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Atomic Bomb Club (78-81)

First there was just me and Derrick, playing Beatles covers out of "The Complete Beatles" song book on a music stand, me singing through half a crappy guitar amp, him on a makeshift drumkit the splash cymbal kept flying off of. Gradually I added my originals, punk, and Hendrix covers. While my power chording and pentatonic noodling peaked relatively early (except for a few arty modal jazz movable triad structures popping up here and there), the ABC catalog musically is mostly marked by the steady, solid development of Derrick Bostrom as a complete pop and rock drummer. By the time I had burned out on the punk rock dream in 1981, Derrick had developed a catalog of licks, tempi, and dynamics to compliment his improvisational instincts, making him the perfect drummer for a developing songster to jam with, and so he went, sticks blazing, into the Meat Puppets, a two-brother instant band. In the 30 years since I've never played with another drummer who could play tight and jam at the same time, anticipating my moves and completing my thoughts...


We had alot of buddies and they all dabbled too, making the ABC a who's-playing-tonight? concept. Some, like Bob Crane on sax or Jeff Skirvin on vocals, were amatuers like us having a great time wailing away, learning to play. Others, like the Kirkwood brothers, could already play their instruments (and, in Curt's case, just like Fripp), but the operating theory was always mess around and have a good time, except for me half the time. I tended to be the too serious one, and it ended my career early, my nerves & chops falling way short of my ambition. Naively I persisted and naively I failed. There was the time at the UA student union gig we were supposed to play for 90 minutes. I got up on the stage with Derrick, he counted off on sticks, and I proceeded to blast through my 15 songs in about 12 minutes flat. "Shock and awe" was on the scattered faces in the crowd as I set my strat down, left the stage, and sat in a table three rows up, while Derrick kept up a beat, dumbstruck. Fortunately, various pals jumped onstage and played another 30 minutes or so to make it respectable. Other backyard party appearances of the ABC unfolded in much the same way, with me blasting out the first half or 3/4 of a song before folding. Except for these rare appearances, the ABC never quite made it out of the home practice/studio world, but there are tapes, mostly monophonic from a little deck with a built-in condenser microphone propped up on a chair in one corner of the room, 1977's hi-tech. The dubs were done the same way, but with two casette decks facing each other, adding one more track at a time to the soup of building hiss.


Here then, in various configurations, is the Atomic Bomb Club.

-- Jack Knetzger, June 2006

(cartoon by Derrick Bostrom)


(Duo=Vocals, guitar-Jack Knetzger, drums-Derrick Bostrom; Guest artists as noted.)



Live in Tucson


At the UA Student Union "The Cellar":

At a backyard party:



(All duo with Anthony Logue on 2nd guitar)


(Jack, Derrick, Anthony Logue, Jeff Skirvin contributing)