Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dag Nasty - "Wig Out at Denko's" (forgotten song) (the song remains the same)

"Wig Out at Denko's" is the title track from Dag Nasty's 2nd LP, which was released in 1987. Dag Nasty went through several incarnations and was composed of members from several other contemporary hardcore punk bands. Rather than list them all, it is is simpler to say that their records were released on Ian Mackaye's (Minor Threat, Fugazi) Dischord Records, thus placing them squarely in the Washington DC / DIY milieu.

Having said all that, I first heard this song as covered by Tone Deaf. Tone Deaf was a band composed of many of my good friends at Denbigh High School in the mid/late 1980s. They did mostly contemporary popular covers, but they also did a few originals and some obscure covers as well. I won't even pretend to be impartial, but toward the end (summer 88?) they were actually pretty good.

The garage rock scene was pretty healthy in the mid 80s at Denbigh, so the guitar class teacher had an annual "Denbigh Jam" which provided a showcase for the various high school bands. It was not a typical "battle of the bands" per se (I don't recall any awards), but participation was competitive: there were try outs and if you didn't have your stuff together you didn't get a slot. Some Denbigh Jam alumni that went professional include members of: buttsteak, False Sacrament, Danny Godinez, Gregg Brooks and Nocturnal Zoo. I may have forgotten some notable bands/musicians and I welcome any additions or corrections.

The link provided below is of Tone Deaf, mk. II: Fred Moore (vocals, keyboards), Terry Harrison (rhythm guitar, vocals), Drew Munro (lead guitar), Art Everett (bass) and Chris Everton (drums). They're performing at Denbigh Jam '88, which I believe was in the fall.
Terry (the guitarist in the foreground) has a mountain of HS & college-era video tapes that he's slowly processing and putting on YouTube. Tone Deaf's cover of "Wig Out at Denko's" is one of the gems he's put online so far. And although this makes me a complete homer, I think you'll find Tone Deaf's faster tempo version more enjoyable than the slower, studio version. And while Tone Deaf might not be a trip down memory lane for you, "Wig Out at Denko's" is a great song that deserves a listen regardless.

Dag Nasty: YouTube (studio version), YouTube (live version, skip to about 24:40 -- it's the last song of the set).

Tone Deaf: YouTube.

P.S. The live Dag Nasty version comes from "Blank TV" -- if you like punk and related genres, you should check them out.


  1. I had suggested to Fred and Terry about doing "Wig Out at Denko's
    after getting a test pressing of the record from Slipped Disc Records. Remember all the records we ordered from that place? I thought it was a fun song for the band to play, and it wasn't something everyone else knew like a classic rock song. It could've almost been a Tone Deaf original, which they did change the lyrics a little bit like "Drew's drinking, malt liquor" and "someone let Terry drive!". Still a great record to this day.

  2. I should have known you picked it out! Excellent song choice.

    I remember Slipped Disc fondly. I remember getting my first money order at the local 7-11 as well as the day the first order arrived. I probably even have a Slipped Disc t-shirt around somewhere.

  3. I have a copy on yellow vinyl from 1988 but can't track down the pressing amount, not even on Discogs.

  4. I don't see that info here either: You should try emailing them at that site -- they might know.