The American In Me

by The Avengers

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1.
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
2.
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)
3.
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
4.
uh-oh lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey Who is that girl you see running down the alley? She's all dressed in white, must be an escapee ooh but she's beautiful just like a dream and you're so hungry for some honey and cream, yeah oh she's a mystery you gotta get into her fantasies so you run around the corner just to see what you can see and there she is saying don't you follow me, oh no She's got a smile like a knife in her teeth and you've got a pressure problem with your sweaty hands, yeah I've got my business got no time for you going to a wedding getting married to myself I am a mystery you better check it with your fantasies don't you try to put nothing on me cause if you do I'm gonna make you very sorry you did oh-oh-oh-uh-uh-oh don't you want me? oh-oh-oh-uh-uh-oh don't you follow me oh-oh-oh-uh-uh-oh don't you want me? oh-oh-oh-uh-uh-oh the answer is no yeah, I'm a mystery you better check it with your fantasies don't you try to put nothing on me cause if you do I'm gonna make you very sorry you did oh-oh-oh-uh-uh-oh sex shooter don't you want me? oh-oh-oh-uh-uh-oh don't you follow me oh-oh-oh-uh-uh-oh don't you want me? oh-oh-oh-uh-uh-oh the answer is no
5.
cheap tragedies lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey The doors flew open and the people crowded in they said, we can't wait for your show to start and their bodies flew the only way they knew they're coming straight for the center of my heart I see your face and I've memorized it I see your life, I recognize all your petty jealousies your hidden tragedies, your bitter memories they'll be the death of you yet, oh they'll be the death of you yet, oh now you look down and there's blood on your hands your frustration went out of control well, it's your nightmare and it's your life go on home now, go to bed, go to sleep and dream you see your face don't you even recognize it? you see your life you've memorized all those petty jealousies those hidden tragedies, those bitter memories they'll be the death of you yet, oh they'll be the death of you yet, oh they'll be the death of you yet you see your face don't you even recognize it? you see your life you've memorized all those petty jealousies those hidden tragedies, those bitter memories they'll be the death of you yet, oh they'll be the death of you yet, oh they'll be the death of you yet, oh they'll be the death of you yet, oh they'll be the death of you yet
6.
Zero Hour 03:23
7.
corpus christi lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston, B. Kent, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey In the beginning there was a void except for the written word But I was born in such foolish times my guilt is guaranteed now I don't want to burn in hell John told me that I would unless I went down to the water my sins purged in his holy blood see how they run, sheep to the fold see how they fall, corpse from the cross now I got my bleeding heart and I wear my crown of thorns and argue with the old men about the tapestry was torn I got to sacrifice my ego it's such a small price to pay I'm waiting for the resurrection gonna find out what Christ would say see how they run, sheep to the fold see how they fall, corpse from the cross read another bible story I've got to find the truth sending loads of telegrams to God prove my faith is absolute I'm going down, down on my knees and pray maybe I'll buy a talisman oh, something's got to save me on the judgement day see how they run, sheep to the fold see how they fall, corpse from the cross see how they run, sheep to the fold see how they fall, corpse from the cross kyrie eleison
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about

"'The American In Me' was a torn flag flown by the Avengers... the best punk band in San Francisco, in moments the best in the country. [Their songs were] like a rock through the window that separates the true from the false." - from the liner notes by Greil Marcus.

Recorded in 1978-79, this sonic manifesto contains 8 live tracks* and 4 previously unreleased studio tracks -- including 2 alternate takes from the infamous sessions produced by Sex Pistol, Steve Jones.

In the late 70s world of fast and furious punk, two years seemed like a pretty long time. We had already played more than 100 shows up and down the West Coast, driving a beat-up van and sleeping on friend's floors at punk rock squats. Although, we'd recorded a dozen songs in three or four studios – mostly on "spec" time – there was only one 3-song EP (Dangerhouse Records, 1977) available. At that time, support from labels, press and radio was nearly non-existent. Playing on stage at the few punk clubs of the day was how we connected with our audience.

When we decided to break up the band we had three shows left to play. This was the first of the three and was unusual for several reasons. We had headlined every show since opening for the Sex Pistols, a year and a half earlier, but this night we were the support band and we had to play twice. Penetration, the female-fronted U.K. band was touring and Bill Graham's mainstream rock club, The Old Waldorf, booked them to play two shows. The club's policy was for the audience to buy a separate ticket to each set, sit at long tables radiating from the stage and pay for two drinks. If you deviated from their policies you could be dragged out kicking and screaming. No standing, no dancing, absolutely no stage diving, buy that second drink and GET OUT after the first show. We thought all these rules were fascistic and encouraged people to break them whenever we could. "Tables are for dancing on," was our cry that night. We didn't have to worry about not being asked back. We were never coming back!

The other thing I remember about this show was the problem of playing the second set. My usual formula for a happy performance included two to four gin-tonics consumed before and during the show. This plan left me in an exceedingly relaxed state for the second set and in my fairly blurry memory, there's a moment where I believe I fell over. (Not unusual for Punk but it'd never happened to me before.) I'm pretty certain that this recording comes from the first set. Everyone in the band felt torn over our decision to split up, but glad we still had a couple more shows where we could go out in a blaze of glory in front of our most faithful fans and friends.

The performance contains impassioned versions of some of our more notorious songs "The American In Me" and "Corpus Christi" played with the harder, flamboyant guitar style of our last guitarist, Vancouver's Brad Kent AKA Brad Cunt, once of DOA. Also included are three songs that have never been officially released; "Misery" (AKA "Finger On The Trigger,") "Zero Hour" and "Time To Die." While the first two did have actual lyrics, "Time To Die" seems like a work in progress. One that would never be perfected, since ten days later we played our final show. Still, the moment in time has been captured and you now hold a record of that moment, be it powerful, furious, imperfect or bittersweet. It is dedicated to those who were there, but are now too deaf or too dead to remember.

- Penelope Houston, Oakland CA, 2003

credits

released April 19, 2004

The Avengers are:
Penelope Houston: vocals
Greg Ingraham: guitar (tracks 1-4)
Brad Kent: guitar (tracks 5-12)
Danny Furious: drums
Jimmy Wilsey: bass

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Penelope Houston Oakland, California

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