I already told you here on PCP the story of the genius and unstable Anton Newcombe’s first demo tapebrain and everything else from the (today) combo based in Berlin Brian Jonestown Massacrerecorded when the man moved to San Francisco, in 1990, and at the end of that text I reported that the first BJM album would only see the light of day in 1995. Half the truth.
Because after five years of recording that demo, what came into the world was the band’s official debut. But those who minimally follow Newcombe’s trajectory know that it would be impossible to keep the subject quiet for so long, so let’s go back to the sequence of events, more specifically to the end of that 1990’s in San Fran.
By the time he left Newport Beach, Anton was already crazy about music. In his hometown he set up a band called Homeland, still in the 80s, but the parade didn’t move, so when he arrived in the city of infinite slopes the guy desperately wanted to find other crazy people who would accompany his crazy things in a new group. But he didn’t roll. Nobody followed his musical travels or accepted him as a musician, so the ‘mister fuck you’ decided to set up a 4-channel studio in his room; he would buy old amplifiers, make rolls on other equipment, and in the meantime he dedicated himself to learning to play, compose, record and distribute these recordings to his friends. In this tune came that demo tape mentioned in the first paragraph…
Well, when he had already learned – in his own words – the seven chords that he continues to use to this day, Newcombe recorded 20 songs on another tape, but this time, ‘the’ tape. And so was born Pol pot’s pleasure penthouse, the first quasi-official record of the Brian Jonestown Massacre or “a document of my learning process”, again quoting Anton himself.
If for him this is just one of the infinite demos recorded between 1990/91 that he doesn’t remember, for some it’s the real starting point of BJM, the beginning of the whole fucking thing, the uterus that would generate Methodrone, Thanks god for mental illness and everything that came after. So much so that in 2012 the late Burger Records re-released Pol pot’s pleasure penthouse (on cassette, check it out) in a limited edition of 500 copies, and in 2017 Mr. Newcombe – the same one who once despised this firstborn – put him on the market for his label in a double vinyl version, which is available for the trifle (laughs) of 100 euros, little more than the 90 charged for the k7 tape (more laughter).
If you, like me, suffer from a lack of resources, listen to the album below (no, it’s not on spotifail) and dive into the psychedelic-distorted universe created by Anton Newcombe’s mind while he was still learning to turn it into music . Good trip!