James Baker on The Geeks
I met Ross and Lloyd in around 1974. I saw an ad in the music page [Ed note: The Sunday Times Classifieds Music section] asking for a copy of the MC5’s Back In The USA. I had three copies, so I sold Ross one. Never thought any more of it.
I went to America and England in 76-77 and saw all the punk bands – Pistols, Ramones, Heartbreakers, Damned…you name it. I ran out of money and had to come home.
Determined to play in a punk band, I saw an ad for a singer (I thought anyone could sing punk). They were into The Ramones, MC5 and Stooges. I failed the audition, but took over the drum stool – something I could do. We played Blitzkreig Bop. Lloyd, Ross and Rudolph V liked the drumming, and I liked the style, songs and energy.
We started writing songs and rehearsing and were starting to sound great. I think we started out in Ross’s room, but we moved to a hall and did some recording in Scarborough. I hadn’t heard the tape for 30 years, and when I did it reminded me of how good it was. A lot of the songs went on to be played in The Victims. Flipped Out Over You, High School Girls, Disco Junkies, TV Freak – all were penned by me and Ross…not what it says on The Victims’ credits. Also, I’m Looking For You and Teenage Dreamer from the early Scientists.
I was disappointed that we didn’t play publicly, so left to join The Victims.
The Geeks [Ed note: Actually, it was The Orphans] played their first gig at the last Victims gig at Perth’s only ever punk rock festival. They blew every band, including The Victims, off the stage. I think they changed their name to The Orphans. They remain a great rock and roll band.
October 5, 2005
James Baker’s Response to Dave Faulkner’s Letter:
I met Dave Faulkner at the City Hotel on my way home from a Geeks rehearsal. We talked about the Ramones, and I told him I was in a punk band (I was referring to The Geeks, although the band had not settled on a name). I told him we were looking for a second guitar player and to come down and have a listen. He didn’t like it. He did not come down to “check out” Rudolph V, who was a great punk bassist.
I got frustrated with the Geeks because they did not want to play live. [Ed note: Two of the band members, Ross Buncle in particular, didn’t think the band was ready to gig publicly; there was certainly never a band policy not to play live, although this may have been James’ perception at the time]. I called Dave and said I’d like to form a punk band and that Rudolph was interested. We rehearsed at Dave’s parents’ house in Rivervale. We wrote our early songs there, we learnt the songs from a tape of The Geeks. I had written the words and Ross had written the music. A lot of these songs were recorded by The Victims. When Timberyard reissued All Loud On The Western Front, the Geeks songs were registered by Dave as being written by Baker/Faulkner.
I did not think about this at all. I was busy with The Dubrovnicks and The Beasts of Bourbon. It’s great to see Ross Buncle get acknowledgment for those early Perth punk songs. The songwriting credits have been changed to get it right.
November 24, 2005
1974 Black Sun
1974-75 The Slick City Boys
1977 The Geeks
1977-78 The Victims
1978-82 The Scientists
1983 The Hoodoo Gurus
1983-85; 1988-90 The Beasts Of Bourbon
1985-86 The James Baker Experience
1986 The Eternal Teenagers
1988 The Dubrovniks
? The Satellite Five
? The Tearjerks
? The Blowup Dolls
? Rockin’ Hendy
? The Novacaines
? The Painkillers
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