BOAT OF / PEACH OF IMMORTALITY

a chronological discography

(updated 17 April 13)


Boat Of

(1979-1983; Athens, Georgia)

[Membership included: Mike Green, Boat Of co-founder and erstwhile harpsichordist of mid-70s Atlanta avant-popsters The Fans; Carol Levy, vet of one-off Athens oomph-femme combo Mars Needs Women; the redoubtable David Gamble (who drifted in from the slip in which the Method Actors had been berthed); Tom Smith, nascent tape manipulator and co-conspirator with Green, previously a partner with South Georgia high school pal Don Fleming in a variety of mid-to-late 70s drugcore amalgams; occasional members Dominique Amet and Davey Stevenson (of the inimitable Limbo District); drummer Jim Walker (not the PiL percussionist, but a South Georgian friend of Smith's with an unnatural taste for Henry Cow and a flare for brilliantly quirky time signatures); Sandra-Lee Phipps, field-hollerin' frontwoman/dancer (and confidant of Levy's); and Michael Stipe, who from late 1981 performed solely with perennial Golf Digest faves R.E.M.]

(Fleming also made appearances with Boat Of, albeit through the medium of magnetic tape.)

These fine kunstgeliebte were of inestimable character; they shat diamonds. (Okay, Tom may have only passed zirconium...)


GALLERY

(updated 1 May 05)


BIO

(Excerpted from David Keenan's 2002 Wire interview with TS.)


 
(DK:) You seem to have an incredibly prolific, if extremely 
underground, musical career. Can you tell me a bit about your 
various projects? What about Boat Of? What were they like?
 
Boat Of was formed in Athens, Georgia in 1979 by Mike Green (a former
member of mid-70s Atlanta avant-pop purveyors The Fans), Carol Levy (a
University of Georgia photography student and ex-guitarist for Mars Needs 
Women, a short-lived all-female combo), and yours truly. 
 
In our initial incarnation we were known as Prepared Party, and the
Cagian aspect of the moniker was intentional. Musically, it was pretty
fucked-up, at least by the standards of the period -- my live drums were
transferred to tape, looped (or not), and Mike's bass would ooze through 
the mix.
 
By 1980 Prepared Party had transmogrified into Pre-Cave (which had
nothing to do with homo habilis, but much to do with hating everything,
everywhere), and Michael Stipe joined the line-up. Mike Green left to
teach in Paris for a few months, so the trio of Levy/Stipe/Smith settled
into basement rehearsals at Athens' infamous Cobb Institute. I played
drums, sometimes played bass, and sang; Carol played guitar and organ,
and sometimes sang; Michael played organ and assorted percussion, and
occasionally sang. (A deathly droll but factual accounting.)

Most of the early rehearsals (late '79) centered around Mike and me, but
Carol, Stipe, David Gamble, and various short-timers would drop in from 
time to time.

A debut gig was advertised for June, 1980, but for long-forgotten reasons 
it was postponed until October 23rd at the 40-Watt Club. We made color
photocopies of a rather piquant Hustler's Rejects centerfold, scrawled
the gig details in silver crayon, and nailed them to every utility pole
in the city center. About 70 (?) folks paid, and we quickly cleared the
room (which wasn't our intent). A second gig followed on Valentine's
Day, 1981, and for our third performance (in June) we decided on a 
permanent name -- Boat Of.
 
By then Mike Green had returned from France, and he immediately rejoined
the fold. Michael was probably busy with R.E.M. stuff, and didn't make
the performance. (At least I don't remember seeing him there.) 
Carol, Mike and I fared much better with the inaugural Boat Of gig --
we ripped it up but good. Hard to describe the sound, but if you can conjure
an aural image of guitars played through tinny, crackling, drive-in movie 
loudspeakers, swooping, absurdly overdriven bass lines, re-edited Scientist
dubs and Enjoy/Sugarhill loops used as rhythm tracks, and exceedingly
sarcastic, willfully cryptic vocals, you might not be too far a field.

