Scratch Magazine - ’85

Current Corpse Crew
1985: A veteran of L.A.’s original punk rock scene, FRANKENSTEIN frontman Dave Grave established himself as a founding member of the local horror punk/death rock community with his bands ZOMBIE LEGION (’79-’81), VOODOO CHURCH (’81-’82), and the mysterious BONE CULT (’83-’84). Anticipating the slow decay of the L.A. scene into glam-metal and neo-funk, he set out to create FRANKENSTEIN, a one band resistance to transient commercial fashion trends. News of the band’s formation was announced in what turned out to be his last infamous Scratch Magazine weekly gossip column/scene report, in April ’85. Amid much buzz, the band had just begun rehearsals when drummer Andy Christ was killed in a freak car accident. The demoralized band members began drifting apart as certain club owners and promoters, annoyed by the tell-all nature of Mr. Grave’s column, began closing their doors to him. The band dissolved, and the man Rolling Stone called, “A doomsday philosopher” went into exile, swearing his revenge.

1986-88: Dave Grave began moving between L.A., Orange and Ventura counties, searching for new limbs from which to rebuild his monster. He found them in Ventura and formed theSCREAMING THINGS, a band meant to play a few shows before “revealing” themselves as a new FRANKENSTEIN. Instead, they spent 2 years creating songs that are the staple of any FRANKENSTEIN set, returning to a new L.A. audience hungry for their dark garage sound and style.

As death rock became increasingly watered down into fluffy Goth, a more aggresive monster was needed. THE THINGS disbanded; guitarist Mojo Bone joining Rocket '88 drummer Ringo Slug becoming THE CRAMPS' Harry Drumdini and bassist John Brewton and Dave Grave looking to build a bigger, better monster. With the discovery of Rev. Whitey Peckawood, they succeeded.

1989-92: Rev. Peckawood’s maniacal, finger-blistering guitar style was everything FRANKENSTEIN required. From the new line-up’s first show at Cal Arts, their reputation for hi-energy psychotic grind was firmly established. This gig also marked the appearance of the F-Troop, a pack of mad hooligans whose presence became a fixture at FRANKENSTEIN shows. The band played constantly, opening for such acts as THE MUFFS, JEFF DAHL, and NO FX, and performing live on college radio. Bootleg tapes began circulating. But, by late ’91, the latest line-up had run its course, and the less committed members drifted off, leaving Mr. Grave and the Rev. to carry on. In Jan. ’92 they recorded the unreleased Helter Skelter (the Manson Mix) with INSIGHT 23's John Whatley. It was time for a break while Mr. Grave searched for new parts.

1994-96: The new monster was complete by late ’94 with Jeff F. on drums and the late Jim “Strap-on Jimbo” Cherry (STRUNG OUT) playing bass. By March ’95 FRANKENSTEIN had recorded 8 songs (3 of which would be released by year’s end), and played a few shows, but personal obligations forced Rev. Peckawood to move out of state. Working with new guitarist Jason Abnormal, the band played less frequently.