(above SCOTT CORKERN of the SPO-ITS with the infamous "Grind Guitar", photo taken by Mr. Wolf)
When you think about Rock n Roll meeting debauchery, destruction and perversion one name should come to mind, THE SPO-ITS. They are the band who put the X in X-PLOITATION. You could also add hot violence, noise terror and extreme destruction to that list. While their CD releases were of definite interest for extreme minded listening pleasure it was their live performances which have become legend for fans and nightmares for pleasure haters. I was lucky enough to have witnessed six performances by the SPO-ITS. All of which were uh interesting, two legendary (since I worked at the club) and their last one I actually feared being physically maimed for life, and I wasn't the only one.
There's one underlying fact and that's a SPO-ITS' show was always memorable.
Case in point watch this
To quote Scott, "The show that Closed the Old Caboose. This is perhaps the most perfect Spo-it's show ever. I considered disbanding the group after this as we had attained perfection."
I was at that show and in all honesty I'd say it's in my top five of greatest performances I've seen and I've seen a lot. Also it didn't close the club down per say since the band returned in a year later for Scumfest 99. Although the performance from 98 was captured on VHS and was for sale at the the club that night. Rumor has it that the local authorities did get a hold of a copy and in late 99 the club did close down.
It was back in the late 90's that I originally interviewed the SPO-ITS for Scumfeast the print fanzine version after one of their safer shows. (the one with the robot) Since then I consider Scott a good friend, a person I respect as far as his intelligence and creativity goes and someone who truly embodies the word "extreme". Recently Scott has been working on a self produced documentary on the SPO-ITS. He's been traveling around collecting interviews which brought him to town in order to interview Andy Miller (former club promoter and now vocalist in the band KIFF) and myself. Afterwards I figured why not do an interview with King Spo-it about the documentary he's working on, especially after seeing some of the interview material. Come along and read about such things as mouse cannons, working with nude women on stage, getting banned from clubs and all sorts of hysteria.
SFM666 - For those people out there who don't know about the SPO-ITS can you give a brief history?
I started the Spo-it's in 1990 with Jason Gibbs as a two piece. we called it originally the John Wayne Gacy five. but after our first show we added a second guitar and two chicks and changed the name to SPO-ITS. We were initially a poetry and noise band. I also loved to hire players who did not know how to play their instruments. The SPO-ITS is based on the Idea of Radical personal freedom. I would include any stupid stunt in the show anyone wanted to do. Before long we had people getting beaten, cutting themselves breaking television sets, getting nude, having sex on stage. I was showing video's of porn and bestiality mixing the sound into the show. To my shock eventually the band members that stuck around learned to play their instruments and we got more of a jazzy noise punk sound.
Our big break came when we were touring with the MENTORS and we got the chance to get on the Jerry Springer show for " Shock Rock". After that we upped our already crazy shows to the point of madness. our best years were from 1994-2000. About 2000 - 2001 a lot of the band members moved away from Savannah. We never ended the band but I only booked a few shows like the 2003 GG ALLIN death anniversary show with the MURDER JUNKIES with Jeff Clayton of ANTISEEN singing. Also we played the White Trash Luau in Virginia.
When 2010 came around I decided we should do a 20th anniversary show. I got the whole crew together Chuck Metaxus from NYC on guitar , Ash from Wisconsin on Sax , Rik from Charlotte on Drums. Then we added John Dunn an old friend of mine and the old bass from TRUCKADELLIC to play bass. We also added two stripper friends of mine to be spo-it's girls, lauren and LIz . We ended up tearing up the club, the Wormhole in Savannah, and got banned from yet another venue, the audience rioted, we set Ash on fire for an 18 second burn. It was just like the old days. After that we decided to play one more show. We came up and fucked up SCUMFEST 2010, again getting banned from Volume 11. The band has three CD's to it's credit "And Your Little Dog Too"," Free Sex" and "Live at the Knitting Factory". I have another CD "Full Retard" which I have written and have started the process of recording the tracks.
SFM666 - When did you decide upon doing a documentary about the band?
I had the idea for a Spo-it's version of a hard day's night for a long time.
It was just before the 20 anniversary show that I thought of the idea of doing a film about the band using all the crazy video I have shot over the years. We had three HD cameras shooting the 20th anniversary show and we had some stupid fuck that was supposed to follow us around filming for SCUMFEST 2010 but he just fucked off on his job. I did not get nearly the amount of video I would have liked to get.
SFM666 - How far away are you from completing it? So what should people expect when it's completed?
I am about 2/3 finished with the interviews I need for the movie. I need to take a trip to California to interview Jay from DICK DELICIOUS and Robert from CAPTAIN BEEFHEART. I also need to get up to NYC and Boston to interview Chuck and Karla. I am guessing if my money hold out I can finish shooting by the end of this year. Then I am having the film professionally edited.
SFM666 - Who are some of the more notable people in the music biz you interviewed for the documentary?
Brent from MASTODON, Merle and Dino from the MURDER JUNKIES,I have some old interview footage of GG ALLIN where I give him the first SPO-ITS Tape, Ruyter from NASHVILLE PUSSY, T-roy from SOURVEIN, Dixie from BUZZOVEN and WEEDEATER, Kirk from BUZZOVEN, Gary Mader of EYEHATEGOD, Trademark G from the Evolution Control Committee
and of course Jay and Scott from DICK DELICIOUS and the TASTY TESTICLES. I'm hoping to catch Jeff from ANTISEEN when they play Savannah later this month. And I need to go out to California and interview Robert Williams the drummer from CAPTAIN BEEFHEART who played on our second CD. All of these folks have played with us or have been at our shows.
