Friday, February 5, 2010

The Beach Mutants: I Need Dope

Here, to set the warped record straight on Winnipeg's mid-eighties punk overlords, is Paul "Willy" Williamson, automotive columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press and current lead singer of The Gearheads.

"The Beach Mutants were from Charleswood. The lead singer was Pete McCormick. Most of the band members attended Shaftsbury High School, and were the only punks in a predominantly "rich kid" school. Hits included a rewrite of "My Generation" titled..."My Masturbation", and a little ditty called "Fuck Monster"...("I think I saw the fuck monster sliding down a banister, I think I saw this scary guy with his dick caught in his fly"). I was basically the chief roadie, but I used to sing "Born to be Wild" and a couple of really fast Neil Young covers. Brad Johnston on lead guitar, his little brother Garth played drums sometimes, but it was usually Mike Stevens. Steve Benedictson was the original bass player, he was replaced by Wycliffe Hartwig, who incidentally is now an actor and had a role in the TV series Stargate. The band played many gigs in the mid 80s, including countless trips to the basement of Wellingtons and a tour of western Canada where they opened for (jangle-pop band) the Grapes of Wrath. In 1984 we rented a video camera from Global Video and made a movie called Pizza Guy. It had Beach Mutant songs in the soundtrack. It was an ambitious project. Basically, I would take a pizza, and with the camera hidden in the bushes, knock on someone's door and try to deliver the pizza that they never ordered. I had a Mohawk at the time, and they put fake blood on my face and shirt, so I looked pretty messed up. I actually convinced one lady to buy the was three days old."

Here's the press-kit, such as it was from 1986 (click to enlarge) .

Their relentless gigging (I must have seen them a dozen times) transformed The Beach Mutants into a ferocious monster. Pete McCormarck was a feral frontman and the huge, imposing Wycliff anchored the band with his guttural bass and backing vocals. Eventually they released one of the cheapest-looking, thinnest-sounding punk singles of all time, Christmas, Grandma.... Polka Dot Pyjamas. You can still hear the glorious recklessness, especially in their gonzo re-write of "My Generation" and their Reefer Madness inspired "I Need Dope" but you've got to really crank it to approximate the live experience.

Christmas, Grandma....Polka Dot Pyjamas 7"

Alternate link if the first one has problems for you

A big, whopping thanks to Mike K. for all the scans!


  1. Thing 1 & Thing 2:

    1."I Need Dope" is waaayyyy better than what I remember.

    2.The last 30 seconds of "My Mast." would be great if it weren't for those fucking awful high vocals.

  2. Thanks for your many posts! Do you have the 'mutant surf punks' various album by any chance? (i had a very badly organised suprise 21 birthday, (many years ago)...someone should have filmed it as a comedy classic.This was a record i played (to a bunch of strangers) to try to inject some day the flashbacks will go away...

  3. track 4 is corrupt in the .rar file. I've downloaded it twice and it's corrupt both times.

  4. CPB
    Oh how I'd wish you seen 'em live, you'd have loved 'em.

    I'll see what I can do about that one.

    Anon (II)
    Fixed (I think)


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