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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!