Thursday, March 21, 2013

Walk on the Wikiless Side: AA's Essential Entertainment

The title of this post is the spawn of a protologism and my love for Lou Reed. I first drafted the title at around 1 a.m, so it was too late for me to tell whether it blew chunks or was pretty fuckin' cherry. Now that I got some sleep I'm throwin' in with the latter. Can you dig it? If you can't, you probably shouldn't be reading this anyway, so slag off.

Alright, moving on - this is the inaugural post of a new series I cooked up: Bands Without Wikis. With all the exhausting (but occasionally awesome) minutiae on Wikipedia, it's kinda hard to imagine that they'd leave anything out. To be wikiless today is to live on the modern edge of the obscure.

First up is AA. Before I continue, I'd just like to clarify for all the K-pop fans out there: If you think this is a post about Double A, you're in the wrong barrio.

There isn't a lot of info out there on this band, but I did find one fascinating bio on - get this, Myspace. And you thought they were totally irrelevant. Eat it, Zuckerberg!

L. to R.: Remo Perrotti in the drumbooth, Eddy Goossens, Geert Beuls, Eddy Gabriel in AA by
AA in the studio. From left to right: Remo Perrotti, Eddy Goossens, Geert Beuls, and Eddy Gabriel. 

AA (more specifically: Anarchists Anonymous) was Belgian post-punk group founded in late 1980. Their name was chosen on pragmatic grounds, record store bins and shelves usually organize bands alphabetically, meaning they'd be listed first. This also meant being listed before ABBA, who were huge at the time because people were on too many quaaludes.

As legend has it, Geert Beuls, Eddy Gabriel, Eddy Goossens and Remo Perrotti weren't impressed by a concert thrown by former winners of Humo's Rock Rally, a Belgian band contest that was launched in 1978 and is still held today.

They decided to skip the talent show posturing bullshit and record their own album. No jerk-off jamborees necessary, they just cut to the chase, jamming out at a Bilzen rehearsing studio and laying down four moody, ethereal tracks: "Suicide Fever," "The Shot," "Society Stinks" and "Hymn of Praise.

My Introduction to AA -"Suicide Fever" on YouTube

The guys had a rough few weeks prior to this session so their melancholy and existential angst penetrated the music and provided much-needed catharsis. The resulting tape deck was later taken to a hole-in-the-wall recording studio in Diest. In true Gysin form, the four friends took turns cutting up and moving around their music and lyrics.

Essential Entertainment EP cover art. Courtesy of

Adding a final chill to their coldwave sound, they used an old photo of a classmate's dead grandfather as album art. Their 'Essential Entertainment' EP was released in 1981.

The album got some underground attention, but for a while AA, being anarchists at heart, wanted nothing to do with formal gigs. Instead they opted to go to local concerts, wait until a band finished their set, and then pounce on stage and hijack the instruments. Eventually they caved and played a handful of gigs before splitting up, including one as support for The Fall, a kick-ass band you should totally check out after checking out AA here.

A charming reunion. AA: 28 Years Later. Photo posted in 2009. Courtesy of

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