(Prepared turntables, shortwave bursts, and other percussive treatments 
were often added to the stew. For a few weeks in 1980, we used only
recordings of the dull thumping of athletic shoes tumbling in a clothes
drier for rhythm tracks. Anything to break away from the already
generic "Athens sound.")

Carol played guitar in a style reminiscent of The Slits' Viv Albertine
(though not intentionally so) -- scratchy, spartan, with the occasional 
startling chord cluster. 

Typically, Mike Green created the arrangements, albeit in close collaboration
with Carol. I supplied the loops and lyrics. Later, David Gamble would serve
to sunder all corporeal ties. He refused (and refuted) any orthodoxy, and 
steered our music into a 12x12 burnished aluminum cube. 
 
David Gamble, outside the Coffee Club, Athens, in the spring of 1982. (Polaroid by TS.)
 
Boat Of were the least popular Athens group by far (then again, we strove to engender
misconceptions), but its membership were arguably the sharpest, the most
studiously cruel. (To sound that is.)
 
Our fourth gig at Tyrone’s O.C. (July 1981) was our final appearance with
Stipe. He played organ and sang of heroin. Ah, youth. The show went down
quite well (although there were always hecklers), and additional bookings
were soon forthcoming. Shortly thereafter (in a misbegotten display of group
solidarity) I ventured into frat-boy redoubts to witness R.E.M. in concert. 
I was utterly appalled by their set; of course, mine was a minority opinion.
 
By late 1981 we'd settled into a casual collective of largely like-minded thugs:
Green, Levy, Gamble, Sandra-Lee Phipps, Jim Walker, myself. Every five 
months or so the dynamic would shift; by late '82, Mike Green had decamped
to France, Carol returned to her studies full-time, and only David and I 
remained. We were then occasionally augmented by Dominique Amet and 
Davey Stevenson from (the fast-splintering) Limbo District, and various 
friends of DG's from the fecund Birmingham, Alabama underground.
 

 
 
Tom was still slyly cultivating his uber-dork look, but Dominique and Davey exhibit their usual elan in this Boat Of portrait from late summer '82. Actually, it may not have been taken on Vanessa's bed, but one must work with the remaining brain functions one has...
 
Davey, Tom, and Dominique relax on the mattress of Pylon yowler
 Vanessa Briscoe in this 1982 Polaroid. (Photographer unknown.)
 


Boat Of did 24 shows altogether -- the final two gigs occurred in Washington,
DC, March 1983, at the behest of Velvet Monkees. (Don Fleming and I grew
up together in Adel, a small Georgia farm town.) They were quite successful 
(although hecklers still made their displeasure known), and pointed the way 
toward the aesthetic shift (and paradigmatic excesses) which led to 
Peach of Immortality.
 
Soon after the DC gigs (which I performed solo, with Velvet Monkeys 
accompanying), Carol Levy was killed in a car accident. (April 14, 1983.) I immediately 
shelved the project. 

She was one of the coolest...

 

DISCOGRAPHY

Mix Pentecost(e)

Big Circus BC07 compilation cassette August 1983 (produced by Tom Smith)

[90-minute collection of 15 live tracks and odd interview fragments from 1981-1983, limited edition of 50.]

[Levy died in a car accident in March, 1983. In early 1984 Fleming, who on occasion performed with Boat Of, invited Smith to join Velvet Monkeys. The collaboration didn't work (mainly because Smith was caught, flagrante delicto, with a certain too-sensitive Monkey's ex-girlfriend). Thereafter he formed Peach of Immortality, naming the group in honor of the late Levy.]

[A CD series expanding Mix Pentecost(e) and documenting the four years of Boat Of's sordid existence was to have been produced through LISP; that burden later fell TSSR, which sundered in 2006. As of April 2013, nothing has yet been issued. The first of those planned compilations, Mix Pentecost(e) (volume one) was completed in 1995 (it covered Boat Of from October 1980 through May 1982), but has since been scrapped. 2014 will mark the 35th anniversary of the first Prepared Party tapes. Will the world ever be ready for the Of Boat?]

For a Boat Of performance chronology, click here.


Bonus: here's a Limbo District set-list from 1982. They were the only Athens group for which we had any sort of respect. Great music, brilliant people.

