The Punk Vault

Selections from The Punk Vault [Mystic Sampler #1]

Various Artists – Mystic Sampler #1 (1984 Mystic Records)

Doug Moody once told me a story about how he invented the compilation. According to him, way back in the 50s or 60s, he owned a record label called Herald, and he was friendly with a particular DJ who had the unfortunate problem of having to go to the bathroom quite often. The guy wished he had a way to not have to sit there playing single after single and always changing records every 3 minutes. Doug decided to press up an album of all of his hit records at the time that were getting airplay, this way the guy could put on the LP, then go drop a deuce and not have to worry about getting back in 3 minutes. This album was titled Herald the Beat and according to Doug, was the first compilation.

Now whether or not he did in fact invent the compilation could be open to debate. What is not open for debate is that his Mystic Records label put out a lot of really good compilations back in the heyday of hardcore. One of his ideas back then was to make a sampler of records on his label in an effort to promote the label as a whole, thus the Mystic Sampler series was born.

I bought this particular record I think solely for the reason The Minutemen and Suicidal Tendencies were on it. Suicidal’s particular track was the first thing they recorded before they ended up doing their now classic LP. Their song, “I Saw Your Mommy” is a different version than what ended up on that album, and to this day is exclusive to this compilation. Allegedly they were supposed to record a full album for Mystic but then blew it off.

The compilation ended up exposing me to a lot of great bands, many of which had other records on the label, and thus Doug’s plan succeeded, I bought those records and so did many others. Vox Pop was one band I had never heard of until getting this compilation, same with Ill Repute, The Mentors, and a band called Noise God, whose track is featured here. To the best of my knowledge, Noise God never released anything else, and I don’t know anything else about them. I would love to find out if they at least had any demos or perhaps a record I never was aware of. If anyone has any information on this band, please get in touch.

Two more Mystic Samplers would follow this one, one of them was great, the other one was just alright. They do rank rather high on my list of compilations however.

The first 1000 of these were pressed on red vinyl. There was then a second pressing on black vinyl.

Click here to hear “She Had No Shadow” by Noise God from the record (right click and “save target as…”)


  • Exclusive Suicidal track, and you post a non-crucial mp3!? Please rethink and post the Suicidal mp3 oh pretty please!

  • WOW! Noise God rules. Never heard that before. I’m very intrigued about Doug Moody owning Herald records. Is this the same Herald that issued a very early Lightning Hopkins LP called “Lightning and The Blues”? I sold a copy of that Lightning LP about 6 years ago for $500 +or-. It’s a VERY sought after blues record. Does anyone else find it strange that Doug Moody went into punk/hardcore from issueing blues records? I do…

  • Doug owned a couple other labels pre-Mystic too. Clock Records was another one. He didn’t seek out punk rock, it was Roger Rogerson of the Circle Jerks who came to him wanting to put together a punk compiation and was looking for financing, that exposed Doug to all this punk music and he seemed to like what they were doing and accordin to him, “wanted to give them a voice”. That’s how “You can’t argue with Sucksess” came about.

  • I THINK Noize God is the guy behind RadioActive Records (Injections, X-Terminators, Jimmy True, Executives) from San Diego. I could be wrong.

  • I punched up Mystic Records and up came your site I was actually thrilled to read the comments. Punk is not far from the music I recorded in the 50s….Herald and Ember were root labels I did gospel too..if you can find for me Mahlia Jackson singing No Matter How You Pray..provided I can afford it? I would love to have was on a 78.
    I thank you for your write up…I did invent the compillation and was laughed at…No one put a lot of hit songs on one LP in those days…The yellow label is rare 500 DJ copies…the Black label came later..for store sales…I think…regards to all collectors Doug

