The Punk Vault

Selections from The Punk Vault [F]

F- Mess You Up 7″ (1988 Mystic/Superseven Records)

I first heard about the band F on the Flipside Vinyl Fanzine Volume 1 compilation and was interested enough to check them out. Problem was finding any of their records, which at the time was limited to the You are an EP 12″. They appeared on a couple other comps and then a couple years later, this 7″ was released as well as a split LP with their friends, White Flag.

It would be many years before I finally tracked down a copy of the first 12″, and it was only after finding David Camp, the man responsible for recording that record, that I acquired one from him. A funny story about that was when I called him up and talked to him about wanting to buy one from him, his response was “well, I have a bunch of copies that the band peed on and I have to check but I think I have one mint copy left as well”. I obviously had no interest in the urine-damaged copies and worked out a deal for the mint one and finally had my F completion.

F were from Florida and much like AOD, were like a bunch of punk comedians. To F, nearly everything was a joke. I remember all kinds of hate mail in Maximumrocknroll about F, most of which were likely written by the band themselves! Some members of F also had another band called Gay Cowboys in Bondage, who released a 7″ back then at the same time.

When Sound Idea Records reissued the You are an EP record as a 7″, there was a bit of band history contained inside written by Phil Blumel. It is as follows.

The band F – no one seems to have a credible justification for the name – was formed in 1982 and released their first 12-inch record You Are An E.P. a year later. Prior to its release, the band broke up into two bands – one punk rock and the other ’70s-style heavy metal – with the same name and performing the same songs in their respective styles.

This minuscule controversy – as well as a number of childish and unfriendly pranks – brought the band to the attention of the South Florida scene. For an effect probably not half as comical as they thought at the time, the band adopted the newly minted straight edge pose, complete with Xs etc., while drinking heavily and behaving like spoiled, self-destructive, carnivorous swine.

Upon the pressing of 1,500 copies of this record in 1983, no less than 200 of the records were smashed with hammers and against walls by the band and attendees at the practice/show. Such was their idea of a punk rock record release party. Calling the police on their own shows was another party favorite, and they delighted in their last show in Fort Lauderdale where the police actually made arrests instead of the usual simple harassment.

The band toured twice outside of Florida, both times with White Flag – although their t-shirts and interviews indicated they had toured with the Ramones. The band consisted of U.S. Ken “The Duke” Decter, John “John Galt” Golf Jr., Eddie Nothing and alternating drummers Ravenous “Mike Hasson” Gangrene and Pete Moss. Tim Swingle also played bass early on. The Duke moved to California and played solo under that moniker and as guitar-man for the Ex-Idols. John is a financial planner in South Florida and Eddie (who also played for the Gay Cowboys in Bondage) is now a bill collector in Tampa. Rav has not been heard of in some time, and Pete won’t ever be again, as he died in mid-1997 while abusing some straight-edge heroin. (Rest in peace, Pete.) [Note: It appears that this is incorrect; Pete Moss committed suicide in 1997]

In the early 1990s, the F-Boys appeared in South Florida, having no other connection with the band than their name. And then, following their example, F, The Band Formerly Known as the John Birch Society were born in Gainesville in 1994 and released a fine e.p. “Die You Stupid Hippies.”

So the band split in half, and there was two F’s. One of them, presumably the heavy metal version, is still playing around Florida and has a website. I contacted them and asked if they had any affiliation to the punk band of the same name and they responded with a yes. When I wrote back to ask for some more history about F, I received no response.

Sadly, I lost David Camp’s phone number a few years ago, else I would have tried to get back in touch for some more info and stories. When I talked to him on the phone, he had a lot of great old punk stories and still was in contact with a few people from the old days. David, if you happen to read this, please get back in touch.

This particular record was pressed on both black vinyl and later colored vinyl and had two different colored sleeves (yellow and white). It has been out of print for a hell of a long time. I’m sure someday it’ll eventually get reissued on a Superseven singles collection.

As always if you have any additional information or were a member of the band F, please get in touch.

Listen to “Shoot it Down” from the record






23 comments

  • This was my band, and as NOFX once said, So what if we were on Mystic?? All these re-releases of punk rock make me tingle, but when is someone gonna re-release the only F full length album “Burn The World Into Ashes”?
    C,mon, bootleggers. Get yer shit together.

