Band The Angry Samoans

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The Angry Samoans is a Californian punk rock band in the first wave of US punk. Pat J. Galligan a.k.a. P.J., who previously played in pre-Cirith Ungol band Titanic with Greg Lindstrom and Robert Garven, played lead guitarist from 1979-84. The pre-Angry Samoans was VOM who started from 1976, and the member Richard Meltzer has wrote the book from the band Blue Öyster Cult.

The band formed in August 1978 in Los Angeles, California by early 70’s rock writer “Metal” Mike Saunders and his brother lead guitarist Kevin Eric Saunders, along with co-conspirator Gregg Turner (another rock writer, for Creem Magazine during the late 70’s-mid 80’s) and original recruits bassist Todd Homer and drummer Billy Vockeroth. The Angry Samoans are still active and touring with Bill Vockeroth.

Samoa is a group of islands in Polynesia, divided between American Samoa and the nation of Samoa.

Line-up from 1980-1982:

  • “Metal” Mike Saunders / Michael Earl “Mike” Saunders / Occupant / Mr. Loser / Ted Kluszewski – Vocals, guitar (Aug 1978–?)
  • P. J. Galligan / A. Fish – Guitar (19791984)
  • Gregg Turner / Grace Bud / Allen Ginsberg Jr. / J. Foulwell – Guitar, Vocals (1978–1991)
  • Todd Homer / James Pell – Bass, vocals (1978–1988)
  • Bill Vockeroth / Frank Howard – Drums (1979–still playing)
  • Jeff Dahl / Jeffrey Dahl – Vocals (1981, “Return To Samoa”)
  • Kevin Eric Saunders / Bonze Blayk / Bonze Anne Rose Blayk – Guitar

I took contact with lead vocalist Metal Mike Saunders (born May 1952) to learn more about the P.J. days. In his own words:

i have his mailing address (his mom’s old house) where we send his 2 or 3 or 4 hundrd dollars share of sales royalties/airplay/licensing etc, same address that’s unchagned since we first met him in 1979 (before the first gig we played with his ventura punk band the T.U.M.O.R.S. at Unit 28, saturday afternoon spring 1979 at CAmARILLO STATE HOSPITAL). let me look it up.

P.J. Galligan
3974 Madison
Ventura, CA 93003

 

angrysamoans01-300x192 The Angry Samoans

i (recently) finally saw/read the correct rundown of his involvement in the pre-Cirith highschool band TITANIC omg hahaha so funny. oh well, the Ramones came from Tangerine Puppets basically (tommy and jonnny, highschool 1966/forest hills) so what the hey.

check our ANGRY SAMOANS 1979-1984 (or i think also, the very bottom of our ANGRY SAMAONS 1978-1979 section) in the photos. it’s got the scan (on my scanner last year) of his THREE ENTIRE TYPED PAGES….applying for the vacated job (injune 1979) of lead guitarist for our retarded punk rock band. 

“i have considered disco…but” hahahaha it’s classic.

without him, our band would hagve disappearded/there wasn’t ONE SINGLE TOP NOTCH punk rock rhytmm guitar poun der left in the entire LA/OC/SFV/I-Empire circuit. all the other killer guitarists were in bands (permanently). ok, save maybe Dez Cadena who was one year away frmo joining Red Cross (briefly, as guitarist before Black Flag as singer). 

PJ kicked out in late 1984 (after 5 entire years of shitty paying gigs and general mistreatment by the rest o0f the world, including punk rock), suppoosedly for being a “fuck up” and bringing entire CANS of laughing gas/nitrous into band practices (which were just once weekly/Sat afternoon, minus any weekend where a gig was booked). hahahaha. by the end of the 80′;s (when we re-auditioned hinm five years later, the next time the position re-opened) he had lost 25% of his “rhythm guitar power” and didn’t cut it anymore, so we sent him home. private auditon in a living room mind you. (to inspect the guitar mechanics closely and at low volume but full distortion/practice amp). 

strangely enough, our origna lead guitarist (my little brother() is a MOTHERFUCKER (to this day), still has his awesome 1961 Les Paul SG w/PAFs, and plays fast hard rock/garage-punk as badass as ever. but he wasn’t a “punk rock” guitarist, which is where PJ camein (to replace kevfin when he moved back east, june 1979).