  • There were several comments on this site regarding Mystic Records, Doug Moody and his previous involvement in the record industry which I can clarify. I worked for Mystic Records from 1978-81 and stayed friends with Doug for many years after that. Herald/Ember records was an important label in the 50’s doo-wop field and Doug did not actually own the label but was head of A&R during the label’s most productive years. Doug’s father, Walter Moody, also worked for the label and he had been an important figure in the British music industry in the 1930’s-40’s.
    In the 1960’s, Doug went to work for Mercury Records and they sent him to Hollywood in 1967 along with Quincy Jones and Mike Curb to set up a west coast office for Mercury which was at the 6277 Selma Ave. location. Mystic Sound Studios was established at that location by Doug, Mike Curb and engineer Chris Huston. The studio had previously been the home of Mustang/Del Fi records and the Bobby Fuller Four records were made there. Mystic had the distinction of having recorded some of the Led Zeppelin II LP and several other Atlantic Records releases via Chris Huston’s connections with Atlantic in New York where he had engineered many hits. He later went on to engineer all records by War on United Artists.
    Mystic Records was struggling to find an identity and we were at the time searching for a specialty market to break into. We tried Gospel, Spanish and Country music before finding a niche in hardcore Punk. Doug was at the time 50 years old and I was 23 but none of us at Mystic really were a part of the punk world of the early 80’s so we had to hang out and learn about it. It was a fun time and I hope there will be a renewed interest in the records.

    Steve Fuji

  • BOOM! Two of the men who were part of it! Where else can you get that! Thanks for the insight.
    Peace, Don

  • Hello Mvx, Doug moody and Steve fuji also forgot to mention that none of the punk bands who recorded for mystic records have ever received one dime!!! Doug Moody is a rip-off!!! He is still making money from all those punk band members sweat and blood!!! he should be shut down A.S.A.P.

  • Well, I’m not in one of the bands who worked with him so that is up to them to confirm/deny that they got ripped off. However if the agreement they made/signed was that they are furnished copies of records in lieu of any payment, then they weren’t supposed to receive money as the copies they recieve and in turn sold, would give them money. I know in the case of Ill Repute that was the agreement according to what John from the band wrote in their feature on this site. Perhaps Doug and/or some of the bands will chime in with additional info.

  • DEPROGRAMMER – 80-81

    My Ex Husband was in Deprogrammer, which recorded with Mystic in the early eighties. Owning a small label myself, and as a member of ascap, I believe that Mystic paid for all of the Studio time, Records, Artwork, Graphics, Manufacturing, and Promotion, as Payment, it was up to BMI for the rest. The last time I talked to the Guitar Player he still recieves a small bmi check.

    I was actually doing a search for the licensing rights to the Deprogrammer album. It is in demand and I am thinking about doing a Digital Remaster on CD from the Album itself. I could not find anything in Harry Fox, BMI or ASCAP so Doug if you are still there, perhaps you could help me with this.

    This site brought back a lot of Memories.

    Em Hotep
    Michelle Le Fevre

  • Hello…I am 76 this year..trying to complete what I started in the late 70s…recording unknown bands…making a platform…for young voices…first on vinyl…out of action for almost 3 years…car accident…now CDs….we have 12 out now….20 by next year….all bands signed agreements for records and they got them…no LP or SuperSeven on Mystic sold even 3,000 copies…barely paying for recording, pressing and promotion…not my intention to record name groups…I had 41 Gold/Plat. hits…I wanted a platform of young voices….their way of life and how they want their world….I have receipts for $l8,000 dollars worth of records given out in one year…no group was under contract to Mystic…only signed for what they recorded…this was not a slave label…I did not pursue any group which did not fulfill their agreement…..they volunteered to record and came each week…even sleeping on the floor to await their turn….some even helped out with studio chores….over 500 groups were recorded and as money comes in…..from my royalties…I finance
    Mystic….to this day CDs do not sell more than l,000 to l,500 a year,,,Ill Repute took two years to sell l,200 CDs…they received 300 copies against 3,000 sales…10% royalty…hope thia answers some questions…about the skull it is mine…really from a scan..Philco did the original
    art..then KRK cleaned it up…then I put it over th yin/yang…the original Mystic label….One day I will have a web site and I will answer any thing I can ….before I get too old///thanks for supporting the groups and Mystic Doug

  • Hi Doug,

    I recently discovered a recording artist that goes by the name Sean Damon. Your name was mentioned in a LA Times interview with Sean Damon.

