The Silly Frogs

Silly Frogs Personnel (1981-82)


I'd actually been in a couple of "real" bands before this, doing AC/DC and Van Halen covers and the like. (New wave took a little longer to get to Novato than it did to other parts of the world).

I think the impetus for the band was that Mike and Pete and I had decided to write the-worst-song-ever-written, and once we'd accomplished that we needed an outlet to have it played. Somehow, by the time we actually had our hands on all the instruments, we'd written 3 songs: "The Back-Off Treatment", "Amard Babes" (more popularly known as "She's Cute, She's Pretty But She's Dumb"), and "The Twilight Zone".

I had to borrow Chris Carey's Stratocaster, 'cause I didn't have an electric guitar. We plugged that and the bass through my bass amp, and plugged a Casio keyboard through my baby practice amp. Blake actually had a drum kit and Pete had some vocal chords (i guess).

I guess we must have practiced at least once or twice. I have a tape of the Frogs "Live at the Stone Moose Club" (which was my garage) which includes those 3 songs plus covers of The Who's "Boris the Spider" and The Contours' "Do You Love Me?".

The group's crowning achievement was performing at the San Marin High School Chorus show, Spring 1981. The show had a New York theme to it, and The Silly Frogs ("New York's hottest new punk rock band") were featured playing 2 songs at "The Stone Moose Club" ("New York's hottest punk rock club"). The local paper, The Novato Advance, ran something about a "punk band" appearing at the chorus show. I heard that some "real punks" came to the show and walked out in disgust at our fake portrayal of a punk band.

I think we might have gotten together to play once or twice over the next year. At least we tried to write some more songs. By then we had also actually HEARD and GOTTEN INTO punk rock, though we were still basically a bunch of band and drama dweebs. By the end of 1982 most of us were away at college. We decided to put together a farewell keg party at Christmas break somewhere in Ignacio. We debuted (and put to rest) a few new songs: "It Don't Seem Right", "Monotony", "Sixth Floor Lament", and the epic "The Dead Man Walks". We also managed to do almost passable versions of some pretty cool songs ("I Fought The Law", "Is She Really Going Out With Him", "Discovering Japan"...). Someone almost stole the keg, but it all turned out OK in the end.

It was definitely time to call it a day, though. I think I was trying to write serious songs, and this band was at its best when it was completely unbelievable. It was fun, spontaeous, creative, REAL in a fictitious way. The less fictitious it became, the more it wanted to be a real band, and that wasn't its strength. By that summer I was spending the break in Berkeley rather than Novato, and was playing with a "REAL" punk band, the Guitardoz.


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