Poison Idea

Poison Idea

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Poison Idea

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Origin = Portland, Oregon, United States
Genre = Hard rock
Hardcore punk
Heavy metal
Years_active = 1980–1993
Label = Fatal Erection
Alchemy Records
American Leather
Associated_acts =
Past_members = Jerry A.
Chris Tense
Tom "Pig Champion" Roberts
Glen Estes
Dean Johnson
Eric "Vegetable" Olson
Charley "Myrtle Tickner" Nims
Steve "Thee Slayer Hippy" Hanford
Kid Cocksman
Aldine Strichnine

Poison Idea was an American hard rock [ [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:wbfpxqegldje~T0 "We Must Burn" review] at allmusic] , hardcore punk, and heavy metal [ [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:a9foxqr5ld0e~T0 "Feel the Darkness" review] at allmusic] band from Portland, Oregon.


Poison Idea was formed in 1980 by vocalist Jerry A. (aka Jerry Lang). The initial lineup consisted of Jerry A., Chris Tense (guitar), Glen Estes (bass), and Dean Johnson (drums). Inspired by Black Flag and other early Southern California hardcore acts, they were further influenced by Discharge and Los Angeles's the Germs. Germs singer Darby Crash's influence on singer Jerry A.—vocally, lyrically, and philosophically—was considerable, and Poison Idea followed the Germs’ extremist punk ethic. Tense, who previously had played with Jerry in a group called the Stand, was replaced within a year by Tom "Pig Champion" Roberts (guitar), formerly of the Imperialist Pigs.

PI’s debut, 1983's "Pick Your King" EP was a short, lo-fi blast of hardcore fury. The jacket featured a "choice" of two kings, Jesus (front cover) and Elvis Presley (back cover).

In 1984, Chris Tense returned to the band, this time on bass, replacing Glen Estes (later of Portland, Oregon punk/metal band Final Warning), and the group released another classic album, the "Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes" 12” (the cover features Pig Champion’s substantial vinyl collection). The record found the band incorporating subtle rock elements into their music, which was further honed on their contributions to two 1985 compilations, “Laughing Boy” on the "Drinking is Great" EP (on which appeared other Oregon punk bands Final Warning, Lockjaw and E-13), and “Typical” and “Die on Your Knees” on the legendary "Cleanse the Bacteria" LP (compiled by Pushead for his own Pusmort label).

With the release of 1986’s "Kings of Punk" LP, Poison Idea had fully moved beyond the breakneck hardcore of their early records to a potent, driving and ultimately more intricate and sophisticated hardcore/hard rock fusion that incorporated the accessibility of hard rock without sacrificing the power of hardcore.

Following the release of "Kings of Punk", the band went through several rapid lineup changes (mostly in the rhythm section), and then added lead guitarist Eric "Vegetable" Olson, a gifted musician who wrote many PI tunes during his tenure in the band (even contributing a piano vamp on one track). The band then released "War All the Time" (named for the Charles Bukowski novel) in 1987. "War All the Time" and the EPs that followed (the "Getting the Fear" 12" and the "Filthkick" 7") found them further developing the rock/hardcore sound first established on "Kings of Punk", which they would hone in 1990 with "Feel the Darkness".

Around this time, after numerous lineup changes, PI had convened one of their more stable lineups in Jerry A., Tom "Pig Champion" Roberts, Charley "Myrtle Tickner" Nims (bass) and Steve "Thee Slayer Hippy" Hanford (drums), with Kid Cocksman and then Aldine Strichnine on second guitar. By this time, their drinking habits and hard living were beginning to catch up with them: the band weighed in at about 1,300 lb. collectively, and Pig Champion in particular was very fat, often having to play sitting down. They also established their own record label in 1989, American Leather (named for the Germs song), and released two records the same year: a reissue of their 1982 demo "Darby Crash Rides Again" and the "Discontent" 7”.

In 1990, the band released "Feel the Darkness". After the release of "Feel the Darkness", Aldine Strychnine was thrown out of the band, and Mondo returned this time on guitar, for the 1991 tour. PI then released "Blank Blackout Vacant" in 1992, and, before seemingly splitting in 1993, they released "We Must Burn".

When Pig Champion left the band in 1993, PI effectively called it quits. Jerry A pursued a solo project called Gift with his wife and Thee Slayer Hippy, and in 1998 the original line-up reunited for a 7" EP on released on Taang! (who reissued their early catalogue), but broke up following an aborted tour.

