Selections from The Punk Vault [Ottos Chemical Lounge]

Otto’s Chemical Lounge – 7″EP (1983 Reflex Records)

I first heard about Otto’s Chemical Lounge from an ad or a review in an issue of Raveup Fanzine, which was a fanzine Anthony Illarde of Rights of the Accused put out back when I was a young lad just discovering punk and hardcore music. It would be a few years after seeing this though, before I finally would come across a copy of this record and procure one for The Vault, and this was back when The Vault was still pretty small in size.

I don’t know much of the history of the band, but I’ll share what I’ve found. They were from Minneapolis, MN and their first 7″ came out on Reflex Records, the label founded by Husker Du. Tom Hazelmeyer and Paul Osby were two of the founding members after their first band, Todlachen, disbanded. Todlachen recorded some songs that were supposed to be released as a 7″ on Reflex Records, but it never came to pass. Allegedly Bob Mould still has the tapes. Bob, if you read this, you should release this thing before its lost forever, or at least pass ’em on to me and perhaps I’d want to do it!

The lineup for this 7″ was:
Dale Nelson: vocals
Paul Osby: guitar
John Anglim: drums
Tom Hazelmeyer: bass

After this, Tom Hazelmeyer left the band and would later start a new band, Halo of Flies, which garnered some success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and also started Amphetamine Reptile Records, who put out some damn fine noise rock records back then, and was probably most recognized for bringing the world the once great Helmet. Tom was replaced by Al Schroeter and Otto’s Chemical Lounge released what became their final record in 1985, Spillover, which was an album on Homestead Records.

After this, John Anglim was out and replaced by Mike Johnson. In 1986 they contributed a cut to Big Hits Of Mid-America Volume Four on Twin/Tone Records. I don’t think the band lasted much longer after this and they all went their separate ways. John would later play in Bludgeon (with Tom Hazelmeyer) and Halo of Flies. Mike Johnson played with Badfinger and Brutus. Dale T. Nelson was in Hearsemen, Sheepherders and The Little Ones. Paul Osby went on to form the Blue Hippos.

As always, if you have any additional information or were in Otto’s Chemical Lounge, please get in touch.


Listen to “Trip with Me” from the record






10 comments

  • Otto’s Chemical Lounge is alive and well in the great Twin Cities! Come and check ’em out on February 18th 2006 at the rockin’ 7th Street Entry in First Avenue nightclub, 7th Street & First Avenue downtown Minneapolis! Look for the new release to come out soon!

  • I saw Otto’s Chemical Lounge with DOA and Husker Du at the Armory in Minneapolis in 198(?), 84 or 85. IMO, they blew the more famous headliners out of the water. I loved these guys!!

  • Dale still talks about that show – he was terrified by the size and energy of the crowd at first, but had a blast playing it!
    The guys have an upcoming gig but no date set yet, I’ll post it on TC Punk when I find out.

  • betsey—if you see this, please pass along my hello to the Otto’s guys, we played a few shows with them back in the mid80’s down in madison and they were a great band everytime and good people to boot. i have a tape of a show of theirs at o’cayz corral that i’ve played a hundred times. barefoot double kickdrum drummer, wild vocalist with much feeling, way intense guitar player and spidery solid tall bass. is it still the same lineup? my band was called the Medicine Show, i’m sure they would remember us. if anyone wants to talk further that’d be great. steve

  • Hey Steve – you can contact us through the myspace site, Dale says Hi – he remembers you guys too. Otto’s is playing here in Minneapolis on June 2nd at the Uptown Bar along with Dumpster Juice and The Skullcranes. Nice to hear from you!!

  • New gig coming up on February 22nd 2008, at Club Underground in Northeast Minneapolis – Dale’s 55th birthday and great bands – Sam Planet Group, 30 Second Crash are on the bill. Possibly two CDs being released – Ottos (new stuff!) and 30 Second Crash – plus great “Packing the Bowl World Tour” T shirts for this gig exclusively!!
    Be there if ya can, come and say hello to the old man (men, really), and see a bunch of rock & roll history still being played in a basement bar!!!
    Club Underground at Spring Street Tavern in Northeast Minneapolis – Spring & Monroe – Be There!!

  • I heard that Otto’s Chemical Lounge will be playing at NICK and EDDIE Restaurant & Bar (612)486-5800, 1612 Harmon Place (Loring Park), Minneapolis. Feb. 21, 2009

  • That is correct, details will be found on facebook soon, look up Dale T Nelson in Minneapolis. The date is indeed February 21st, 2009 and opening for them will be the fabulous Kruddler! I can’t find the Nick and Eddie facebook page right now… Hope to see you there!

  • That is correct! Kruddler will be joining them for yet another fabulous night of kickass rock and roll! Hope to see you there!

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