a poem by jojo planteen:
inflatable boy clams
first there were three girls.....
carol, judy, and jojo
fooling around with the boys
guitars, amps, bass.....
in the white snow
playing and making
white & black skeletons
in the distance.....
a french girl/boy
blowing a golden horn
she joined us too
& we played more & more...
at each other
playing our frozen
and all the cute,
watching us playing..
at the death club
egging us on and on...
cutting a 45 in judy's
with all the boys
now 4 little clams
life, boys, sex, love &
music!... music! ... music!......
the inflatable boy clams....
never have i heard
anything like them!.....
Here are some stories emailed to me during my research.
Yup, that's her. I have a lot of photos of Carol (great model/ poser/ performer/ dancer!) and a VERY nice person too. She's a bit on the short side and a very exotic looking woman (to me). Kind of "Bjork-like" in a way, to make a modern comparison. Also I have many photos of the other women (Judy & Jojo) in the "Boy Clams" band. She was also in a band called "The Pink Section" and was also featured in a vinyl album from that era called "Club Foot" or "Music from Club Foot".
They were quite eccentric and talented young women and a lot of fun to know and work with. Kind of neo-beatnik types back then in San Francisco.
Contemporaries/peers of David "Dog" Swan, Voice Farm (Charly Brown & Mike Riley), Monte Cazazza, Factrix, Romeo Void, Cole Palme, et al.
I know that Judy and Carol have married (not each other) and have a couple kids now each. I don't know about Jojo. So, last names have changed.
Go with the spellings on the liner notes rather than mine. When in doubt, I go phonetic. Yes they are all the same people.
Voice Farm (Mike & Charly) were an early pop techno type boy band, had a major contract and did warm ups for Depeche Mode tours. They seemed destined for stardom, but faded. I think they went into writing music for commercials to make a living. I liked Charly a lot. Very friendly, charming, VERY funny, and he had good pipes. Perhaps the similarity to DM, was their undoing. Mike was very young (18-19 y/o) back then, he was rather quiet and withdrawn in person, not as much fun as Charly, but an early techno pioneer for sure. I did an album cover for them too.
Cindy Buff was drop dead gorgeous. A real beauty. She and her boyfriend operated the "Club Foot", and I don't recall her being a performer as such. Maybe she did some session work. She was more of a "behind the scene" person. She and her boyfriend provided a venue with their club. The "boyfriend" whose name I don't remember **(Richard something?) died at home at a young age. She was damaged goods thereafter. Though still a beauty. Big vulnerable come-hither eyes. Rather shy, she always seemed to have something on her mind. A bit on the serious side. Not a full-time kook, but she had her moments.
Lynne Kasuba hung out with the same crowd. Not a performer as I recall, but she might have gotten involved in some session work. Nice looking, fine featured Polish-American girl. She was a very good model, and could do the sulky runway look well. She liked hanging around with the "fun kids".
Genvieve (pronounced "jon-vieve") was rather quiet-ish, but seemed happy and liked to smile. She was amused by her companions, but not as outwardly kooky in person. Kind of "boyish" in appearance. A European girl, as the name implies.
Find out more about David "Dog" Swan. He was the patriarch of this particular group's scene. Totally beatnik type, innovative, good talker, fun, always busy, always fun to be around, a good poser, good beat-poet. A good person. He's on the "Club Foot" album: check out the cut "What does it all mean..." and you'll see/hear what I mean.
Judy was a dynamo. She was a ball of energy and the driving creative force (or glue?) of the group. It was such a pleasure to know her back then. A wild woman, but creative with a capital "C". She could turn nothing into something. Much fun. Very bright... ...always the focus of attention, and (quite frankly) I found her extremely attractive. I'm afraid I actually fell in love with her, big time. Always good in front of the camera, always on, always fanning the enthusiasm of those around her. She was the catalyst that made it all happen. God, she was fun. Good lyricist/poet/writer too. She's gone on to become a successful painter/fine artist in NoCal. And a mom.
Jojo could pass for "pleasant" but she had depth, kinda gothic sulky cynical beatnik-type girl with a sense of humor. Also kookie and a lot of fun to photograph. Another iconoclast, and nobody's fool.
