please contact me at RozzRemembered@yahoo.com for rare MIGHTY SPHINCTER dvd and cd information...
I first discovered Mighty Sphincter in 1984, right around the
time that I got into Rozz Williams' Christian Death.
They were this crazy punk band from Phoenix, Arizona,
unlike anything I've ever heard before.
They fused equal parts of punk and metal
into their weird deathrock concoction,
never duplicated to this very day,
and featured some of the most
bizarre lyrics ever written,
obsessed with violence, horror, and
lots of homosexual references,
but still with a great sense of humor (underlying all the sickness).
The first releases I heard, the "Fag Bar" e.p. (1984)
and the "Ghost Walking" e.p. (1985) were
truly outrageous and incredibly
well-played shock rock/death rock/punk
with the outrageous vocals of Ron Reckless.
1986's "The New Manson Family"
was even MORE gothic-sounding,
actually some of the most gothic-sounding
music ever made, this time with vocals by
the completely unique guitarist Doug Clark.
"In the Kingdom of Heaven" eluded me
for about 15 years, until I finally
found the lp in 2002.
This again was "the most GOTHIC thing I've ever heard,"
according to my good friend Craig Murray,
who said that upon first listen.
Until just now in 2007 I thought the
aptly-named original singer Ron Reckless had
died in a car crash; in fact, he is alive and well in Arizona!
Their record label at the time Placebo Records (now defunct)
had promoted them as
"the band whose members never seem to make it past the age of 25,"
so I had no reason to believe all the rumors about Reckless' death were untrue.
Anyone into Rozz should DEFINITELY check out this band.
They are truly one of the most underrecognized
punk/deathrock/gothic bands in music history.
Robb Marks, big fan since 1984
the below Mighty Sphincter biography
is courtesy of www.wikipedia.org
Below that is a list of my rare Mighty Sphincter cd and dvd collection...
The name "Mighty Sphincter" was conceived by Doug Goss and Doug Clark, some two years before the band actually formed. About '79 or '80 when the respective Dougs were close friends. Joe Albanese invited both Dougs to his place for an "experiment". Neither of them knew the other would be present, so shortly after their posturing, Joe Albanese says that he assumed the obligitory role of mediator, host, and instigator. Both Dougs apparently possessed a justifiable ego, so according to Albanese, it wasn't difficult to grapple them each and give each a good stroke. Somewhere in the transition of the band's initial dialogue, Joe suggested the creation of a band to meet up with the Mighty Sphincter name because of the way it made the initial band members feel. The bass player and drummer were part of the Brainz. .. the AMOK compilation and/or The Teds 45 was their first release.
The Brainz 45, was on Wakefield records, not the fledgling Placebo label, although the release was included in the Placebo inventory, it was recorded in 1979. This 45 had 2 songs , "elementary monster" and "terra".
Bill was playing guitar for a pop outfit called the Out Crowd, & before that had played guitar in a couple of bands with the Nervous' former bassist, Vital Signs, Pebble Culture, and International Language. Bill was only part of the later incarnations of Mighty Sphincter, MS was Doug Clark and support, according to most info available.
George & Bill used to run with the same crowd as Doug Clark. George and Doug were in a band called Keening at some point mid 80's and featured a now S.F. resident Jeff who went on to form "Panda" a neo-psychedelic band with an album produced by Kramer of Bongwater, Shockabilly, and other Shimmy Disc bands.
Doug and Dan Clark started the band to open for the Consumers in '77, Doug was 16 at the time.
During this time Doug played guitar for a band called Victory Acres (named for either a local housing area or local cemetery) that also included his brother Dan on bass & vocals and featured Michael Ochoa of Nervous Gender fame. The lead singer was Mary Clark who was married to Dan Clark The rest of the band consisted of Meat Puppets' Chris Kirkwood on keyboards & Derrick Bostrom on drums.
"The Exterminators", was the precursor to Mighty Sphincter, and The Feederz and formed in '76. Joe Albanese was 16 and Doug Clark was 14. This band featured 45 Grave members Rob Graves, and Don Bolles (Germs, 3 Day Stubble, Celebrity Skin. ..etc). The line up was Doug Clark, Joe Albenese, Doug Gauss and Dan Clark (who did vocals, and also sang for Sphincter once when they played as the Pop Sicles). Doug Gauss quit after the first show, Dan remembers him puking on the stage and Johnny P (then going by the moniker "Art Neuveaux") slipping in it. The Consumers drummer at this time was Johnny P. and Jimmy and Johnny lived together so both bands rehearsed at the same house aptly named Satan's Disco, An old house in downtown Phoenix where "drunken Indians" would walk right in and sit right down. Joe Albenese soon left the band and Rob Graves (Jimmy's friend from Detroit) replaced him.
The Consumers moved to LA and soon Don Bolles and Rob also left for the promised land. The Exterminators split and the Feederz were formed by Frank Discussion and Dan. Doug started at guitar but soon quit before ever playing. Doug also soon left for Hollywood and lived with Don Bolles at the famed Canterbury Hotel (with Black Randy, Geza X, Wylie, Pat Bag, and the Drummer for the Wierdos). Doug taught the Gogo's bass player how to play there. Doug returned to Arizona by the end of the summer '78.
This really ends the first phase of Phoenix Punk circa 1978, only two bands, but they caused quite a stir and set the pace for what was to become a great scene in a few years. Doug had a band called The Anniliators with Joe Albenese and Jessie S. (Paris 42) sang, they opened the first Feederz show. Jessie was also in Destruction. Jessie also invited Dan to a party, he said these brothers are going to play some Zappa songs and Dan should check them out. Sure enough sitting in the living room playing Cheapness by Frank Zappa were Chris and Kurt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets. .. Dan moved to Hollywood with Mary and they formed Victory Acres with Paul Cutler and Michael Ochoa (Nervous Gender, Vox Pop). Dan and Mary lived with Wylie and Paul, and rehearsed at the Monitor house. Mary and Dan later moved back to Phoenix after hearing a tape called Elmo and the Electrocutioners, which was actually an early incarnation of the Meat Puppets that Wylie got in the mail. Back in Phoenix, the Brainz had broken up, so Victory Acres was reformed in Arizona with Cris, Derek, Doug, Mary and Dan. This was a great line up, (reportedly with most of the shows being performed with the entire band on acid). A live tape is coming out hopefully, recorded at the Salty Dog on the same same night Dan Clark introed 45 Grave. It took about a year for the Meat Puppets to get going, then Curt wanted his boys back. This is when Doug played in Maybe Mental and Mighty Sphincter was just around the corner.
Doug Clark speaks: (note that I'm paraphrasing this information from notes I took from a phone call, so some details may be a little off - Sam - ) "When Doug Clark got back from living at the Canterbury in Hollywood in 1977 there really was no punk scene in Arizona. The memories of all the bands from the mid-to-late seventies was pretty much unknown. Meanwhile Doug had been living at the heart of the LA scene with Darby Crash and all the other neer-do-weels at the Canturbury (read more about the Canturbury in "We've got the Neutron Bomb" and "Lexicon Devil"). When I came back, I brought Albanese and others into the punk scene and reintroduced others to it as well. The idea to form Mighty Sphincter was solely Doug's idea according to interviews. Around 1980 D was working at a drag bar and the idea of forming a band that used aspects of drag mixed with my fascination with monster movies and characters seemed like a perfectly acceptable reason to start a band. Doug brought some of my friends like Joe and Greg into the fold and they started practicing immediately, just in time to open for the Feederz who Doug had played with before. Doug brought Ron Reckless into the band because we wanted to make fun of all the incredibly annoying hardcore bands that started touring all over the country. It had become so that the emphasis wasn't on presentation or content of the bands or their songs of the time, but just on how fast you could play. So Mighty Sphincter started playing with all these touring hardcore bands in order to make fun of them and to show that we knew how to play. Mighty Sphincter was started to make fun of the entire punk scene in general, if you look at the lyrics of every song on the first two albums, it's just that apparent. "Impetigo" was actually a song that made fun of one of the local girls who had to be "punk rock" and had gotten impetigo from a homemade piercing. Anyways, making fun of the entire punk scene worked. All of the band has always focused on making fun of everything, even themselves. Christians, gays, punk rockers. .. Nothing was sacred when it came to being made fun of and Mighty Sphincter took every opportunity to do so.
Placebo Records had heard Maybe Mental in the years past and had been less than impressed, but when Mighty Sphincter was formed a little later, Tony Victor was extremely impressed and immediately offered to put the album out on the Placebo Label.
According to Joe Albanese, the Brainz preceded the Meat Puppets. This had to be so because when Joe left Phoenix in 1980, he left Dan Clark with a copy of his then current band's recent recording of "The God Wads," a predominantly instrumental band with a smattering of female vocals by "Elaine DiFalco", also on keyboards (she appeared later on as the predominant vocalist in "The Almighty Sphincter" incarnation of the band). Shortly after having arrived in Portland, Joe received a phone call from Chris Kirkwood whose reason for calling was to tell Joe that Dan Clark had played him the GodWads tape, and that he had felt compelled to let Joe know what he thought, which was really personally flattering for Joe. Chris Kirkwood also informed Joe that he had attending either the "Trout-o-rama" or the "X-o-rama", two punk shows featured in around '78 where the Brainz had played and Kurt Kirkwood hadn't been able to persuade his brother Chris to accompany him on bass. The Brainz were one of the prime influences that the Meat Puppets began playing at all according to members of the band. When Chris had seen Joe playing bass, he was "at that moment" inspired to play bass also. Joe was apparently very flattered.
Ron Reckless is alive and well in North Scottsdale with his girlfriend and 80 cats, he spends his time painting pictures. ..
Dillon died of a heart attack in 1991.
There was also 45 Grave connection (most or all of that band came from Phoenix), as Dan Clark appears in a non-musical role of that band's Debasement Tapes CD, announcing them at a Phoenix club called the Salty Dog run by David Wiley, sometimes-keyboardist for International Language, better known as the vocalist for an old California band called Human Hands &, before that, for a seminal Phoenix punk band called the Consumers, whose recent posthumous LP on an Anaheim label includes thank-you's to Dan & Doug Clark & Johnny Precious. The Consumers' guitarist, Paul Cutler, wound up in 45 Grave & handled sound for an International Language show at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go, opening for Wall of Voodoo. Paul Cutler is doing weird drum ambient stuff playing out now and again. His ex-wife and former lead singer Mary Simms, aka Dinah Cancer was also in an L.A. band called Penis Flytrap, but now tours in a revamped version of 45 Grave. David Wiley was the lead singer of the Very first Phoenix punk band "The Consumers" with Greg Jones, Mickey Borens of 45 Grave, Johnny Precious, and Paul Cutler (of 45 Graveand International Metal Supply). David Wiley was also in the L.A. band "Human Hands" who performed in the late 90's at the Garage Club in Los Angeles. There is some question on whether David Wiley was part of MS at any time during this period, but just to include, Wiley died of medical complications related to Aids in 1986. Dave Oliphant only appeared on the "In the Kingdom of heaven" release.
Doug Clark currently resides in Portland, after an extended amount of time traveling and hanging out in places like New Orleans and living in Salem Oregon recording with a local Portland speed metal band.
Robert Judd was in a band with Doug Clark called "Secret Ceremony". Ron Reckless played guitar, Robert Judd played keyboards and Doug sang. They opened for the Circle Jerks at a church in Phoenix where they dressed as pallbearers and carried a coffin up the stage, with Doug inside the coffin.
