I started Nobody Special in 1986 shortly after the release of the 1st NS album on Frontline Records. Yhea, you read it right, AFTER the album came out. Why? Because there was no band when we recorded. The tracks were laid down by myself, Gene Eugene/Adam Again, my brother Joey Taylor/Undercover /Brainstorm Artists/Innocent Media, Joey Mitchell & Chris Brigandi/The Lifters/Wild Blue Yonder, and a few others. The 1st album is mostly a collection of songs I wrote and played in a band called "Immortal Youth". After the Lord saved a wretch like me, I was able to focus and motivate, and my motivation was to play punk rock with a twist of Jesus - that is, "pro-God", when it was cool to be anti-Christ, to sing about life and death reality, when the focus was on politics, poverty, and each other, to sing about love and forgiveness to a scene that was predominately hateful and violent - I know, I was there. And last but not least, to provide punks with an alternative perspective other than what secular punk rock had to offer, and to provide that alternative music with authenticity, and balls. And if you're not a Christian, and you think it's cool to be "anti", and that you're rough -n- tough... You're Not! You don't know strength and power until you've felt the power of Jesus in your life, until you've broken down before God. Having said that, Immortal Youth played around from '80 to '83 with bands like "Urban Decay", "CIA", the newly formed "Scatered Few", and some others I can't remember. We played some underground punk shows in Burbank, LA, and Long Beach, CA, a few churches including Calvary Costa Mesa when they were rockin', a juvenile hall (La Verne), and several parties. It was me on guitar & vocals, Elissa Johnson on bass, and Orlando Gonzales on drums. I have great memories of Immortal Youth and we saw the Holy Spirit move and do incredible things in the most unlikely and hostile circumstances. The band broke-up in '83. I disappeared to college for a couple of years to try to get educated or somethin', and then came back to OC to record the LP in Huntington Beach, CA, thus, Nobody Special.
Even as late as '86 or '87, punk rock of this sort, or any sort really, had never been blatantly distributed by a reputable christian record company (Frontline). Not that there weren't plenty of jammin' christian punk bands out there - there were; some good, some bad. Anyway, no one knew what the reaction would be, only that there would in fact be one. To make a short story shorter, I immediately received all kinds of requests to play, so I slapped a band together and we became Nobody Special.
Cronies on the secular side of the scene liked us too. I gave copies of the CD to the guys of D.I., Social Distortion, TSOL, Agent Orange, The Jones, Blind Hatred, and the likes. I grew up with a lot of these guys so they knew who I was. Some were a little skeptical about the "God" emphasis in the music, but most of them liked us, and some quite a bit including Hedge of D.I. & HVY DRT, and Jack Carrigan AKA Jack Crack of Triple XXX Records and manager of D.I., Plain Wrap, Doggy Style, and others. Jack offered to manage and sign NS as long as we changed our name to VooDoo Puppets. We thought about it... NOT! Sorry Jack.
NS also had some secular air time. Raymondo was the joc at KROQ in Pasadena, CA that gave NS a break on the radio playing the songs Dissertation, People Who, and Ain't that hard. I remember sittin' at work hearing People Who between The Pretenders and The Stones - boy was that a trip! Anyway, we got some good shows out of it, at least. Somehow, despite the poor distribution of the 2nd CD by Word, and less than aggressive advertising, we received mail from Greece, Italy, Australia, London, The Netherlands, Turkey, Switzlerland, Canada, and all over the USA? Still, it was all we could do just to get enough dough for a few dozen T-shirts and some stickers for the next show, and our 4th man was still not right. We tried to stick in another guitar with us a couple of times, but no one stuck until I met Frank Wesolek aka Frank Black.
NS took a short recess from playing in '88. I moved to Arizona for a while and met Frank through a friend. He was gracious enough to let me crash at his pad for a few months. He was connected with the scene out there and knew a lot of people in a lot of heavy bands, - Flotsam & Jetsam to name one, whose bassist Jason is now with Metalica. In addition, he was one heck of a guitar player and song writer. It didn't take long until we were jammin' together. He was a little metal, but he dug Nobody Special. I told him we were making a 2nd CD on Broken Records and he wanted to be a part of it. A few months later Frank and I moved back to OC to record, and NS was a foursome.
We proceeded to jam for the next couple of years playing a wide range of gigs, with a wide range of bands, christian and secular, and had some simply awesome experiences. Anywhere from The Roxy in LA to the basement of a church in Fontana, from Knott's Berry Farm to LA County Corrections Facility, from skinhead shows in Oxnard to a Chuckie Cheese in Mesa, AZ. The bands ranged from Guardian to The Crucified, from Mad at the World to Deliverance, from D.I. to Undercover, from Whitesnake & X-sinner to The Scattered Few. Most of our shows were in the Southwest. The one below is Cornerstone '90, outside Chicago.
It was a heck of a ride, we played quite a bit, and the NS fans are a fantastic crew. However, in the summer of '90 we were experiencing some heavy burn out. Moral was fading despite our sub-subculture success and we needed some down-time. The last show we did was Cornerstone '90 less Chris and Frank, excluding our lame and 'biffed' attempt at a comeback in '96 & '97 (long story - check out the 'interviews'). Will we play again..? Probably, I just don't know when. In the mean time, if you haven't heard Nobody Special, and you really want to know what we're all about, I suggest listening to the music - you'll figure it out.