Not certain, but this might be the Limbo District setlist from their August 6, 1982 gig at Athens' 40-Watt Club. Scholars?


Peach of Immortality I

(June 1984- December 1985; Washington DC)

[Membership included: guitarist Jared Hendrickson; cellist Rogelio Maxwell; and Smith.]


Need (Thee)!

Adult Contemporary ACR001 cassette October 1984 (produced TS)

[Documented first four months of live POI performances; the group's first of many slams of then-nascent "industrial" culture.]

***

Talking Heads 77

Adult Contemporary ACR003 LP July 1985

(produced Don Fleming and Tom Smith; out-of-print)

[Performance and rehearsal tracks, recorded live November 1984-January 1985. The album was remastered and expanded for an April 1996 Fused Coil reissue. That CD is now also out-of-print.]

***

History of Duane Allman

Adult Contemporary ACR002 LP 1985

(produced by TS; unreleased)

[HoDA was assembled from thousands of re-edited fragments of metal and hardcore albums from the period, and underscored with processed segments of Hendrickson and Maxwell's "Festival of Red" concerts. It was to have been the second in a once-proposed Western Blot POI reclamation series. Instead, TSSR will issue a Peach of Immortality two-disc retrospective in 2005. (Nine minutes of unused History edits were folded into the chaotic rear-projections of To Live and Shave in L.A.'s 1994 CD "Helen Butte" vs. Masonna Pussy Badsmell. Could you identify them?)]

***

"E" Making of Salisbury

Adult Contemporary ACRM1 12" 1986

(produced by Jad Fair and Don Fleming; unreleased)

[A 34-minute live television session recorded on the sound stage of George Mason University's Channel 33, with simultaneous audio processing by Fair and Fleming. The Western Blot release was to have featured other live and studio tracks from the same June-July 1985 period.]

Photo by Don Fleming.

(Tom, tripping balls during the Salisbury taping.)

***

Gary Lee Yarborough: God Stands Guard

Adult Contemporary Unwatchable ACUV1 VHS NTSC 1985

[Directed by the Velvet Monkeys' Malcolm Riviera, the video documented the recording of "E" Making of Salisbury. Although never completed, a ten-minute segment of Gary Lee appeared in 1991's Peach-vid compilation Succumbs (restored) (see below).]

***

[In October 1985 Peach of Immortality and Pussy Galore entered into a period of cooperation. They shared rehearsal space, toured together, and exchanged members - Jon Spencer and Julia Cafritz were guests of POI, and Smith performed with Pussy Galore. Their relationship sundered (with regrettable acrimony) in February 1986. The parties kissed and made up a year later in NYC.]

Stud Father

ACR (Produced by Tom Smith)

[Proposed 14-track double album documenting November-December 1985 live and rehearsal Peach of Immortality/Pussy Galore collaborations; unreleased. The Western Blot 2-CD release was to have included all the original material, including the complete 8 December 85 performance at Washington, DC's 9:30 Club (featuring the Hendrickson /Maxwell/ Smith/Spencer/Cafritz line-up).]

***

Six Times "Since"

Adult Contemporary Unwatchable ACUV2 VHS NTSC 1986

(Edited by TS; documents a November 1985 rehearsal session with guest Jon Spencer, developing ideas later explored in the unauthorized Pussy Galore Oven Bait cassette [which received a brief 1986 release on the Adult Contemporary Recordings label as ACR007].)

[see "related projects"; a segment of Six Times... also appears in Succumbs (restored).]


Peach of Immortality II

(January 1986-May 1987; Washington DC)

[Maxwell departed on eve of the "Fuck Sky Bear" POI/PG tour; his far-flung interests will eventually lead him into a successful teaching career. Peach's membership was subsequently augmented by bassist Lowell Ginsberg, leader of suburban Maryland gloomcore pariahs Ill Humor, and on-stage sound manipulator Mark Shellhaas, erstwhile drummer with well-regarded straightedge outfit Beefeater. Hendrickson and Smith remained. Don Fleming also occasionally performed with the lineup.]

