THE HELL WAS
1988 - 1998
20 years ago today, October 30th, 1988, was the very first Date Bait gig. And I was talking on the phone yesterday to Dan Bader (aka Gutterboy) the original lead singer for Date Bait and he couldn't believe it either. He told me no way did it feel like 20 years; it barely seemed like 10! And I couldn't agree more. Where did all the time go? Date Bait started when my friend John McBride aka Dino Delray (why do all my friends have 2 names??) asked me did I want to start a new band with Kim Kane from the Slickee Boys. I had met Kim a few years earlier when I auditioned to be the Slickee's new drummer (I didn't quite make it but it was fun trying out anyways!). I believe this was near the end of 1986 but don't quote me on that. And I said "Sure!". The 3 of us started working on some new songs and along the way John decided to drop out. It wasn't anything nasty, I think he just wanted a project that was a bit more controlled and he had specific musical ideas whereas Kim and I were happy to just sort of let things happen. Kim brought in his buddy Jeff Zang to play bass and we held auditions for singers. The guys that auditioned were all good and they each had their own unique style, but Dan was the one most suited for us. The very talented Iko Butler joined in on guitar for awhile but decided to go her own way and work on other music projects. And finally we brought in Karl Straub, a guy I had met through his brother and seen around at some shows. Kim and I knew that we wanted to make each show fun and unique unto itself. We also knew there would be a theatrical element and go-go dancers of course. Colleen Sanzone was a young girl I had met at the DC Space club who expressed an interest in dancing and she brought in her friend Justine Gulledge. The go-go dancers did much more then just shake their stuff, though. They came up with a lot of the wacky opening skits and costumes and really pitched in setting up the stage. Over 1 year later and we finally were ready for our first gig! It was at DC Space on October 30th, 1988 with The Cynics. It was raw, sloppy, hot, sweaty, crowded and rockin'. And there you have the Cliff Notes version of what went down!
you enjoy this little tribute page I put together. Please feel free to email me
with any comments or suggestions! ROCK-N-ROLL!
your Date Bait remembrances and comments for our upcoming "Date Bait Memories"
guy who kept dodging my stage kicking legs all the years past, made me form a
band with him, that became Date Bait (good ole Brian D. Horrorwitz). It was supposed
to be a more trashy / garagey easy going fun thing-not another heavy duty heavy
touring band...ho ho!... It was like being in one of those dreams where you are
stuck on a railroad track in your car-it wont start, and your feet are in molasses
down in the floor board, and even if you got out you have Ronald McDonald underwear
on and nothing else! Date Bait was kinda like a continual train wreck but had
many really good live shows. Lots of these seemed to have been out of town for
some reason (?) like Halloween at the Nyabingi in Morgantown, West Virginia, or
the Norfolk gigs, or even in NJ at Maxwells! Some shows were definitely the left
side of the stage playing a different song than the right side of the stage! I
think the thing that will stand out down the road will be some of the raw recordings
...much more like I wanted to sound. I'll put our "Dragster of Ghoststrip Hollow"
song against any local recording! (I wonder who wrote it?)
The original lineup photographed in January of 1989 at The Safari Club in Washington, DC. Left to right: Colleen "Bubbles" Sanzone (go-go dancer), Dan "Gutterboy" Bader (lead vocals), Brian D. Horrorwitz (drums), Karl Straub (guitar), Kim Kane (guitar), Justine "Animal" Gulledge (go-go dancer), Jeff Zang (bass guitar).
Same lineup as above.
BAIT'S FIRST EVER LIVE GIG:
KANE EXPLAINS THE DATE BAIT CONCEPT
YEAR'S EVE GIG AT DC SPACE AGAIN
OUTTA' HERE" DEMO MONTAGE
1990 lineup, promotional photo, left to right: Kim Kane (guitar), Dan "Gutterboy" Bader (in coffin, vocals), John "Apenuts" Stone (guitar), Jeff Zang (bass guitar), Brian D. Horrorwitz (drums).
1991 lineup in Hoboken, New Jersey. Left to right: John "Apenuts" Stone (guitar), Brian D. Horrorwitz (drums), Kim Kane (guitar) and Thomas Kane (bass guitar). Not pictured: Dan "Gutterboy" Bader (vocals) and dancers. Photo by Mei Mei Gillespie.
1994 lineup, Halloween at The Black Cat club in Washington, DC. Left to right, back row: Erica Wissolik (go-go dancer), Alex Schneider aka "The Zaikesman" (bass guitar), Mary Spock (go-go dancer), John "Apenuts" Stone (guitar), Bidjje Kavanaugh (in Dracula mask, drums); sitting: Brian D. Horrorwitz (vocals), Laura Pace (go-go dancer); and sitting on the amp is Kim Kane (guitar). Not pictured: Kristin (go-go dancer).
