Uncle Jarvis and The Fence Dogs is a Punk/Surf/Thrash band currently residing in the Midwestern United States. Often described using the terms "uplifting" and "life-reaffirming", they are known for their intricate guitar work and abrasive but often poinient lyrics.
The actual history of Uncle Jarvis and The Fence Dogs (UJFD) can be traced to a dingy orange county suburb. Coming from very different backgrounds, the four musicians met at a concert at the infamous Masque club in august of 1978, featuring Elton John during is psychedelic era. Disgusted with the show and the state of music in general, friends Colin and Kyle found themselves in the parking lot consuming Olde English malt liquor and venting to one another about the state of popular music. They were soon joined by other show goers who were equally disgusted with the music they heard, among who were Ben and Andrew. Though they had met and briefly talked, the members did not know each other until Colin and Kyle began rehearsing in a downtown loft converted to a practice space. A self taught but talented guitar player, Colin began to pen songs that would later become cult favorites, including "Lake House Love Shack" and "Motor-Ted" with Kyle supplying a smooth vibrato voice to back up the raucous and original guitar playing. In search of a drummer and a bass player, the duo posted a flyer around liquor stores and pornographic video stores to attract like minded individuals. Andrew and Ben, respectively, played the instruments in question and were frequent visitors to the businesses the flyers occupied (as well as were domestic partners at the time) and decided to answer the ad.
Soon after meeting for a second time, the group of ruffians began writing and rehearsing constantly. After they recorded a 7" single of "Wax Yer Stick" and "Skate Rape", they began playing shows at local clubs. Their timing could not have been
better because of the punk explosion in the late 1970s, their brand of take no prisoners and leave no bridges-un-burned and no graves un-robbed, they quickly gained a following of drug addicts and miscreants of all kinds. They played extensively in clubs around LA for little more than a year until being signed on independent Love Dungeon Records. Following a short 5 hour recording session, the classic LP "Give Me, YOur Tired, HUngry, and Dead" was released in November of 1979.
Their tour started off well on the west coast, with plenty of places to indulge their vices all of the members stayed on fairly friendly terms with one-another
. As the tour moved east however, the drugs and pornography, as well
as the proper hair products began to become less available. Ben and Andrew,
as they moved toward the bible belt, found their lifestyle
to be less accepted in the community, thus forcing them to seek one another's company again.
As the poison of substance abuse rattled the founding members, and the poison
of a lost love took its toll of the rhythm section, the music began to suffer.
on the tour became little more than a mess of noise and fluids. Through spats of withdrawal and sexual
frustration, Colin would be un-predictable at best, and unconscious at worst. Kyle's
inhalation problems caused his once operatic voice to disintegrate into a womanly-cave man like
screech. Unable to get along for more than a sexual encounter in the car, Ben
and Andrew were in constant physical fights on stage. After playing a disturbing and drunken mess of a show
in Mason City Iowa, the rest of the tour was canceled and the band returned to LA.
After a break, UJFD seemed to be back on track. They went into the studio in January 1981
to record a follow-up LP. "Rock Opera" was released a staggering 6 months later,
to mixed reviews. The LP featured a single track on the A side and a recipe for shrimp brownies on the B,
which was a major departure from the 54 second surf/punk classics
on the first record. With extended saxophone solos and a 5 minute drum solo, the record alienated UJFD's audience and
earned them a reputation as sell outs. They stopped playing shows all-together
that same year and decided that music videos would be the future of rock and roll.
They concentrated on film projects which to this day have never been released.
Depressed at the
degeneration and mismanagement of the band, Colin sank deeper into his filthy habits.
He hit rock bottom when, during a cough-syrup fueled binge, he injured
his wrist severely in a peep-show accident. With a crippled wrist, he was unable to record
new material, and was subsequently asked to leave the band. Kyle, at losing his closest ally in the band also
hit the bottom, as is inhalation addiction took over and fried his nose so badly it became nothing
but a lump of skin. With Andrew and Ben both living with new partners, the band ended.