Pretty sure it was somewhere in ’91 that I first heard about Black Happy. Probably in some sort of awed, hushed whisper in the hallways between classes… in that way you do when you want to impart the gravity of the situation on someone.
“Have you heard Black Happy? They’re coming to town. You’re going to see them right?” stated as much less of a question and way more of an imperative for crucial adolescent development.
No surprise, the next time they came to town I went and saw them. If I’m being truthful, I don’t remember all that much about the show… according to the flyer Small was on the bill, who I’m sure no doubt crushed it (they always do) as well as Empty Set (pre-SDRE) opening up… as for Black Happy, I know I was blown away and I know I wanted more. I recall making my way to the merch table to buy a copy of Friendly Dog Salad and upon finding out they were sold out of tapes, happily upgraded to the CD… and at that time spending the extra $3 or $4 for the CD meant a lack of fries or milkshake at Shari’s later on so, clearly a band had to be really impressive to warrant that sort of upgrade, right? (I do have a clear memory of playing the album over and over at Christopher L. Walker‘s house while playing computer games all day long the next day so, it seems I remember the important stuff I guess)
In any case, it’s fair to say I was converted. Pleased to join the club and help spread the word in any way I can. Happy to drag any friend remotely interested in music to see the band whenever they came through (looking at you Matthew Johnson) Always eager to pile friends into the car to roadtrip to see the band in such exotic locations as Yakima and Ellensburg (there was even one time I tried to sneak into a 21+ show of theirs in San Diego) As any fan of the band can attest, once you join that club, you happily join for life.
So here we are, however many years and shows later and I’m still so ecstatic to wave my Geek Club flag with delight and be able to announce that Latent Print Records will be reissuing Black Happy’s Friendly Dog Salad and Peghead albums on vinyl in August of 2018. And yes, there will be reunion shows to support these releases too.
Many many many thanks to the band for their confidence in LPR to make this happen. Their enthusiasm for seeing this whole thing through has been so very wonderful.
And while I’m at it, absolutely need to mention/thank Arthur Hagman, Steve Bergstrom, Chris Hanzsek, Megan Roberts, & Jason Doctor for the support, advice, and hard work to help make this happen. It sounds cliché, but this couldn’t be done without you. And the band. Definitely them too.