Saturday, October 3, 2009
John Paul Young Uses His Carboard Brains
Vocals: John Paul Young
Bass: Patrick Gregory; John Thomas (Replaced Gregory, 1979)
Guitar: Vincent Carlucci
Drums: Mickel Keena; Dave Richardson (Replaced Keena, 1979)
Toronto's Cardboard Brains formed in September of 1976. They played the same Queen Street clubs -- The Edge, The Horseshoe Tavern, etc. -- as the Viletones, Teenage Head, The Ugly and others, defining the strip as the epicenter of a New Music movement. But unlike the aforementioned groups, Cardboard Brains' musical output was brainier, with a "unique, King Crimson-inspired art-punk" sound: intelligent lyrics, and decidedly Post-Punk before the term even came into being. Throughout a series of lineup changes, the one constant has been singer and group leader, John Paul Young (and possibly Vince Carlucci).
In 1977, the band released a four-song EP called simply, 'The White EP'.
Naturally, when they followed it up in 1979 with another four-song EP of original songs, they called it, 'The Black EP'. The group was also immortalized in the film and record, “The Last Pogo”, that year.
However, John Paul Young (not to be confused with the Scottish “Love Is In The Air” JPY) seemingly wasn't satisfied. With the official death of Toronto punk, he decided to go solo so he could produce "a more stable and reliable format" for his musical yearnings. In 1980 he released a new set of semi-autobiographical recordings, which he called “The Life of Ermie Scub”, on which he played all the instruments. These are the dark tales of a presumably lonely boy, an errant genius who was clearly ahead of his time and lost in his own fantasies.
The Cardboard Brains reunited on April 26, 1981 for The Edge's brief resurrection and anniversary celebration. Recordings from this show were released as a live album before the band split up for good.
Patrick Gregory went on to form Woods Are Full Of Cuckoos as well as The Lawn. Vincent Carlucci would perform in Station Twang and John Paul Young worked as an actor and has contributed to movie soundtracks. He has since resurrected the band to coincide with the release of a “Best of” compilation, which is no longer available.
I once had the pleasure of meeting John Paul Young, in 1998. I was working towards a documentary on the Canadian Punk Rock scene of 1976-1979 and was doing some research when I found out he was releasing the John Paul Young And Cardboard Brains compilation, which he dedicated to his brother. I bought it off him for $20. (In the interests of full disclosure, I've divided up the songs into the original releases, for archival and educational/informational purposes.)
Interesting sidenote: John Paul Young is a decendant of Brigham Young as well as Dr. Robert Goddard, the father of American rocketry.
Cardboard Brains - The White EP (1977):
1. I Want To Be A Yank
2. Can Stress Kill
3. Stepping Stone
4. Living Inside My Head
Cardboard Brains - The Last Pogo (1979):
1. Babies Run My World
Cardboard Brains - The Black EP (1979):
1. Caesar Drives A Fast Car
2. Out, Out, Out
3. And So I Hide
4. The Rescue Crew
THANKS TO TONE & WAVE FOR THE UPLOAD!
John Paul Young - The Life Of Ermie Scub (1980):
1. Ermie Has Feelers
2. All The Sad Goodbyes
3. Have You Seen The Boy In The Gutter With The Broken Mind?
4. Our Time Escapes
6. Is That Why?
7. The Monster In Ed
8. The Girl Spells Grief
9. Angels With Dirty Faces
10. Boulevards Of Hope
11. Surrender To The Void
(No Cover Available -- Click On The Link Below)
Cardboard Brains - Live At The Edge (1982):
1. Ermie Has Feelers
2. Have You Seen The Boy In The Gutter With The Broken Mind
John Paul Young and Cardboard Brains (1998):
1. World Within A Dream