Archive for the ‘Danceland/Bonkers/Illusions’ Category

Direct Action 25th Anniversary Reunion Show! (and other related rarities!). UPDATED with new show flier!

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

So excited that our friends, Battered Citizens and Rugburn are also joining us for the reunion show!


This summer 2012 will mark the 25th Anniversary of Direct Action (first as New Federation) playing their very first show. This “show” (a party in Latrobe)  was probably one of the first times a hardcore punk band played in the Greensburg/Latrobe PA area.

To celebrate this anniversary DA will be playing a reunion show on June 2 at The Shop (in Bloomfield) with Surrounded by Mice, and maybe some other band surprises as well. The show flier above also had Basilisk on the bill but they had to cancel. Bummer. :(

We are very excited about this show! It should be a great reunion of WestPA friends! Hope to see you there. The last reunion show was a blast. Let’s make this one even better.

Over Christmas of 2011 DA wrote their first new song in over 20 years to celebrate the reunion show. It is called “This Generation.” Expect to hear it at the show on June 2. I have posted it here for download!

This Generation

Derek also created this cool video for it as well.

To mark the anniversary I am also posting a bunch of Direct Action rarities to sample and download (among other photos and artifacts). I went through a ton of old cassette tapes and located some gems that really capture the spirt of the time in Direct Action history. Good times for sure.

The first set of songs are practice recordings of songs that were wrote or covered and only played once or twice live (if ever) and then dropped them for whatever reason (some good reasons I guess). DO NOT expect to hear these songs on June 2 :)

The remaining songs are an assortment of live tracks from various shows. There are some old stand-by songs and a bunch of different covers.

You can sample and download the songs at the links below or download all the songs at one time at the last link.

Practice Recordings

Hate Comes Down

Dog’s Life

Were Gonna Fight (7 Seconds)

Power (Agnostic Front)

Chin Up

Evil Dead

You Got Yours

Poser Punk Rocker

Broken Tooth This is a recording of my second or third practice with the band where I was joking around with my guitar (I played bass on my guitar until I could afford a real bass). I was trying to be like Jimi Hendrix and play my guitar behind my head and I lifted up the guitar only to smack my mouth with it busting out an artificial tooth (although the guys thought it was a real tooth). Again…good times.

IUP Basement Party

Your Loss / Set me Free This was Derek’s last show before he went off to the Air Force.

Understanding…(“busted by the cops”). This is from one of our many IUP party shows in some hole of a basement. The cops bust the party and there is a moment of hilarious panic. Pagdon (who was in the audience) has some great lines on this one.

Live at the Upstage (Opening for All with Aaron Pagdon on Drums. 1991(?)

Understanding Jane (Icicle Works)Finally able to finish the song here

Live at the Upstage (first reunion show 1993?)

Pain of the Past

Stand Up and Fight

Forget The Rest

Common Ground

Should I Stay or Should I Go (The Clash)

Under your Influence (DagNasty)

Crash (The Primitives)

Shook Me All Night Long (AC-DC)



Other fun items from the “vault!”

I thought I already posted all the Direct Action Danceland/Bonkers photos I had but I managed to find some more from a show in 90. I am pretty sure we played with Submachine at this show but I am not certain about that.

Pagdon takes the mic. Notice Rob’s hand made Don Brockett shirt.

At some point in the show my strap on my bass broke and I had to sit on a chair for about half the set. Lame!

I think this was probably one of John P’s first show in Direct Action. As always, his guitar positioning is one of a kind!

This shot confirms the year of the show.

Playing after a broken bass strap. Nice “pegged” pants.

The “Big Screen” at Danceland.

I also found two old photos of DA circa 1987 or 88 (sans John P) in our beloved practice space at Tom’s Aunt Betty and Grandma’s house in Jeannette PA. That space was just great. Had such a blast there. We were able to jam there one last time back in 2005, I think (See third photo). I have no idea who took these photos.

The last time in the old practice space.

Other Stuff

Here are some other fun photos. The first two are from Derek’s going away party (before going to the Air Force).

The old DA “Crew” with Gene Higgins and Aaron Pagdon! But where is Doug E? Probably taking the picture!


Below are two photos from Rob’s annual Christmas Party. Every Christmas day Rob’s Mom would let him have a small party in the finished attic space of their house in Latrobe. We would all go over there after doing “family stuff” on Christmas day. It was always fun!


