Season of The Mad Violets

Now available from CDBaby CLICK HERE
Two videos available now online!
High Speed Play | Right-click to DOWNLOAD
High Speed Play | Right-click to DOWNLOAD

Mad Violets Pix!

Gallery 1
Wedding Gallery
First Gig Gallery

The True Story of the MAD VIOLETS
by Dino and Wendy
The Mad Violets were formed in 1982 by Dino Sorbello and Wendy Wild when they met at Privates nightclub where she was the MC and he was the busboy. A common interest in psychedelic music & mushrooms started them off writing songs and forming a band. There were several line-ups, one of which included Fleshtones guitarist Keith Streng on drums and his wife Judy on bass. Eventually the line up settled out to being Wendy on vocals and Casio keyboard, which she carried in her right hand while playing with her left, Dino on guitars , and the rhythm section from then-current critics' darlings The Cyclones: Big Daddy  Dan Reich on drums and Mark Seligman on bass. It is with this line-up that they recorded all three of the previously released songs (each on various compilation albums only), and most of the newly released material on the Tripwave! Records CD. Early Mad Violets shows took place at loft parties and the infamous club known as The Dive on West 29th St, where a whole new quasi-retro 60s garage/psychedelic rock scene was coming together quite fast. In a scene they shared with such local luminaries as The Fuzztones, Cheepskates, Optic Nerve, The Tryffles, Headless Horsemen, The Outta Place, The Secret Service, The Vipers etc etc. they quickly distinguished themselves as the one band that featured original material where most were content to play note-for-note covers of obscure classics. For their fungicidally-inspired Psilocybe  song Wendy assumed role of high priestess and handed out live mushroom communion to the faithful as they would line up before the stage. The Mad Violets also made many trips to Boston and stops along the way, playing often at the famous Rat, and often with Boston band The Prime Movers. With the Movers they also embarked on a very surreal tour of the Midwestern states during September of 1984. And there was the night they were banned from Hobokens  Maxwells club after Wendy mounted the stage occupied by LA s Dream Syndicate (after being waved up by Steve Wynn himself) carrying a vacuum cleaner and playing it like air guitar. Promoter Todd Abrams mistakenly thought his Village Voice Pick show band was being told they sucked. After the usual internal disturbances Mad Violets finally disbanded in late  84, but not before there was one aborted attempt to continue the band without Dino, using ex-Levi & The Rockkats guitarist Danny Harvey to record an ep for Voxx Records. Although not a complete piece of shit, it just ain t the real thing. The current release of Season Of The Mad Violets (TWR 001, Tripwave! Records) came about after searching thru piles of old tapes; rehearsals, gigs, quick studio demos, living room productions, as well as the three songs which were already released, and putting them together with some artwork drawn by Wendy Wild for some of their show posters. It is a tribute to Wendy who passed away after a protracted battle with breast cancer in 1997. Besides The Mad Violets, she will be remembered by many for her ultra zany performance-art antics in the East Village, and her other projects such as Pulsallama and Das Furlines.

There is a brief autobiography of the Mad Violets by the late Wendy Wild going around on the internet. It seems appropriate to reprint it here, with parenthetical commentary added by Dino.

It was now the summer of 83 and the scent of psychedelia was in the air. I formed a new band [with Dino Sorbello --ed.], the Mad Violets. Our first gig was at the Lucky Strike gallery where we threw our mushrooms to the audience. This worked to our advantage because by the time we launched into "The Trip", the crowd was half-naked and tripping their asses off! We had to put towels on the drums because of the noise complaints that the club received, but no one said how long we could play, which ended up being about 4 hours, (we were tripping too!). When we were booked to play in Worcester, we couldn't find the place because there were no signs for "Wooster" on the map. Finally we turned off the highway to ask a gas station attendant where the hell we were and, of course, we were in the right place but it was nearly midnight. We made it to the club but couldn't help notice all the skinheads who came to see us. We were billed as "Mad Violence" from NYC. Again we gave out mushrooms. It was fun to see them stage diving to the psychedelic music that we played.

I was also known for my stage diving antics as well, particularly at one show in Boston, I was hanging from a pipe go-go dancing with about 50 people on stage for our rendition of "Jump into the Fire". The mob whipped up into such a frenzy that one one noticed when I fell 15 feet flat on my back. When the show was over and I still didn't get up, they finally called an ambulance to cart me away. My recovery was nothing short of miraculous because the next night I was go-go dancing on the stage with the Fleshtones.

My mushroom antics gave me so much notoriety that I was picked to be the cover girl for the August 86 issue of High Times. Carlo McCormick shared the cover with me, and the caption read, "The mushroom queen meets the acid prince". We [Dino & I --ed.] even wrote a song about mushrooms called, "Psilocybe". [that was 1981! -- ed.]

Click HERE and HERE and HERE for more photos of The Mad Violets

Laughing Sky | Blacklight Chameleons