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Killing Joke – and How to Get (Almost) Evicted

If ever there was a record that begs to be played at maximum volume, it’s gotta be the debut release from Killing Joke. I have no recollection of exactly when I first discovered this magnificent piece o’ wax, but once I did, it became a staple of my early career as a young rocker boy.

Another “perfect” record, ‘Killing Joke’ is incendiary, brutal and raw. Cold sweat, youthful angst and anger, the perfect soundtrack to a primal scream.

Killing Joke s/t

Back when I first bonded with their amazing debut full-length, I was living in a side-by-side duplex on 15th Ave. on South Capitol Hill in Seattle, with my aging landlord living in the other half.  She was a woman in her late ’60s. It would have been 1984, because Meagan and I had broken up, but I was still living in the duplex – I lived there for over seven years – not bad for a laddie in his early 20s.

My old pal, Tom Davis was over very early one morning (in recalling this story my thinking is that he was probably there from the night before and we had stayed up all night, something I can hardly fathom any more). So at some point, for some unknown reason and utter lack of logic or rationality, we dropped the needle on the record and immediately cranked it, as the opening song ‘Requiem,’ really does need to be rattling the glass out of the windows at five in the morning to be fully appreciated. By the time ‘Wardance’ was tearing its way through the airspace of my apartment, the two of us were thrashing around the living room in utter abandon, headbanging and careening off of each other and the walls of the room.
Daniel House and Tom V. Davis a few years before - in 1980

Then we both realized that there was a rather insistent banging coming from my front door, and in unison, we both suddenly realized the larger scope of our situation at that moment. I opened the door, not thinking that perhaps the volume should first be turned down. There stood my landlord dressed in a plus-sized moomoo and bathroom slippers. And she was angry. I immediately had Tom run back to turn down the volume and attempted what must have been one of the most awkward excuses for an apology ever made by a clueless young man in his 20s. I had no explanation to give her. I had been so in the moment, that anything outside of the four walls of my living space did not exist.

I was sure I was going to be evicted, and to this day, I’m not quite sure how I managed to talk my way out of that one.

Now I pay a mortgage instead of rent, so I can play Killing Joke as loud as I like. The benefits of being a grown-up.

Released August 1980

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Posted in Music, Personal Ramblings.

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