Here's what I said about the 1990 ILLEGITIMATE SONS OF JACKIE O demo 19 years after its release:
ILLEGITIMATE SONS OF JACKIE O were a fucking bulldozer of freaked out noise every time I saw them. This demo is equal parts tortured hardcore and drug addled psychedelic fuzz, and it is still superb 19 years later. The SONS were from Tulsa, and started clearing rooms in the mid/late 80s...it seemed that a town that was (at the time) best known for NOTA and the Confederate Hammer Skinheads didn't take too kindly to a 6'4" rail thin weirdo spazzing out and screaming the words to "Freaked Out Hippie Queer." The weirdo was Dan Riffe, and his guitar work was from another planet (as were his vocals); just wave after wave of distorted bliss, with wailing awkward leads that would hit you in the face like a spitwad that was equal parts JIMI HENDRIX and East Bay Ray. Their live shows were the closest thing to Land Speed Record that I will ever see, just a total assault on every thing you though you knew about punk...after getting crushed by a dozen 90 second bursts of sweat and frustration, ILLEGITIMATE SONS might deliver "Danse O' The Sun Faerie," a six minute (or longer) three note psych jam that seemed to exist for Dan to channel demons and materialize them in the form of chorus pedals and feedback while Chris and John plodded and pounded away on a dirty groove that could continue indefinitely...and I never wanted it to end. Dan moved to Norman in '92 or so, and joined my mediocre band after we booted our self righteous singer. He was every bit as bizarre as he appeared to be and the union (and the band) didn't last long. He also fronted THE BRUTAL GARDENERS (which I was in as well) and released a brilliant solo tape as VAN GOGH'S EAR, all of which will make it onto Terminal Escape eventually. Through Dan, I discovered everything from WRETCHED and TERVEET KADET to NON...these are very important friends to have in Oklahoma, and I owe him a lot. ILLEGITIMATE SONS OF JACKIE O had a couple of vinyl releases as well, one on Dallas label Scratched Records and another one I've never been able to track down. They look like shit, they are both amazing, but since you probably don't have them, I'll tide you over with this demo.
Today I heard that John died on the fourth of July, and I feel like I need to somehow express how important this band was. How huge it was for 19 year old me to see that weirdo John wailing away all blissed out while delivering a total avalanche of sound that fell bizarrely and inexplicably between psychedelia and hardcore. Beyond the obvious Oklahoma aspect of this band and the dudes in it, THE SONS weren't cool...but they were cool as fuck, and coming from someone well versed in the world of "not cool" this was fucking massive. I described Dan in depth in my post above, but John was the stoic being when they played, long hair obscuring any expression, half swaying and half flailing about. Maybe it's mostly due to when and where I saw the band, but their impact on me was immeasurable - and John's role as an incredibly chill dude dishing out a pulverizing low end without a shred of pretense is one to be emulated. I should not try to pretend that I was friends with John or that we had some crazy history together but, as a punk in my formative years, his presence was terribly important, especially in retrospect. Perhaps sometimes your presence is every bit as important as what you present....
This is the aforementioned 1991 Scratched Records EP. I came home tonight a reached for it immediately - flipping past IMPACT, ICONOCLAST, ICONS OF FILTH and others that were less important. I listened to it, then I listened to it again while recording it onto cassette, then I listened to it again while converting that cassette to mp3 form and scanning the artwork, and then I listened to it again while editing the tracks and preparing the material for download. This music is about being a weirdo, this music is about being outside. John Shannon was 44 years old.