Bake the Tapes

Seventies punk band the Cardiac Kidz are back at it. “We’ve been rehearsing for a month, just to see what comes of it,” said singer-drummer Jim Ryan. Other original members include guitarists Billy Williams (rhythm) and Jerry Flack (lead). With the addition of one-time bassist Joe Floy or David Fleminger of the Answers, the band’s planning a West Coast tour later this year.

The resurgence is due to the rerelease of their album Get Out! by Italian indie label Rave Up Records, which specializes in releasing music from unsung ’70s and ’80s punk groups. Other vintage San Diego bands with albums on the label include the Tokyos, the Products, and the Injections. While Rave Up has issued the vinyl edition, Ryan intends to self-release the album on CD, with a different cover and five extra tracks.

Meanwhile, the band is heading back into the studio for Rave Up, which will release a new single featuring “Mary Young” from the album and two new songs, this summer.

During their original run, the Cardiac Kidz released their only single, “Get Out”/ “Find Yourself a Way” in February 1979. A 7” four-song EP, Playground, recorded live at the Spirit club, was released seven months later. One thousand copies were pressed of each. Now considered to be among the rarest American punk singles of the ’70s, according to the Popsike auction-results website, on March 22, 2007, a copy of the Cardiac Kidz single sold on eBay for $1007. In 2008, a copy of the EP went for $412.

Ryan mentions some Kidz bootlegs he came across online on the Hyped by Death imprint. “It was a complete surprise to both me and Bill, [but] our interpretation of the bootlegs was as a compliment,” Ryan said. While the compilations that their songs appeared on were long out of print, the Hyped by Death label did eventually send the band copies. “They said they’d been trying to reach us,” Ryan laughed. “We really didn’t mind them including the song. After all, you don’t bootleg nobodies, right? It was a blast after all those years to be given this attention and acknowledgment.”

According to Ryan, with a little luck, there is the possibility of at least one further vintage Cardiac Kidz release. “There are a few more covers that haven’t been released, as well as some live tapes. The problem is the tapes are so old, they need to be baked (in an oven) to get them to play even once. You never know what, if anything, you’ll get until that process is done,” he said.

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Baking tapes is usually pretty successful BUT, in the case of one very rare Tom Evans tape from his pre-Badfinger days, the "baking house" operator left one in too long and lost a treasured piece of power-pop history.

Baker beware!

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