August 10, 2017

A Tapewrecked Lancaster Playlist

The upcoming "Jack Lord's Hair Revue" show brought on some questions from youngsters about the original music scene in Lancaster in the olden days, so I ran it through the Tapewrecks filter and out came this playlist....

[Click on play buttons for songs, and band names for stories.]

The Crystalaires
1960's The local Lancaster scene was stopped short in 1959 when four members of the Crystalaires were killed in a car crash coming home from a gig in Reading. Their only single was released by Stan Selfon of Stan’s Record Bar as a benefit for their families. By 1966 there were several original garage bands with a few recorded singles played on WLAN and other AM stations. They played shows at the Moose Hall and the Hullabaloo Club (owned by Ed Ruoff. His son, Rich Ruoff would later open the original Chameleon Club in the 1980s). The Centurys were from Lebanon and were included along with the Shaynes on Bona Fide Records 1983 Return of the Young Pennsylvanians compilation. 


1980s - Shows were mostly DIY affairs put on by high school kids in fire halls, American Legions, and the Moose Lodge, basements, and barns as well as Tom Paine’s Back Room/Chameleon, the only club that featured original music. WIXQ and WFMU played a lot of local bands and State of Confusion became the hangout for punks and a wide array of misfits. Stan’s Record Bar was joined by Web of Sound, BBC Records in downtown Lancaster, and a little flea market stand in the basement of Park City Mall called the Record Connection. The Bona Fide Records label put out a steady stream of 60s and 80s punk, garage, and oddball releases from across the river in York.
The Blame - Little Girls in Hollywood (1979)
The Bodies - Anarchy in the USA (1981)
Helsinki 5 - Computer Failure (1982)
Last Knight - Silent Scream (1984)
The Sinister Lampshades - Twisted Feelings (1984)
The Red Roosters - Mr. Moto/Psycho Macho (1984)
The Real Gone - Bells Are Ringing (1985)
The Combat Hamsters - Khadafy’s No Worse Than Reagan (1985)
Briggs Beall - Soldier of Fortune (1984)
Nobody’s Fools - Emergency (1985)
Kirk & the Jerks - Hang On To the Dream (1986)
Substitute - Chains (1986)
Penal Code - Wax Museum (1886)
Jack Lord’s Hair I - War of the Monster Trucks (1987)
Jack Lord’s Hair II - Brain (1988)
Jet Silver & the Dolls of Venus - Venutian Rock (1988)
The OOgies - Love It To Death (1992)

Other Bands from the region influenced the 1980’s original music scene in Lancaster, mostly along the I-83 north-south axis between Three Mile Island/Demi Club and Maryland/DC, with York’s Bona Fide Records as the common hub. A 1984 Circle of Shit show was canceled by the YWCA because of their name on the flyer and an angry editorial in the newspaper. Hasil Adkins played an astounding show at Moose Lodge in Lancaster in 1986.
The Left - 5 am (Hagerstown, MD)
The Velvet Monkeys - Any Day Now (DC)
The Stump Wizards - I Don’t Want You Anymore (Camp Hill)
Billy Synth & the Turnups - The Mask (Harrisburg)
The Impossible Years - Attraction Gear - (Philadelphia)
Circle of Shit - The Punks Are Out Tonight (Philadelphia)
The Skeptics - Idle Time (Frederick, MD)
The Dusters - Everytime (Hagerstown)
Joey Welz - Psychedelic Happening (Baltimore/Lititz)
James “Rebel” O’Leary - Rebel Star (York)
Hasil Adkins - Hunky Wunky Wicky Wacky Woo (West Virginia) 

2017 Bands still at it....
Trio Agave

Mud Pie Sun
The Dying Elk Herd

Thanks to Kevin Stairiker from Fly After 5 for the questions that inspired this post!


  1. For 1950's there is a great comp CD titles Rocksville PA; Home Of Hi-Mar Records that features bands from Lancaster, Lititz, Manheim, Reading, West Chester and southeastern PA. For 1960's there is the CD comp Stompin' Time Again.

  2. Where did the '70s go? Custer's Last Band?