died for your sins

by The Avengers

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about

(from 1998)
A few years ago a small label called Really Fast from Sweden released a single with two Avengers songs taken from a tape that Danny Furious had. I remembered the day we recorded it at Iguana rehearsal hall with a stereo mic (which we thought was pretty advanced!) I recognized Teenage Rebel but the other song Friends Of Mine was totally new to me, even though it was clear that I was singing it and had written the lyrics. And it sounded pretty good. How many songs never made it to tape? How many lost to memory? I started collecting live shows to see what was out there.

My hopes in releasing this album were to bring to light some of the lost Avengers songs and give give a feeling of the wildness of the live shows.

What you're holding in your hands is mostly an archival set of field recordings. and we have the tapers and traders to thank for it's existence. Without them many performances and even whole songs would have disappeared without a trace. I had no idea that these recordings were out there floating around in the world and that with the internet and hours of word-of-mouth research they could be tracked down. Teenage Rebel, Friends Of Mine and The Good The Bad And The Kowalskis were from the Iguana rehearsal. The early version of White Nigger was demoed at Wally Heider Studios and is quite different from the one Steve Jones produced on the Avengers EP from 1979. It reminds me of how late I would wait to finish writing the lyrics before a recording session (once on the bus on the way there). Crazy Homicide, I Want In and The End Of The World were songs I did have lyrics for and really were finished, but only could be found on muddy live sets. Greg was excited about the idea of recording them and since Danny was in Sweden and Jimmy was incommunicado we put together the Scavengers with Joel Reader and Danny Panic (of The Plus Ones). Probably my favorite moment on this album is Greg's lead on The End Of The World which he remembered note for note for 20 years ago! We hope the purists will forgive us (or fuck 'em). The 2nd half of the recording is cut together from 5 of about 15 different live shows that I collected from the collectors. I don't remember a whole lot about them as I had a formula of three gin and tonics before hitting the stage, but I'm pretty sure the performer that played before us which I critiqued in Fools Or Hippies was a scruffy bearded hippie banging pots and pans. He later became the artist known as Zev. From listening to the live tapes I have to admit that harranging the audience was part and parcel of a Avengers show. People seemed to like it. If these songs sound blurry, ferocious, impassioned and slightly out of control, then they'll give you a little taste of what it was like at the Mabuhay Gardens in 1978. Wish you'd been there.

credits

released 10 April 1999

The Avengers are:
Penelope Houston: vocals
Greg Ingraham: guitar
Danny Furious: drums
Jimmy Wilsey: bass

tracks 5, 6 +7 recorded by the ScAvengers 1998
Penelope and Greg, with Joel Reader: bass, Danny Panic: drums

Produced by Penelope Houston and Kevin Army
all songs written by Houston/Ingraham/O'Brien/Wilsey
Mastered by John Golden
Cover design by Patrick Roques
Photos by Marcus Leatherdale

Tracks recording info:
1, 2, +4 at Iguana Rehearsal Studios by Joey Swails 1978
3 at Wally Heider Studios 1978
5-7 at Roof Brothers by Kevin Army 1998
8-12 live at the Mabuhay by James Manniello 1978
13+14 live at the Keystone Berkeley 1977
15-17 live in Santa Cruz 1978
18 live at the Keystone Palo Alto by Jerry Harrison 1977
19 live at the Whiskey a-go-go 1978

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Penelope Houston Oakland, California

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Track Name: Teenage Rebel
teenage rebel
lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey
everywhere I go people stare
they put me down but I don't care
(they put me down they put me down)
my mirror's telling me my face is a mess
and all my friends
they hate the way i dress
Cause I'm a rebel
rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel,
rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel,
a teenage rebel

Well I'm not in school and I hate work
I break all their rules and they call me a jerk
everybody's trying to tell me how to live my life
If I hear it one more time from you baby
gonna slit your gut with a knife

Cause I'm a rebel
rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel,
rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel,
a teenage rebel
Track Name: White N*gger (alt version)
white nigger
lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey

Well, you don't know what you want
working everyday in your restaurant
your life is slipping out of control
lose your job gonna lose you soul
now boy, young and white, so you wanna make it bigger
boy, you better watch your step, white nigger

When you were young you had such big plans
such big ambitions gonna be a good man
I say look at you now, oh what a coward
living your life but you don't know how to live

boy (little boy) young and white, so you try to make it bigger
boy, you just don't understand do you white nigger?

