
Lazoo
Lee Way
Leeziod
Life Blood
Life In A Blender
Liquid Faction
Live Skull
Lizard
Loners
Lonesome Debonaires
Loremil
Lorry Doll
Lost Patrol
Lost Tribe
Loud and Boisterous
Love Band
Love Warrior
Low Flying Planes
Luna Chicks
L-Words
Machado
Magic Mechanism
Magnetic Touch
Making Rain
Malicious Intent
Manacled
Matthews Bros
Mayhem
Me And My Friend Graham
Men Who Cook
Mental Abuse
Michael Carvin
Microwave Shower
Midnite Mover
Milk Paper
Miracle World
Molasses
Mommy Heads
Monkey House
Monster Dog Wagon
Montego Joe
Mr Thing
Mrs Whitehead
Mt Calf
Murphy’s Law
My Sick Friends
Mystery Girls
Nationals
Nausea
Ned Sublet
Neon Scream
Nervous Rex
Nite Caps
No Control
Noise
Noise Control
Nubian
Nuclear Assault
NY Sheiks
Of A Mesh
OGI
Omen
On The Fringe
One Fish Two Fish
Open Wide
Our American Cousins
Over Reaction
Overtones
Paint
Pe De Boi
Peebles And The Beach
Pell Mell
Perry Mason Loses
Phantom Tollbooth
Pharos
Philisteens
Pierce Turner
Pistol Whipped
PMS
Porn Dogs
Porno Dracula
Potato Lake
Primary Colors
Printed Matter
Prior Knowledge
Procrastinator
Propulsion
Proud Flesh
Psychophonics
Psychotic Episode
Public Nuisance
Pussy Galore
Pussy Willows
Quarks
Raging Slab
Rain Dance
Rampage
Raunch Hands
Razor And The Blades
Rebound
Reckless Pursuit
Red Beard
Red Guard
Red House
Red Light District
Reflex
Regan Youth
Rezisturz
Rhesus Beat
Rising Tide
Road Accident
Road Kill
Rockmaster J
Rombrand
Roo Ha Ha
Route 66
Ruby
Runt
Safeguard
Sarcastic Orgasm
Scotland Yard
Seasons Greetings
Second Step
Secret Lovers
Send Money
Set The Tone
Severe Dog Leg
Sexy Cigarette
SFA
Shakers
Sharkys Machine
Sharp Edge
Shaved Pigs
Sheer Terror
Shock
Shocker
Sick Of It All
Side By Side
Sign Of Change
Ska Danks
Skinner Box
Smoke Budda
Smokin Gas Truck
Snake Hips
Social Insecurity
Social Suicide
Society
Soma Holiday
Sonic Assault
Soul Assassins
Sounds Of Fishing
Soundscapes
Spineless Yesmen
Spinster Playtime
Squirrels From Hell
Statusphears
Steadys
Steel Empire
Step Outside
Still Life
Stir By Still
Straight Ahead
Straighten Up
Stuey Blue
Suber Bebop
Surgery
Swill Seekers
System Of Touch
Tear To Open
The Archers
The Back Yards
The Boilers
The Brandos
The Breakers
The Bureaucrats
The Clintons
The Deadbeats
The Difference
The Diggers
The Dubs
The Exterminators
The Feds
The Flexbirds
The Freuds
The Funkless Wonders
The Manacled
The Motives
The New Creatures
The Outriders
The Press
The Principals
The Radicts
The Rump Rollers
The Scene
The Senders
The Take
The Triplets
The Ushers
The Vines
The Yuh Boys
Thick As Thieves
Third Degree
Three Rock Gods
Tide Breaker
Tiger
Tinys
Toads
Token Entry
Tom and Paul
Tomboys
Tommy Dog
Too Heavy
Tool Party
Total Strangers
Tough Buffalo
Toy
Toy Toy Toy
Trigger Vision
Trip Six
Tucci
Tula Vera
Turf Burger
Tynan
Ultra Five
Ultra Violence
Uncle Fester
Under Pressure
Underdog
Vangelder
Various Freaks
Victims Of Circumstance
Vigilante
Vom
Vote Of Confidence
Wake The Snail
Wanda And The Way It Is
War Mongers
Wax Tadpoles
Wayfarers
We Be
Wee Doggies
Westies
Wet Meat
When Worlds Collide
White Zombie
Witchdoctor
Wonder Dogs
Word
X-Rated Grapes
Yamada
Yamamoto
YDL
Young Turks
Youth Of Today
Zane
Zanetti

PHEW!