Members of Mighty Sphincter were for a short time in a band called Skeletones in 1976. Joe Albanese on Bass, Doug Clark on guitar and vocals, Rick Bishop from The Sun City Girls on keyboards, Brian Brannon from JFA also on keyboards and vocals, and Greg Hynes from Sphincter on Drums.
Greg Hynes played drums & sang lead for the Teds, who had a 7", "The '80s are Over", on Placebo circa '82.
After moving to Portland and the God Wads broke up, Joe joined an all lesbian band called Dutchboy Fingers. The singer and guitar player were the only two with talent, so Joe somehow managed fired all the useless members and added himself and two of the players from another Portland band, Village Idiot. They were doing exceptionally well, but out of nowhere they disbanded because Village Idiot wanted to reform. They ended up regretting that move. Joe and his wife then tried to outrun a curse by moving to Seattle, reasoning that "Surely they could find some worthy players there." After the move, Joe nearly died of depression, no will, and heroin addiction before Elaine DiFalco hooked him up with the Circus Contraption, with whom he still works with and is consistently on tour. Joe says that he is more content with his current project that he has ever been with any other.
The photo on the cover of the "This is Phoenix, Not The Circle Jerks" comp is Mighty Sphincter playing in an actual wrestling ring called the Mad Garden (short for Madison Square Garden), which lent its name to a JFA release, presumably on Placebo in 1985. It was hosting punk shows on weekends in the early eighties. There are a few recordings of shows at that venue floating around.
At a reunion show in 1993 at the Mason Jar, Mighty Sphincter reenacted a scene from a Marquis de Sade play that Greg had been acting in. Judd played "torture sounds," while Doug and Greg threw a naked old man (the actor who played the Marquis de Sade in the acting troupe) into a bathtub and murdered him.
Not long after the Kingdom of Heaven EP there was a new lineup called Almighty Sphincter. They recorded a few songs that were released on a very limited basis.
The song "Hitler Painted Roses" comes from a short story of that name by Harlan Ellison.
Robert Judd was the keyboard player on the "House of no Return" 7 inch recording, although the keyboard and effects were very minimal. Robert Judd also did a stint as one of the lip-syncers for Southpark.
A sort of cover of MS "when the clocks have run down" off the "Kingdom" LP was briefly available by the experimental industrial band psywarfare, the music is incredibly hard to find currently.
Doug and Greg are the only ones on all recordings except for the first recording with drumer Doug Goss (which has never been released). The recordings with Butler and Gully have also never been released.
Supposedly, Rob Zombie of White Zombie is a big Mighty Sphincter fan, and apparently Mighty Sphincter was one of the major influences of the early Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids.
There was a fanzine out of San Francisco that apparently had a two page "tribute" to Ron Rexless in it, they said he had died in a car accident in 1985. Fortunately Ron is alive and well and has a career as a painting artist in Arizona.
Mighty Sphincter Discography
Placebo Records #PLA-901
Released in 1984
||Ghost Walking Double EP LP|
Placebo Records #PLA 13
Released in 1985
||The New Manson Family LP|
Placebo Records #PLA 18
Released in 1986
||In the Kingdom of Heaven 12" EP|
Placebo Records #PLA 23
Released in 1987
||House of No Return 7"|
Ghoul Agency Inc #U-39637
Released in 1993
||The Holy Unholy CD|
Self Released - numbered edition of 150
Released in 2000
||Ghost Walking/New Manson Family CD|
||This is Phoenix Not the Circle Jerks Compilation LP|
Songs: Constrictions, Temple Dogs, Beast of Belsen
||More Coffee for the Politicians Compilation LP|
Song: Furious Curse
These brilliant minds combined together create an absolute terror, certain to inflict permanent impressions, whether they be damaging or inspiring. A confrontation with the mighty Sphincter for any length of time shall certainly result in insanity.