On January 31, 2006 guitarist Pig Champion died at his home in Portland, of undetermined causes, although he had been suffering from the flu and an untreated kidney infection. PI had recorded a new record and it was ready for release when he died. Pig wanted the record to be called "Latest Will and Testament", a name that the rest of the band liked. After Tom’s death Jerry commented that Pig probably knew something that the rest of them didn't. The album was released in May 2006 on Farewell Records.

In 2007, the band again reformed to play shows in support of a split 7" single with Kill Your Idols (for TKO Records). The lineup for this incarnation was Jerry A., Chris Cuthbert (drums), Jimmy Taylor (guitar), Matt Brainard (guitar) and Rob Hume (bass).

PI has been cited as an influence by bands and musicians such as Zeke, Turbonegro, Pantera, Machine Head, Emperor’s Bård Faust and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain.


* 1982 "Darby Crash Rides Again demo" (self released)
* 1983 "Pick Your King" 7” EP (Fatal Erection)
* 1984 "Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes" 12” EP (Fatal Erection)
* 1986 "Kings of Punk" LP (Pusmort)
* 1987 "War All the Time" LP (Alchemy)
* 1988 "Filthkick" EP (Shitfool)
* 1988 "Getting the Fear" 12” EP (Rockport)
* 1989 "Darby Crash Rides Again" EP (American Leather) Reissue of demo tape
* 1989 "Ian MacKaye" 12” (American Leather, 1989) Reissue: contains "Filthkick" and "Getting the Fear"
* 1989 "Picture Disc" 7” (American Leather)
* 1990 "Discontent" 7” (American Leather)
* 1990 "Feel the Darkness" LP (American Leather)
* 1990 "Taken By Surprise" 7” (Sub Pop)
* 1991 "Punish Me" 7” (American Leather)
* 1991 "Dutch Courage" live LP (Bitzcore)
* 1991 "Live in Vienna" 7” (American Leather)
* 1991 "Official Bootleg" 2x7” (American Leather)
* 1992 "Pajama Party" LP (Tim/Kerr) All-cover album
* 1992 "Blank Blackout Vacant" LP (Taang!)
* 1993 "Your Choice Live Series" LP/CD "(Your Choice Records)"
* 1993 "Feel the Darkness (Remix) 7" (Released exclusively with Fear and Loathing Fanzine, very rare)
* 1993 "We Must Burn" LP (Tim/Kerr, 1993)
* 1994 "Religion and Politics Part I & II" 10” (Tim/Kerr, 1994) Taken from same sessions as "We Must Burn"
* 1994 "The Early Years" CD (Bitzcore)
* 1998 "Learning to Scream" 7” EP (Taang!)
* 2000 "The Best of Poison Idea" CD (Taang!) Reissue: contains "Pick Your King", "Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes", and "Kings of Punk"
* 2006 "Latest Will and Testament" CD/LP (Farewell)
* 2007 "Bipolar Hardcore" split 7" 45 with Kill Your Idols (TKO)

Compilation appearances

* 1983 "Grievous Musical Harm" tape (Xcentric Noise) “M.I.A.,” “All Right,” “Young Lord”
* 1985 "Drinking Is Great" EP (Fatal Erection) “Laughing Boy”
* 1985 "Cleanse the Bacteria" LP (Pusmort) “Typical,” “Die On Your Knees” (plus “I Gotta Right” on bonus 12” only)
* 1991 "Punk’s Not Dread" LP (Sink Below) “New Rose”
* 1993 "Eight Songs for Greg Sage and The Wipers" LP (Tim/Kerr Records) “Up Front”
* 1996 "Punk-O-Rama Vol. 2" LP (Epitaph Records) "Just to Get Away"

Covered by

* Pantera covered "The Badge" for "The Crow - Original Soundtrack"
* Machine Head covered "Alan's On Fire" as a B-Side for their 1994 Single "Old"
* Wolfbrigade covered "Say Goodbye" for their 2003 album "In Darkness You Feel No Regrets"

External links

* [http://www.myspace.com/blankblackoutvacant Official POISON IDEA MySpace.com profile.]
* [http://www.paperbackjukebox.com/PoisonIdea Poison Idea: Still the Kings of Punk] (Cover story for the July 1992 issue of Portland's " [http://www.paperbackjukebox.com/ Paperback Jukebox] ".)
* [http://homepages.nyu.edu/~cch223/usa/poisonidea_main.html Poison Idea page on Kill From the Heart] (General information, but notably, it has interviews with band members)
* [http://members.cox.net/nopunks2/webzine33.htm Interview with Jerry A.] (of particular note, this interview has information on the unlicensed Epitaph reissue of "Feel the Darkness")
* [http://www.operationphoenixrecords.com/flipsidedepoisonidea.html Flipside Interview] - Poison Idea interview from 1990

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