Work like a devil, work like a dog
where does it get you, where do you go oooohhhhh
Work for the money, work for the show
Work for the people that you don't know

I see you driving around in your car
pretend you're not what you really are
just look in the mirror look in your eyes
what you discover will be no surprise
something is missing something's wrong
you got your money but something's gone
something you had right from the start
you should have listened to your heart

Work like a dog, work like a slave,
Work like a devil, and what have you made ohhhhhh no, no, no
Work like a dog, work 9-5
working shaking his hand you're staying alive ohhhhhh no, no where you gonna go
Work work every day
Work your life away and sure it pays
but where does it get you, where are you now
come on white nigger
Track Name: I Want In
I want in
lyrics and music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey
You've been running 'round
Going steady with everyone
leave me here alone
well, Baby, that's no fun
I want in to your head
I want in to your heart
Don't leave me in the dark
'cause I want in
Got millions of boys
waiting in a line
but they're such bores
Baby you're so fine
Why don't you let me in
I won't mess up a thing
I'll be your sugar queen
You can be my cock house king
I want in to your head
I want in to your heart
Don't leave me in the dark
'cause I want in
You've been running 'round
Going steady with everyone
I'm left home alone
well, Baby, that's no fun
I need to stop the pain
that's going through my brain
you're the only one that can
why don't you be my mystery man
I want in to your head
I want in to your heart
Don't leave me in the dark
'cause I want in
Track Name: Crazy Homicide
crazy homicide
lyrics and music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey
Nothing in the world can satisfy you
but you won't give up and be like the rest
nobody cares if you live or die
so you join the party called homicide
you never get caught 'cause you're too smart
invisible boy, you can see in the dark
you're an urban guerrilla with no real cause
but to tear things down, finish things off

What's the point
of living a 2-D life
you may as well blow up
next step is genocide

Crazy Homicide, Crazy Homicide (revolution)
you got nothing, and nothing to say
Crazy Homicide, Crazy Homicide (no solution)
don't give yourseves away

Nothing in the world can satisfy you
but you can't give up and be like the rest
nobody cares if you live or die
so you join the party called homicide

What's the point
of living a 2-D life
you may as well blow up
next stop is suicide

Crazy Homicide, Crazy Homicide (revolution)
you got nothing, and nothing to say
Crazy Homicide, Crazy Homicide (no solution)
don't give yourseves away

Crazy Homicide, Crazy Homicide (revolution)
you got nothing, and nothing to say
Crazy Homicide, Crazy Homicide (no solution)
don't give yourseves away
Track Name: The End Of The World
the end of the world
lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey
When I wake up in the morning
from this dream I'm having
going to give everybody the warning
I can feel it, I can taste it
yeah, the end is near
I watch as cities will tumble
I smell your rivers burn
old men, kneeling and humble
nothing left for you to learn, to yearn
the end is here

And you all hold your breath
as you watch the last sun set
and your dreams will finally come
at the end of the world

look down, your shadow's on fire
this day will blot out your past
no man can hold himself higher
with bones of dust to dust
I can taste it, now, it's here

And you all hold your breath
as you watch the last sun set
and your dreams will finally come
at the end, the end of the world

And we all hold our breath
as we're standing at the edge
and our dreams will finally come
at the end, the end of the world
Track Name: The American in Me (live)
the american in me
lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey

It's the American in me that makes me watch the blood
running out of the bullethole in his head.
It's the American in me that makes me watch TV
see on the news, listen what the man said.
He said
"Ask not what you can do for your country
what's your country been doing to you
Ask not what you can do for your country
what's your country been doing to your mind?"

It's the American in me says it an honor to die
in a war that's just a politicians lie
It's the American in me that makes me watch TV
see how they burn the SLA
They say

"Ask not what you can do for your country
what's your country been doing to you
Ask not what you can do for your country
what's your country been doing to your mind?"

