FEAR

FEAR – “PARADISE LOST” (demo recordings) (197? or 1980?)

I grabbed this from SoulSeek about a year ago, price and still haven’t found any info on it — except now, mind I saw that another blog had posted this last month — and they didn’t have any info on it either! What it appears to be is the band’s demos before they were “molded” into the snarling image you see them presenting in their classic early ’80s material, their “Decline” heyday. I’ll explain the “molding” reference –

A number of years ago, while doing my KXLU weekly radio show, as I was playing some stuff by Crass, I got a call from a fellow who introduced himself as Bob Seidemann. I’d never heard of him, and was slightly weirded out by his introducing himself by full name. He asked about Crass: “What is this? This is wild? Where can I get some of this?” I told him to get a copy of the Crass comp “Best Before 1984,” a collection of their singles. He thanked me, and called back a few weeks later to tell me he’d ordered “Best Before”, and was digging it immensely. I was glad that he was glad — and then he told me that he’d “created” the band Fear.

Skeptical at first, I listened to his tale about hanging out in the original L.A. punk scene, seeing Lee Ving and some other guys play a show, corralling them, becoming an early quasi-manager of theirs, re-naming the band (christening them “Fear) and telling the guys to get all rough. Oh, and he took some iconic band photos of theirs. The rest was history — according to Bob. Figuring his story probably had truth to it, I looked him up online after the phone call and found out that indeed, Bob Seidemann was a photographer — a rather prominent rock photographer, it turns out, as he snapped one of the most iconic ’60s album cover shots EVER, the self-titled record by Blind Faith, featuring Eric Clapton, the one with the young girl and her boobies and an airplane. Yeah, you know which one I’m talking about.

Yet another few weeks later, Bob called me back, asking if I wanted to “hang out”. He liked my radio show, and wanted to meet me in person, so I drove down to his expansive downtown L.A. studio, met him, saw the Fear band photo prints hanging on the wall, had lunch in Little Tokyo with him and listened to more of his tales of the original punk scene, Lee Ving, and early Fear shows. I was hooked — Bob was a great storyteller, and he had a bunch of ‘em to tell. I only hung out with Bob once more after that, but his Fear stories stuck in my mind for years, and when I found this “Paradise Lost” collection of demos, I pictured him standing on the sidelines as the boys in the band laid down the tracks, with him telling them the whole time: “Naw, naw. Give it a little more of that nasty stuff.”

Or maybe he only met the band a few times, snapped a few great shots and later inflated his importance in their development. Who knows? When I met Lee Ving recently and had the chance to interview him for KXLU, I asked him: “Back from the early days of Fear — do you remember a guy named Bob Seidemann?” Lee’s response was minimal, but he smiled and said “Oh, yeah, Bob. Good guy. Haven’t seen him around in ages.”

In any case, the best song of the bunch here in “Paradise Lost” is “Fuel-Injected Papa”. It’s got a solid low-end groove, and a nifty little high-hat drum bit throughout the verses. Dunno if the classic Fear lineup is who’s playing here. Also included in this ZIP file download is the “Fear on SNL” performance, and the early “Now Your Dead” 7″.

Fear – “Paradise Lost” demos, SNL ’82 & “Now Your Dead” EP (ZIP file)

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217 Responses to FEAR

  1. Tom says:

    I can actually help identify this. These were originally available at http://www.wheresmypizza.com/WMP_MusicLostInParadise.aspx, which is site that has some of Philo’s material available for download, including the pre-Fear Cigarettes 7″. They’ve been removed because the site says they will be released, with an extra guitar track, on FEAR Records, which I think is Lee’s label. (Someone help me out with this.) However, it has said this for over a year and a half, so we’ll see. This is the classic lineup.

    As it says about itself: “The Fear Demo Tape, aka Side B of the so called “Living with Fear” Bootleg, but Mixed More Better.” I didn’t dowload what you posted, since I did so a long time ago, but the version I have includes their “new wave” songs recorded “for the purpose of convincing Madame Wong to let the band play at her New Wave night club which did not allow Punk Rock.” The copy I have also includes a version of “I Am a Doktor” that is not from these sessions but that the site manager feels is superior to the LP one.

    Hope this clarifies things a bit.

  2. h2o says:

    Stellar demo here. God damn, a great story to boot! Thanks! Oh, and thanks for crediting me with the b-five-two’s live tape. A gem that you beat me to putting up. Bah!

  3. Marshall says:

    It’s funny. When I was in high school, FEAR was punk/jock music – the official T-shirt or bumper sticker of homophobic pseudo-punks. It was impossible for me to take the band seriously.

    Now that I’m an old man, I’ve become a convert. FEAR put out what might be the best punk record, and I think Lee Ving is a genius. I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid.

  4. newave says:

    Funny thing…when i first moved to LA i worked for a guy selling mid-century modern furniture on ebay from the brewery art colony. He was long time friends with Bob Seidemann. I ended up moving/selling some of his furniture and checking out a photo exhibit of his.

  5. FAN says:

    BOB SEIDEMANN WAS AN IMPORTANT CATALYST IN THE FORMATIVE DAYS OF FEAR. AN OLD FRIEND OF LEE AND HIS WIFE BARBARA, BOB ENCOURAGED LEE TO FORM A PUNK BAND AFTER HEARING A TAPE OF STUFF FROM ENGLAND. HE PRODUCED ADS FOR SLASH? NO MAG TO INTRODUCE THEM BEFORE THEY WERE FULLY FORMED OR HAD ANY GIGS. THESE ADS WERE WRITTEN (FEAR GRIPS THE CITY,HAVE A BEER WITH FEAR) BY BOB AND ACCOMPANIED WILD PHOTGRAPHS
    AND A GREAT LOGO.

  6. Taeil says:

    Great stuff. The FEAR demos are priceless.