Peach of Immortality, spring 1986. From left: Jared Hendrickson (leg), Lowell Ginsberg (arm), Tom Smith (gesture), Mark Shellhaas (right of boot). This image accompanied the vinyl release of "R.E.M. Is Air Supply!"


The Best MUX!

Adult Contemporary ACR008 cassette 1986 (produced by Lowell Ginsberg and TS)

[Best MUX! documented the first week of the January 1986 "Fuck Sky Bear" tour. ...with the Wagon Masters would have featured tracks culled from the MUX masters. See below...]

***

two untitled tracks

The Stench of Death; Harsh Reality cassette HR023 1986 (R.E.M. Is Air Supply outtakes produced by TS)

***

two untitled tracks

Cotton for Your Ears; Harsh Reality cassette HR036 1986 (more R.E.M. Is Air Supply outtakes produced by TS)

***

"Jehovah" My Black Ass - R.E.M. Is Air Supply!

Adult Contemporary ACR006 LP November 1986

(produced by DF, LG and TS; out-of-print)

[Six live and studio tracks recorded November 1985-January 1986. Initially proposed as a two-part release, but pared down to a single, black disco-sleeved "pre-release" LP. The Western Blot CD reissue was to have restored the two-part format. R.E.M. would have contained the best of the various "Fuck Sky Bear" live recordings. "Jehovah"'s "Track 6," an orchestrated, tape-manipulated rape of AC/DC's "Inject the Venom," anticipated much. As it should have been, those few who knew kept it to themselves.]

***

...with the Wagon Masters

(produced by TS)

[The second CD of the two-part release which begins with R.E.M.; the Western Blot release of ...wtWM would have  consisted of the most interesting of the POI studio recordings from December 1985-January 1986, including "Track 6."]

***

Black Man Dick Look Like White Terd (sic)

Adult Contemporary ACRDM1 double 12" 1987

(produced by TS; unreleased)

[This proposed double set was recorded after R.E.M. Is Air Supply! Following that album's less-than-stellar performance, ACR couldn't afford to release BMD, and no other label was willing, er, to touch it. The 74-minute Western Blot release was to have finally brought this brain-boggler to light. Alas...]

***

Of Odious Kim's Odious Stills

Adult Contemporary ACRXX1 flexi-box 1987

(produced by Tom Smith; unreleased)

[A proposed boxed set of six flexi-discs, compiling the best of the "peripheral" outtakes of the marathon Black Man Dick...sessions. Wildly non-commercial even for POI standards, the project was never completed. The Western Blot issue was to have contained over 70 minutes of material.

***

Above, Damien Zisk

ACRM2 12" 1987

(produced by POI; unreleased)

[This live album documented rehearsals of and performances for POI's late 1986 swing through the Northeast, and features a particularly contentious recording from Cambridge, MA's T.T. the Bear's. (Management pulled the plug within minutes.) The Western Blot release was to have contained over 70 minutes of material, including the Cambridge performance.]

***

Medea

Adult Contemporary ACR015B boxed cassette 1987

(produced by LG/TS; unreleased)

[Rehearsals for the abandoned multi-media collaboration between Michaele Sparacino of The Washington Opera Company and POI.]

[Said Smith: "We had few allies, and couldn't manage to get anything released. Needless to say it was a disheartening period. Cherubini should rest easy - we failed to mount the production, much less destroy his opera..."]

***

The Baptist Hymnal

Dixie Automotive DXA 88-3 LP 1988

(recorded by Kramer, produced by Lowell Ginsberg and TS; unreleased)

[Another in a long line of completed, then shelved POI albums. Baptist was begun in April 1987 at Noise New York with the then-B.A.L.L. bassist, and later taken to a DC studio where Peach spent additional months mixing, re-mixing, fine tuning. It was shopped, but the labels of the day (especially the "industrial" imprints) didn't get it. Hymnal,  considered by those in the know to be best of the pre-Taxi recordings, was Hendrickson's final studio effort with Peach. The Western Blot CD release was to have featured all the material from the original Noise sessions, and excerpts from Baptist Hymnal rehearsals.

