The Queers Story

By Joe Queer, from the cover sheet out of "A Day Late and A Dollar Short."
Destroy Portsmouth. Now! The early Queers - Me (Joe Queer), Tulu,
and Wimpy practically lived at The Starlight Club, our favorite local
hangout in Portsmouth, NH. It was (and proudly remains) home to the local
white-trash down-and-out one-step-ahead-of-living-under-a-bridge type of
bum. Don't even think about checking out this bar for a laugh - it's way to
scary. But of course, we loved it, and it was a great inspiration to The
Queers. The Starlight gave our budding punk rock band some great song ideas
while we hung out getting drunk. We specifically named our band The Queers
to piss off the pathetic local art community which sneered down at us. We
knew everyone would hate "The Queers" 'cause it was such a cool name. Even
the local jerks would remember it.

Love me, whip me. The first Queers line-up was: Me on guitar and lead
vocals, Tulu on bass and vocals, and Wimpy on drums. We made 200 copies of
our first 7", a total DIY project (no picture sleeve, no insert, no
artwork). Tulu was really the main songwriter at this point. "Terminal Rot"
was about Wimpy who never had a cent: "It's getting dark. It's time to
crash. I wish I had some corned-beef hash." Genius! Pure fuckin' genius! "I
want cunt" was Tulu on guitar and vocals and I did the bass part. "Love me"
was done with the help of our neighbor "Pappy" who never worked. Just hung
around with The Queers drinking Bud and playing horse-shoes. We needed one
more song for out first 7" so we had Pappy come down to the studio. We
didn't have a song yet, so Tulu made up a bassline on the spot while we
worked on the parts for the guitar and drums. We played it for 30 seconds
or so before Pappy hit the studio. Pappy wanted to know what he was
supposed to sing, so we said fuck it, "Just yell those words on (our
friend) Brian's shirt." We practived maybe 45 seconds with Pappy, stopped,
and told the engineer to "roll 'em." We did the song in one take and it's
the only time we ever played it. Pappy just ad-libbed the words. But, he
came up with some funny stuff. It was a weird first record, but it inspired
us to do another.

I wanna go down to the basement. Tulu moved to NYC after we did the first
7" Wimpy and I stayed in Portsmouth talking about doing The Queers the way
we really wanted to. One day Wimpy and I went into his cellar with a
note-book, cassette recorder, and my electric guitar (unplugged). We had a
bunch of rad song titles which needed words and music. We started with
"Kicked Out of the Webelos". After writing it we ran upstairs to tell
Dianne (Wimpy's wife at the time_ that "We wrote a great fuckin' tune!"
Back to the basement, and we wrote "Useless". We wrote every song that
afternoon in like 5 minutes! We were excited as hell so we went to New York
and found Tulu. We played him our songs and he knew they were great punk
rock tunes too - so he came back with us. We recorded the second 7" with
Wimpy on vocals, me on guitar, Tulu on drums, and our friend Keith on bass.
"Webelos" is probably my favorite song. I laugh my ass off as Wimpy, in his
best fake British accent, sings "Daddy beat me with a hose." We only did a
handful of gigs before the band broke up but it was a fuckin' blast while
it lasted. For a few short months, Tulu, Wimpy, Keith, and I felt like we
were gonna conquer the punk rock world!

Live, from New Jersey. It was ten years after the "Webelos" EP, but Wimpy
was back in town for Christmas Holidays, so we took him into the studio to
record the tracks for "Too Dumb Too Quit" and "Look Ma No Flannel". He also
went into WFMU in New Jersey with us to record, live in the studio, a set
of early Queers songs. Amazingly enough, we found two old rehearsal tapes
which included our complete, orginal set list, the way we played them it
back in 1983. Better still, the rehearsels were of The Queers teaching
Keith how to play the songs on bass so we were calling out all the chord
changes so Keith could learn them. It made it real simple to relearn the
parts. The lineup WFMU broadcast is: Wimpy Rutherford on lead vocals, Joe
Queer on guitar and vocals, Harlan on guitar, and B-face on bass and
occasional vocals, and Hugh on drums. [Harlan does the slick sounding lead
guitar parts. They fit, but sometimes they're too slick for my taste.]

Too Dumb to Wear a Flannel: Both the "Too dumb too Quit" and "Look Ma No
Flannel" EPs were recorded in one session at a small 8 track studio on
Portsmouth in January or 1993. We started in a small 8 track studio in
Portsmouth and Goddamnit we'll end there! Hugh more or less produced this
stuff. I can be a real asshole in the studio so rather than hold everybody
up for two hours listening to me whine and moan, it's always better when
Hugh produces our material. Plus, he's the only person I trust in the
studio. The old songs were fun to play, and it was great having old Wimpy

back on board, so the session was a total blast. It's really cool that all
the old Queers songs have finally been compiled onto one release 'cause
it's always been the way I hoped it would be. Of course, this was our grand
plan back in '83, but thinks always take a little longer than expected when
The Queers are involved.

Thanks....To the Lookout folks for growing another testicle to put this
shit out, Margie, Molly, Ben Weasel, Vapid, Panic, Jim Tierney, and all the
cool punks we proudly call our "fans!" We love going on tour 'cause we have
the best audience in the world. Fuck the P.C. bullshit. Having a song
called "I want cunt" doesn't mean we're sexist, homophobic, racist
assholes. The Queers are about having fun - like The Ramones, Angry
Samones, and all good punk music is about having fun. As I said, we have a
great audience, and we have full confidence that our fans know the
difference between obviously tongue-in-cheek satrical punk songs ("I want
cunt", "Gay boy") and a skinhead, white power band singing wristfully about
beating up "fags". So all you insecure P.C. types fuck off and whine
somewhere else - we're too busy having fun and laughing at each other to
care. Oh well........time to do my nails...Aloha. - Joe Queer '95