Way Back in the Day...

Way back in the day (circa 1978) my neighborhood pals and I went to see the Ramones play at the Paramount theatre in Portland.  It was a sold out show (admission was 92 cents, sponsored by some lame radio station, that wouldn’t give a band like the Ramones airplay with a gun to their head.) By the time the Ramones were half way through their set I’d bet there wasn’t 300 people left, so we went right up front.  That show changed our lives.  I believe it was Slash that once said the Ramones were the “Johnny Appleseeds of punk rock, everywhere they played a bunch of bands would sprout up”.

We decided that night that we would start a band.  We named our band Hari Kari, and soon we hooked up with a neighborhood kid named Spencer Heine, Spencer actually knew how to play guitar!  If it wasn’t for him, I think we would still be trying to play a song.  The one memorable thing Hari Kari did was in 1979 we hosted the famed “Linton Riot” show at the Linton Community Center outside of Portland.  It was ran by the wife of Jack Scott, a friend of NBA star Bill Walton, she was rumored to have been involved with the SLA.  The gig featured the Wipers, Neo Boys, Fix, Ziplocs, Hari Kari and a dirt-bag Thin Lizzy cover band from Linton.  The cover bands “fans” drank too much and hated all of our bands.  A riot soon erupted.  The hall was totally thrashed.  The next day we collected all the empty bottles laying around and returned them to cover the cost of all the broken windows.

Soon after that show I began to play with the Ziplocs full time.  We played mostly all age shows around Portland.  Eventually Jeff and Jim left town to go to college.  So I needed to find a new band.  On Goundhogs Day (1980) there was a show at the Odd Fellows hall downtown and one of the bands on the bill was Sado-Nation.  Their drummer never showed up and I heard through the grapevine that Dave had had enough of him.  So I thought this might be a good time to see what I could do about getting in Sado.  Finally I got the nerve up to go talk to Dave and he turned out to be one of the coolest people.  We practiced the next Wednesday and played a show the following weekend at the Earth Tavern.  Sado-Nation at that time was John Shirley, Dave Corboy, Dave Propp and myself.  Soon after that gig we recorded a demo tape in the Neo Boys practice space at the Union Station.  Greg Sage produced the recordings.  Soon after that John said he was moving to New York to concentrate on his book writing.  I believe Dave was already thinking about a change because within a week or so Leeza came to rehearsal and everything about Sado-Nation changed.  Leeza left for New York not too long after we released our first EP and Mish joined soon after.  By 1981, Sado-Nation had become more serious than ever before.  The next few years were spent gigging, recording, touring, practicing, practicing and practicing.

Fast forward to late ‘84: Sado decided to relocate to Los Angeles, because that was where we were spending more and more of our time.  Mish moved to LA first and started working at Mystic Records.  Dave and Steve had a side band, the Jackals, and they started gigging heavily.  I in turn started playing with the Wipers.  A year or so later, Otis the former singer of Hari Kari, had since relocated to Seattle and played in a band called Eve’s White Horsemen, who were looking for a drummer and wanted to relocate to LA as soon as possible.  So in October 1986 I went south.  Not long after arriving in LA, the Horsemen fell apart.  Searching for another gig, I answered a “drummer wanted” ad in the “Recycler.” The ad was placed by former Germ Pat Smear, who was putting together a solo band, Ruthensmear.  I played with Pat for a year or two.  A few years after the band broke up, Pat joined some band called Nirvana and then on to the Foo Fighters.


After Ruthensmear, I played in ton-o-bands -- Sludge, I Love You, Sylvia Juncosa Band, Rubber Legs, Tusk, and many more that I can’t even remember.

In 1993 I started a record mail-order company called Deep Sound, In 1997, the mail-order business spawned a record store in LA called Destroy All Music.  The store spawned a label called Destroy All Records in 1998.  In 2000 I sold the empire and now make my living as a graphic designer.

I have been married 10 years to Jennifer Schwartz (Lovedolls starlet).  We live in Los Angeles and have a wonderful son named Vaughn Jackson.  Vaughn seems to have a hankering for the drums himself.

Over all these years I still feel a special kinship with Sado-Nation, it was as much a family was it was a band.  It is something that I have always been proud of, as well as thankful to have the opportunity to be involved with it.

Chuck Arjavac
Punk Music Books

Copyright © 2000-2001 Sado-Nation
All rights reserved.
Portland, Oregon, 97080, USA

Way Back in the Day...

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This page most recently updated on September 21, 2002.