***

Fendi "Kampf" Clutch

Dixie Automotive DXA 88-4 LP 1988

(Produced by TS)

[Live recordings from immediate post-Baptist period (April 1987). Very twisted (and, of course), never issued. The Western Blot release was to have featured over 70 minutes of material.]


Peach of Immortality III

(June 1987-June 1988; Atlanta, GA)

[Hendrickson and Shellhaas exit; Shellhaas continued to perform in a succession of 4AD-esque lovecore outfits, while Hendrickson went on to record and tour with industrial-goth cabal Chemlab. Ginsberg and Smith remained.]


La Taranta

Lowland L0 12" 1988

(produced by TS; edition of 200)

[A vulgar re-editing of The Fall's This Nation's Saving Grace album, reducing its original tracks to spasmotic blasts underscored with over-modulated radio static. Recorded July-August 1987; not commercially sound. The 300 copies pressed, stored in an aluminum shed outside TS's family's retreat near Lake Hatteras, NC, were destroyed during a torrential downpour. (Mold, mildew, and its odors.) The proposed Western Blot reissue of this compulsive, emphatic oddity was to have include a restored version of Medea.]

***

Marty Robbins Superpageant

Dixie Automotive DXA 88-5 1988

(produced by LG/TS)

[This never-released effort documented live performances and studio recordings of the Ginsberg/Smith 1987-1988 incarnations of Peach. The Western Blot CD issue was to have featured over 70 minutes of material from the various source tapes.]


Peach of Immortality IV

(July 1988-April 1991; Atlanta, GA)

[Smith remained; Ginsberg exited. The recipient of an inheritance, Ginsberg moved first to San Francisco, then to France, where he obsessively re-recorded older Ill Humor tracks and (literally) stalked the vacation haunts of Neubauten's F.N. Einheit. Current whereabouts unknown. Mike Green rejoined the group, having returned from a six-year teaching gig in Paris. New members included: Debby Richardson, ex-Suckdog live foil and leader of Atlanta combo Magic Bone ; Tim Lane Seaton, solo bass Lothario and owner of Kläng (after 1989 known as Walking Fish), the recording studio where Peach are installed; and Frederick Ware, a dangerously circumspect South Georgian who took over the live mixing seat vacated in 1987 by Shellhaas.]


"From 'Produced by Lou Giordano'"

untitled LowLife zine subscriber's cassette LL00 1988

(produced by Tim Seaton and TS)

***

"Untitled"

untitled LowLife/RRR 7" RRR/Low A 1989

(produced by Tim Seaton and TS)

***

Sinatra/Xenakis

Dixie Automotive DXA 89-1 12" 1989

(produced by TS)

[A document of the first recording session of the Seaton/Smith/Ware line-up; Mike Green and David Gamble (fresh from a stint with sardonic German sextet The Beauty Contest) also contributed to the session. Only the first fifteen- minute reel survives.]

***

"Untitled"

Head Full of Acid cassette, released on Ugly American Tapes 1989

(produced by Tim Seaton and TS)

***

Taxi Zum Shoah

Pum! Aftcasting 04 LP 1991

(produced by Tim Seaton and TS; unreleased)

[Peach pitched this to many labels, and got only one response; Noiseville proposed not to release Taxi, but to instead commission a 7" for their fledgling singles club. See below for additional details. TZS was a perfectly descriptive title for POI's most virulent recording, an album suffused with loathing. Powered by a queasy, undulating bottom, and shot through with shredded blasts of insipid Satan metal, Taxi was POI's kiss-off to an unfriendly Atlanta. The Western Blot CD reissue was to have contained over 70 minutes of material drawn from the original sessions.]

***

"Ponyfur"/"180 Grady"

(produced by Tim Seaton)

[Recorded in October 1990, POI's first 7" was scheduled for a subsequent Thanksgiving release on Caroline's Primo Scree logo, but the label died, and the single was never issued. Featured Seaton/Smith/Ware line-up. Primo Scree was Action Swinger Ned Hayden's first Caroline-distributed label - debut recordings by Monster Magnet and Gumball were issued by the imprint. Hayden later went on to form the fine (and ultimately doomed) Audible Hiss label.]