Monte Cazazza, Cole Palme and Factrix and the others were more "out there" in the Post-Industrial music scene. They were contemporaries and performed at similar clubs, but different scene musically. Monte's achieved "cult status" in Europe and the USA (just do a Google search on him and you'll see what I mean). He's still very active and I consider him one of my best friends to this day. Something of a misanthrope, cynical, but not a bitter pissed-off person. He just does his thing and f_ck whatever anybody else says/thinks. A pioneer. Also a good artist. He's always busy. He's always doing something. I could never figure out how he made a living. I think he was blessed with a string of rich girlfriends who liked hanging out with bad boys. He's got a lot of energy, integrity and never sold out to "the Man". But he's not part of the "Clam bones" scene, and I don't think they cared much for each other. They all knew each other though, and had friends in common.
Cole and Monte are tight. I think a "Factrix" re dux has recently been reissued.
Don't worry about bothering me with questions. I'm rather enjoying it.
**My research tells me that Richard Kelly committed suicide.
Uncle Dave Lewis
I'm Uncle Dave Lewis in Ann Arbor, MI. I read your Inflatable Boy Clams post on the Trouser Press bulletin board. I might be able to help a little, as I saw this band twice in San Francisco. I'm pretty sure that the gigs were a week or so apart in January-February 1980. The second date was at the Deaf Club, and it was so packed I hardly remember anything about it. But the first date I remember well - it was in a storefront nightspot called the Club Foot. I can still hear "Skeletons" in my head like it was yesterday.
I just LOVED the Inflatable Boy Clams. There was the SF avant-punk band Pink Section, which was made up of two boys and two girls, and unfortunately named after the entertainment index in the San Francisco Chronicle, which makes them impossible to search on the web. The Inflatable Boy Clams were the two girls in Pink Section with one other member. The band Naked City (not John Zorn's group by that name) were the two boys in Pink Section with one other member - they were more like a surf punk band in the mode of The Raybeats. (My apologies - I'm old-fashioned and still refer to all band members as "girls"and "boys," but they were naturally all adult musicians.) The show at the Club Foot were these two bands plus one other, the headliner - whom I can't remember, may have been The Sleepers.
The Boy Clams played without Naked City at the Deaf Club, and I think the headliner there was the Dead Kennedys, so that's why it was so packed. I was probably the only person there who came just to see the Inflatable Boy Clams.
Looking at the photos have jogged my memory quite a bit. I definitely recall being told before the first gig "we have a sax player, but she's not going to be at Club Foot." So I met them before I saw them play; my guess is that I must've run into Carol and Judy at Postcard Palace in North Beach, and that's how I knew to go see them in the first place. Perhaps we were introduced through the lady who ran Postcard Palace, or through my friend Olga Carpmill Gerard who later ran Go! Records and worked for Rough Trade. Now that's someone I'd REALLY like to hear from...
Another phrase I remember is "Pink Section is on hiatus. We're all still friends but there's a problem we have to sort out with the last record. We'll probably get back together again in the Summer." Pink Section produced two records, the first of which was a 7" single produced by Tommy Tadlock*. The artwork was similar to the Tuxedomoon single that Tadlock also produced, so it is possible that it was on Time Release Records which was Tadlock's label. That came out in 1978, and then there was a 12" 45 Pink Section record which came out in 1979. They also appeared on a compilation, "Can You Hear Me? Live at the Deaf Club." I have a rough cassette dub of one of these tracks already transferred to disc, and if you like I can email it to you. The song is "Francine's List" - I think it's Judy singing, and it's a riot.
Richard Marriott (Club Foot Orchestra)
Carol hung out at the Club Foot in '82, which is when I knew her. I don't remember much except that she was nice. She had played drums on the album CLUB FOOT which was recorded in 1980. ( you must know that album, yes?) those other characters from that session might know more: JC Garrett, Ron Morgan, Matt Heckert, Dog, Cindy Buff, the brilliant Opter Flame, Amanda Night, the crowd from the Japanese Weekend design shop. I hope they're still alive...