The run started with Flowers From The Dustbin in November 1983, its title inspired by a line in God Save The Queen. Setting out to capture some of the bands who had been playing around that year it was successful, but as Griffiths later noted "a month after release just two bands remained and one musician was dead." While The Kelpies, Positive Hatred and World War XXIV would have more stuff released by Aberrant, and Box Of Fish went on to put records out on Method, this was it for Velocette, Queen Anne's Revenge (who became CHAOS) and What?!! (who only ever played one gig anyway!). The foldout poster sleeve for this was a real labour of love, with over 160 band photos, posters, lyrics and band histories.
Oz Rock" t-shirt. The booklet also contains Griffiths' first Sydney family trees. Sitting here looking at them again for the first time in a few years I'm astounded by the amount of information on completely forgotten bands contained therein. "The Clits: Late '78. 1 gig in a chicken shed at a party on a farm". Amazing. Note that you need the stamped paper diecut sleeve to have a complete version of this release.
Nervous System band Farfisa and the Fucked Organs) than could fill yet another wet Sydney weekend.
here. Everything from these records, plus an extra Kelpies track and the first Trousers In Action 7", was compiled on the Go And Do It double CD on Small Axe from 1996, which is still available here. When you've come back from purchasing it we'll get into the French issues.
All three albums were issued in France on the Ripost label: Flowers From The Dustbin in 1986, Not So Humdrum in 1987, and Why March When You Can Riot? in early 1989. The first contains a copy of the Australian sleeve as an "insert", while the second and third have cutdown 4-page inserts based on excerpts from the Australian booklets.
What we find most entertaining about these is the cover artwork, credited to Emmanuel on the first two, but we're pretty sure notre homme was behind them all. Manu burst out of the gates with three punk kangaroos going off. Some of the best punk novelty records and artwork originated from the French speaking world and the tradition is kept strong here with safety pins, mohawks, sunglasses, a chain necklace, and a midriff singlet emblazoned "FUCK". We're kinda partial to the zippered shut pouch, though.
We asked Bruce about these sleeves a few years ago.
Even having you remind me of that midriff top years later is making me cringe (as well as remember how much I cringed at the time) although I'd probably have enjoyed the zippered pouch had the other nonsense not been present. The extent of my memory is they wanted the covers to scream "Australian punk" so ditched the punk photos in favour of cartoon kangaroos with safety pins, which apparently the French would immediately 'get'. One of the covers isn't half bad, once you've adjusted to the whole, er, 'idea', but they're all pretty cheesy really. The backs they kept intact.[Wallaby Beat] As I remember you telling me you said "whatever you want" as long as there's no skulls or anarchy symbols and you were a mite horrified when you saw kangaroos with leather jackets and mohawks, and yes you're right - safety pins.
Ah, yes, you are correct. That's exactly what happened - I definitely specified "no skulls", and I strongly suspect I blacklisted the "(A)", and maybe that was it. I've remained partial to safety pins, so wouldn't have ruled them out, and leather jackets are harmless enough, but it never occurred to me they'd do cartoon kangaroos. I can only assume I didn't specify "no mohawks" (never liked them, so something I overlooked rather than consciously didn't do)... I wouldn't rule out zips either (pretty sure those kangaroos have many)...
|Emmanuel hopes the safety pins flying everywhere distract attention from the skull belt buckle and anarchy badge. The emu mic stand is kinda inspired though...|
[Bruce] I don't mind the paratrooping one, in terms of the aggression, but if they'd said "We want kangaroos" I'd have done the art myself with a safety pin through a kangaroo's head a la Jamie Reid or somesuch, with infinitely more style and a nod to 'the master'. Ah well. Photo of kangaroo, pin through ear, zippered pouch, done. They sold out the pressings, so perhaps they knew what they were doing?
As always we leave the real it-never-ends aspect to the very end. At some stage Ripost ran out of sleeves for Not So Humdrum. They recycled sleeves for Flowers From The Dustbin by turning them inside out and printing new Not So Humdrum artwork previously used on the labels of the three Ripost LPs. By now our only surviving kangaroo is looking bruised and battered and all the worse for wear after a night on the tiles. Not a single punk cliche to be seen though!
On the back of the sleeve for this one Emmanuel reveals his model for the kangaroos was rats, and rooting rats at that. I thought the tails on those paratroopers didn't look like roo tails!
Update 9 March 2013: Here is the xerox sleeve for Why March When You Can Riot mentioned in the comments. Used for 33 leftover copies of the record.