The Effigies

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The Effigies_table_infobox_0

The EffigiesThe Effigies_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationThe Effigies_header_cell_0_1_0
OriginThe Effigies_header_cell_0_2_0 Chicago, Illinois, United StatesThe Effigies_cell_0_2_1
GenresThe Effigies_header_cell_0_3_0 Punk rockThe Effigies_cell_0_3_1
Years activeThe Effigies_header_cell_0_4_0 1980–1990, 1992, 1995–1996, 2004–2009The Effigies_cell_0_4_1
LabelsThe Effigies_header_cell_0_5_0 Ruthless, Enigma, Touch and Go Records, Criminal IQ Records, ,The Effigies_cell_0_5_1
Associated actsThe Effigies_header_cell_0_6_0 Naked Raygun, Strike Under, Pegboy, Bloodsport,The Effigies_cell_0_6_1
WebsiteThe Effigies_header_cell_0_7_0 The Effigies_cell_0_7_1
MembersThe Effigies_header_cell_0_9_0 John Kezdy, Robert McNaughton, Paul Zamost, Steve EconomouThe Effigies_cell_0_9_1
Past membersThe Effigies_header_cell_0_11_0 Earl Letiecq, Robert O'Connor, Chris Bjorklund, Joe Haggerty, Tom WoodsThe Effigies_cell_0_11_1

The Effigies were an American punk band from Chicago, Illinois, United States. The Effigies_sentence_0

The band played its first show in 1980 and was active initially for approximately a decade, undergoing multiple personnel changes with frontman John Kezdy the only constant, before disbanding in 1990. The Effigies_sentence_1

The band released 5 albums and several EPs, most on the record label they founded in 1981, Ruthless Records, which was distributed by Enigma. The Effigies_sentence_2

Later albums were on the Fever Records and Roadkill Records labels. The Effigies_sentence_3

They toured the U.S. and Canada and played notable venues, including CBGB, Maxwell's, First Avenue (nightclub), Mabuhay Gardens, Paycheck's (Detroit), Exit (Chicago) and The Rathskeller, among others. The Effigies_sentence_4

They also received a significant amount of national airplay on college radio at a time when it was the only medium for alternative music. The Effigies_sentence_5

History The Effigies_section_0

The Effigies' website states that they were one of the first punk bands in Chicago. The Effigies_sentence_6

This might be a complicated claim for a band not formed until 1980, but true in the sense that the Midwest resisted punk and was late to discover or appreciate it to any degree. The Effigies_sentence_7

In the years immediately after The Ramones and The Sex Pistols first released records (1977), Chicago remained dominated by classic rock, disco and blues; punk bands were anathema to the Midwest rock establishment and had few places to play and fans had few places to hear live bands. The Effigies_sentence_8

Despite revisionistic claims in its later advertised station history, even Chicago's "progressive" radio station, WXRT, was never very supportive of punk or even new wave, outside a few efforts of a couple of DJs relegated to late night slots. The Effigies_sentence_9

What most punk fans recall as the first "scene" in Chicago did not rise until the very early 1980s, when clubs like and started to provide venues for live punk. The Effigies_sentence_10

In a 1999 retrospective about the 1985 music year, Chicago Sun-Times music writer Jim Derogatis termed the heyday of The Effigies "the second generation of Midwestern punks," but this is correct only in describing the burgeoning young 1985 Midwest punk scene as it overtook the smaller, older scene which had cloistered itself in punk discos like and for all its excesses was musically passive, generating no bands and creating no music. The Effigies_sentence_11

By 1985,The Effigies, Naked Raygun, Strike Under and Big Black had been around for half a decade. The Effigies_sentence_12

There were no active punk bands in Chicago before them. The Effigies_sentence_13

Attempts to characterize The Effigies as post-punk, hardcore and, to the extent it is distinguishable, Chicago hardcore, reveal the difficulty in pigeonholing the band's sound which is more expansive than the punk subgenres both musically and thematically. The Effigies_sentence_14

Even the catch-all "post-hardcore" becomes an inapt anachronism in light of the fact that the band's seminal releases pre-date the arrival of hardcore by several years. The Effigies_sentence_15

