American Bad Taste
American Bad Taste (ABT) was a first generation punk rock band formed in Hollywood, California during November 1979. ABT’s primary members were Holiday Ian (Guitar & Vocals) and Vince Conrad (Bass & Vocals), who also wrote the band’s material. The band went through a number of drummers until deciding on Tommy Tasteless, a hard hitting drummer who often used hockey sticks instead of drum sticks at live shows and stood up when he played.
During November 1979 upon securing support from Casablanca Record and Filmworks, Inc. (Casablanca) in Hollywood, CA, Vince called Holiday, who was still living and playing shows in New York and invited him to form American Bad Taste.
In November 1979, Holiday moved from New York into a hotel apartment with Vince in the Montecito Hotel in Hollywood, CA to form, American Bad Taste. By January 1980, Holiday and Vince had written four (4) songs (Mr. & Mrs. Jones, Jamie, Disturbance & Steal A Car), which Casablanca agreed to record. The boys recorded the songs at Cherrywood Studios & Music Lab in Hollywood. Jerry Sommers (Drums), a well-known session drummer at that time and Connie Dasilva (Keyboards), of Viva Beat on Chrysalis Records, were friends that sat in with Vince and Holiday during the Casablanca sessions.
In February 1980, Casablanca executives informed the boys that Casablanca was being acquired by Polygram Records and funding for American Bad Taste was being terminated. As a result, Vince & Holiday decided to relocate to Dayton, Ohio, where they had originally met, played and attended the same high school. Vince & Holiday, wanted to take their brand of punk rock to the American heartland to play clubs in the Midwest and tighten up the band before returning to New York or Hollywood to try for a new record deal.
Vince and Holiday wrote a number of songs during this period for American Bad Taste and played numerous shows in the Midwest during the summer of 1980. The boys also secured a Wednesday night residency at Sam’s Bar & Grill in downtown Dayton, resulting from Dayton’s emerging punk rock scene and the rapidly growing popularity of American Bad Taste. American Bad Taste played shows with such bands as the Dates and Toxic Reasons, who were known locally at that time in their own right. An old two-story house the boys rented near the Miami River, and nicknamed “The Tasteless Mansion” became the new living quarters for American Bad Taste and an all-night hangout for the band and their friends.
American Bad Taste received some airplay on at least one local FM radio station and received write-ups in several local newspapers. One article in the Dayton Daily News focused on a two-story slogan entitled, “American Bad Taste” which had been spray painted in the middle of the night on the Miami River levy wall, visible to all who passed over the Main Street Bridge coming into downtown Dayton. It was a photograph of this very graffiti that became the band’s logo and later appeared as the cover of the American Bad Taste CD.
American Bad Taste disbanded over financial difficulties and creative differences for a period in September 1980. Holiday returned to Hollywood in December of 1980 and Vince followed in June 1981. American Bad Taste regrouped again in Hollywood for a short period but quickly fell apart when Tommy Tasteless suffered from health issues and could no longer play. While both Holiday and Vince continued to write songs and work on various projects in Hollywood, they did not revive American Bad Taste again until 1999.
Eventually, after returning to Hollywood, Holiday formed “Studio IT” a recording and production studio in Los Angeles, CA. During 1999, Holiday invited Vince to record the songs they had both played together in 1980 as American Bad Taste. The CD would also include the four Casablanca masters originally recorded in 1980.
During 1999 the boys completed the record entitled simply, “American Bad Taste” which featured Derf Scratch (RIP) of FEAR and “Decline of Western Civilization I” on “Slut Babies” a track written by Vince Conrad. The CD includes twelve songs, six written by Holiday Ian and six by Vince Conrad. Holiday also engineered, produced and mastered the recordings at Studio IT. Unfortunately, the boys were unable to secure a promotion/distribution deal and the CD was shelved until now.
American Bad Taste captures a satirical outlook of the American culture and life style in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. This powerful little three-piece is a classic example of a first generation punk rock band, combining three and four chord songs with memorable chorus lines. Holiday’s unique vocals and guitar style is reminiscent of his early New York rock/punk rock origins. Vince too, is a distinctive force contributing both driving and complementary bass patterns, as well as, lead vocals. American Bad Taste never took themselves or the world in which they lived too seriously, conveying both mild contempt and a satirical outlook through their music. American Bad Taste songs rarely lasted more than three minutes. Anyone who saw those early shows was among a small and select group, being the only individuals to hear and experience the music of American Bad Taste until now.
For the first time, Vince Conrad Productions is releasing the American Bad Taste CD and individual American Bad Taste songs for download to the general public. This 12 song CD is a rare and exciting discovery for punk rock enthusiasts of any generation. For those interested in punk rock’s early origins and in experiencing a first generation punk rock band which has been previously undiscovered, give American Bad Taste a listen. American Bad Taste is one of those early punk rock bands, whose members lived the life from NYC to LA and lived to sing about it. Enjoy!