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BAMBIS- Play Ramones Cassette (Off Course Records, Switzerland, 1981)

The early Punk scene in Switzerland was not very productive, but what it produced was and is of an often astounding quality. Over the past years, I’ve been trying my best to give these mostly hard to find records some attention.
When recently I got in touch with Rolf Brunner, I first didn’t know what interesting musical background he calls his own. Best known for his and his long time friend Micha’s superb BLOODSTAR (here and here), I was puzzled to learn not only that BLOODSTAR had a much longer history than I ever knew. It’s also Rolf’s musical background that turned out to be much more interesting than I imagined. Take this cassette only release, by a fictious group called BAMBIS: A one-man tribute to the RAMONES, as well as a freaky and original Punk mashup avant la lettre. Using a drum computer, a synthesizer, guitar, Olivia Newton John and his voice, he managed to create the undoubtedly most interesting and original RAMONES interpretation of the past & curent century.

At first, you’re going to laugh, I guess. Readers of this blog might be reminded of a certain MANOWAR-smurf variation and no wonder so. But at a second listen, you’ll probably, just like me, begin to take notice of little details and a fair deal of subversion. Some bluesy guitar line bits here or some “Xanadu” there and a truly bizarre atmosphere of irritation coming along with this Punk-Disco-Blues-Industrial-Mongo bastard. My fave track would be the incredible interpretation of Pinhead. Listen to it here before downloading! Amazing!

A bit of trivia before I leave you downloading he entire BAMBIS tape: Yes, the RAMONES knew of this cassette. When they played here in Zürich in 1981, Rolf on his way home accidentally met the RAMONES who were just deboarding from a coach to enter the hotel. He handed them over a copy and drove home happily, unfortunately not knowing their reaction. I’m not sure, but I think they were rather amused.
Although released on the famous Swiss Punk label «Off Course Records» (the label’s only exclusive tape release) and printed in an edition of 100 copies, this is the first time it ever gets mentioned on the internet. Apart from that, it got a very favorable review in Sounds magazine and one not so favorable one in Spex, both upon release in 1981.
A re-release on vinyl is probable for next year. Stay tuned!

Download this pearl here as one large .zip file.

Thanks to Rolf for providing the tape!

17 Comments

  1. thomas

    No one dares to comment?

    After a glass of wine or two and some more tracks by Titan Force I really can admire this attempt at the Ramones. If the vocals were a bit more serious and the production was better, it could easily let one forget about the Ramones.

    Ah well, maybe i had three glasses… sorry, Erich, hope you’re fine!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Oct-10 at 23:57 | Permalink
  2. Jeffrey

    Weird weird weird. Not sure yet what to make of this but thanks for sharing. Where else would you find such a rarity?!

    [Reply]

    Alois Schimmerlos Reply:

    On some tape you forgot you made as a 14 year old on your new Amstrad 4-track machine?
    Unfortunately this hasn’t the charm of the 14 year old’s recording – the casio playing is way too polished…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Oct-10 at 00:15 | Permalink
  3. whoodoo

    We definitely all need more Atari Smurf Metal! Thx for that. You’re my hero of today, mr. postman. i think thomas is right: if the vocals were more serious… the could have been bigger than the… (you know)

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Oct-10 at 09:13 | Permalink
  4. horsth

    if you need more atari smurf metal check out a guy calling himself “g-tuk”; the ultimate music if I want to feel old

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Oct-10 at 15:44 | Permalink
  5. howardx

    hey admin! im curious, who do you think is the best swiss band? any time any genre.

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    Pepe Lienhard, no question:
    http://www.goodbadmusic.com/2006/11/15/pepe-lienhard-happy-people-cw-you-and-me-7-werbeagentur-d-scherrer-switzerland-1973/

    [Reply]

    howardx Reply:

    hmmmm, how about 2nd best?;)

    [Reply]

    justin Reply:

    Ha, ha, ditto.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Oct-10 at 17:11 | Permalink
  6. remo

    quite boring. just like bloodstar.