***

Why May Not the Dust of Spain Be a Dismal Pimp?

(produced by TS)

[Compilation of Seaton/Smith live performances from 1988-1991, including the 5 October 89 show at Washington, DC's Chamber, featuring Lowell Ginsberg (his final performance with Peach). Unreleased.]

***

Succumbs (restored)

Pum! Aftcasting 02 S-VHS NTSC 1991

(assembled by Fred Ware and TS)

[A 77-minute compilation of live, studio and rehearsal videos from 1985-1991.]


Peach of Immortality V / To Live and Shave in L.A. I

(May 1990-December 1993; Miami Beach, FL)

[Smith moves to Miami Beach, finding a new career in commercial audio and film production. Meanwhile, Green remains in Athens, then in early 1995 moves to Chicago, in time joining No-Wave stuporgroup Miss High Heel; Richardson lives in Atlanta and performs with bands Magic Bone, Out of It, and in May of 1996 forms the promising but short-lived A-Aachen AAL Nevada Jim with Smith and Ware. Following Ms. Richardson's abrupt and still-mysterious August '96 departure from the group, the very cool Brian Cook, erstwhile bassist of Atlanta tribal rockers Pineal Ventana, joins NV Jim for the remainder of its abbreviated run. In October 1996, after only five live gigs (three in Atlanta, one in Philadelphia, and one in New York), and three studio sessions, the group take a breather. After being bumped from the roster of Smith's Tora! Tora! Tora! festival in December 1996 (too many scheduling conflicts, and TLASILA was booked, so A-Aachen had to go), the band called it quits. Ware now works for a South Georgia-based television production firm, and Cook performed and recorded with Black Love, a (marvelous) duo based in Athens, GA. (Sadly, Brian Cook died in 2010.) Seaton found impressive success in Hollywood (CA), working for the man, from the inside. (In 2008, Seaton rejoined Smith in the quintet Rope Cosmetology.)


"S.H.P."

[A version of R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People" recorded at the invitation of the Texas-based Staplegun label for inclusion on their 1992 tribute comp.; later rejected in favor of Mitch Easter's more reverent version. Recorded by Sync engineer Edward Bobb.]

***

My "Limp" Went Husserl on Me

(produced by TS)

[The abandoned precursor to 30-minuten mannercreme. Fifteen songs were recorded from January-August 1992 at Sync Studios; only "Good Old Gospel Ship," "Trip Right Over It," and "Shot Your Mouth Off" were retained for 30-mm. Recorded by Smith, Bobb and Bastard.]

***

"Trey Stigmata"

[Recorded in the Fall of '92 for the Dossier label's proposed P.K. Dick tribute compilation Time Out of Joint; scheduled for a German release in 1993, but never issued. Recorded by Edward Bobb.]

***

Spatters of a Royal Sperm

(produced by Tom Smith & Rat Bastard)

[Recorded November-December 1992, Spatters was a four-song 7" initially scheduled for an early 1993 release on the Noiseville UK Singles Club; the label died and the EP went unreleased. This single paved the way for what would become the TLASILA "signature" sound, at least as it was heard on 30-minuten männercreme.]

***

Antonio Calfskin Kiltie Loafer in Brandy

(VHS NTSC) [Maverick sexploitation director Doris Wishman's July 1993 video adaptation of the Spatters EP; over 90 minutes of tape had been soiled when Doris was forced to withdraw from the project. A damn shame, because much of what was shot was absolutely hysterical (and/or utterly perplexing). A few pirated clips appeared on Midwestern public access video programs following the 1995 tour of TLASILA. RIP DW...]


To Live and Shave in L.A.

(May 1990-present)

[In 1990 Smith began recording rough demos credited to "To Live and Shave in L.A." (The handle was pilfered from Ron Jeremy's brazenly idiotic, same-named 1986 paean to labial depilation.)

(The To Live and Shave in L.A. bio continues here.)


contents © 1979-2013 Boat Of/Peach of Immortality/TLASILA