My good friend Matthew King Kaufman, and bay area rock greats Earth Quake, started Beserkley Records in 1973 in where else, Berkeley! Matthew and his partners nicknamed their label “Home of the Hits” before they ever had a hit. They dubbed their very first album a “Compilation” of “Greatest Hits” called “Chartbusters, Volume 1,” before they ever released anything, much less dented the charts. Matt once released a single called “Silent Knight” which contain 3 minutes of complete silence. It was a success in jukeboxes, because bartenders or waitresses would play it occasionally just to make the music stop for a few minutes. All this may help to explain why Matthew’s record company title has always been “Reigning Looney” instead of “President” or anything else. He is one of a kind, and so was Beserkley Records. Fulfilling their own prophecy, Beserkley had major chartbusting hits in the 70’s and 80’s. As a Berkeley kid himself, Joel Selvin witnessed the story up close from the beginning. Matthew recently visited Joel’s Basement Record Library to play some records and talk.
This is a great listen. I love these records, and all the guys who made them. Brothers Robbie and Tommy Dunbar’s guitar playing still amaze and inspire me to this day. This is power pop at its best. Have a listen at: OpenSourceMusic.com
I recently started a new band with young singer-guitarist Emily Jayne. Emily had joined The Uptones for the 2010 Warped Tour, and we started writing some songs. Producer Matthew King Kaufman liked the stuff and encouraged us to start a band. I recruited Eric Knight and Pete D’Amato to play bass and drums. Michael Rosen recorded an early show, and the result is “Check Out The Fashion Slaves” – our first CD. You can buy a copy direct from the band at www.thefashionslaves.com. It’s also available at iTunes. Here’s the opening number – our cover of “Psychotic Reaction” – along with some visuals by Emily herself. Hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed playing it.