Mister Wonderful AKA Gregory Hynes (drums Tympani) whose abilities far surpass those of mortal men, A God.
Joseph Vito Albanese (Bass guitar, Cello, legs, bondage) (Currently working for Circus Contraption, check out: http://www.circuscontraption.com/ ) Often compared to a Jocko P., Stanley C., Wetton, a god. Original bassist replaced later by Wayne Frost.
Doug Clark/Count Dominique (Guitars, Vocals, synth, Acrobatics, Delusions) Who makes Jimi Hendrix look dead, comparable to no man, living or dead, a god. Numberous people refer to Doug as the quintessential "Sphincter" (in some cases for more reasons than the band's brilliance). (whereabouts currently Unknown)
Ronnie Rexless?or (vocals) Commonly referred to as Mr. Show Business, a lyric genius, a god. Now doing a radio show now on KFNX radio. Has his own home studio, and plans on putting out old Mighty Sphincter material at a future date. He has been working on a book about the history of the Phoenix punk scene which has involved interviewing everyone from Killer Pussy to the guys from JFA... His ongoing project is called Venus Trull, and the first CD is called Ur-ine-Analyisis.
Terry Kloth (Drum Kit) Who also was the drummer for JFA, a god. (currently living in North Carolina)
Anthony Cabara (guitar) who was also Rabid Rabbit and a band named Project Terror.
John Gillian (drums) (whereabouts currently unknown)
Bill (the thrill) butler (drums) (whereabouts currently Unknown)
Sean Gully (bass) (whereabouts currently Unknown)
Bob Judd (keyboards) (currently residing in Phoenix)
Bam Bam (of Jodie Fosters Army) (Drums) Currently working with Phoenix's Vox Poppers!
Bill (Bored) Yanok (vocals) (whereabouts currently Unknown)
Doug Gauss (drums) found dead in the Arizona desert in the mid/late 80's. (whereabouts known)
Debra Qualtire (backing vocals)
"I think there were at least one or two line ups after this. .. "- Dave O.
The below interview is from the fine record label www.spontaneous.com/
This interview was conducted with Greg Hynes via email awhile back. Like a moron, I didn't save a copy of the questions I emailed him, so I recreated them the best I could. Greg was half owner of Placebo Records, and one of the founding members of Mighty Sphincter. Before Mighty Sphincter, he was in a band called The Teds, who released just one 7" on Placebo that is quite obscure.
The Kingdom of Heaven EP was such a different direction for the band, it was much more goth sounding than anything you had done previously. Why the long delay between Kingdom of Heaven and The Holy Unholy?
Kingdom was just a natural progression. All the records took big turns from the 7 inch to Ghost Walking. On Ghost Walking, each side is very different. Placebo not being around stopped our vehicle for releases, however we still wrote and recorded. It just never got out.
When Did House of No Return come out? I never heard of it until I bought a copy on ebay.
House of No Return was recorded about 1993. It was put out by Doug and a friend of his named Carl. I think they pressed a 1000 and there are very few left. They all sold in New Orleans and Phoenix mostly word of mouth.
Why did you guys make up that story about Ron Reckless (first singer) dying, he is not dead!
We kicked ron out due to his heroin problem. Ron is a great guy he is just held back by his problem.
What happened to Bill? Did I hear that Wayne Frost died?
Bill is still around in Phoenix. He has recorded with Dave Oliphant's, Life Garden. We are still friends. Wayne is on this recording. maybe you mean Joe Albanese. I saw Joe recently and he is in Portland playing in some wierd circus. It sounded very twisted but cool.
Why did you give up the drums and only sing on the new album?
I just wanted to do more singing. The way i play drums doesn't lend itself to singing very well. We have been playing out, mostly in phx. We did play in New Orleans recently on halloween 99 at the Westgate 20 year aneversery. Fuck my spelling. You should check out the westgate website.
Is it true the state of AZ pays Doug to stay home because he was deemed insane?
