Later in 1989 SCW – having shed it’s recent disco-jazz-funk-punk live band identity – embarked on a new project, with the band now based on the musical trio of Roba, DwM and Jeff-0, with PnrH providing graphic design and Cathie Whittaker doing costume design. Also around this time SCW began our video collaboration with Bruce Becker (aka bdb) and Catherine Willson, who were experimenting with Amiga Computer graphics at that time.
We chose the name of our next project based on something we stumbled across at our local electronics surplus store (R.I.P. Active Surplus). There we found a bunch of plastic fold-out 3-cassette packages titled God Family Country, by Zig Ziglar, an early self-help guru.
We knew – then and there – that our next project would be a 3-part album called God Family Country and we bought up all of the available packages, to insert our own cassettes as a deluxe limited-edition release.
Having figured out the concept and the packaging, we then realized we had to actually create some music to fill those 3-cassette packages! Having also recently acquired a couple of Ensoniq EPS samplers we set about our musical task. And in the typical SCW way of doing things we decided to first present God Family Country as a live show, and then release the deluxe cassette package a year later. And the CD would be released even later!
We are devastated to announce that dWM (d Wayne Morris) has passed from this world to a new dimension of consciousness. Our condolences go out to his family, particularly his wonderful children, Avery and Baxter.
dWM approached everything with an intensity and creative vision that was truly unique. He was always interested in looking beyond the consensus or accepted ‘truths’ to discover the real dope on things, including politics, health and much more. It can’t be denied that this took him to some weird – although always interesting – places, but it was always with the utmost sincerity and sense of social justice. Most importantly to us, he never stopped playing music – being not only a core member of SCW but also of many other bands over the years, including Tanz Pest, Orchestra Paavola, Dub Enforcement Agency and Masters of Love and Sound. He could play any musical instrument and was always looking for something new to try – musically and otherwise…
Another key interest was community radio, which he loved as a democratic means for people to hear one another and be heard, regardless of their socioeconomic status or geographic location. He also used radio as a vehicle for art – we encourage you to check out his ground-breaking experiential radio projects.
He was an incredibly generous individual, always inviting people over for dinner, handing out homemade chocolates and hot sauces, and hosting many band rehearsals and recording sessions.
In 1987 dWM resumed his assault on the airwaves of Toronto with Flag Air Base, broadcast live on CKLN-FM. The premise of FAB was to invite different guests for each episode to create a set of improvised sonic mayhem. Depending on who was guesting, any given episode might be concerned with politics (Nicaragua, atomic weapons), found sounds, live instruments or pure noise. Here’s how dWM describes it:
Flag Air Base operates as a collaborative airwave-space playground for myself and other artists in Toronto. Some are seasoned audio and radio artists and for others this was a new experience. Mixing sounds, “playing” the studio equipment, resonating at different points all over the City.Rippling the plasma of the electric environment.
We get together prior to the broadcast to figure out what we want to do, what to focus the show on (if anything). The night of the broadcast we bring in tape decks, instruments, sound processors, pre-edited tapes and records. Each show was mixed live to air for one hour.
In total there were 20 shows produced between 1987-1990. Here’s some choice excerpts:
FAB #1 w/ PnrH – Sept 4/87
Sound Earthquake in Toronto, 9 Richter scale. We jam the signals and mess the frequencies in this free-form display of sonic chaos
FAB #2 w/ Karen Young – Oct 2/87
A child is having slug problems with his lettuce. Karen brings in her big beat blaster to express her profound funkiness. Then we show our respect for facts.
FAB #7 w/Greg Hermanovic – Apr 8/88
Spine-tingling chills! “I thought you knew, civilization ended miles back”. Greg mixes his recordings from China and Southeast Asia until it gets too racy at the end. “Hello Baby, want a kiss?”
FAB # 12 w/Heidi Schaeffer & Cathy Devlin – Oct 7/88
Recordings from Nicaragua and the AMARC 3 community radio conference. What is it like to do radio in a warzone? Cmdte. Borge tells about the liberating aspects of revolutionary radio. An enthusiastic bell-ringer at Ocotal signals the end.
FAB #14 w/ Dan Lander – Feb 2/89
Happy groundhog day. Dan replays an audio letter and learns how to dial long distance from Banff. “Repetition is the key to learning”.
FAB #17 w/ Jon Christian & Gary Keller – May 5/89
We bring tribalism into the studio. Jon and Gary have their junkyard percussion ensemble in tow. “Don’t near the edge”.
FAB #20 w/ Claudio Cacciotti – Mar 2/90
The topic tonight is mind control. Hey-hey diddly dum day. Wayne pays a visit to the local Church of Scientology for their unsuspecting input. Can you afford to be clear?
Each show was released as a limited-edition cassette. Here’s the artwork for FAB #1 (by PnrH)
FAB #1 cassette tape cover
Two ‘best of’ FAB cassette compilations were also issued. Here’s the artwork (by dWM)
In 1989 SCW as a five-piece disco-jazz-punk-funk live band ceased to exist. Scott left the band, and PnrH – while no longer an active musical member – continued on as SCW’s graphic designer and artist-in-residence. These photos from April 21, 1989 mark the last live show of this funky-ass version of SCW.
On December 31 1988 SCW hosted their second annual New Year’s party, once again at ARC on Queen St. West in Toronto. This time they topped the previous year’s show by having four different costume changes, all created by official SCW wardrobe designer Cathie Whittaker.
Here’s a photo gallery highlighting some of the costume changes.
Newspaper Ad for the Show
Here’s some video featuring MCs Eddie Fast and Old Lang supervising the limbo contest!
Sometime in 1988, the 5-piece version of SCW posed for photographs at their Queen St. rehearsal space. The band were rocking their silver lamé jackets (custom-made by Cathie Whittaker) plus matching silver helmets. In the background are sculptures by our friend and collaborator William T. “Bill” Francis.
One of SCW’s closest friends and collaborators was the talented and fashionable Karen Young, aka DJ FunKY. Karen produced and directed experimental videos, sometimes using SCW’s music for the soundtrack. Here’s a KY animation from 1988, set to SCW’s track (fough) from our first cassette release.
In 1988 SCW put out their fourth and final cassette-only release, The Band with an International Reputation. Side A of the cassette was titled Crush Grind and Swallow, and contained tracks recorded and overdubbed on multi-track and then mixed down. Side B was titled Disco Dancing With the Best and was recorded direct to cassette, live off the floor at SCW’s Queen St. West studio/rehearsal/living space.
The Band with an International Reputation – cassette insert
The first track is classic SCW, mixing live instrumentation with samples, tape loops, effects etc.
A Pretty Uncomfortable Area
For this cassette release, each band member was invited to write and record their own tracks – here’s one of Roba’s prime cuts.
America Wake Up!
This last track is the live band with overdubs and was recorded and engineered by our friend GBH at his studio. It was also sampled and regurgitated on SCW’s next release, God Family Country.
In the fall of 1987 Sucking Chest Wound expanded into a five piece live disco-jazz-funk-punk band with the addition of guitar hero Scott ‘Skill’ Casey. We weren’t doing this ironically – we really loved to listen to vintage funk and disco, and to spin it at our parties! Here’s a photo gallery of the band members playing live at our 1987 New Year’s Eve show. In the background is one of PnrH’s big paintings – the same one you can see in the previous post’s studio panorama video…