    This guy rocks!!!! Do you really know him? What information could you share about him?



  • Greetings Doug Moody ,my friends and I recorded the Manifest Destiny EP and LP seven inch with you.We had a lot of fun back then and played many gigs .I still wish I had bought a new battery for the distortion pedal when we recorded….oh well.I do still have great quality M.D music recorded, never released.If interest,please contact,thanks,Max

  • Hi,
    I was known as Mystic Mark. I was Mystic Record’s Promotion Director from 1983-1987. I was around when many of the band’s were recording. I saw their contracts. I listened to the conversations Doug had with bands regarding contracts. Doug told the bands that he would pay them in product. Doug would give them 10% of the pressing in finished product. He would tell them that they could get $8-$10 each if they sold them in concert and between $1-$3 if they sold them to a record store. He also told them to join BMI so they could get songwriter royalties on the songs he published. he even gave them the forms and showed them how to fill them out.

    Many of the bands didn’t play anywhere that wasn’t more than 5 miles from their backyard. Many sold their 100 royalty records to record stores and fucked up Doug’s ability to sell them because they glutted his distributuon chain, which was primarily in California.

    He rarely pressed more than 1,000 sale copies of a record and often took 1-2 years to sell those thousand. Some bands like the AG’s only sold about 6 copies. He even tried to give the AG’s records away in Europe but people there wanted him to pay them to take the record. Don’t even get me started on the countless record distributors that took Mystic product, sold it and never paid for it.

    If you ask me, those who complain about Doug think that he is with- holding whellbarrows of cash from records that didn’t sell. It is interesting to note that all record company contracts are have a royalty schedule based on all records sold and paid for. Between the recording, manufacuring, advertisement, promotion (including telephone and mailing) costs and the lack of payment by stores and distributors and the Bootlegging) it would be amazing if Doug made any money at all on Mystic Records.

    People look at some Mystic records selling on EBay for over $100 and think that Doug is making that money. Doug only made the $3.00 per record he got from a store or a distributor in the 1980’s, the few times he actually got paid for records. It was the people who bought the records and kept them that make that high bankroll because so few were actaully pressed.

    I was there when Doug came up with the idea of Nardcore and of Super Sevens. I helped him craft the promotion for many of the records he released. He put out 100 different records between 1983 and 1986.

    In those days as now, Mystic operated on a shoestring budget. Doug lived out of a room in the studio, I worked for a women’s center and volunteered at Mystic (I never got paid a cent for working there but I worked there because I believed in the scene and in Doug).

    I expanded Mystic’s promotion network from 40 radio stations and 25 U.S. fanzines to 200 radio stations, 350 U.S. and 150 foreign fanzines. We didn’t send every zine and station every record but got a lot of small ads in exchange for merchandise. I worked with him on starting, writing and editing the Mystic News. We sent the Mystic News out to fanzines and radio stations and many put info from it in their zines. I even coordinated promotion for the few bands that toured. I promoted NO FX’s first national tour setting up college radio and fanzine interviews in different tour locations.

    In summation, the Mystic Records I was involved with was pretty much a co-op enterprise. Money was spent on recording, manufacturing and advertising product but any monies coming in were chewed up by recording, manufacturing and advertising of more product. I worked long hours on a voluntary basis (and I know others did as well but not to the extent I did). Doug has basically lived an impovershed lifestyle. He doesn’t own a mansion or drive a fancy car. His primary income is social security, He didn’t get rich off of Mystic. Nobody did.

    Doug sacrified his ability to make a killer living in the corporate world to nurture a scene and a genre of music that nobody cared about but the kids. What does he have to show for it? The publishing rights to a bunch of songs that will mostly never get airplay. The ownership of master recordings which, for the most part are worthless, because the majority of the bands never left their backyard.

    Instead of spreading slander and libel based on delusions of greatness, people should thank Doug for spending his time money and life nuturing a scene and a genre that others with more capital and backing were able to get rich off of.

    This, of course is just my opinon, but I was there and I was a part of it. That’s my view from the inside.

