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Phil Gammage
"Adventures in Bluesland"
Phil Gammage: Adventures in Bluesland

Phil Gammage
"Kneel to the Rising Sun"
20th Anniversary Edition

originally released on New Rose (France)
Phil Gammage: Kneel to the Rising Sun

The Scarlet Dukes
"Rogue Escapade"
Jump blues/swing
The Scarlet Dukes: Rogue Escapades
The Scarlet Dukes - Rogue Escapades

Certain General
"November's Heat" 1985's classic NYC post-punk LP
Certain General: November

Phil Gammage
"Tracks of Sound"
Edgy downtown jazz
Phil Gammage: Tracks of Sound
Phil Gammage - Tracks of Sound

by Dave Kaufman

Editors Note: This fascinating article, written by Ravers keyboardist and co-founder Dave Kaufman, tells the Ravers story from an interesting perspective. This band's influence on later Colorado 70's punk bands cannot be underestimated. They were the first Colorado punk band to release a record and also one of the first to leave the state in search of a larger audience (New York City). For a time in 1976 and 1977 they were the band who allways was the opening act for punk roadshows like The Nerves and The Ramones at Ebbets Field in Denver (April '77).

the ravers
The Ravers in Boulder 1977
1975 - Put out ads in public places to form a reggae band. Answered by Jon Cormany - got together, might've brought my friend Tim on guitar.

2nd Rehearsal - met Marc Campbell who wrote simple yet compelling reggae songs. In subsequent rehearsals I brought my guitar friend Artie who the other people liked better. This formed the nucleus of what was to become the Ravers.

Had a native American drummer who has cerebral palsy but could still play up a storm! Marc got smitten by the punk rock explosion of '75 and integrated rock into our fledgling group of reggae songs. Marc then got us a gig at a party for a debut. Artie had his Moserite and I had a red Farfisa combo-compact and beige Wurlitzer EP.

We had a series of gigs where Artie, Jon and I started writing songs as well as co writing with Marc doing lyrics.

the ravers live
Live April 1977 Denver (opening for The Nerves)
Early 1976 - the native American left the band to be replaced by Al (d. 1997), who could also do backing vocals. Started getting some notoriety in Boulder, CO and played local clubs, one of the only all original bands to do so.

Played a poetry festival including Allen Ginsberg and performance artists at Boulder's famous Tulagi's nightclub and continued to play around Boulder during 1976 and '77 at improbably named clubs such as Funky Butts and Sinbad's.

1977 - Ramones, Ray Manzarek's Nite City and Runaways come to Denver. Being Colorado's only "punk" band, The Ravers opened up for Nite City and two Ramones shows at another oddly named club, Ebbets Field in the heart of downtown Denver. That was the name of the baseball stadium the Brooklyn Dodgers played in prior to their moving to Los Angeles. The Ramones were loud and fast. At the time I never heard anything like them before. I added Melodica to my repertoire. I also co-wrote a song with Marc that would later become the basis for the Nails' "Transcontinental Ska".

May 1977 - went into a Boulder 4-track studio, Mountain Ears Studio, to record a nine-song demo, three songs of which later came out on the "Cops are Punks" EP on the Screwball record label.

June 1977 - played big performance in Denver sponsored by Wax Trax record store with The Nerves from Los Angeles, a "seminal" band which contained Peter Case, later of the Plimsouls and an accomplished solo artist and Paul Collins' who formed a band called Paul Collins' Beat (actually the Beat but he had to distinguish himself from the English Beat).

live at max'sWe also played our final Boulder show before moving to New York City (where I'm from anyway) at a school auditorium (Free School -ed.) with another local band called Driver. All through this popular period one of the Ravers' roadies was Eric Boucher who later formed the Dead Kennedys and became Jello Biafra...

Summer 1977 - Played CBGB audition night to get into their rotation which we did but not easily. We also played Max's Kansas City and blended in with other NY bands. Unfortunately there was a glam-type band called Raver playing around so we changed our name to The Nails (supposedly suggested by our then manager, now an attorney in the metro SanFran area.)

The Nails, known as The Ravers back then, were the pioneers of Rocky Mountain punk. We walked it like we talked it. And we still do. The other Colorado punk bands were a bunch of pussies who ended up opening health food stores and internet businesses. The Nails kicked ass back then and we kick ass today. The Nails was the only significant rock band to ever come out of Colorado. Name another one and I'll suck your cock/cunt.

Instead of spending $100 for a copy of "Cops Are Punk" send the money to me. I'll put that C-spot to good use. I'll give it to "Meals On Wheels" or an animal rescue shelter. Buying old punk records for inflated prices is the antithesis of what punk was all about. No more heroes!
Marc Campbell - lead singer of the Ravers/Nails - September 2000