The BAD CHECKS formed in Cig-City, Durham, NC, as a three-piece garage/punkabilly band in 1980, brothers, Robin and Clifton, with high school friend Larry Tally. They played their first show with Butchwax on New Wave night at the infamous Cat's Cradle and opened for the Bad Brains at The Station. They released their first single, "I'm Paranoid", in 1982 on their own label, Loretta Records. Spotting a potential frontman with "Crash" Landen and the Kamikazes, Hunter Landen joined the band and played his first live show in his high school graduation gown in 1984. The Checks' released "Graveyard Tramp" in 1985 (replacing Larry with Mike Griffin) and played shows with the Dead Kennedys, Replacements, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Sonic Youth, Mike Watt, Fishbone, Suicidal Tendacies and many others.
Their second album, "Innocence" was released on the French Label Music Action and in the US on Blackpark Records. Mike Griffin returned to his studies, and the Checks burned up a few drummers over the next few years. Mike Grealing played on the next release "Live at 9:30", Rob Ladd sat in for a while as well as Scott Carle, Jon McClain and Chuck Garrison. In 1997, the Bad Checks found ex-Smooch frontman Rock Forbes who has been drumming ever since.
The Bad Checks are more than a band, they're here to stay!
1982 i'm paranoid / single / loretta records
1985 graveyard tramp / lp / loretta records
1985 more mondo compilation / lp / dolphin records
1987 innocence / lp / blackpark records
1990 live at 9:30 / cd / loretta records
1991 freestyle / cassette / loretta records
1995 undertow / ep / bittersweet records
1998 high dollar / cd / yep rock records
2000 graveyard tramp re-release / cd / demonbeach records
2001 demonbeach compilation / lp / demonbeach records
2003 demonbeach mini 3" sampler / cd / demonbeach records
|CONTACT The BAD CHECKS:
HUNTER LANDEN: vocals, harp, etc
ROBIN MANN: guitar
CLIFTON MANN: bass
ROCK FORBES: drums
|Slam that old chevy into forth gear and push your hi-heel into that 4 barrel carb. Watch your gas gauge move under the weight of that big V-8. That ain't gasoline sister, that's liquid love. Nobody cares but your mama, and sometimes you wonder about her. If you hadn't loved that no good man, you never would have gone wrong. Well now there's a voodoo doll wearing a piece of his hair, and it's hanging from your rear-view mirror. The car won't go much faster than it is now. Nothing left to do but pop that Bad Checks tape in, turn it up and head south. Thank you Robert Mitchum, thank you Bettie Page, thank you Leo Fender, thank you Detroit.|
|"A mutant blues/punkabilly/garage rock outfit, Bad Checks was founded in 1980 by the Mann brothers, Robin and busy Clifton Lee (Pipe, The Ghost of Rock, Chrome Plated Apostles). The old school rockers became one of the area's signature acts playing with about every important underground punk and alt-rock group of the time. Alternating between a laconic rumble with the despondent blues pulse of Jon Spencer and a muscle car guitar hum racing hell-bent for leather down old-fashioned rock-n-roll highways and unmarked dirt roads, the quartet sizzles like steak gristle cooking on V-8 manifold. While still performing locally on occasion, their last album, High Dollar, (YEP ROC) came out in 1998.
-Chris Parker / Indy Weekly Music Guide
|rocking the piedmont since 1980|