    Mystic Mark

  • All I know is that, as for me Doug Moody did more for PUNK than anyone else. I personally have over 50 Mystic LP’s and a few 7″ EP’s I found this site looking for information about a Mystic Record “Satch” I just bought tonight on ebay. I bought my first Mystic LP in 1983 I am now 53 yrs old and I am still buying Mystic Records in 2006 I think that says it all. I am looking for Sounds of Hollywood #4 (Cops II) and Sounds of Hollywood #6 (Hollywood Noise) if they exist? I would also like to find Tales of Slimey Valley on (Ghetto Way Records) I ain’t no millionaire, but I would like to find reasonably priced copies. It would be great to know Doug Moody read anything I wrote. haha If you do read this Mr. Moody… THANK YOU !!! -William (from Carolina Beach NC) ps. if you know where I can get any of these records please contact me at:

  • William.

    “It Came From Slimey Valley” has been reissued on the Scared Straight/Slimey Valley CD on Mystic. Cop2 and Hollywood Noise were never released, neither was “return to slimey valley”.

  • I can be contacted good to hear from you.. I am interested.
    History..40s Classical after WW2 I collected a huge catalog for Eli Oberstein Royale/Varsity/Allegro..I also worked for Silvertone(Sears) Records..Based in UK I scoured Europe. 50s came to USA did R&B Clock/Vim..Herald/Ember..60s with Mercury/Smash Records..70s in Hollywood Mystic Sound Studios started Mystic Records…No one was under contract to Mystic just signed for what they recorded..Mystic was designed as a platform for unknowns
    telling the world how they wanted to live and how they wanted their world…(before becoming victims to Corporatism)..see my commments in the CD IT AIN’T MY WAR…As for groups and money…I bailed Agression and Battalion of Saints out of jail in Arizona…cost $4,000
    not royalties…a gift….Mystic cost me $80,000 a year for six and a half years (in the 80s) to build…. the groups got 10% of manufactured goods …I am approaching 80 and I hope to complete the task of releasing all the material…still have 200 reels of unreleased tape..
    Re the AGs ..I sent a copy of their paste up and photos for the second 7inch.. with their letter request to release it on this column.
    How they can say they never gave permission to Mystic to release their records …amazes me…I have signed agreements by groups to cover every release on Mystic.
    I have spent my life recording & producing music..I have 60 chart records and 41 gold and plat..Mystic
    was not a hit record venture…only unknowns with something to say…I am proud I made a platform for young voices…it is my Metier.

  • Doug Moody,
    I recently met you at the Edward Culver exhibition that my gallery, Grand Central Art Center, put together for July and August of 2006. I want to say that you are a one of a kind individual. Those that seek out your talent are truely blessed to work with such an ardent fan and promoter of “real” art. Thanks for the records with Ed’s photos, I look forward to crossing paths with you again soon.
    Cheers to you!

  • Hi, i collect the mystic records for years now but i can’t find the sound of usa cities compilations of texas and san diego, also the return to slimey valley compilation and covers 2. Can anybody tell me if they are exist?
    Thankx for your help,

  • You can’t find them Chris because they were never made. They were advertised years ago but for various reasons, they never came out.

  • Thank you very much for your help.
    Do you know a website or something where i can find a discograpy of the records that were released?
    Best Wishes from Germany

  • To Doug Moody:
    Doug, I gotta know. Did you have Solar Records (not the current Solar Records) back in the early 1970s? A Yellow label? And did you have a country music release on that label by a Bakersfield singer, initials M.D.?

  • This is very interesting indeed. I played for B.O.S. in the 90’s for the “comeback” crap, and I’d hear George responding to people’s questions of why we didn’t play Sweaty Little Girls live. He’d tell them that the Mystic stuff was all bootlegs and he didn’t want to promote a song that wasn’t an official release. His take on things was that Doug Moody would invite bands to record at his studio, then release the stuff behind their backs. Somehow, I find Mr. Moody’s side of the story to have more of a ring of truth to it. I was not there, so I can not say for sure…but I HAVE heard George talk a lot of shit about things that happened that I was around for, so I know that guy has a way of bending the truth a little. Anyways, I’ll bet most of the bands were grateful to get their music recorded and released at no cost to themselves.

