Friday, December 20, 2013

Last Cause in 1989


        It seems like everyone that loves music has at one point tried to make their own, the outcome being determined by one's inherent musical talent or lack therefore of it. I would definitely fall into the latter camp. By 1988 I was fully engrossed in the booming NY Hardcore scene: doing a fanzine, going to shows, buying as many demos/7"s/ Lp's & just soaking up the culture as much as I could.
         I decided to attempt playing guitar, got a cheap Sears catalog guitar/amp combo & enlisted a couple of friends to "jam" in my garage. I thought playing Oi! would suit my purposes better at this time before playing any faster (& harder to learn) HC jams. We formed an Oi! band, tentatively called " Last Cause" & set out to write simple 2-chord songs. We had a couple of practices where we didn't really get much done, preferring to pack up everything up when bored & pile into drummer Wayne's car  instead & cruise around northern Queens with our singer Roy making fun of the local Guidos.
         Things soon fizzled out as Paul the bassist joined a real practicing/writing songs all-the-time band called Fit Of Anger. I also got really busy at the time with putting together a compilation tape w/my friend Chaka Malik, which would become the New Breed Tape Compilation.

Bleecker Bob's ad looking for band members. No Metal!
          In early '89, I somehow got the idea to get a band going again & record a song for inclusion on the comp. I answered an ad on the wall of Bleecker Bob's records for a guitarist looking to start a HC band. The guy that placed the ad, John Patterson, turned out to be really cool; we had a lot of the same musical references so I brought back the name Last Cause & decided to use it for this new line-up. We quickly set out to recruit members, a couple of upstate NY guys answered our ad: Mike (vocals) John (bass) & a drummer (Ted Gogoll) was introduced to us by mutual friend Tom Colomara.
          John Patterson wrote a couple of songs & showed me where to place my fingers for the chord progressions as I was always really inept in that department. We jammed a couple of times at a real rehearsal space called Big Fun but got banned for allegedly damaging some equipment. I wrote lyrics to 2 songs that we had music for (No New Dreams & Days Gone By). Mike enthusiastically sang what I'd written, it was such a cool feeling to have someone else perform something you've had a hand in creating.
           As the New Breed comp was almost ready, we rushed into Don Fury's studio to record the songs & pick the best version. The details are fuzzy but for some reason or other, our bassist John couldn't make the recording so I asked my friend Chris Benetos from Fit Of Anger to fill in on bass, to which he graciously agreed. We picked "No New Dreams" to be our contribution to the compilation.

           We had no clue what we were doing in the studio so we just pressed record & ran through the song just like at rehearsal. The finished product was not like I wanted it to be at the time so I scrapped the idea of putting it on the comp. Honestly, after listening to the material bands like Absolution, Collapse, Beyond & others that had submitted songs for the compilation; I felt intimidated that our stuff wasn't up to par or that my lack of talent held the band back. We disbanded soon after, Mike moved on to sing for this upstate NY band called Powersurge, John Patterson & Ted moved on to other projects, John the bassist disappeared & I hung up my guitar for good.
            I purposely never labeled the tape were the recording was so it got lost in between the hundreds of cassettes I have. It wasn't through reconnecting with Ted a couple of years ago, that I heard those recordings once again. I have to say that in retrospect, they're not that bad, no better or worse than some of the stuff that was around back then. Me & Ted had a discussion that, at the time, I thought we were going for an Agnostic Front "United Blood" sound on those songs, he thought we were attempting more of a Supertouch groove-like vibe. Funny how perceptions are so different! At times, under the right circumstances, the song sounds to me like early Die Kruezen with mosh parts, at other times, it's like Youth Of Today covering Project X or vice versa.

"Introspective" lyrics written by me for our 2nd song.
            25 years later, I am proud to have been part of this, to have the chance to experience what the camaraderie of being in a band entails. Doing logos, shirts, lyrics, going to the CBGB's matinees on sundays after rehearsing... All great memories to which I'm forever thankful to the guys in the band.

I'm also glad to still be in touch with John Patterson & Ted Gogoll.

I'm happy to report that they persisted in creative endeavors, John played guitar in the hugely underrated HC/Metal band Taste Of Fear in 1992. In the mid-90's he started the heavy electronics project Woe Is Me, which he continues 'til this day. Check it out at:

Ted Gogoll has become a published writer with his novel called "Echoes Of A Killing" & a collection of short stories on the way. Check it out at:

As far as Mike the singer & John the bassist, haven't spoken to them in ages, but I recently got their phone numbers. Time I give them a call!

Hand-screened shirt done by John Patterson in 1989.


  1. I love that tune and think it would have fit in nicely on New Breed, you guys were literally one hit wonders.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated!