In the summer of 1993, I spent a week at a church-based summer camp in the woods in southern Arizona. I was friends with some of the other punky skater/alternative kids who went to the camp but lived in a different city than me, and we were thick as thieves. I remember someone in the group had a boombox in their cabin, and we spent a lot of our free time playing tapes for each other, introducing new old bands to the group. It was this boombox from which I first heard the Beastie Boys’ collection of early hardcore tracks, Some Old Bullshit. I ordered the CD from our local chain record store as soon as I got home from camp. The CD (heard at the link above) opens with a guy yelling about the Beastie Boys and some shows in New York “down…in downtown…somewhere…”
I know summer camp was the first time I heard his voice, but I don’t remember the first time I went looking to find out who Timmy Sommer was or what this “Noise The Show” was all about. I’m pretty sure I shelved the idea of looking for it until well after the internet was a household thing.
Noise The Show was a punk and hardcore radio show out of WNYU in New York City in 1981 and 1982. I’ll let you dig up the rest of the details; anything else I tell you I’m going to get from the same internet you’ll get it from.
In the summer of 2014, I went googling to see if any episodes of Noise The Show were on youtube (there are) or on blogs similar to this one (there are.) I even stumbled across a facebook group dedicated to the show. Earlier this year, a group member mentioned having a box of tapes of a bunch of episodes, and lacked the gear necessary to digitize them. I spoke up and offered to get these tapes into a format that’s sharable on the internets. Which brings us to this post.
All of the tapes in the series were recorded by and are from Greg Fasolino’s personal collection. A few were dubbed from tapes that his friend Paul made before Greg got into recording themhimself. I’m told Greg’s mother and grandmother recorded a few when he was out at the occasional Rangers game. He also tacked on a random punk single or two after each episode, disconnected from the radio show. I’ve included those in these rips as it felt weird to not.
The host, Tim Sommer, went on to be more involved with music production and industry stuff, even working at MTV and going on to represent a band big enough that my parents went and saw them a year or two ago. He’s still involved in music industry stuff.
Some technical notes:
- These tapes are almost 35 years old. Sometimes the audio sounds like it. Most times it sounds great. All of the time it sounds fine for what it is. Some of the earlier tapes were recorded by holding a tape recorder up to a speaker. Later episodes were recorded via a tape deck connected directly to a receiver. I’ve ripped them all at 320 kbps but keep in mind there are some defects here and there.
- I’ve done my best to present the audio as it sounds on the tape, with a little minor processing here and there. (I got rid of some tape hiss, or got rid of dead air at the beginning or end of an episode/side.)
- I’ve done no editing during episodes at all.
- Tapes that include another single or two at the end of aside include those singles in the rip. They’re listed on the tape cover and included in the tracklist here, but aren’t tagged separately. Consider these bonus tracks.
- Several tapes include several incomplete episodes per side. These episodes are split into separate tracks, but I’ve included everything on the tapes. Where episodes cut out in the mp3, it cuts out on the tape.
- Occasionally, there are tracks marked “Interview”. Some of these are several minutes and multiple questions long, others are just a band member introducing a song.
It’s weird to think that I first heard that 20 seconds of Noise The Show on the Beastie’s CD a little more than 10 years after it first aired, while shows I’ve attended or records I bought new 10 years ago often seem like they happened yesterday. Also crazy to think I was 5 and 6 when this show was on the air, and now I’ve got a 2, 4, and 6 year old of my own. All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again, I guess. .
I don’t have it in me to review or synopsize each individual show or tape, so I’ll just leave things general here. One of the things I enjoy best about hearing these tapes, besides getting this curated mix of great classic hardcore and punk, is hearing Tim introduce brand new bands like…Bad Religion. Then there’s the more obscure bands that never recorded anything else…The Red Rockers from New Orleans come to mind and are a new (old?) favorite band of mine and make an appearance on more than episode.
And, if you know anything about the show itself or were around when it was on, please leave a comment.
Thanks to Tim for doing the show, and a huge thank you to Greg Fasolino (and his mom!) for providing the tapes.
More to come as I get them ripped and processed. Enjoy.
Noise The Show #18 10/28/81
1. The Exploited – Class War
2. Legionaire’s Disease – Rather See You Dead Than With Wool On Your Head
3. The Misfits – Where Eagles Dare
4. The Ejected – East End Kids
5. Even Worse – Emptying The Madhouse
6. Alternative TV – How Much Longer
7. Necros – Race Riot
8. Flipper – Brainwash
9. Fear – I Don’t Care About You
10. Black Flag – Police Story
11. Partisans – Arms Race
12. G.B.H. – Necrophilia
13. The Misfits – Night Of The Living Dead
14. Dead Kennedys – Insight
15. The Mad – Eyeball
Noise The Show #19 11/4/1981
1. S.O.A. – Girl Problems
2. Discharge – Never Again
3. The Misfits – All Hell Breaks Loose
4. The Damned – Sick Of Being Sick
C.I.A. – God, Guts, Guns EP
1. Who Cares?/Death
3. Commie Control
4. Love & War
5. No Thrills
1. 1,000 More
Noise The Show #21 11/18/1981
1. Dead Kennedys – Moral Majority
2. S.O.A. – Lost In Space
3. The Fartz – You Got A Brain
4. The Ruts – I Ain’t Sophisticated
5. The Nihilistics – After Death
6. Teen Idles – Get Up And Go
7. Red Rockers – Teenage Underground
8. Anti-Pasti – Now Is The Time
9. Heart Attack – Interview/God Is Dead/You
10. Eater – Thinking Of The U.S.A.
11. Demob – Think Straight
12. Headlickers – ? (demo)
13. The Fartz – How Long
14. Discharge – Feeble Bastards
14. Black Flag – Louie Louie
Noise The Show #24 12/9/1981
1. The Misfits – Interview/We Are 138
The Freeze – Guilty Face EP
1. Violent Arrest
2. Voices From My Window
3. Halloween Night
4. Guilty Face