It's true about Doug, he is very unable to have a job. The best thing for Doug is to keep a guitar in his hands. A reviewer once said Doug writes music for the criminally insane. I like that, he is a one of a kind and I love him.
Any plans to do a reissue of all the Sphincter material? It is a crime that the music is unavailable. What do you guys (Tony and Greg) do now?
Placebo may do reissues some day but not in the near future. Tony Victor is a very succesful ticket broker. I am a railroad conductor. I also do theatre.
What does the future hold for Mighty Sphincter? Did you really only make 150 of Holy Unholy?
We are preparing to record more songs right now. We did only make 150 of Holy Unholy. We might take the best songs off that and mix them with the best songs off the new recordings and do a national release.
Who writes all the music and lyrics?
Doug writes all the music. I do some lyrics, Leilah Wendall does some and Doug does the rest. We all work on arrangments.
Was the reason that Placebo stopped was when all the big distributors went under?
We lost money when Jem went under however it wasnt devastating. There weren't any new inspiring bands ,JFA couldnt tour because Don had a job at Hughs Aircraft. Mighty Sphincter couldnt tour because half the band was insane.
MY MIGHTY SPHINCTER DVD COLLECTION:
1) Live at Knights of Pythias 1984 with Ron Reckless
2) Studio Productions DVD
Hitler Painted Roses
Hollywood Goes to Hell
Kingdom of Heaven
I Donít Live Today
3) Live Halloween 1986 with Bil on vocals
during the In the Kingdom of Heaven tour
4) PLACEBO Underground Music HALLUCINATION 1
JFA, Sun City Girls, Zany Guys, Mighty Sphincter, Our Neighbors Suck,
Killer Pussy, Harvest and Keening plus interviews.
5) PLACEBO Underground Music HALLUCINATION 2
Butthole Surfers, D.O.A., J.F.A., T.S.O.L., Tales Of Terror, Faction, 45 Grave,
Agent Orange, Raw Power and Corrosion Of Conformity
Mighty Sphincter Audio cd collection:
02. Temple Dogs
03. Beast Of Belsen
05. Heat House
06. Fag Bar
07. Electric Hose Bag
08. Drop Dead
10. Just Like Your Mom
11. Shopping Mall
13. Drop Dead
14. Bag Lady
15. Whipped & Chained
16. Give Us Your Money
17. I Don't Like You Anymore
18. Chingo DeMadre
19. Electric Hose Bag
20. You're So Stupid
21. Immigrant Song
22. Rubber Glove
23. Gang Bang
GHOST WALKING /
NEW MANSON FAMILY/
FAG BAR E.P.
mixed direct from the vinyl
3) IN THE KINGDOM
(from digital master cd)
4) HOLY UNHOLY/
R.I.P NEW ORLEANS/
STALKING THE NIGHT
1. Holy Unholy
2. Blood Banquet
3. Night Fall In The Vieux Carre
4. Dark Awakening
5. Wings Of Satan
6. Metairie Cemetery (Au Clair De La Lune)
9. Vein Libations
10. Dreams To Keep
11. Amazing Grace
13. Valley Of The Shadow
14. Don't Fear The Reaper
15. Hear Me
16. Shooting Star
17. An Angel Sleeps
18. Marie Laveau
5) KISS THE DEVIL'S ASS
6) GHASTLY HITS
Best of Doug Clark vocal 1985-86 material
7) KINGDOM OF HEAVEN,
HOUSE OF NO RETURN,
THE ALMIGHTY SPHINCTER DEMOS
01. Hollywood Goes To Hell
02. When The Clocks Have Run Down
03. I Don't Live Today
"House Of No Return" EP
05. Killing Face
06. House Of No Return
07. Amazing Grace (Live)
"The Almighty Sphincter" Demos
09. Social Decay
10. Glass Box
"Kingdom of Heaven" Side 2
12. Hitler Painted Roses
13. Kingdom Of Heaven
14. Secret Ceremony