Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Again The Last post, why the hell not!?! Here are some rare tracks by The Last from compilations, live and unreleased stuff.

First the live tracks. First two tracks are from Club Lingerie, Music Machine in LA from 1982. First track, Don´t Go was never recorded in the studio, at least I think so. The song is faster and more punk sounding, maybe even more because of rawer live performance and recording, I like it. Second song, Try To Rise was originally released on Warfrat Tales compilation which I will talk more about later. This is one of the coolest The Last songs, it has that darker early 80´s LA side to it, fucking great! The third live song is Make Believe, recorded at the Whiskey in Hollywood, May 26, 1982. This song also never appeared in studio version and it is one of my favorite The Last songs actually. There is so much going in this one song that it is just incredible. I would love to know more about the song, the lyrics, did Joe Nolte wrote it, why it wasn´t recorded in the studio and so on. All of these songs, you can also find on youtube channel.

Let´s move to studio tracks. Fade To Black is a song from the same title 12˝ EP that The Last released on Bomp! Records in 1982. I am not including other 3 songs from the EP here, because they are part of Look Again never released LP (except for some rare bootleg versions) which I will post in the near future. The song was written in 1980. but I´m not sure if it was recorded in 1980., 1981. or 1982. Anyway, this one is also on more darker The Last side because it was written by Vitus Matare and Joe Nolte and songs by Matare were more dark than Nolte´s songs. But, I love both spectrums of The Last, the darker and the more romantic side. Anyway, Fade To Black is another great The Last song and you should definitely check it out. Snake In The Grass original version was recorded in 1980. and appears on already mentioned never officially released LP – Look Again. But, this version was recorded in 1981. together with some tracks that later ended up on Painting Smiles On A Dead Man LP in 1983. This version is much better, in my opinion, great song. Everywhere is the only song that I´ve got from super rare self released Joen ´N´ Mike CD from 2003. I´m not sure if this is really The Last release because this CD was recorded by only Joe and Mike Nolte (hence the title). Anyway, Everywhere is a beautiful masterpiece of Nolte brothers and if anyone can help me with getting this CD, that would be great!

Last 3 songs are from Warfrat Tales compilation LP that was released in 1983. on Warfrat Records. Actually, Try To Rise and Brand New Drug were released on original version of compialtion in 1983. but Anything That´s Out There was released on CD reiusse of the compilation in 2005. Of all these 3 songs, Try To Rise is my favorite, Brand New Drug is pretty cool too and Anything That´s Out There is also interesting. I´m guessing, these tracks were recorded in 1982. or maybe in 1981., not sure. If anyone has more information about these tracks, let me know.
So, here it is, 9 rare The Last songs from my humble Last collection, enjoy!

The Snake

Get it here:  The Last - Rare Stuff

Monday, June 22, 2015


It´s time to say something about my second favorite band in the world – THE LAST. The Last are power pop band from LA, California, led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Joe Nolte. Joe and his brother Mike Nolte (back vocals, keyboards and occasional songwriting) have been the only constant members (more Joe than Mike) of the band since the mid 70´s when The Last was formed. Even though that The Last weren´t playing classic punk rock or hardcore punk, they were a part of the same scene that launched such bands as Black Flag, Descendents, Middle Class, Circle Jerks, Red Kross, The Germs and many more early LA hc/punk bands. The third Nolte brother, David who played bass in The Last from the beginning until October 1981. was actually in the original line up of Descendents in late 70´s before their seminal vocalist Milo Aukerman joined the band. So, you have probably heard of Descendents, but not The Last? Well, The Last was the band who influenced Descendents sound a lot, if there weren´t of the 60´s surf power pop influenced sound of The Last, there wouldn´t be the Descendents and pop punk sound as we know it today. Of course, in UK there were Buzzcocks, who were also pop punk pioneers of the late 70´s but, as Bill Stevenson (the drummer of Descendents/ALL/Black Flag/Only Crime) said in one interview, they (Descendents members) didn´t discovered Buzzcocks until much later, so Buzzcocks couldn´t actually influence their sound, it was The Last (plus Ramones and some early LA hc/punk bands) that influenced the sound of Descendents. So, now that you know this crucial fact, we can continue. 

Probably the most known and loved The Last album is their first one L. A. Explosion! that was recorded and released in 1979. by legendary L. A. garage/surf/power pop label Bomp! Records. I agree that this is probably the album that represent the best classic sound of The Last and I love that album so much but, my favorite The Last album is actually their second album (or the third if you count Look Again, unofficially never released album from 1980.) – Painting  Smiles On A Dead Man (such a great title!) from 1983. And that is what you will get in this post plus some more The Last surprises. Actually, this album wasn´t a proper album, but more of a collection of their demos from October 1981. to March 1983. And when the album was released in 1983. by French garage/surf/power pop record label – Lolita Records, the band was already defunct until they reunited in 1987. So, it was definitelly not a typical album and even Joe Nolte said in the album liner notes on The Last website (http://www.laexplosion.com/ - which you should definitely check out if you wanna know more about the band and if you want to read more in depth notes by Joe about every single song they recorded), that he don´t like most of the songs on this album. I´m not sure why Joe doesn´t like these songs because I fucking love this album, I could literally listen to it every day (and I listen to it few times a week) without being bored for one second. So, let´s talk more about this great album. First some tehnical details. Most of the songs (1, 3, 6 to 12) on the album were recorded in Radio Tokyo studios, from late September 1981. to March 1982.

The line up was:
Joe Nolte – Vocals & guitar
David Nolte – Bass
Vitus Matare – Keyboards, flute & back vocals
John Frank - Drums
David left the band right after he recorded bass tracks in October of 1981. and of those mentioned songs, above, he only didn´t play on Everybody Had It With You (John Rosewall played bass on this one). Songs 2 & 4 were recorded in November 1982. and song 5, which is a cover song of Louie Louie was recorded live on 8 track at Lyceum in March 1983..

So, on the songs: 2, 4 & 5, the line up was:
Joe Nolte – Vocals & guitar
John Rosewell – Bass & back vocals
Steve Andrews – Guitar
Vitus Matare – Keyboards, flute & back vocals
John Frank – Drums

After the Louie Louie recording, Steve and John Frank left the band. To make things more confusing, 3 songs from the album were already released in 1982. as a 7 ˝ EP „Up In The Air“ on Warfrat Gramophon Records with title song plus Wrong Turn & Leper Colony songs. When you put it that way, it did seems that this LP is a collection of demos and one previously released EP, but to me it sounds like a proper album, from first to last song. While the first Last album, L. A. Explosion! was more based on surf pop sound, this album have a lot more going on in my opinion. It wasn´t that much Beach Boys influenced and there si definitely more of that LA darker punk sound (few songs remind me on Rikk Agnew – All By Myself LP). Also, the production is much better than on L. A. Explosion! which has a very clean sound. I´m not gonna ramble anymore about the songs, because I love them all and you can read more about those songs here: http://www.laexplosion.com/ as I´ve already mentioned earlier. So, if you haven´t heard this excellent and underrated album, give it a try!
The Snake