his original “axe” that we saw him using (in the T.U.M.O.R.S.) was hysterical. an early 50’s SOLID BODY gold-finish Rickerbacker that probalby was coincident (chronologially) with fender’s first solid bodies. it sounded ehhhh and DIDN’T STAY IN TUNE after the fitrst 15 minutes because nitwit PJ had neer put good pegs/Schallers/(or even crap Grovers) on it. but i could tell the guy was crazy good, when his punk band rocked SUZY IS A HEADBANGER like lunatics, and PJ slammed out the bar chords harder/better than johnny ramone ever dreamed of (not that JRamone didn’t suck ass as a live guitarist, but whatever, 20 years on recordings are the only thing that really count, good work johnny. for disguising the fact that your rhythm chops totally suck, not steady at ALL, pal,shaky as fuck, your tempos/rhythm wobble/wobbles like a dead duck trying to fly)

in the samoans from day1, we loaned him one of gregg’s kiler Gibsons (another 1961 Les Paul SG still,or a good 63 red Melody Maker w/dimarzios like frehley ace of our faovrit ebnad 1976 KISS) so that worked out just well. blasted into one of our (two diff) (us other two guys) late 70’s 100watt Mesa Boogie amp heads. (PJ never had an amp that didn’t soundlike shit, the entire time he was in our band).

if you want to hear some of the hardest/banginging early-hardcore / wayfast pukrock rhythm guitar ever, put on a decent cond copyp of BACK FROM SAMOA the 2nd album (and last one he played on) — Steak Knife, Gas Chamber, Homo-Sexual, Todd Killings, the guy just killed it on the fast DOWN-strokes for fast punk rock songs/early “hardcore.”.

Mike Saunders, 18 Feb 2012

Who Invented Heavy Metal?

Trivia: The song Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf (29 Jan 1968), has been closely associated with motorcycles ever since, introduced to rock lyrics the signature term “heavy metal” (though not about a kind of music, but about a motorcycle: “I like smoke and lightning, heavy metal thunder, racin’ with the wind…”). The band Black Sabbath and the first album Black Sabbath (13 Feb 1970) now generally accepted as the first heavy metal album. “Metal” Mike Saunders is a rock critic and the singer of the Californian punk band Angry Samoans. He is credited with coining the music genre label “heavy metal” in a record review for Humble Pie’s As Safe as Yesterday Is in the Rolling Stone Magazine #70, 12 Nov 1970 (RS70). The review has the albums Safe As Yesterday Is (Aug 1969) and Town and Country (Nov 1969).

See the review that I have bold/thicker the letters on it, and search the other rock and metal websites for:

Humble Pie’s debut album was released only in
England. It was called Town and Country and was,
for the most part, quiet and basically acoustic and
well produced by Steve Marriott. And boring. Peter
Frampton and his singing conjured up the image of a
third-rate Stevie Winwood copyist who had spent
some time listening to Traffic’s second album, and his
songs were not much different. Steve Marriott, on
the other hand—once one of the greatest rockers in
rock and roll history—demonstrated that he could
now sing like a country boy and write songs about
“New Orleans and down the Bayou” and “all those
Southern belles.” Golly, had he been listening to the
Band’s album? The entire sum and total of Town and
Country
amounted to one song, Marriott’s excellent
“Down Home Again,” a spirited rocker.

Safe As Yesterday Is, their first American release,
proved that Humble Pie could be boring in lots of
different ways. Here they were a noisy, unmelodic,
heavy metal-leaden shit-rock band, with the loud and
noisy parts beyond doubt.
There were a couple of
nice songs, “I’ll Go Alone” and “Natural Born
Woman,” and one monumental pile of refuse. The
outstanding accomplishment of the album occurred
when Humble Pie proved that they could make John
Kay’s “Desperation” actually kick a little. Budding
interpreters! The album was over 50 minutes long,
and the basic effect was that of a large migraine
headache.

Now, glorious day, Humble Pie has a new album
called (what else?) Humble Pie. Now it seems final:
Humble Pie is blessed with one of the absolutely
worst rock drummers ever and a genuinely irritating
instrumental sound. After that, things get worse. This
album, more of the same 27th-rate heavy metal
crap, is worse than the first two put together, though
I know that sounds incredible. Well, if Humble Pie
had to listen to themselves, they would probably
vomit. For God’s sake and your own, don’t subject
yourself to the same torture. Stay away from this
album by all means. (RS 70)

MIKE SAUNDERS

 

Six months later in 1971, he used the phrase again while reviewing Sir Lord Baltimore’s first album, Kingdom Come (Dec 1970, Amazon), in the pages of Creem Magazine Vol. 3 No. 2.

