Various Helios And Damon Quotes from: Rip It Up And Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984 
By: Simon Reynolds

Chapter 13


San Francisco

Damon Edge: “If you can't relate artistically in San Francisco... you jump off the [Golden Gate] bridge."

>feel of an aftermath

Helios Creed, Chrome: “San Francisco before it got hep again with punk, it was really fucked up --full of disco and shit. It was really depressing. There was Grateful Dead and hippies keeping the psychedelic scene going on, but that was about it.”

Helios Creed, “We would all hang out at the Residents warehouse on 444 Grove Street, where they would make their videos and their music. The keyboard guy’s name was H and the lead singer’s name was Homer and then there was this other guy called John. The Residents had a southern accent-- lahk from the south’ was the way Homer talked. You could hear it in the lyrics sometimes, he couldn’t really cover it up. That’s what made them funny--that they were just normal guys.”

Damon Edge: “It was like finding some other green people on this island! That somebody else understood what you were doing…. I think it’s great that there ARE some bands out there getting into Rock for 1985…” (Search & Destroy #8)

“not quite right music”

--Damon Edge, Sounds 5/10/1980.

Steve Tupper: “A lot of the musical ideas came from Helios Creed rather than Damon Edge, frankly. In my business dealings with Chrome, I mostly dealt with Damon. But he was always out to scam this or that, so it was kind of a struggle. Damon was basically this very rich kid from LA, and he didn’t need to do the music. But he was always hustling these business deals.”

>migrated from his native Hawaii

Helios Creed: “The first guitarist I liked was Hendrix. I wanted to make a band like the Experience, so I dropped out of school and moved from Hawai to San Francisco.”

>Damon Edge

Helios Creed: “Damon was English but his mother had put him up for adoption and he was taken by two rich Americans in LA. I asked him what it was like being adopted and he said ‘very cold’. They weren’t real loving. I guess, but they were rich and took care of him.”

Damon Edge: “[At Cal Arts] I was studying with Allen [sic] Kaprow, the guy who invented Happenings.… I think the only thing I got out of that was that random element was valid.” (Search & Destroy #8)

>Harshly treated guitar

Creed: “We called ourselves tonalists--we were looking for different tones. I kept looking for a new guitar sound, and probably overdoing it. Although Damon didn’t play guitar per se, he got the guitar sounding pretty cool with weird effects. We just kept wanting to get harder and heavier”.

Damon Edge(N ME, January 1980): "It's taken me ten years to develop the tones we use--it may sound like mud to the average person, but it's precise melody to me."

>Edge’s synth

Steve Tupper: “Damon played this synth that hung around his neck and was shaped like a guitar. He had it configured so it sounded a bit like a guitar. But Helios was the real musician in Chrome, he could play extremely well.”

>science fiction lyrics

Damon Edge: "We put pictures in people's heads. It's information to trigger the imagination, therefore it's open to interpretation. We aren't a finished entity." (NME, Janunary 1980)

Edge: “You know that song by Grand Funk where ‘a rock & roll band’s gonna come to your town, gonna get down’…. That’s so linear--it has nothing visual about it, nothing 3-dimensional… It’s the same with filmmakers too---the films from Europe have a different depth of consciousness.” (Search and Destroy #8)

>Psychedelic johnny come latelys

Creed: “We were really inspired by Pink Floyd, from Syd Barrett all the way to Meddle, and by early Hawkwind. But we weren’t hippies. It was something else.”

Another element that came through when Creed himself sang was the influence of the post-psychedelic folk singer Shawn Philips, especially the albums Contribution and Second Contribution. You can hear it especially on the amazing tyrack “Pygmies in Zee Park”. Creed: “That’s left over from my folk days – that’s the way I used to sing. Shawn Philips was a big inspiration. He did a lot of lyrics for Donovan. He had the most incredible voice and the most incredible range, and me and my friends all tried to sing like him”

>acid punk

Helios Creed: “LSD was uncool at that time, but in a couple of years it got to be cool again”.

>Started his own label Siren

Damon Edge: “I didn’t want to ‘start a record company’. It was just the only reality there was left. Because a lot of the American labels said, ‘these guys are fucked UP”. They said we were Charles Manson music! Bad Doors music!” (Search & Destroy #8)

>more from movies than books

One book they did read though was the Good Book. Both Creed and Edge would pore through the Bible, with Revelations especially fueling the apocalyptic. Creed: “we wouldn’t understand it, but we’d read it!”


Other Helios and Damon Quotes (not from Rip It Up):

"We didn't want to kiss ass. Didn't want to have to play some high
school scene for people to like us. And if they really liked us and
they thought we were OK, then we'd be let out into the world and it
would be OK. Forget it, man! I don't have to ask anybody's permission. I don't care!" (Damon Edge)

"To appeal to the masses? I don't think it would ever happen for us.
We're too weird. We don't really want to appeal to the masses `cuz
they're a bunch of assholes." (Helios Creed)