In the USA!
In the USA!
In the USA!

It's the American in me that makes me watch the blood
running out of the bullethole in his head.
It's the American in me that never wonders why
Kennedy was murdered by the FBI (said)
Track Name: Open Your Eyes (live)
open your eyes
lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey
At first I thought you were dead
but now I see you're on of the rest
they drugged you with musak and TV sedation
you're one of the blank generation
Open your eyes, open your eyes
You don't see what's going on
Come on, open your eyes, open your eyes
you watch TV to find out what's right and wrong, yeah
Open your eyes
well, they tell you lies and you sing along
Open your eyes to what you respected
Open your eyes you can reject it

I want to upset you, want to make you think
but you eat all their shit
it makes your breath stink
gonna get a job and join a fucking union
that way, you know, nothing's gonna happen

Open your eyes, open your eyes
You don't see what's going on
Come on, open your eyes, open your eyes
you watch TV to find out what's right and wrong, yeah
Open your eyes
well, they tell you lies and you sing along
Open your eyes to what you respected
Open your eyes and you can reject it

Like lemmings you run towards destruction
you can't see the stream of corruption
oh I see you've been blind
you better make up your mind

Open your eyes, open your eyes
You don't see what's going on
Come on, open your eyes, open your eyes
you watch TV to find out what's right and wrong, yeah
Open your eyes
well, they tell you lies and you sing along
Open your eyes to what you respected
Open your eyes and you can reject it
Oh, open your eyes
Oh, open your eyes
Track Name: Car Crash (live)
car crash
lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey
Sitting at home all alone
I hear a voice on the telephone
telling me that you're dead
you wrecked your car, you lost your head
dreamt you had a car crash, now you're
dead on the road with your head smashed
well I heard the news, can't be true
look what happened to you

whoa oh no no no no
whoa oh no no no no
whoa oh no no no no

Why did you leave me, where did you go?
knew this would happen and I told you so, but
you didn't listen to what I said
look at you baby, you lost your head

I dreamt you had a car crash
dead on the road with your head smashed
heard the news, can't be
how could you have done this to me?

whoa oh no no no no
whoa oh no no no no
whoa oh no no no no
Gone, gone, gone
you left me

Sitting at home all alone
I hear a voice on the telephone
telling me that you're dead
man, you lost your head

whoa oh no no no no
whoa oh no no no no
you're dead you left me
whoa oh no no no no
you're gone now
whoa oh no no no no
Track Name: Fuck You
fuck you
lyrics and music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey
maybe the world's a mess
but baby I like your dress
been seeing you around
hear you're the best in town
I want to fuck you, fuck you, fuck you fuck you
Track Name: Desperation (live)
desperation
lyrics and music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey
Gotta get out of here
there's nothing for me here
nothing to do, nowhere to go
no words to say, no thoughts to think
Oh, I'm leaving
the pressure's building up on me
the air is really thick, can't breathe I'm leaving
I'm running, I'm running out of time
out of breath, out of desperation
Now you see me, now you don't
can't stay here much longer
the situation I've been making for myself
can't take it, not you
I'm running I'm running
catch my freedom

now you'll see, I won't be here for long
I gotta get out
out from under you
what are you trying to make me do?
I'm running, I'm running
gotta get out
gotta catch my freedom
I'm running, running
I'm running out of desperation
gotta get out catch my freedom
gotta get where I can breathe
I'm running, running out of desperation
Track Name: We Are The One (live)
we are the one
lyrics and music by Penelope Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey

we are the leaders of tomorrow
we are the one to have the fun
we want control we want the power
not gonna stop until it comes

we are not Jesus Christ
we are not fascist pigs
we are not capitalist industrialists
we are not communists
we are the one

we will build a better tomorrow
the youth of today will be the tool
american children built for survival
fate is our destiny and we shall rule

we are not Jesus Christ
we are not fascist pigs
we are not capitalist industrialists
we are not communists
we are the one

I am the one who shows you the future
I am the one who buries the past
a new species rise up from the ruins
I am the one that was made to last

we are not Jesus Christ
we are not fascist pigs
we are not capitalist industrialists
we are not communists
we are the one