  • Hey there, uh, Duke (I’m not calling you that)!

    Ha! I drew that crappy cover and, yes, I was a member in more than one sense of the word.

  • Goddamnit Eddie Nothing I dun been waitin fer you…! In classic F mode, no one reading this but the band members themselves. I still have your original artwork on 12 x 12″ paper!

  • I will pay up $200 for a mint copy of the Nuke Me 7″ if you guys have any left. I don’t care if you have original sleeve or not.

  • No, a fan actually found this page and read it. After sacrificing a huge collection a while ago to feed kids, I am trying to rebuild. I remember an episode of “Off the Beaten Path” on Miami’s WLRN back in the ’80’s where you guys sat in while Bob Slade asked questions and played some of your music. That was it, I was hooked. Most memorable track that I am still trying to find: “My Girl has Balls”. If nothing else, thanks fellas for what you gave to the local scene.

  • i played bass in F for their show in philly w/ white flag… we played “never mind the bollocks” straight through… pissing off the promoter and causing kids at the show to cover us in spit…..

  • I just recently learned that US KEn Decter the guitarist from F is back playing with Casey Chaos in Amen (they used to be Disordeerly Conduct from Fla.) and they just filmed a performance for The Henry Rollins Show…!

  • Hey man, so who has been and still is the singer for F? is it Flash or what?? And why doesn’t the current F play old songs?

  • Duke & Casey play together again DC style as AMEN one week from today on The Henry Rollins Show. Next friday, July 13th, 2007. The Rollins Show is on IFC channel every friday nite at 8 pm pacific

  • To answer the question about F’s singer, there were actually two bands in Fla. named F who performed several of the same songs. The band with Flash singing was not the same band as this one (I’m guessing that Ken Decter must have been in the original lineup of Flash’s version of F, and took some of the songs with him when he left). The singer for this band was Phil Blumel, who sometimes went by the stage name John Galt (vomit!). The Flash version is still together.

  • I received a copy of the You Are An E.P. at my old radio station with some scrawl written on the plastic about having “no record company, no money, nothing but these fucking e.p.’s”. Proudly she waves, old glory! Still got it, and still listen to it. F cranks.

  • I knew all of those F people back in the day. John Galt is not really John Galt, but he really is a financial planner. Chris Oliver, keep your mouth shut.

    Duke is really Ken (Hi Ken, remember me?).

    I also want to give a shout out to Scot Lade. Different band, same crowd.

  • I think “John Galt” is on the run after loosing a butload of money from the police benevolent association. Last I heard he was mutating lichens so they can take over a small country.

  • Wow. Blast from the past. If anyone finds David Camp, I’d love to trade war stories. I haven’t heard from him since 1983.

    xo,
    gabrielle (but he knew me by my first name then – many lives over time)

  • The 25th Aniversary re-release of both F records is here ! The long awaited re-release of one of the most collectible hardcore punk records to ever come out of the original scene in 1983– F “You Are An EP” and F “Mess You Up.” Complete with original artwork and controversial sleeve inserts, and re-mastered here for the very first time. F was the focal point of the hardcore scene stemming out of South Florida, adored and hated by punks across the US because of their pro-Ronald Reagan stance, as tongue-in-cheek as it may have been. F was one of those bands where if you werent smart enough to “get it,” you wanted to kick their ass. But F was too busy kicking ours, with great releases such as “You Are An EP”, Florida’s first 12″ punk vinyl release, “Mess You Up”, F’s debut on the notorious Mystic Records label, and the single “Attack” which appeared on Flipside’s Vinyl Fanzine #1 Compilation alongside such greats as The Dickies, TSOL, Scream, and GBH. This 25th Anniversary re- release includes all of those recordings in their entirety, plus a few bonus tracks thrown in…F was a band who never cared, existed merely to piss off everyone, and disappeared in a matter of 5 years. Grab it now before this does too !

  • In the great tradition of only band members posting here….Kenneth Alfred, Edwin….hello out there from Francis Michael. Only took me about 7 years to reply.

  • Somewhere out there is a picture we took in the studio where a copley of the guys are wearing Ronald Reagan T-Shirts, and I’m wearing a Che T-shirt.

    If anyone wants my email or phone number, just reply

    I still have abunch of Peed on “You are an EP”s. guess I’ll throw ’em up on EBay.

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