A lost piece of Portland music history is finally seeing the light of day.
In the early 1980s, Boy Wonders played an integral role in the city's burgeoning punk scene. They were the first band to play legendary club Satyricon, and featured a young Andrew Loomis on drums, several years before he joined Dead Moon. But the band broke up before ever releasing an album.
Shortly after Loomis died from cancer last year, his girlfriend, Neva Knott, recovered some live recordings from his personal belongings. Now, Spokane, Wash., label Resurrection Records has pressed them to vinyl.
Related: "Remembering Andrew Loomis."
"Andrew wanted to do this a while ago, like about three years ago," says guitarist Rod Batista, the trio's only surviving member. (Singer-bassist John Stafford died in 2008.) "I had a lot more [tapes] up in my parents' attic in their garage. I dug them out for them, and he was going to take them to somebody. But I guess he never got around to it."
Boy Wonders formed in 1983, playing a sloppy, punk-adjacent brand of rock'n'roll in a similar vein as the New York Dolls. After a few years of wild shows marked, in Batista's words, by "a lot of sweat and a lot of beer," the band dissolved, and Loomis went on to achieve cult fame as a member of Dead Moon.
Related: "Once In a Dead Moon."
But according to Batista, Loomis never forgot about his first band, and wanted to get their music out mostly for Dead Moon's fervent international fanbase who'd only heard the Boy Wonders through scant video footage. Taken from Satyricon shows in 1984 and 1988—with Greg Sage of the Wipers running sound—LUV represents the first commercially available Boy Wonders music, though Batista says unreleased studio recordings exist.
"Our old manager has those I believe, and we can't find him," he says. "It'd be nice to hear them again. Maybe this will bring up some old material that's out there."
The release party for LUV is at Sunshine Tavern on Wednesday, March 8.