In keeping with my plan to write more fiction, I need to start creating some more things. This is a fictitious band biography. I hope you enjoy it.
Bukake Culkin (part 1)
In October of 1991, Bukake Culkin formed in Phoenix, Arizona. The band was comprised of five high school friends. Two of which, Curtis “Chimi” Frasier (drums) and Peter “Petey” Smythe (guitar), who went to Brophy Prep in central Phoenix, Nancy “Gatorhate” Randall (guitar) from Xavier College Prep, John (no nickname) Preston (vocals) from Camelback High School, and the bass player, Fernando “Ferdie” Prince from Sunnyslope High. Initially, the band jammed in Randall’s garage at the family home in central Phoenix on west Rose Lane before eventually moving to a dedicated practice room at the Van Buren location of Francisco Studios.
During the band’s somewhat fiery career, Bukake Culkin made a name for themselves both visually and sonically. Smythe said in an interview that ran in Razorcake, “We started off as a joke, became a band, told a lot of jokes, became a better band, and are having a hell of a lot of fun. People don’t always understand us, but that’s okay.”
Like most bands, Bukake Culkin started off playing at parties around the Phoenix area. The first of which was in the backyard of Randall’s classmate, Rebecca “Beck” Cisneros who lived just off of 7th Street and Hayward in February of 1992. Cisneros would become a kind of sixth member of Bukake Culkin after coming up with an incredible flyer for her party. The flyer featured the iconic picture of actor Macaulay Culkin from the Home Alone film and had the band’s name across the top in a font Cisneros created. This font would stay with the band throughout their career. You can still find stickers and patches with the logo at record stores, venues, and hardcore shows around the world.
At that first party, Bukake Culkin only had six original songs. These songs were:
“Hand Full of Culkin” (Randall/Preston)
“There’s No Crying on Indian School” (Randall/Prince/Preston)
“Junius Wilson” (Smythe/Frasier)
“Rough Kitchen Sex” (Frasier/Preston/Randall)
“Song For Jesus” (Randall/Smythe)
“Signal To The Enemy” (Bukake Culkin)
Each of these songs would appear on the Bukake Culkin’s debut album, I Quit My Job, which would come out at the end of 1992 on the Phoenix-based label, Hunt’s Tomb Records.
In addition to the six originals, the band played four cover songs. One of these was “Dr. Cutthroat’s Revenge” by local Phoenix favorites, Junior Achievement. Randall’s older brother had turned her on to Junior Achievement a few years earlier. The band also covered another Phoenix band, Religious Skid, when they did their song, “Latter Day Saints on LSD.” Preston’s older brother, Mike, had played drums in Religious Skid just two years before Bukake Culkin after meeting the band’s guitar player, Dave, in rehab. The other two covers were a sped-up version of the Violent Femmes “Blister In The Sun” which they never played again and a song that became a staple in their set, Born Against’s “By The Throat.”
A proper show, this time at the notorious Mason Jar, in Phoenix came next. Preston called the owner, Franco, and begged for an opening slot on a show featuring New York City hardcore band, Blister. Preston, Prince, and Randall had seen Blister play in San Diego during the summer of 1991 and fallen in love with the band’s manic stage energy and mix of New York noise and hardcore sound. Unknown to Preston, Franco had been looking for a band to open the show, so Bukake Culkin was soon on the bill.
When the Mason Jar add in Phoenix New Times came out on Thursday, April 9, Bukake Culkin was listed as B. Culkin. This became a running joke with the band. Over the years the band was active, members would often use B. Culkin when they would give their name for food orders, restaurant tables, etc. Prince even started an account with Mountain Bell, who was the Phoenix phone company at the time, when he, Randall, and Preston got an apartment together in 1993.
The show with Blister, who was on tour with Snapcase, was a success. The band now had eight originals, including newer songs “No Such Thing As A Hate House” and “Birdy” to the mix, and rounded out their set with the Junior Achievement and Born Against covers they had done previously. The small crowd included a few of band’s friends and family who either had a fake ID or were over 21, but the response was overwhelmingly positive. A few people the band didn’t know even asked about buying a record or t-shirt. At school the next day, Randall shared this with Cisneros and wheels began to turn.
Over the summer of 1992, the band continued to write songs and play shows around the Phoenix area. All the members of Bukake Culkin were part of the graduating class of 1992, so there was nothing holding the band back from continuing to work on their music. Preston had decided to take the year off school and work full-time in the restaurant his family owned (and often fed the members of Bukake Culkin). Randall and Prince had enrolled for the fall semester at Phoenix College, and Smythe and Frasier would be going to Arizona State University in Tempe.
Because of the small but growing crowd the band was creating, by the fall of 1992, Bukake Culkin was making a name for themselves and, in addition to the parties and underground shows they would play for people in their age group, they were also getting regular gigs at the Mason Jar, the Art Cage, Boston’s, and Hollywood Alley. In those days, clubs would often let underage bands play their set, but they would have to leave or stay in a designated area.
An affable group of young people, Bukake Culkin quickly made friends with their peers in the Phoenix scene, as well as making an impression on band’s they supported as an opening act. Things were looking up when Todd Swenson of Hunt’s Tomb Records saw them play in a warehouse on Madison and 13th street in mid-September 1992.
See you tomorrow.
I didn't take this picture, obviously.