Piss on your Grandmother, Delaware, 1976-83

Andrew Chambless writes: We were on the forefront of punk before there was punk. We rocked living rooms, basements and backyards from Newark to Wilmington, whenever anybody's parents went away. The band formed in 1976, when Rob, Andrew and Andy took a tape recorder in Andy's living room and pretended we were a rock band called Piss On Your Grandmother – the most threatening name we could think of. We screamed our way through a “Hits of the '70s” song book while we thumped a bass drum and leaned on the electric organ. But the joke got out of hand after that. We actually pretended to be a band for several years there, and our friends were kind enough to indulge us.

Our influences were a creative mixture of progressive rock, Lou Reed, pop radio, and boredom. The philosophy was that we meant to be bad, in a kind of satire of rock stars. Of course, if people – especially girls – wanted to clap and scream for us, that was OK, too. We are indebted to our “fans,” who came to see us make noise and pretended to enjoy it. Without them, we would never have gotten out of Andy's living room. Parental Advisory: Stupidity and Swearing Ahead. Here are my thoughts, track by track, on the mp3:

"My Sister," "Love on a Railroad Track,": These songs took us hours and hours to record, using a 4-track machine in Dan Graper's bedroom. Taking part were Dan Graper, Paul Vance, Rob Troup and Andrew Chambless. Dan knew how to make good recordings and this is as good as POYG ever sounded. Note the feedback we were too lazy to correct. Rob sings about killing his sister (don't worry – he didn't actually do it). The lines "I make her blister/lord how I miss her" are still brilliant.

I wrote "Love on a Railroad Track" as a tribute to Johnny Cash. A railroad track was the most uncomfortable place I would think of for making love. Paul's “Don't drop the ice” at the end of the song is good advice for engineers everywhere.

These sounds are what POYG was all about: Ridiculous noise, satire, self-aggrandizement and tongue-in-cheek fun. That, and girls would scream for us while we thrashed away with no discernible trace of talent. And isn't that what rock and roll is all about?

Attached is the cover "art" from our only cassette release, put out in 1977 or 1978. I'd love to hear from somebody who actually enjoys us. We have a classic live tape where our singer asks, "Any requests?" and a friend of ours in the audience yells, "Stop!" That pretty much sums us up.

Enjoy a sampler of POYG's groundbreaking sound here...

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Editor's Note:

I'm told by reliable local sources that Andrew Chambless has since reconciled with his Grandmother.

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Shane L. said...

"progressive rock, Lou Reed, pop radio, and boredom" -- i can definitely here all these critical influences. you guys still rock house parties?

Aaron said...

this shit is amazing.

Andrea said...

POYG...how could I have forgotten? I'm not sure how I stumbled on this post, that's just the magic of the internet! Let me just add that Andrew Chambless is a genius and Rob Troupe was super hot! :-p

Drop me an email Andy!

Andrea Garvine

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Stefan said...

I have to be completely honest and say that this is amazing and everything I aspire to be as a musician.

Anonymous said...

Stefan: Thanks so much. I think. But if this is what you're aspiring to be, you might want to re-think that music career. And this comes from a former POYG member! -- Andrew Chambless

Dan said...

I remember those times with great fondness.....my drumming was absolutely horrible and the band said I was perfect. My set consisted of someone's marching bass drum, a broken snare and a beat up high hat. A very raw sound indeed. I would like to mention my small contribution composing with the band. We regularly performed one of my songs titled "Dead Crow" that featured Andrew C. shouting "Dead Crow" over and over again until the band reached a loud climax, stopped to dead silence and Andrew would connect with the audience speaking those final words...."Dead Crow." The band was unbridled energy that never let music get in the way. All my Best - Dan Graper (POYG drummer)

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to say that Dan's drumming was probably the best thing in POYG. At least he could keep a beat, which is more than anyone else in the group could manage! Best to you, Dan! -- Andrew Chambless

senormedia said...

Very cool. Time for a CD reissue? :)

Reminds me a lot of the noise that I was making alone on multiple cassette decks about the same time.

Jestocost said...

Oh my F'n god.

I remember the "clean" name too.

And sitting around the NHS cafeteria listening to bootleg POYG tapes at lunch after Dan got finished drawing dirty pictures for John Ram.