    [Reply]

    James Reply:

    Just like your boring post. Go fucking die…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Oct-10 at 23:10 | Permalink
  7. Kount Jizznack

    I’ll check this out. I need to get a copy of Bloodstains Across Switzerland. Switzerland has all kinds of great bands. One of my personal favorites is deffinately The Nasal Boys. And of course there are all kinds of obscure ones like Bambi who I”ll check out.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Oct-10 at 00:00 | Permalink
  8. Kount Jizznack

    Switzerland also has HR Giger. Deffinately can’t go wrong there. That Sozz 7 inch that was posted here also kicks ass.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Oct-10 at 00:08 | Permalink
  9. tagileser

    Ich spreche leider kein gutes Englisch. habe über Sie im Tagi gelesen und klebe nun seit 2 Stunden auf dem Blog fest. Sehr beeindruckend!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Oct-10 at 09:13 | Permalink
  10. oh shit – was planning a posting about this tape on my cassette label blog – but your posting contains much more info than I would have had anyway. No wonder, ’cause you met Rolf – I remember him as a veery talkative guy, especially where his bands are concerned…

    [Reply]

    langstrada Reply:

    typisch rolf. ziemlich bessesen von sich selber……

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Oct-10 at 12:23 | Permalink
  11. blitzkrieg bob

    SHALALALALALA
    SHALALALALALA
    SHALALALALALA
    BLITZKRIEG BOP

    that part had me in stitches for its sheer blissful who-gives-a-crap attitude. incredible find.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Oct-10 at 14:59 | Permalink
  12. Erich, I don’t know man…I’m not very sophisticated and I think smoking weed might help here, plus even as a kid I hated the Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoons.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Oct-10 at 20:17 | Permalink
  13. megge

    goodbadmusic = the blog which turned music-blogging into art. thank you for all!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Oct-10 at 22:18 | Permalink
  14. ian

    The Pinhead glimpse was kinda hard going, so I didn’t go the whole hog…BUT you’ve gotta give big props for the effort of putting this together – this is the kinda stuff that puts the D in DIY/punk/whatever you wanna call it – a labour of love to put together a product that you know at the outset will not have the slightest chance of registering on any cultural radar EVER (well maybe until now!), but you went ahead & did it anyway in anonymous glory – all hail the ethic of Bambi!!!

    Also if I can digress re: yr ‘om heavy rotation’ of the first MRR comp a few days back (I see you’ve already moved on)…two bands on that comp who totally ripped were Nazi bitch & the jews, and The Scapegoats – I have never heard anything from either of these bands on any other comp or on any tape, single, whatever…any-one got any info??? Thanks for the diversity!

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    About BAMBIS and their ethics: That’s what I thought, but somehow could not put into words.

    Funny, you mentioning the two bands from “Not so quiet”. I was just thinking the same as they really stand out. I don’t know anything about them and haven’t yet googled them. Great stuff for sure.

    [Reply]

    howardx Reply:

    i thought the free beer track was the best thing on that myself. good choice on the arthur lee record, always liked that.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Oct-10 at 12:42 | Permalink
  15. fernando

    Hi! I noticed this post last October (October!) and enjoyed the separate track very much but for some reason didn’t d/l till a couple of days ago. And after listening to the whole tape I must give big thanks! Lovable and charming. Bambi’s not dead!

    On a side note, I’m surprised no one mentioned the Residents cover of Happy Family (Miniatures, 1980) as an obvious inspiration. This thingy has a different feel though. Fantastic, thank you!

    Saludos,

    Fernando 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on 25-Feb-11 at 15:57 | Permalink
  16. as far as i remembered the geerstens family, bambis were not a one-man-band. they were rolf brunner with ralf geertsen. rolf used to play in a band called vx (?). i helped them for setting up a concert in rf and at zürcher oberland messe in wetzikon were they played with stephan eicher. maybe i mixed up the last remembrance, but still it’s a good story to tell the young folks!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Jan-13 at 21:53 | Permalink
  17. sorry to say, this entry was the first to mention the (incredible) bambis: http://www.lastfm.de/user/cstettler/journal/2006/01/12/vr8_bambis%253A_swiss_wave_punk%2526electro_band aka January 12 2006. gabba gabba hey, you missed it!

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    Nice one Chris! Unfortunately didn’t find your post when doing a quick research.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Jan-13 at 22:00 | Permalink

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