|Philadelphia's Pure Hell – formed in 1974 – is generally considered to be the first black punk rock band.|
In 2016, an acetate of Pure Hell hit eBay. There two songs on it, Wild One and Courageous Cat. Both featured on Noise Addiction but different takes. I was able to secure the record. I played part of Wild One to get levels, then transferred the two songs.
I thought that if I could get the band’s permission, this would be a perfect Record Store Day release. I contacted Kenny Gordon, the band’s vocalist, told him what I wanted to do and waited to see what he had to say. He gave me the green light. I immediately contacted Larry Hardy at In the Red Records because I knew he would get the idea. He came on board immediately.
I went back to Kenny to get some information on the tracks. In 1975, the band recorded six songs at Magnagraphics Enterprise Studio in NYC. The mixes were committed to three two-song acetates. The band lost track of what happened to them as well as the source tapes. Basically, the only way to hear these versions is the acetate.
I figured if these tracks were not released, I was singlehandedly denying any Pure Hell fan the chance to hear the music. Not the thing to do.
We sent the tracks to audio wizard Tim Warren, who was able to bring a lot of sound out of the tracks. Mike Schneider at Welfare Records allowed us to use one of his photos for the cover. Everyone involved waved any monetary income. All profits are going to the band.
Larry and I being vinyl freaks, there are several color variants and they all look really cool. We put all this together to do right by history and rock Record Store Day. Our only intent was to put something great in the bin. This is what it’s all about. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring you this great music. Below is the back cover copy, which will hopefully answer any questions you might have. Thanks, Henry Rollins
Pure Hell – The 1975 Acetate
Side A - Wild One
Side B - Courageous Cat
Recorded at Magnagraphics Enterprise Studio NYC 1975
Kenny "Stinker" Gordon - Vocals + bass on Wild One
Michael "Spider" Sanders - Percussion.
Preston "Chipper" Morris - Guitars
Lenny "Steal" Boles - Bass
These tracks are two of six that were recorded in the session. The other titles are Pretty Poison, I'm Crawling, Rot in the Doghouse and Cosmic Love.
The session was cut onto three two song acetates, in the A and B side order above. This single is the audio carefully transferred from the actual acetate, the only one we have been able to find so far. I have loved this band for nearly 40 years. The chance to team up with Kenny, Larry and Mike to bring this to you is beyond exciting. Long live Pure Hell. – Henry Rollins
At the time we were unaware that a whole new trend to be coined 'Punk Rock' would evolve as it did. I'm amazed that this acetate resurfaced after being lost along with the other two, and that Henry, and Larry at In The Red Records would be the ones to illuminate it in the 21st century! - Kenny Gordon
Digital transfer – Henry Rollins
Mastering - Tim Warren
Cover photo from the archives of Mike Schneider / Welfare Records
This is a co-release by In the Red Records and 2-13-61 Records