The first punk rock band from the East Side of St. Paul. How cool is this for a High School concert? If you went to Harding, check this little gem out, or even if you didn’t……BIG THANKS to Mike Phillips (guitarist and leader) for allowing me to present stuff from the band that changed my life. (LISTEN AT THE LINK BELOW- WARNING: PROFANITY)
Mike went on to play in Sonny Vincent & The Extreme. Jimmy and Roger went on to speed things up with Willful Neglect. Steve Nelsen played drums in Shatterproof (MCA Records), The Sedgwicks, and many others.
two videos- Willful Neglect live at The Upper Deck- Minneapolis, and Castle Greens- North St Paul, 198217 Aug
St Paul’s finest. Two minutes total for each clip! This is how they rolled back then.
Thanks to Roger DeBace for getting these videos together, they give me goosebumps.
Willful Neglect were a band from the East Side of St. Paul, Minnesota. The band was formed in late 1981. In less than a year Willful Neglect had 12 original songs and in the summer of ’82 decided to record at Blackberry Way Studios with Steve Fjelstad, who also recorded many Twin Tone Records acts. The result was the Willful Neglect 12″ EP, released November of 1982 on the band’s Neglected Records. Maximum Rock’n’Roll fanzine called “Abort the Mission” from the EP “one of the best songs of 1982” on the cover of MRR issue #4.
They were featured on local CBS affiliate WCCO-TV on a “Local Punk” news report, where a show at Castle Greens in North St. Paul was filmed for broadcast. The band also played clubs in St Paul & Minneapolis such as The 7th Street Entry, McCafferty’s, and Goofy’s Upper Deck with bands such as Hüsker Dü, Minor Threat, The Circle Jerks, Loud Fast Rules (who became Soul Asylum), The Effigies, Rifle Sport, Man-Sized Action, Final Conflict, Ground Zero, The Reds, and Civil Defense. They then started to play other Midwestern cities such as Chicago and Milwaukee while becoming friends with The Effigies, Die Kreuzen, Naked Raygun, Articles of Faith, Sacred Order, Rights of the Accused, The Clitboys, and Negative Element.
Willful Neglect recorded their second 12″ EP Justice For No One in early 1983, once again employing Steve Fjelstad at Blackberry Way. The Replacements recorded their EP Stink the very same month in the same studio. Justice For No One was released in the summer of 1983 on Neglected Records. The band then toured the West Coast in August, playing Reno, San Jose, San Francisco, San Fernando Valley, East LA, and Albuquerque. They shared the stage with bands like DRI, SS Decontrol, Government Issue, Agression, Ill Repute, The Fuckups, Los Olvidados, Plain Wrap, and Personality Crisis, and stayed at the BYO house in Hollywood while in southern California.
A third record was recorded but not released “Big Enough to Get It” Six of the tracks from Big Enough… have ended up on 1982-1984, a CD released Fall of 2003 on Neglected Records. This CD contains all 23 tracks from both of the first two EPs with the six bonus tracks.
Jim was part of the crew from Harding High School who had a staggeringly huge impact on me. The half-dozen Class of ’78-ers that became musicians and introduced punk rock to the East Side of St Paul are the ones who blew up my musical ground zero. Jimmy played bass for The Reactors and Willful Neglect- legendary East Side bands.
Here are three songs Jim gave to me on two different cassettes when he heard that I was playing psychedelic music on Fresh Air Radio KFAI 90.3 FM in the early 1990s. Jimmy liked Jimi Hendrix, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, & Steve Vai a bunch back then. I played these on the radio; “Green Echo Dream” was played dozens of times. It sounds like (Willful Neglect singer) Wade “Calhoon” Johnson is singing on these tracks. Jim has since become a really good blues guitarist.
Thanks to Jim for giving me the go-ahead to put these here.
Green Echo Dream
BONUS TRACK: Jimmy gave me this for my birthday today, 11-5-12, GREAT NEW STUFF.
Jimmy was the kid from the ‘hood that would pull out a handgun and start randomly shooting into space, anytime he damn well felt like it. The most ‘Detroit’ of us all back then- a bad ass. This song makes even more sense knowing all that. Here’s to you, Jim!
The Red Headed Step Child
MORE BONUS: May 8 2013, sounds like Ron Asheton is back from the dead!
From First to Last