Indie rock pundit Steve Albini writes that "The Effigies were absolutely essential to the development of a healthy punk scene in Chicago. The Effigies_sentence_16

Between them and Naked Raygun, in the early 80s they basically kept the scene going until it developed momentum beyond them." The Effigies_sentence_17

"The Effigies were a moving force during a crucial and exhilarating time." The Effigies_sentence_18

The history of The Effigies develops in three discernible periods, each marked by a different lead guitarist. The Effigies_sentence_19

The Effigies' original lineup consisted of John Kezdy (vocals), Earl "Oil" Letiecq (guitar), Paul Zamost (bass) and Steve Economou (drums). The Effigies_sentence_20

By 1984 Letiecq’s distractions had estranged him from the group, and in the words of Zamost, “we had problems with our guitar player. The Effigies_sentence_21

We had to switch guitar players....” Minor Threat guitarist Lyle Preslar made inquiries about joining the band. The Effigies_sentence_22

Robert O’Connor replaced Letiecq as lead guitarist and this second lineup released two LPs, Fly on a Wire, and Ink. The Effigies_sentence_23

These albums were engineered and co-produced with the band by Iain Burgess, and were distinguished from the recordings of the first lineup by their sublimated aggression and comparatively muted rhythms. The Effigies_sentence_24

They also hinted at another growing division in the band. The Effigies_sentence_25

As Burgess put it, "they got a lot of heat for the change in musical direction to some degree on the latter two albums that I worked on, Ink and Fly on a Wire. The Effigies_sentence_26

I think both of which have some really f*****g good songs on them, and some are, well, in my opinion, just not all that marvelous. The Effigies_sentence_27

I think John (Kezdy) would say the same thing. The Effigies_sentence_28

I’m sure he likes all the songs, but some of it we could have done better." The Effigies_sentence_29

It was at this stage the band began getting tagged with the ill-fitting post-punk and post-hardcore labels. The Effigies_sentence_30

Perceiving the band's punk ethos as an obstacle to "mass appeal," Zamost and O'Connor joined O'Connor's wife to form a new band called Machines in Motion during the summer of 1986 to pursue a more commercial sound. The Effigies_sentence_31

Economou fell in with them. The Effigies_sentence_32

This effectively dissolved The Effigies in the middle of a national tour supporting their third LP, Ink. The Effigies_sentence_33

Prosaic and muddled, Machines in Motion were poorly received and broke up acrimoniously after only a few performances. The Effigies_sentence_34

The O'Connors dropped back into obscurity and Zamost began a long string of short-lived bands. The Effigies_sentence_35

In 1987 Kezdy reunited with Letiecq and added Chris Bjorklund (Strike Under, Bloodsport, )(bass) and Joe Haggerty (drums). The Effigies_sentence_36

In 1988, Letiecq departed again to form the band Jack Scratch with Dave Bergeron, formerly of Bloodsport. The Effigies_sentence_37

Bjorklund moved to guitar and Tom Woods became the Effigies' bassist. The Effigies_sentence_38

Coincidentally, Bjorklund, Haggerty, and Woods had comprised the rest of Bloodsport. The Effigies_sentence_39

In 1990, the Effigies called it quits and Kezdy pursued a career as an attorney. The Effigies_sentence_40

The original line up reunited for a one-off show in 1992. The Effigies_sentence_41

They came together again in late 1995 and early 1996 to play a few Chicago shows to celebrate the reissue of their Remains Nonviewable compilation CD on Touch and Go Records. The Effigies_sentence_42

After seventeen years of unremarkable musical projects, Economou and Zamost sought a rapprochement with Kezdy. The Effigies_sentence_43

The Effigies re-formed in 2004 and in 2007 released their first recording in nearly 20 years, a full LP titled Reside, which was a return to their earlier form. The Effigies_sentence_44

The album was produced by Andy Gerber, who once played with Zamost and Economou in the band Laughing Man. The Effigies_sentence_45

The most recent lineup consisted of original members John Kezdy, Paul Zamost, and Steve Economou, and new guitarist Robert McNaughton, who had previously been in the bands Pop Media, We're Staying, and along with Zamost, The Indicators, The Lemmings, The Greys, 80 Proof Preacher and People Like Us. The Effigies_sentence_46

