Back of Dave — 1993 Demo (2 versions — one with Ben Johnston on vocals & another with Dan Campbell on vocals)

Posted: January 21, 2012 in Music Downloads

“Old School” Back of Dave logo

Ok, this one goes WAY back!  What we have here is two (yes, two!) versions of Back of Dave’s 5-song demo from 1993!!  Yup…these recordings are 19 years old this year!  Damn!!  Most of you who visit this blog will remember Back of Dave with Dan Cambell on vocals.  You know the dude…he went on to sing for Asia Minor, Five Deadly Venoms, Keyop and if my memory serves me correctly, stripped naked during a Back of Dave set at the long-time closed Davey Byrne’s Cafe in Springfield, IL.  Well…before Dan came into the picture, the band had a different vocalist — Ben Johnston.  I’ll admit, I had no idea Back of Dave had a different singer before Dan until I got my hands on these recordings some years back.  Imagine my surprise when my package of CDs arrived in the mail and there were TWO different versions of the 1993 demo!  I think the coolest thing about hearing these songs with two different vocalists is the fact that Ben Johnston’s words are COMPLETELY different than Dan Campbell’s.  Although the instrumental arrangements between both versions are identical, when you add different vocal arrangements the songs sorta take on a different feel between the two and that is SUPER cool!

So here ya go, folks!  Back of Dave’s 5 song demo from 1993 with TWO different vocalists!!




Also…these songs MIGHT be in the wrong order, but this is the order in which they arrived on the CD I received years ago, so I’m keepin’ ’em that way.  Feel free, of course, to put them in whatever order you wish!

  1. sw says:

    This is pretty awesome. I also never knew Back of Dave had a different singer. It’s cool to hear the differences. I’ve had copies of the Dan versions of these songs on tape for years, and turned them into pretty crappy digital copies on my computer. Thanks so much for posting them, so I finally have good copies of this stuff.

    By the way, I remember Dan stripping completely naked during a long instrumental song at Skank Skates in September 1994- first local show I ever went to. If I remember right, the bill that night was Ingot, Braid, and Back of Dave. Dirty skateboard ramps, all star music line-up AND a naked Dan Campbell. What else could a young music fan ask for in an evening?

  2. MB says:

    best. valentine. yet. thanks, Twon!

  3. Ben G. says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! The order of the songs on the “proper” version of Demo ’93 is correct. Not sure about the order on the alternate version since I never saw it or even knew that it existed until now. Some of us purchased the “Alton Not L.A.” compilation cassette that included the alternate version of Schmear plus a song by a death metal band that Matt from Back of Dave drummed for. We certainly preferred Danny’s vocals across the board and didn’t listen to that too much, though.

    And yeah, I believe we were graced with Dan’s nudity at that Back of Dave-Braid-Ingot show at Skanks in September of ’94. Got a ton of pics from that show, but I don’t think any of them captured Danny in his “full glory.” But that Davy Byrnes show in June of ’93 was RIDICULOUS. Back of Dave played a short opening set before NIL8 and tore the place up, especially during the breakdown at the end of Eyepoker — the whole house was jumping. Then later that same night, Back of Dave played a full set at Skanks, where thangs got even MORE wild. Luckily Emily from Skanks handed out discount passes for the Skanks show during the Davy Byrnes show, so a lot of people attended both.

    • twon9 says:

      Hey, thanks for confirming the order on the “proper” version of this tape! I’d love to see those pictures from the Skanks show if you ever scan ’em in! Man…great bands, mind blowing shows and good times back then!

  4. fats says:

    back of dave reunion show in st. loius. not sure what year.

    • twon9 says:

      Killer!! Downloading now! Thanks for sharing, Matt!! I wonder if this was the one I was at. Man, that was a great show! If I remember correctly, some dude was talking shit to Dan towards the end of the set and once the band finished, he hopped off stage and chased the dude towards a back door and I think may have thrown a few punches at him?

      • Brian says:

        Just to clarify, Dan didn’t chase him down. He was headed backstage and the guy wouldn’t leave him alone. And it was just one punch.

      • twon9 says:

        Ah! Thanks for the clarification, Brian!

      • Brian says:

        Hope I didn’t come off as an asshole, just wanted to make sure Dan didn’t look like the bad guy.

      • twon9 says:

        Not in the slightest, Brian! It’s always good to find out what REALLY happened from an actual band member! No one here is looked upon as an asshole for making corrections to any inaccurate information. All comments are welcome here!

        …and besides…we’re all trying to recall stuff that happened YEARS ago. Lord knows some of the memories have become somewhat foggy for some of us since then!

        Thanks for settin’ the record straight!

  5. Raymond Ass says:

    Now THIS is real emo. The original indie stuff from the mid 90s related to punk. This emo-core shit they have today makes me sick I can’t even think about it.

    • twon9 says:

      Agreed, Raymond!! I’m really not sure how “emo” got pinned on something so completely unrelated to what I came to know it as in the 90’s. I WILL say that I think the kiddos have it more tied to fashion more than anything right now, though. The boys in skinny jeans and such nonsense….

      • Raymond says:

        Do you personally know any of the members in Back of Dave?

      • twon9 says:

        PERSONALLY, no. I talked to most of the dudes casually at shows back in the day and that’s about it. Some guys I know have fairly close contact with some of the members still, I think.

  6. Raymond says:

    They say that the split with Prozac is one of the defining moments in the genre and I believe it. I’ve never in my life heard anything like Rifle Arm.

    • twon9 says:

      I’ve heard many say the same, Raymond, and I agree as well. That split was (and still is) a prized release amongst those who were involved with “the scene” back then. I know I played the hell out of that tape back in the day!

  7. Raymond says:

    What other albums do you recommend, twon9? Albums that rival, (if that’s possible) back of dave/prozac memory.

    • twon9 says:

      Rival? Man…that’s gonna be tough. Let me noodle on that one. The Back of Dave/Prozac Memory split is easily one of the strongest in that genre for that era, in my opinion.

    • twon9 says:

      Ok, now that I have some “free time” to kinda think about this, here are a few records that I feel can stand up against the Back of Dave/Prozac Memory LP:

      Texas Is The Reason – “Do You Know Who You Are?”
      *braid* – “frankiewelfareboyage5”
      Quicksand – “Slip”
      Jawbox – “Novelty”
      Sparkmarker – “Products & Accessories”
      Those are just several that quickly come to mind. Hope this helps ya out a little bit!

  8. Raymond says:

    Can I hear some of your own personal work? (happy thnxgiving btw)

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