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Old 12.23.2012, 01:52 AM   #1
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Hi everyone...a few years ago I tried to piece together an accurate timeline of SY's drummers based on conflicting information available in the various SY bios, liner notes, etc. I may have started a thread about it, but most of my findings were incorporated into the Concert Chronology.

This coincided with trying to weed out some shows/recordings with questionable dates, which can also be found in the Concert Chronology.

Anyway, one show has me curious...04/14/83 Long Island. I've seen this on tape lists as long as I can remember. No venue. You can grab it here (flac) or here (mp3) ("Brother James" should not be with this show, though). As facts about early gig dates solidify, it seems that the rough chronology is this:

- June '81 - June '82 - Richard Edson, David Linton, Dave Keay, Tom Recchion, etc all take a shot at the sonic throne.
- July-October '82 (?!) - Bob Bert joins - this should not be so hard to pin down...
- December '82 - Bob Bert replaced by Jim Sclavunos after Swans tour, who supposedly only plays 2 shows with the band - one for sure at 12/27/82 Kitchen
- early '83 - band records Confusion is Sex with Jim Sclavunos, but they can not nail "Nature Scene" and suggest that Bob returns, which he does, full time
- May '83 - Bob plays his first show back(?) with the band @ Speed Trials.

After the Kitchen show, which we know Sclavunos played at, there's a gig poster for a 01/13/83 CBGBs show, 02/11/83 Danceteria (with a pic of Sclavunos playing with them - the same pic from Confusion is Sex), 03/21/83 (a former mislabeled show, which I imagine is a false date completely - no gig poster), 04/11/83 huge memorial show @ CBGBs, 04/14/83 Long Island, and then 05/04/83 Speed Trials, which we know Bob returned for. Naturally, a gig poster doesn't guarantee the band played the show.

There is no poster for 04/14/83, but reviewing the recording I realized that it has to be Jim Sclavunos on drums. I'm not sure when they finished recording Confusion is Sex, but the album release party was on April 30th, so I'm guessing Bob had come back in to record "Nature Scene" much sooner than that.

"Nature Scene" is the key track here - listen to the "Long Island" gig, you can tell that is not Bob Bert playing this song. This drummer accents almost everything with cymbal crashes (one of Thurston's observations of Jim), and the other songs sound like how he plays them on Confusion.

So, I'm skeptical of the 04/14/83 date, and wonder if this might be 02/12/83 Danceteria (he literally says he only played two shows with them, though a lot of latitude has to be given for people's memories when trying to piece this stuff together). So, uuuuh...thoughts?

Fuck, this was supposed to be like a 3-line post. I even went back and edited out all the crap about pre-Bert drummers and that June '83 mess. Oh well. I also have to say, listening to the late '82 gigs w/ Bert really demonstrates how slooow Confusion is Sex could have been. Pretty interesting to hear them working these songs out with him before they took em to the studio w/ Jim.
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Old 12.23.2012, 08:54 PM   #2
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Seems likely. Great detective work.
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