KINGDOM COME – SIR LORD BALTIMORE – MERCURY SR 61328

All you true blue Heavy fans, take heart.
This album is a crusher. Sure enough, Sir Lord
Baltimore is none other than a new heavy
band discovered by Dee Anthony, Who
Should Know (Joe Cocker, Free, Humble
Pie); and while SLB’s degree of success hasn’t
been determined yet, they’ve certainly got
what it takes to rake in a million.

This album is a far cry from the currently
prevalent Grand Funk sludge, because Sir
Lord Baltimore seems to have down pat most
all the best heavy metal tricks in the book.
Precisely, they sound like a mix between the
uptempo noiseblasts of Led Zeppelin
(instrumentally) and singing that’s like an
unending Johnny Winter shriek: they have it
all down cold, including medium or uptempo
blasts a la LZ, a perfect carbon of early
cataclysmic MCS (“Hard Rain Fallin'”), and
the one-soft-song-an-album concept originated
by Jimmy Page and his gang. No slow blooze
for these guys: “Excitement is what we’re
into…” In addition, “Jack Bruce has been a
major influence on my career,” says SLB
bassist Garry Justin. Top that, man.

As much as I hate heavy music – cock
rock, macho rock, or whatever the current
name for it is – I have to admit to having
every Blue Cheer album ever made, and then
to having a peculiar liking for Led Zeppelin II
because of its undeniable stupid-rock punch.
So just as I was once forced to ponder good
bubblegum vs. bad bubblegum because of my
irrepressible fondness for “Indian Giver,” I’d
be the first to admit that there’s good Heavy
and bad Heavy.

Finally then, as for esthetics: if you’re
going to listen to heavy music – despite
unending putdowns, condescension, and scorn
from rock and roll writers and mouldy
English Invasion purists like me – why listen
to leaden, plodding slop like Free and Grand
Funk when you can have classic
slug-you-in-the-gut knock-your-brains-out
efforts like Led Zeppelin II or this album???
Really. Buy Kingdom Come by Sir Lord
Baltimore, and be the first on your block to
have your brains blown out.

Mike Saunders

See Who Invented Heavy Metal? by Martin Popoff where Mike Saunders are mention a few times in the book.

Is Nirvana related?

Not really. But three trivial, speculating and curiosity things:

Nirvana was the grunge/alternative rock band from 1987, until vocalist Kurt Cobain was dead 5th Apr 1994. Artist Metal Mike (Saunders of Angry Samoans, vocal, drums), Julia (Altstatt Kasdorf, bass) and Natassia (guitar) were made the single Kurt Cobain’s Dead, later in 1994:

El Duce (real name is Eldon Hoke, born 23 Mar 1958) was vocalist of The Mentors. The Mentors was also playing Jeff Dahl of Angry Samoans.

After the body of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was discovered in the greenhouse of Cobain’s Lake Washington home on 8 Apr 1994, El Duce began making the claim that Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love (Hole), had offered to pay him to kill Cobain. In 1996, El Duce passed a lie detector test when claiming that Love had offered him $50,000 to kill Kurt Cobain. In his interview in the Kurt & Courtney film, recorded on 11 Apr 1997, El Duce again claimed that Love had offered him $50,000 to “whack” Kurt Cobain, and further claimed that he knew who did kill Cobain (giving the name “Allen” some say from the band Kill Allen Wrench), but said he would “let the FBI catch him”.

Unfortunately El Duce was dead 39 years, 19 Apr 1997. El Duce was friend of Courtney Love and Love was married with Kurt Cobain. Their daughter Frances Bean Cobain was in a relationship with professional skateboarder and musician Riley Hawk, son of skateboarding icon Tony Hawk.

Kurt_ElDuce-150x146 The Angry Samoans

Kurt Grothe with El Duce, about 1980-1987. Both of them are dead.

Dave Grohl was the latest drummer and sometimes vocalist of Nirvana, and now is vocalist of Foo Fighters. The band was covered Gas Chamber, original is Angry Samoans.

  • Rock Against Bush vol. 2 CD+DVD (2004) eBay / Amazon
  • Foo Fighters – Medium Rare (2011) eBay / Amazon
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