Saturday, December 10, 2005


Submitted by Old Metal Erik:

This be damn funny, Mr. Umlaut Man!!! I, too was at that show. Do you remember the bass player Scott puking on the amps mid-song? Classic!

From the Culprit band web site:


August 20, 1982
The Stone, San Francisco

Click HERE for the review


"One of the hottest U.S. Metal bands unleashed their unbridled fury onto the unsuspecting Stone, CULPRIT from Seattle absolutely exploded onto the stage as they roared into Guilty As Charged. Talk about complete Metallic Mayhem!"

Egads, did I really write that?? You never know when Umlaut's Smith Corona Galaxis Deluxe past will rise zombie-like again.

Umlaut hasn't thought about the band Culprit in, like, forever... I do not remember their bassist puking on his amps. As a result of that review, Culprit's Guilty As Charged was the first album I was ever thanked on.

Another result of the review was that Rock / Metal record industry "legend" Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records was pissed at me for dissing his band Cinema in the review... BUT he later admitted that I was right. HA! How Almost Famous is that?

Culprit were a Seattle band and they visited S.F. several times in 1982-83. They were nice guys and once supported a local S.F. band called Metallica (who?).

Culprit supporting Metallica for 5 bucks (From the Umlaut Archives)

I think the last time I saw them was at Ruthie's Inn in Berkeley. I was embarrassed to be watching them since only chicks were down front during their set. Northwest Metal Dudes must have seemed exotic to the Bay Area Metal Chicks at that point.

After that show I lost track of Culprit since bands like Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, Mercyful Fate, and Venom were all the rage in the underground S.F. Metal Scene. Culprit simply weren't heavy enough.

According to their web site, the band is playing gigs with the original members and they were inducted into Seattle's EMP (Experience Music Project) Museum. Hmm. Anyway, like I said, I haven't thought about Culprit in YEARS so this was a very funny diversion as 2005 winds down.

Culprit's Guilty As Charged album was the first album Umlaut was ever thanked on.. Here are some others:
  • Kill 'Em All - Metallica
  • Ride The Lightning - Metallica
  • Haunting The Chapel EP - Slayer
  • Bonded By Blood - Exodus
  • Court In The Act - Satan
  • Enemy Of The Sun - Neurosis
There are a couple of others but I can't remember them right now. Trivia: Two of these albums have sold well over 10 million copies worldwide. Can you guess which ones? Hint: It's not Culprit or Satan.

A Fistful of Metal: Culprit @ The Old Waldorf, S.F. - Feb. 7, 1983 (Pic by Umlaut)


A comment from Rich Hellhound:

"Misty water-colored memories. I fully expect an update on the band BITCH in the near future."

To quote Khan from Star Trek II: "He tasks me!"

Bitch - The Old Waldorf, S.F. - June 28, 1982 (Pic by Umlaut)

If I remember correctly, Bitch's debut album was Metal Blade Records' first full-length release by a band. Metal Blade's Brian Slagel raved about Bitch to me so I caught their debut S.F. show at The Old Waldorf in June 1982 (supporting Axe).

As you can see from the pic, the reason for Bitch's popularity with certain Metal dudes was obvious. However, Umlaut saw the band for what they were. They sucked.

Three months later Bitch returned to S.F. to headline a Metal Blade Records Showcase at The Stone. September 18, 1982: A day that will live in infamy. Second on the bill was another band from L.A. called Metallica. It was their first show outside of SoCal (where they were still based) and their introduction to San Francisco's Metalheads. The rest, as they say, is history.

Click HERE for a PDF of the review Umlaut wrote for Northwest Metal #2 (Fall 1982). It's an example of the Almost Famous-like writing of Umlaut before he could buy alcohol legally.

After the show, Umlaut and his friends hung out with Metallica and went back to their hotel on Broadway to party. As our gang loudly left the club, I remember seeing the members of Bitch walking quietly in the same direction on the other side of the street. They were alone with no fans bonding with them. They sucked.

Bud Tall, Hetfield, Mustaine, Ulrich after the 9/18/82 show (Pic by Umlaut)


Submitted by Rich Hellhound:

Too funny. A memory from that show -- you and I were standing in front of the stage before BITCH came on. I was watching the roadies set everything up, and this guy starts hanging ropes and chains from the drum kit. I knew absolutely nothing about BITCH at this point, so I turned to you and asked why they were doing that. You gave me a funny look and said, "I don't know". Soon after came that terrible moment all concert-goers dread -- the band walks onto stage and somehow manages to suck before they even start playing. Then they do start playing, and it gets worse. Betsy Bitch's faux S&M antics were silly at best, and completely failed to excite this (well, then) hormonal 18 year old male. So lame.

Trivia: Metallica obliquely paid tribute to The Old Waldorf in the song Battery (the club was located on Battery St.).