T-Shirt Designs

Here is some old artwork I found for Direct Action t-shirts. The first one was printed in black ink on white shirts and another batch was done in red ink on white shirts.

The second design was never printed on a shirt.


That’s all for now :)


Deep 6

Monday, June 14th, 2010

As promised, here is the first of several posts I plan to do about a band that appears on many of the Danceland/Bonkers flyers seen on this blog:

Deep 6.

Deep 6 was a band from Latrobe. Dave, John, Jeremy, and Jerry all went to Latrobe high school and formed Deep 6 around 1986 with the band lasting till around 1990.

I thought the first time I heard Deep 6 was when we (DA) “competed” against them at the Battle of the Bands at Danceland in December 1988, but Jeremy told me that Deep 6 actually played a show with Pittsburgh’s Heretics at Danceland in Feb of 1988 before the Battle of the Bands show later that year in December. I was at the Heretics show, so actually, that was the first time I saw Deep 6. By the time I saw Deep 6 again, several months later, I remembered that they were much tighter as a band (not to say they were sloppy the first time I saw them) and it was obvious that they were practicing a lot. I guess all that practicing paid off because they won the “battle” and got some recording time at the local Gamut Recording studio. I am going to post some songs from this Gamut recording in a later post.

As for the Deep 6 sound. I thought they sounded like (and looked like…at least Jeremy) the Jesus and Mary during their excellent Psychocandy period, but unlike the Jesus and Marychain, Deep 6 had a “real” drummer who played a real drum kit (not a standing up “Moe Tucker style” drummer). This of course made Deep 6 a little more rocking than the more somber Jesus and Marychain. I also think they sounded similar to R.E.M’s Murmur record. Although, I noticed this after the fact and did not make the connection back then. The Cult, The Replacements, and early U2 also come to mind when describing Deep 6’s influences, but I am sure there are many more, but why listen to me when you can make up your own mind by downloading and listening to the excellent basement recordings of Deep 6 that I have included at the end of this post!

Another thing I noticed when I saw Deep 6 was that they had a ton of loyal Latrobe fans at their shows. I remember the crowd really cheering them on at the Battle of the Bands gig. They also had a lot more girl fans. :)

Above: An early “promotional” photo of Deep 6. From L to R – John Orzehowski, Dave Johnson, Jerry Edris, and Jeremy Ryan.

I  e-mailed all the guys in Deep 6 and asked if they could write some thoughts on the band, the Latrobe/Greensburg scene, Danceland, or whatever memories or interesting stories they may have about Deep 6 and include them in this, and future post about their band. There is what I have from them so far:

Early days and the formation of Deep 6

Dave Johnson (Guitar and Vocals): The first kernel of the band started in 1986 when Jeremy, George Love, Garrett Haines and I made some “casio-rock” recordings at Garrett’s house. Soon after that, George got serious and bought himself a bass; soon after that he got invited to join Rob Henry and Derek Kolishinski’s new band New Federation. They were a punk rock band of course, and to my knowledge Latrobe’s only non-bar, non-wedding, non-metal band. Latrobe was awash in a sea of mullets, Bon Jovi enthusiasts, and acid wash jeans back then and New Federation was very inspiring to us. We wanted to make a real band, too.

The problem was that we had no idea how to play or what we were doing! But we knew that we loved doing it and we wanted to get better.

In spring of 1987 (I think) Jer and I drove to Youngwood, PA to buy our first electric guitars at an amazing place called “Fillion music”. George recommended it to us. “Fillion music” was the living room of some crazy older guy where he gave music lessons and sold cheap off-brand instruments .

Armed with our cheap guitars, we had to find a rhythm section. I knew Jerry at school and someone told me that he played bass. I passed him in the hallway at school one day and said, “hey man, do you wanna play in a shitty band?” and he said “sure!”. Jerry knew John from the school band, recruited him, and that was that.

So then we started the process of writing songs, practicing, and making cassette tapes in John’s parents’ basement. On nice days we’d play outside on the driveway.

And here are some mp3’s from those very Basement Tapes. Enjoy!

  1. Betray
  2. Crawl Into Me
  3. Crack Of Dawn
  4. Cut
  5. Hanging
  6. Hatred
  7. Shadows
  8. Underwater
  9. Untitled
  10. Want
  11. We Bled