(Here's a clip)
SFM666 - When you were doing the interviews did you get any from people who have negative memories of the SPO-ITS?
I have not got any of that yet. I very much want some of it; I want to interview Phillip of KYLESSA about the time he tried to punch me out at a big gas cycles show. There are also some know haters I want to interview. But the folks that do not like The SPO-ITS usually don't like me personally either and they avoid me.
SFM666 - Since the SPO-ITS shows were known to have some nudity involved once in a while I'm guessing the documentary will contain some nudity as well. Will that be the case?
I am including tons of nudity in the film. Sex acts too!!. I also have a photo montage a La ken burns which will feature some of our best stills.
SFM666 - Now I worked at a club that did not mind the type of extreme performance that the SPO-ITS were known to do. In fact I believe we (at the Caboose) cooperated fully.I'm sure there are some venues which didn't care for the SPO-ITS. Are you at liberty to mention those places and will they be mentioned in the documentary?
The most famous place we ever got thrown out of is the Whiskey A Go Go. I don't have any video of that because the bitches wanted 50 bucks to allow us to video tape. I just would not do that on principal . In my own interview I will go in depth. The suck ass clubs in Savannah that would never have us play. I can truly say I got next to no support from the suck ass Savannah GA music scene. Like Jeff Clayton Says " I got this far without you".
(another SPO-ITS live clip)
SFM666 - In the documentary will you go into detail on how the Grind Guitar came to be as well as your experiences on stage with it?
There will be a whole segment on the grindertar. I got the idea in 1991 watching jim O'rourke in Atlanta play a guitar on a table with lots of pedals and motors that he would put on various parts of the guitar to get strange sounds. I though "that is so cool............ but it does not rock" so I started experiments with attaching things to my guitar which ended in me buying a grinder and attaching it to the guitar head. Tricked out with the pedals attached right to the guitar itself it makes a real sonic weapon. Most guitars can make you deaf but this one can make you blind as well.
(editor's note: it can also hurt you.)
SFM666 - Here's a few more SPO-ITS' stage performance devices which I believe need explaining; The Mouse Cannon, Shooting Fireworks into the Audience, Smashing TV sets?
Mouse cannon. Well , we got asked not to do fireworks into the audience so I thought of hitting them with vermin. Mice are always rescues from the snake food cages at the pet store. Even though there is some danger to the mice they have a great chance of getting away or being adopted at the show. Better than their chances with the snake. So mice are light and you can fire them easily using a bellows and a tube. It is great because lots of times women will throw up when hit in the hair by a mouse.
Fireworks.... Well , we did jumping chasers at our feet for a long time. But it was not long till I did not want to hog all the fireworks to myself and share with the audience. I especially like setting off rockets in banks of 100 in very small crowded clubs. It really looks more dangerous than it is. We have had some burns and I did set dixie's dreads on fire once in Virginia but no blindings yet. I want to Make the audience be part of the show.
The Television thing I really stumbled on. Wendy O (of the PLASMATICS) had been chainsawing tv's but I never thought of copying her. We started by gluing shards of broken bottles to television sets like porcupines and bringing them to shows to raffle off. They were so dangerous we would always get cut moving them. One day in 1990 the guy who had won the tv did not want it so we busted it up with a crowbar. When i saw the crowd reaction to breaking a television ..... they were like "I could have watched Baywatch on that" it was really effecting. Soon we had to do it at every show. Now though the tube tv is an antique and our show segment will go the way of the dodo bird unless we break into communications museums to destroy their collections.
(Here's the SPO-ITS live at CBGBs)
SFM666 - Were there any major problems with finding people you wanted to be in the documentary?
Yes I am out of touch with several of the SPO-ITS like Jason who started the band with me. It has been 15 years since I have heard anything from him and I do not even know where he lives. Also perhaps he does no use computers like a normal person. Perhaps he is dead. Jim Kelly our first drummer is somewhere in Atlanta and disappeared before our Clermont show when I was going to get him on video. Dawn the SPo-it's girl from 1998 stole a mexican's car and lit out from HIlton Head. She stopped in Atlanta to fuck Jay and then rode off into the sunset. If you are near a pole check and see if she is dancing on it.
SFM666 - Is there a website for the documentary or some where on the web people can contact you about it?
I do not have a doc web site yet. best place if you have a spo-it's story you want to tell for the film is my spo-it's Facebook page or my Scott corkern Facebook page.
SFM666 - Are the SPO-ITS done or is this just a stopping point for now until the right opportunity arises to do it again?
No I am going to keep doing SPO-ITS until I am prevented by the law. I have an idea I will send the film to festivals and if it gets in I will book the band to play that night or the next night.
SFM666 - What was one of your favorite SPO-ITS performances where everything just clicked and the audience left amazed?
My favorite performance is and always will be Scumfest 1998. Great crowd great spo-it's line up with Chuck and the Dick D crew. Lots of great angry nude women and sex acts on stage. The only thing that could have made it better is 200 rockets firing into the audience. But at that time caboose had shut us down from doing fireworks that show.