    I guess RKL must’ve been bitter too because they re-relaesed the Keep Laughing LP as Revenge Is A Beautiful Feeling. The cover has a drawing of a monster twisting an old man’s head off…I assume it’s supposed to be Doug Moody.

  • Doug, where can i find the Party Animal compliation?? My friends took the name Penis Brigade from that album and we still use it.. i’m 40 now, and getting back into my old music.. i’m sure if you reprinted those old albums, or put them on CD, alot of people would buy them, i know i would!

  • Hello Doug. You were very kind to my brother and I around 1972. We came in with a country/rock demo. You gave us a listen and lots of good feedback. I just thought about you.. looked you up and thought I’d say hi!



  • Al Silver ran the Herald/Ember labels in New York City, however, the Ember-distributed Clock imprint was owned by Doug Moody’s dad (Wally) Clock will be best-remembered for the 1959 number 1 “The Happy Organ” by Dave “Baby” Cortez (RN Clowney). When I visited my old Del Fi haunt in the 80’s (6277 Selma)there were actually some blue-label Clock records in the display case (downstairs)and then I went up the stirs and met a few people.The office area was a far cry from those long-ago days when Bob Keane kept throwing me out of Del Fi.

    The Hollywood Phantom

  • I’ve been reading all the above with interest & – for what it’s worth – wanted to throw in my experiences of dealing with Doug Moody / Mystic as an overseas record buyer back in the day (’84/’85/’86 & thereabouts).

    After a break from punk rock, I got seriously interested again in the early 90’s, and was surprised to find that – whenever Mystic was mentioned – it was almost always negatively, as a “rip-off” label. I remember the Maximum RocknRoll interview with Doug from the day (which I still have) in which he spoke along the lines of how the spate of young underground California hardcore bands reminded him of the earlier black blues musicians – a genuine, uncontrived, spontaneous movement – which, having chanced upon it, he was excited by & enthusiastic in forwarding. It was an impressive interview – here was an older participant in punk rock – who seemed to be approaching it for the “right” reasons, albeit from a business angle.

    As I wasn’t involved in a band signed to the label, I have no idea of the rights or wrongs of the set-up (but Mystic Mark’s contribution {above} does have a strong ring of truth). My meagre experience as a youthful record buyer was:

    I regularly used to send order to Mystic (from here in the UK) by post, including payment in US dollars cash. I was never ripped off (not that I was expecting to be). I remember each order coming back swiftly, and always containing some cool & (generally) obscure punk 7″s as freebies (usually not Mystic releases, but occasionally so) – a few of which I sold for a good price on ebay a while back – & always with a handwritten note from Doug thanking me for the order. Again I was impressed, and I kept coming back – not least because Mystic put out some many great records. I should add that the shipping charge asked for was always too low – and the label lost out on that by 4 or 5 dollars or so (which was more in the day than now) with each order…

    By the way, MXV, regarding the Mystic “Sound of USA Cities” comp LP series, I have the original vinyl of both vol. 2 (Portland, OR) and vol. 6, (New York City). Were these the only volumes issued? If not, which volumes did appear, and which cities do they cover?

  • In the Sound of USA Cities series there was Portland, New York and Washington DC. There was also a sound of UK called “Airstrip One”.

  • I ordered one of the Dr Know lp’s off of Doug and It took a long time to get, but I contacted doug and talked to the man for an hour on the phone and finnaly got things figured out. Not only did doug send me my record, he sent a sweatshirt and a t- shirt also. I think doug is a great old dude who is square in my book. thanks doug..

  • Well, Doug is 84 now, he shows it is only a number, passes for 60 in health and spirit, if you want collectables, Vinyl, T shirts, or information on Doug his new website will be fully functional by the first week of March.
    Doug Moody would give the shirt off his back to help somebody, even if was 30′ outside and thats all the warmth he had. Thank you Doug, the world would be a better place if there were more people like you. Peace my friend, and ill see you this afternoon. your Friend for life, Dean


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