Sunday 9 June 2013

It Never Ends: The Victims - Television Addict 7" MX46813/4, 1978

It's time for an it-never-ends on one of the great worldwide punk records - The Victims' Television Addict / (I'm) Flipped Out Over You 7". Released in an edition of 1000 in early 1978, every copy of this is effectively in a unique sleeve. That's because each one is hand stamped with kids' block stamps. However, there's still a lot of room for variation with such a scheme. So, in the spirit of the Flipper Sex Bomb sleeve blog (or the definitely NOT safe for work Nubees blog), today we'll start giving visuals for some of the sleeve variants for this hallowed record.

Sometime in early '78 our boys, James Baker, Dave Flick and Rudolph Vee, sat around a table and started stamping sleeves. A combination of red, black and blue ink was used, and most sleeves contain some combination of all three. For us, the nicest ones  just have the band name on the front of the sleeve and the titles on the back. The red and black sleeve on top of the post, paired with the tricolour reverse to the left, is a nice example. Some copies, and these seem to show up in America, only have the band name on one side and are blank on the reverse.

Flick outlined the process in the liner notes to the Sleeping Dogs Lie album:
We used a children's toy rubber stamp set to label each of the paper sleeves individually. In fact, as we had only bought a couple of sets there weren't even enough letters to spell out the band's name and the song titles so we had to leave a couple of gaps and fill in the missing letters later (we also stamped those ones with a different colour).

A cool variation, perhaps from the start of the process, is the all black version seen to the right. Now is probably a good time to point you towards Ross Buncle's Perth Punk website. There you can read about James Baker and Rudolph Vee's pre-Victims exploits with The Geeks, where Buncle and Baker had written (I'm) Flipped Out Over You. Flick had previously played with high school bands and, while starting a university degree, had decided to see just how far he could get playing music. He had joined a blues band called The Beagles on keyboards and toured around Western Australia. Having proved to himself making a living was possible, and having heard the Ramones album, and liking it, he hooked up with Vee and Baker and the Victims were born.

The record really needs no introduction. We can't think of many people who don't rank it in the best three Australian punk records. If you haven't heard it, well, it's been booted thrice in the US (black printing on white sleeve, then on pink sleeve, then on yellow sleeve, all with large holes) and recently legitimately reissued by 1977 records in Japan. We won't even start on the various compilations with the two tracks, just get yourself to YouTube. For now we'll just show pictures of some other versions:
Many copies have the band name and one of the song titles on one side.
We love the spelling mistakes, part I...
...and part II.
Television ADD/ADHD. A particularly cool variation which came from James Baker - note the different typeface. Perhaps done as a test run - a literal proto-type.

To bring things to an end for today we have to cover the photo inserts. These are the little fuckers that send collectors spare. They appear either by themselves or in pairs in odd copies. So far we've been able to round up seven different ones which you can see below. Particularly cool (and hard to find!) is the band under a Live At CBGBs poster, but as always, we can't imagine not wanting to own all of them.

We'll be happy to add any sleeve variations, (or, god forbid, inserts), not pictured here if you want to send them to us at the usual address. Thanks to those who already contributed scans.

Sounds, 6 May 1978
All afflictions catered for: here, double vision


Anonymous said...

My copy is pretty much the same as pics 1 & 2. The inserts are Rudolph V sitting it out with a beer and a ciggie and the 'hard to find' CBGB poster one. I remember this single being reviewed in one of the English music papers (probably NME, but it could have been Sounds). They slagged it off as the product of some colonial wannabes. They argued that it was typical that such no-hopers would jump on the musical bandwagon a year too late. What was funny was that the record had been out for nearly a year by the time they reviewed it.

Wallaby Beat said...

Hi Steve, It was the NME review which was cock-eyed, but I can't lay my hands on it. I've added the positive Sounds review to the post. Great to hear from you as always. Wallaby

Anonymous said...

Also have an all black one. Never saw another all black one till now.

Anonymous said...

Sounds was always a better read. Fairer, funnier & (unlike the self-important self-promoting egomaniac NME), staffed by genuine music fans. It remains much missed by those of us who grew up with it's smudged pages.