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The Oui Oui Twins
Punk wasn't an easy choice back in 1980. I had already laughed it off several times before, after buying the first Ramones album and having a laugh or two over Beat On the Brat With A Baseball Bat and I Don't Wanna Go Down In The Basement.
It might seem foolish now, but at the time, punk didn't seem so much a musical thing as a fashion statement. The idea that music didn't need to be played well was so totally alien to everything music had been throughout the 1970s that it was almost impossible to grasp; and the consequences were completely unforeseen. Nobody knew that punk would spread like crabgrass and cover the land, choking out every last vestige of proficiency in music, leaving us with the souless studio drones and rap musicians to rule the airwaves while thousands of new bands fought for our attention just beneath the horizon of profitability; we all thought that music would continue on as before, with those who played far better than average wanking away on their ever-more difficult and ornate variations of blues, funk and country while the rest of us strived diligently to imitate our betters.
As we all now know, punk did not go anywhere, but just got bigger and bigger. I remember, with visceral clarity, in the dying days of Jambox, sitting on a fire escape behind where West End Wax would once be, reading an article on the Sex Pistols, chuckling at the effrontery of Johnny Rotten claiming that sex was just sixty seconds of sweat and noise, among other nonsense calculated to challenge our seventies preconceptions of right and wrong, and thinking the man was onto something big here.
So when Rommie Martinez and Alissa Feinberg came to invite me to join their new punk band the Oui Oui Twins, I said yes on the spot. They were both beautiful young girls, just barely sixteen, and I liked the idea of a punk band fronted by two underaged young girls just on the face of it. Back in the barbarous days of the late seventies, the whole idea of even pretending that teenaged girls were incapable of agency in choosing whether or not to have sex with anyone of any age was considered so prudish and quaint that we all found it quite laughable.
When I heard the lyrics that the girls had written I was pretty convinced that we could put together a credible punk act. We practiced a few times at the apartment where I was living with George Crider and his roommate Bob, once inviting Brett Rosenberg over for a little light necking and music playing. Alissa and Rommie were already jealous over Brett, who was a big-eyed, big dicked little guy who played a mean lead guitar and was famous for wearing revealing satin pants on stage in his last band, Surgery.
Soon the rest of Surgery, minus whoever played bass and Howard, the lead singer - a legendary performer who was known to grope and sexually assault girls while singing - was lined up to form the new band. Alex Mutrux would play guitar, like me, and Kevin Brueseke would play drums. Kevin was a well-known drummer in the punk scene in Saint Louis. He was, in fact, one of the first St. Louis punk drummers I had ever seen myself, though I didn't realize it at the time. I had seen him playing with the Camaros at a legendary show at some house on Forest Park Boulevard maybe a year or so earlier, along with Bob Reuter and the Dinosaurs and the mighty mighty Retros. That show was the very first St. Louis Punk show I and many other people had ever seen, though I'm not sure if it pre-dated the Cool Jerks in Nik Moon's basement sometime in the late seventies also.
Soon after we started this band, Mort Hill and I were working on opening the very first punk club in St. Louis, the Club OP-P on Delmar, in a worthless old building my dad had bought. In this building, in the same room where many of the top punk bands of this time were to play, we started practicing, and one day we made a down and dirty recording on a cheap Jap boombox I had laying around just for shits and grins. And this is how, after all these many decades, we can hear the faintest echos of the majesty of the Oui Oui Twins.
Of course, the blinding poreless engorged youthfulness of the Twins themselves can never be recaptured. Their tiny brunette bodies, tight and hot, can only be dimly glimpsed even by those who still cherish the memories of those long-gone days. So try to listen with indulgence and compassion to these crude practices, while understanding that the Oui Oui Twins never really got much better technically, they were always nothing less than the rawest wildest yawp of sex-crazed punk abandon ever seen on a St. Louis stage.
Next, the hit single that never was, I'm Electric.
And if you remember them at all, I will share with you my deep regret that no recorded version of their insane rap/dirge My Brain Is On The Floor is probably lost forever.