Easy, girls! 1996 lineup in the men's room at Phantasmagoria in Silver Spring, Maryland. Left to right: Kim Kane (guitar), Tim Scott aka "Harry Heel" (drums), Brian D. Horrorwitz (vocals), Vince Vigliotti (guitar), Jonas Tavela (bass guitar).
ON THE MALL IN DC, July 4th, 1996 - PART 1
ON THE MALL IN DC, July 4th, 1996 - PART 2
FEW NOTES ABOUT DATE BAIT'S START AND RECORDINGS
Once upon a time, a dude named Kim Kane spent 15 years playing in a popular garage band called The Slickee Boys. (Popular, that is, in Washington, D.C. and parts of Germany.) In 1987 he approached Brian D. Horrorwitz with the idea of starting a new side band. The 2 things they both agreed on was that the group had to: 1. Be "fun", and 2. Have no socially redeeming value whatsoever. They succeeded. Thumbing through the "Psychotronic" encyclopedia of movies, Horrorwitz jokingly suggested the name "Date Bait" (if you've ever seen ‘em you know why it was a joke), saying it would help them meet more girls. A short time later, when quitting The Slickee Boys, Kane told local papers about his new band Date Bait. Not having ever officially agreed on the name, Horrorwitz and the other band members were stunned to read this announcement in The Washington Post and other local rags! Oh well, looks like they were stuck with it! Their first ever gig was a Halloween party on October 30th, 1988, at a very cool little shithole club called D.C. Space. I mainly remember their early gigs as being a chaotic menagerie of drunk go-go girls, streams of thrown toilet paper, balloons, glitter, "Silly String" and lots of fake blood. Not to mention some of the best damned garage punk I had ever heard! Usually the stage was too crowded resulting in the singer Gutterboy slipping on some fake puke or something and knocking Horrorwitz's flimsy drum kit over. Often the inebriated panty-less dancers would fall down in their mini-skirts treating those in the front to a free little peep-show. Most local clubs wouldn't let the band gig there unless they agreed to clean up after their set was over. Their Halloween shows were unmatched, with on-stage spook shenanigans, bizarre costume contests, and screenings of short horror movies between sets. On average the band and dancers would get paid about $100 a show. No, not each person, that's TOTAL. Early on the boys were reportedly fronted a tidy sum to record an LP / CD for France's New Rose label. For some reason they thought they could get away with spending only a smidgen of the bread on the actual recording, and save the rest for their own use. No one really knew what the hell they were doing, least of all the studio technician! The best cuts on their debut release were the ones hastily mixed whenever the studio guy would leave the mixing room to take a dump or whatever! Well, the low-budget low-fidelity recordings were shipped off posthaste, the guys assuming that the label would "bump-up" the sound in the mastering. Nope, no such luck. "I Split On Your Grave" was issued as was, with the added coffin-nails being that the CD version had 2 wanky "bonus" cuts that never shoulda' been heard by ANYBODY, and that the cheap bastards at the label screwed up Kanes' beautifully ghoulish color cover artwork, printing it instead as a sorta' 2-color urine-looking dayglo thang. Not wanting to become kings of the cut-out bins, the band has since attempted to make sure all their later records sounded raw and rockin', the way the good lord intended. In 1991 a lot of material was recorded for a follow-up LP, but the curse of the first would follow them around like a fowl-smelling body odor, making it difficult for anyone not having seen them live to believe that these losers could really rock-out! Hard to believe, the same debut slab of smegma was reissued on a Japanese label without the group even knowing about it until a Japanese fan mailed them a copy! (They're pretty desperate for things to reissue in Japan it seems.) Tired of shopping around demo tapes and recording at "professional" studios whose engineers were weaned on Toto, Kane and company formed their own Maryland based DeCeased label. Their attitude was "Rock-N-Roll is DEAD, but WE DON'T CARE!" (echoing the sentiments of an old Rubinoos song), and often their 45 labels proudly stated this. "This is Maryland music!" they exclaimed, letting the rest of the world know that just ‘cause they were stuck playing in a sceneless city that couldn't freakin' enjoy themselves if everyday was freakin' Saturday at freakin' Disneyworld, they were still gonna tear it up!! Most recordings were made in makeshift basement studios that allowed them the freedom to experiment a bit. After 4 years, singer Gutterboy decided to chuck it in, so Horrorwitz was the natural replacement, what with him knowing all the lyrics. Little did he realize as he scrawled out the lyrics to "Goin' Nowhere Fast" back in 1990 that this unknowingly prophetic title would ring all-too-true. In their time Date Bait have released 2 CDs (1 is also on LP), 6 singles, 1 VHS videotape, and been on numerous compilations. They've opened for Screamin' Jay Hawkins, The Cramps, The Fleshtones, Wreckless Eric, and have even played twice on The White House lawn! Yes, Date Bait was the band every Washingtonian had heard of but never heard!
"STAY TUNED FOR MORE, KIDS!"