Start Swimming

Featured dB's tracks:
Death Garage
We Should Be In Bed

(LP, Stiff America SINK 1, 1981)

The dB's:
Chris Stamey
Peter Holsapple
Gene Holder
Will Rigby
Start Swimming is an album of two live cuts each by five New York bands that traveled to London in February of 1981, to play a show at the Rainbow Theatre. The show was (cornily) named 'Taking Liberties', with a depiction of the Statue of Liberty on the poster, as in the current crop (considered second generation after Ramones, Television, Blondie, etc.) of NY bands invading London, then considered the center of what was new in music.

The show was rather disorganized, lousy PA in a place with lousy acoustics, and the turnout somewhat disappointing. It would have been much better presented in a club. In addition, the management refused to turn the heat on, so it was near seeing-your-breath weather inside. Polyrock (who refused to participate on the album), The Bongos, The RayBeats, The Fleshtones, The Bush Tetras, and The dB's played, although the exact order is beyond recall. The record was mixed extremely swiftly for release on Stiff. The dB's tracks are a unique representation of the odder side of what we were doing, if nothing else.

"We Should Be in Bed" was originally recorded on 4-track at the same time as "If and When" (and "Ash" -- both that and "...Bed" studio versions finally appeared on Ride the Wild TomTom) and was a frequent if not standard component of our live set. It has a breakdown section that gives a good approximation of the more 'improvisatory' or allowing-chance-to-happen bent that was the flip side to our love for melody.

"Death Garage" originally appeared on a Peter Holsapple 45 on Chris's Car Records in 1978. Inspired by a chapter in the Kenneth Anger book Hollywood Babylon. Also has a verse where we allowed the structure to more or less collapse into chance.

Neither of these versions have ever appeared anywhere but on this vinyl LP. They're unusual inclusions into our recorded output and show a side that's looser than anything else that ever came out. Search those vinyl bins. It didn't stay in print long!


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