What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Kendall: For me, it started with David Bowie when I was 11. I remember getting into my uncle’s gray Pontiac Tempest, that had little Indian Heads for blinker indicators on the dashboard. Space Oddity was on, and I remember being completely enamored, and equally curious. “Who is this?” … At the very moment my uncle turned it off citing .. “What is this garbage?” After a little research, I knew from that moment forward … I would be singing in a band someday.
Fast forward 3 or 4 years to the mid 1970s, Snickers, and I met through a skateboard shop (in Rosemead, a suburb to the east of Los Angeles) I was working at. He used to come in and skate. We also used to sell candy bars. He was always eating all the Snickers bars … Hence the nickname.
About that same time, we used to hang out at Rabits house, we had a boys club called the Circus. Three of the Circus Lads were Snickers, Rabit and Jerry. That is where I was introduced to the Ramones first album, and exposed to the Sex Pistols. At this point I moved from Bowie to punk.
I was attending Rosemead High school at this point. Unbeknownst to me, Danny, also at Rosemead was firing up a band with Jay (from Arcadia). One day, Danny came up to me and said “Hey, I hear you’re into punk rock? … I have a band and we’re looking for a singer … Are you interested?” Of course I was, and it was a natural fit, because I was already up on all my singing and my lyrics, so I was able to jump right in. That first band was called Child Abuse. That band consisted of myself, Jay, Danny, and Danny’s little brother Tommy on drums.
Fast forward a couple months … I took Jay and Danny over to meet all the guys at the Circus, i.e. Rabit’s house. That was the first time you had, myself, Snickers, Jerry, Danny, Jay, Rabit in the same room. We decided to form a band out of Child Abuse, adding Jerry, Rabit and Snickers. I forget how we decided on the Simpletones for a name. I seem to remember it coming from someone who called somebody a simpleton … so, we just modified it a little and ended up with that.
In the very beginning, I was on drums, Rabit was on guitar, and Snickers on bass. I sucked on drums, Snickers sucked on bass, Rabit sucked on guitar. A few lineup changes real quick, and we ended up with three singers. We didn’t want to kick anybody out cuz we were all friends.
POSH: And then it happened overnight … band members approached KROQ dj Rodney Bingenheimer in 1978 at the Starwood club looking for a manager and Rodney got rid of us by introducing the nearby Posh Boy, Robbie Fields. Posh came out to hear us rehearse in someone’s living room. Told Jay to be more assertive and the Simpletones were off to the races.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
POSH: The digital release of the 1979 recording of “TV Love” was spurred by Tony Hawk choosing it as the soundtrack to a 2022 skate video. Timeless.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
JAY: Pro-Wrestling has always been big influence.
KENDALL: David Bowie, Bob Marley, The Sex Pistols, and myself. I’ve always been my biggest fan.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
JAY: People have often said that our recordings sound like “Kids learning how to play their instruments”. Having an authentic sound really helps to keep the song(s) fresh.
KENDALL: I just think we had a more lyrically, brighter, polished sound … than a lot of the bands around. Our shows were always a good time. me out of LA.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
POSH: Faure Requiem
JAY: Belafonte at Carnegie Hall – live double album by Harry Belafonte
KENDALL: Elton John – Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
POSH: The studio work for the original band was so long ago and essentially only 1 shot. There have been so many live performances by various incarnations since. I can only remember those happy times!
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
POSH: In the early 1990s I showed up to a revival show under late lead singer Snickers’s auspices but Snickers didn’t. So no original members. I was ready to boo the usurpers! But they were great. It helped that their drummer was Josh Freese.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
POSH: I would initially say “I Have a Date” but the theme is not that far removed from the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”, a Tommy not Dee Dee composition. So I am going with “Dead Meat (Killer Smog)” that was only recorded as a demo.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
Connect with Simpletones: