Selections from The Punk Vault [Authorities]

Authorities – Soundtrack for Trouble 7″ (1982 Selecta Records)

I first heard this band on one of the best hardcore compilations of all time, We Got Power: Party or Go Home. Nearly every song on that compilation ruled and it started off with this song. I wouldn’t even know for years after getting that compilation that they had put out a record as it didn’t seem to get very good distribution in the Midwest and its doubtful that they made many of them, especially judging by how often I see it on people’s want lists these days.

The Authorities were from Stockton, CA and during their time together they released only one record, this 7″ EP. They were also on a few compilations. The band broke up shortly after that. They had recorded some additional material that didn’t see the light of day for over a decade when a record collector named Ryan Richardson from Texas would release it on an LP along with the 7″ tracks on one of his two record labels. Of course that record too is now out of print so these recordings are once again not easily available to the masses.

As to where they are now, I have no clue. I never saw much information about them throughout the years of reading fanzines, etc. As always if you have any additional information or were a member of the band, please get in touch.

Click here to hear “I Hate Cops” from the record (right click and “save target as…”)






10 comments

  • These Existencial Vacuum LP was reissued on CD. I can’t remember what label did it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s out of print again though. I remember being in Raw Records in Evanston, IL about 4 or 5 years ago and the Authorities CD was playing. I asked what it was and then immediately combed the racks for it.

  • Hey Mike,
    The Authorities later became the Hot Spit Dancers. I used to see both bands at the Mabuhay Gardens. I traded my Authorities 7″ well over 10 yrs ago like a dumb ass hahah

  • I loved the Hot Spits and the Authorities back in the day. Also the Straw Dogs and if anyone can go back a little farther,…The Young Pioneers. These guys were together for a short stint before The Authorities got together. BTW…for anyone from Stockton,…you remember what was prob the Authorities first show…it was at the Record Factory parking lot in Stockton. Show got broken up after maybe 2 songs. Fun times…

    = matt

  • funny how no even mentioned nick slurb’s name in all of this. i knew dude personally back in those halcyon days of old in the late eightes in sacramento. he’s the author and lead singer along with vince”voodoo” penny in the hot spit dancers. unfortunately, nick been long dead from a speedball overdose in a greyhound station bathroom stall not sure if he died in stockton or sacto-even my memmory fades thru the years, but at least vince is still around. nick slurb does have a son from his widowed, common-law redhead of a wife called june petrie somewhere in san fran. he was a kick ass cool dude whom i shared my birthday bottle of ouzo back in 88′. he stopped me from tearing into a nazi skin that evening so the rest of the drink would’nt go to waste. this really took place and he’s the one that wrote ‘i hate cops’. somewhere, i have a very faded acoustic guitar rendition of him doing ‘i hate cops’ on cassette tape in my audio archives. the recording is really deteriorated in sound quality but may remotely be salvaged in some way digitallly. thanks for this site for me to come across on to contribute to. alan rwe dens from pounded clown

  • I think even an earlier gig by the Authorities was opening for the Rocky Horror Picuture show. The Theater would not let them finish their last song so the band refused to get off the stage and the cops were called. I remember NIck being put into the back of a cop car. Remember “the Fall of Christianity ” All the bands were so interrelated. Scott

    • somebody’s girlfriend talked us into doing that gig, the crowd booed us and we wouldn’t stop playing, the cops came but we got the gear out the back door. somebody held the door shut so the cops couldnt come out while we threw everything in kurts pinto. One of many gigs that ended in disaster.

  • ‘Soundtrack for Trouble’ just got reissued on 7″ by Get Hip, with two additional songs. Curt and Brian toured last summer with three Canadian pals of Brian from Vancouver as the Authorities, opening for Pavement on some shows. They were great, but of course what really made the Authorities rule was “Big Nick Slurb” Kappos, whose guitar style, allegedly learned from playing Ventures albums at 45 r.p.m., along with plenty of Throbbing Gristle influence, was pretty damn original. Nick ODed in, I think, 1989 in the Stockton Greyhound depot bathroom. We used to drink beers stolen from the 7-Eleven down the street from the fourplex where he lived, and I saw the Authorities at the Mab, Centro Social Mexicano aka Lincoln Street, the Jesters Club, Club Minimal and a bunch of other places I was too Kessler’d to remember. They were great, and I remember thinking at the time that their record would get people jizzing if they could hear it. The Hot Spit Dancers came later, after Bruce Ford showed up, and Curt and Brian and Tony Smith had moved away to go to college, fronted by Vince “Voodoo” Penny from, uh, Bag O’Bones or something, which also featured Steve Malkmus and Scott Kannberg. Brian was in the Fall of Christianity, with Gary Young and Tharon Knight, and Brian and yours truly were in a really crappy metal cover band called Death’s Ugly Head (DUH), with Gary on drums and the illustrious Kelly Foley on bass and Sam Harvey on cheesy synths. And then Jeff Clark (later of Shiva Burlesque, with Grant Lee Phillips) and me and Brian took this garage band and christened them the Young Pioneers, ane we wrote them a bunch of communist-inspired songs; I think Malkmus might have played bass in that band. They threw off our commie yoke and became the Straw Dogs. There’s lots more that I can’t remember. Brian pretty much drove the whole recording project. Oh, and I “designed” the cover, using illustritions nicked from a book of Maoist poster art that I shot on the camera in the print shop at Delta College on the sly.

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