Joe Woyan photo
Of all Mike “Rep” Hummel’s projects, one of the least documented is the True Believers, a punk band with Tommy Jay, “The General," Nudge Squidfish and Carla Lust that existed from 1979-1981. The group’s acclaimed “Accept It” EP — the first release on Rep’s new wave label New Age — included a mere three songs, but the band recorded lots more that may be compiled on an upcoming release by Columbus Discount Records.
"The band broke up rather abruptly and so the recordings just went into the closet," Hummel said. "There are plans to for CDR to do a release within a year. It could be similar to the Gibson Bros project, maybe a double album."
In the meantime, the band will play its first gig since a January 1981 “Ronald Reagan Anti-Inaugural Ball” this Friday at Carabar for CDR’s eighth anniversary party. Guinea Worms, The Unholy 2, Altered States of the United Snakes and Jeff Fernengel will play too.
I spoke with Hummel on the phone this week to get a few more details on Friday's acclaimed-but-obscure headliners.
On the surprise success of "Accept It!": "We weren’t promoting ourselves. It was a vanity press that happened to sell quite well. It went into 800 copies, which was a lot back then."
On making an impression out of town: "It was huge in the New York/Boston area, and did well on the west coast. That’s where they all sold. We were unknown in the Midwest. We used to go to New York back then and go to places like CBGBs. We handed out the record to people and word got around fast."
On endorsement from Harvard radio station WHRB: "It was similar to (WFMU) in that they had a large audience... They put out a magazine once a year and we were the featured band the year that record came out."
On the rarity of this reunion gig: "The General lives in Florida and rarely comes up here, which was part of the impetus for doing this... All I can say right now is that there’s no plans to do another show."