McNaughton composed music for the film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. The Effigies_sentence_47

Since 2010 Economou has also been collaborating with Steve Bjorklund and keyboardist LizB in the band High Value Target. The Effigies_sentence_48

Miscellaneous The Effigies_section_1

The cover of the band's record "Haunted Town" constitutes the first use of the Chicago flag as a countercultural geo-signifier. The Effigies_sentence_49

Consequently, the flag was adopted as a motif within the nascent Chicago punk scene and later became fashionable outside the milieu of music. The Effigies_sentence_50

In late 2010, The Effigies were slated to play a Riot Fest show commemorating the re-release of the 1981 Busted at Oz compilation. The Effigies_sentence_51

The show was to be at a Chicago venue called the Metro and featured a number of reunited groups that had appeared on the original compilation. The Effigies_sentence_52

Due to the band's long-standing objection to the Metro as a venue – alluded to in a 1993 interview with bassist Zamost – the show was moved to a smaller club, the Double Door. The Effigies_sentence_53

Initially agreeing to fill out the original lineup for what promised to be a compelling show, guitarist Letiecq pulled out within weeks of the show and just prior to the event posted a note on the Riot Fest website declaiming against the endeavor and vowing for unstated reasons never to perform with the original members again. The Effigies_sentence_54

Without their guitarist, the remaining band members withdrew from the show rather than appear as an unrehearsed and falsely billed original line-up. The Effigies_sentence_55

John Kezdy is the older brother of Naked Raygun bassist Pierre Kezdy. The Effigies_sentence_56

The Effigies can be seen in You Weren’t There, a 2007 film about the Chicago punk scene from 1977 through 1984. The Effigies_sentence_57

Members The Effigies_section_2

The Effigies_unordered_list_0

  • John Kezdy - Vocals (1980–1990, 2004–present)The Effigies_item_0_0
  • Robert McNaughton - Guitar (2004–present)The Effigies_item_0_1
  • Paul Zamost - Bass (1980–1986, 2004–present)The Effigies_item_0_2
  • Steve Economou - Drums (1980–1986, 2004–present)The Effigies_item_0_3
  • Earl Letiecq - Guitar (1980–1984, 1987–1988)The Effigies_item_0_4
  • Robert O'Connor - Guitar (1985–1986)The Effigies_item_0_5
  • Chris Bjorklund - Bass (1987–1988), Guitar (1988–1990)The Effigies_item_0_6
  • Joe Haggerty - Drums (1987–1990)The Effigies_item_0_7
  • Tom Woods - Bass (1988–1990)The Effigies_item_0_8

Discography The Effigies_section_3

Albums The Effigies_section_4

The Effigies_unordered_list_1

  • For Ever Grounded LP (Ruthless Records/Enigma Records 1984)The Effigies_item_1_9
  • Fly on a Wire LP (Fever Records/Enigma Records 1985)The Effigies_item_1_10
  • Ink LP (Fever Records/Enigma Records 1986)The Effigies_item_1_11
  • Reside CD (Criminal IQ Records 2007)The Effigies_item_1_12

Singles and EPs The Effigies_section_5

The Effigies_unordered_list_2

  • Haunted Town 12" EP (Autumn Records 1981/reissued with "Security" as a bonus track by Ruthless Records 1984)The Effigies_item_2_13
  • "Bodybag" b/w "Security" 7" (Ruthless Records 1982)The Effigies_item_2_14
  • We're Da Machine 12" EP (Ruthless Records/Enigma Records 1983)The Effigies_item_2_15
  • "VMLive Presents The Effigies Live 12/16/95" 7" EP (VML Records 1996)The Effigies_item_2_16
  • “…on the move, or in danger (stop) This will have been my life (stop)” EP (Criminal IQ Records, 2009)(digital release only)The Effigies_item_2_17

Compilations The Effigies_section_6

The Effigies_unordered_list_3

  • Remains Nonviewable LP - compilation of the first 3 EPs and parts of For Ever Grounded (Roadkill Records 1989/reissued on CD by *Touch and Go Records 1995)The Effigies_item_3_18

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Effigies.