I can’t remember the first time I met Greg Fernandez. It was probably at the Acme Art Company in Columbus, Ohio or at a Mark Gunderson private party in the late 1980’s. Back then just a few people in Columbus were producing electronic music. People like Gerald Nelson, Andrew Izold, James Towning, Body Release and Mark Gunderson were the only ones I recall that were releasing cassettes back then. I had my own cassette label Exoteque Music back then too but that’s another story.
Regardless of how we met we have continued to be friends ever since. Our mutual interest was in rare uncensored Warner Brother cartoons, Max Fleischer animation and porno films by Gerard Damiano. We had dubbing sessions that lasted until the wee hours of the morning trading all kinds of rare cartoons, video art and oddball porn. Besides trading videos, we had many other things in common. We both enjoyed experimental music, shared the DIY attitude and loved doing collaborations with people. Oh, we both worked at adult bookstores too!!
This cassette my first introduction into the musical world of Good Cue Sign aka/Greg Fernandez. I think Greg gave me this tape sometime in 1988 or 1989. We were all trading tapes with each other and I was also looking for submissions for my Stimulus & Response compilations. Greg had his own radio show at the time called Ring Bells and Blow Whistles on WOSU. It was a combination of every kind of wacky music Greg was into at the time including his own. Each of these cassettes were hand-made by Greg and there were tiny scratches on the top of the tape shell designating how many were made up to this point. Mine is #34 so it has 34 tiny scratches on it!! The cover art shows Greg at work with a topless Samantha Fox sitting on his lap. The porn star NOT the singer. The flower he’s holding tops it off!
Trying to describe this music is difficult. It comprises home recorded musique concrete, samples from cartoons, porno films, horror movies, and relatives with medical conditions who talk to themselves! Everything collides into a huge stew of perversion. Massive tape and record manipulations on a grand scale. Like a Lo-Fidelity Nurse With Wound on a good day! Greg used broken turntables with salt shakers that he places on the records until he gets the perfect loop. “The amount of salt makes a difference” he said to me once. Greg was the first person that introduced me to using the turntable as an instrument. Something I never bothered to think of. He would actually break the records and place them on top of each other to create not only a cut-up of various records but also create a rhythm as well. It was mind-blowing watching him perform with multiple turntables all looping at the same time while he would switch inputs on the mixer to combine the sounds or separate them. Add to this multiple cheap cassette players of unknown sources all playing at the same time. One portable tape deck he had would only play backwards. He bought it that way at a thrift store and decided to keep it!! I was in completely dumbfounded how he would compose music. I shared some of this music with Andy Izold who proclaimed Greg a genius or a certified madman!! Greg, Andy and I would eventually form a trio calling ourselves the Sex Musicians based on passages of text by William S Burroughs. We released a few cassettes on my Exoteque Music label. When Andy moved away we decided to recruit Mark Gunderson and change our name to The Weird Lovemakers. We performed and recorded together for about five years. We had a track on the Two Zombies compilation as well as Adventures in Modern Recording - A Compilation of Electronic Musicians Living in Columbus, Ohio.
Years later Greg moved away from Columbus and Mark moved to San Francisco bringing an end to our working relationship. The last time I heard from Greg he was working on an opera! Greg has one other solo cassette he gave me called Toredo. If you find anything by him get it! You won’t be disappointed.
Recently I have digitized the complete Witchcraft and Retarded People cassette and will be making it available on Exoteque Music. Look for the 2CD set soon! The world will never be the same!
Editor's Note: A shorter version of this review was published in HalZine 12, the TAPE ART issue, May 2018.
I found three samples of Good Cue Sign on YouTube
was one of the most influential industrial bands to ever come out of the United States.
Hailing from Port Huron in 1982
the early collaborations between
Lon C Diehl and Richard Skott
will forever be remembered
as Michigan’s answer to Throbbing Gristle.
The side long track on side A
is called Unearthed.
It is the closest to an all noise masterpiece
as you will find!
It clocks in at nearly 30 minutes and is one long strange journey into the world of Hunting Lodge.
It’s amazing that this has been hidden
for so long.
Maybe on purpose who knows.
It is truly a beastly recording.
Below are some notes on the recordings by Skott and Knox Mitchell:
"For 35 years, UNEARTHED was a TDK AD-X 60-minute cassette tape buried in my archives. The cover was labeled ‘Korg solo stuff '82 – '83' in my handwriting. Side A of the tape itself read 'Skott Rushe Solo w/ L.C.Diehl producing Dolby "no" in Lon’s handwriting. This shows how early it was in our friendship - he didn't know how to spell my last name and to be honest, I don't think I knew how to spell Diehl."
"My memories of those days are hazy but I'm certain this was recorded in Lon's first apartment in Port Huron. The same place where the foundation of 'Sounds Like A Picture' was recorded as well as 'Banishing Dirge'. The same place where Lon called me late one night to say he had the new 'Despair' video from SPK and I immediately rushed over with BK Whoppers and 40's. It was also the crash pad after countless pitchers of beer at Roche Bar honing our world domination plans."
"The 'Son of Will' side is previously unreleased and rare material recorded in 1983 during the sessions that produced the Will album. This tape marks the return of S/M Operations, 30+ years after dissolution. The first four tracks were found on a tape of Will tracks in progress. Nil Illigitimus Carborundum roughly translates to "don't let the bastards get you down'. The version on the tape was Lon's pick out of four versions found. Original version of Banishing Dirge comes from a tape dub of the Will master reel. First appearance of it anywhere since the original pressing of Will. Actual master for this version has been lost."
Side A: Unearthed
Side B: Son of Will
1. Carrion Bells Did Toll
2. Nil Illigitimus Carborundum
3. Na Vilavilairevu/Hand Of Glory - Raw Backing Edit
4. Shugendo Gyozha - Saturated Backing
5. S/M Operations - Full Length Version
6. Banishing Dirge - Original Album Version
If you’re a fan of Hunting Lodge this cassette is essential. It is a place in time that will never be repeated.
The cassettes were professionally duplicated with double sided art and is a limited edition of 150 copies.
Released in cooperation with Easy Listening and Silent Records.
Tapes can be ordered from:
This cassette is a fundraiser, all proceeds go towards a vinyl release of "SHACK" (from Insomnia Vol 2
compilation, WE NEVER SLEEP). Digital copies available @ Amazon, Apple/iTunes, and streaming on
Spotify & Google Play.
Jeff Chenault 2018
Jeff (Central) Chenault