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Tru Fax & the Insaniacs

Tru Fax and the Insaniacs

Tru Fax & the Insaniacs (TFI) are a punk/new wave music band in the Washington, DC, area. The voice of the band's lead vocalist, Diana Quinn, has been described as evoking "early Deborah Harry -- sort of Blondie meets the Stooges or New York Dolls." TFI was part of DC's infant punk scene in the late 1970s/early 1980s. The members of TFI are Diana Quinn (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), David Wells (lead guitar, backup vocals), Michael Mariotte (drums), and Kenny Bugg (bass guitar). Artist/musician Libby Hatch, previously with the Shirkers, took a turn on bass guitar in the early 1980s.

Quinn is currently involved with several other projects including:


Initially the band organized their own shows at Hard Art, MOTA, dc space, Madam's Organ, and The Bayou in Georgetown.

TFI played its first show on July 9, 1980. The band became a long-term favorite at the club. They were even there when the original closed its doors at its 930 F Street location to move to its new location at the intersections of 9th Street, V Street, and Vermont Avenue.

TFI was one of six local bands chosen to record the music featured on a two CD set which memorializes the closing of the original . The CD set is titled "9:30 Live - A Time, A Place, A Scene". The CDs were recorded live at the between December 28, 1995, and January 1, 1996. The following TFI songs are on CD 2: "King of Machines," "Chinese Wall," "7 T.V. Me," and "Washingtron."

In addition to the CD, TFI recorded a '45 (Washingtron b/w Mystery Date) and an album (Mental Decay, 1982) on WASP records. WASP was a local DC label. The band favored its indie status and eschewed major labels.

"Washingtron" is arguably TFI's biggest hit to date. It is a song about life in the nation's Capital City. In the early 1980s, "Washingtron" received quite a bit of air play on local radio stations like WHFS in Washington, DC. Where else would listeners understand a chorus like: "I used to be a wai-tron in the lounge at the Hil-tron. Now I work for my Sena-tron and I live in Arling-tron. I'm just a Washing-tron"? Arling-tron is a reference to Arlington, Virginia. Arlington is a popular suburb just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. Era-specific items like "Acu-tron" watches and the movie "Tron" are referenced in the song.

TFI played at CBGBs and The Ritz in New York City, as well as locations in Philadelphia, Richmond, Ohio, and North Carolina. The band knew that they had finally made it when Washingtonian Magazine named TFI "worst band" in 1980 - without ever having heard them. This early recognition cemented TFI's status and popularity in the punk/new wave scene.

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