Suzie Joseph was one of the first members of “The Devices,” as we were called, before we slapped “American” in front of it, which members of my first punk band The Electric Vomit had formed with ex-Ulterior Motive bass player Phil Nolin in 1979. When Vomit singer Rabid Roy Random left, Devices were a three-piece for a bit with Vomit drummer Guy Lapointe. I was on bass & Phil sang & played guitar. Keyboardist Suzie joined this formation, playing Farfisa Organ, & then eventually also String Machine.

At first you could tell which Devices songs were made from my riffs & which ones were Phil’s but as we got better at playing with each other a unique hybrid sound began to evolve. Guy got replaced on drums by an old friend of Phil’s, Carl (Cups Von) Helm, & after seeing us play a few times Rob Labelle, from one of Montreal’s first seventies punk bands The Normals, asked if he could join on extra guitar. This blew my mind because seeing Rob’s band when I was a teenager was what made me wanna start a punk band in the first place.

Devices were listening to a lot of garage, punk, post-punk & no wave back then. A loose list of what was constantly on my own turntable would go a little something like this; “Pebbles” Volume 2, Iggy & the Stooges: “Raw Power,” The Germs, Can: “Ege Bamyasi,” Velvet Underground: “VU,” “No New York” (especially The Contortions), Suicide (second LP), Lydia Lunch: “Queen of Siam,” & The Feelies (first LP). Everybody else brought their own influences into the mix, I started playing a six-stringed bass, & the resulting songs were unlike anything we’d ever heard before.

When Phil left, along with all the tunes he’d written, Rob took over on vocals & guitar & I went back to guitar so we could start writing a brand new set. This is where we slapped “American” in front of “Devices,” keeping the brand name going for previous fans while differentiating ourselves from our old outfit. Despite Rob & I occasionally switching from guitar to bass for a few of my old riffs carried over from the Devices & The Electric Vomit, most of the earliest American Devices numbers deliberately had no bass because Suzie was able to provide all the bass we needed with her Farfisa organ. We ended up sounding even weirder than before. This is where the strange sound of The American Devices solidified.

Suzie left the band in the early eighties & we’ve been through many member changes since then, but Rob & I have remained since the beginning, continuing our odd combo of intertwining riffs throughout the decades without ever having broken up once. He & I have gigged every year together as The American Devices since 1980 & we continue to write new numbers. But for our next show we’ll be reunited for the first time in almost 4 decades with keyboardist Suzie, performing the very first numbers we ever wrote. She’ll be accompanying our current lineup with Howard Chackowicz on drums (since 2000), & Andre Asselin on bass (since the mid-nineties). As such, we’ve had to tweak some of the tunes so everybody could contribute live, for instance there will be bass guitar care of Andre on songs that originally had none, there will be new riffs written by Rob for songs where he originally played bass but can’t anymore because Andre is now playing his old bass riffs, & I dug up my old Hagstrom Corronado six-stringed bass for the tunes that were written with that insane instrument, but since Andre will also be playing bass there will be two basses on those songs! More for your money’s worth! Don’t worry, we figured out a way where Andre & I can alternate between the high notes & the low notes so it doesn’t all sound like mud! We worked very hard to recreate/refurbish this peculiar classic American Devices set & I’m incredibly proud of the results, so please come check out this ultra-rare opportunity to hear what was considered by many to be one of the oddest combos in early-eighties Montreal!

For anyone familiar with our tunes who’d like to know which ones we’ll be doing, below is our set-list. Note: Since Rob was the lead singer during Suzie’s tenure the first few years of The American Devices (I only started writing lyrics & singing circa 1983), the band wanted to throw in some token songs where I do the yammering, so we added a couple of relatively recent numbers that Suzie’s gonna sit out so she can take a little break. Buy her a beer! She deserves it for having tolerated this messy concoction the past bunch of months that calls itself The American Devices!

1) BAY OF PIGS (Suzie keyboards, Rob guitar, Rick guitar, Andre bass, Howard drums)

2) SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION (Suzie keyboards, Rob vocals/guitar, Rick guitar, Andre bass, Howard drums)

3) SEE MY WORLD (Suzie keyboards, Rob vocals/guitar, Rick guitar, Andre bass, Howard drums)

4) GOT THE FEELING IT’S (Suzie keyboards, Rob vocals/guitar, Rick guitar, Andre bass, Howard drums)

5) FIFTY/FIFTY (Rick vocals/guitar, Rob guitar, Andre bass, Howard drums)

6) SUDDEN DEARTH (Rick vocals/guitar, Rob guitar, Andre bass, Howard drums)

7) IN LOVE WITH THE FACT (Suzie keyboards, Rob vocals/guitar, Rick six-stringed bass, Andre bass, Howard drums)

8) SOMEONE WE ONCE KNEW (Suzie keyboards, Rob vocals/guitar, Rick six-stringed bass, Andre bass, Howard drums)

9) COALSHAFT (Suzie keyboards, Rob vocals/guitar, Rick six-stringed bass, Andre bass, Howard drums)

10) WET NURSE AKA DEATH CAMP (Suzie keyboards, Rob guitar, Rick guitar, Andre bass, Howard drums)

11) MEANING OF LIFE (Suzie keyboards, Rob vocals/guitar, Rick guitar, Andre bass, Howard drums)

Pictured below: L to R; Rick Trembles, Rob Labelle, Cups Von Helm, Suzie Joseph. The American Devices crucify Santa around 1981. Not only was the Xmas theme supposed to be dripping in sarcasm but so was the term “new wave” in the tagline. We didn’t think we were “punk” anymore but we certainly didn’t identify as “new wave.” We didn’t know what we were. “Post-punk” was a term I only started hearing about much later, which is what we apparently were/are. The caption coming out of our drummer Cups’ mouth WASN’T sarcasm though, because we thought he looked like Donny Osmond. We only had one PA head but we did a special effect to make it look like we had many by reproducing the same one over & over again in the shot to poke fun at all the “after-punk” people we knew that were jumping on the electropop bandwagon at the time. Whenever we’d go see their bands they’d have so many synthesizers onstage stacked one on top of the other to make themselves look futuristic it seemed like half of them were just props. So we wanted to one-up them & show off how much fancy fake techno-looking gear WE had. Kinda like fake Marshall stacks. All that product placement in the foreground of The Ulterior Motive was from photostats I snatched at the commercial art studio I was working in at the time, doing paste-ups for shopping center catalogs. They kinda look like stocking stuffers. We made that Satanic Santa crucifixion scene ourselves too. Poster by yours truly, Rick Trembles. All photography by Cups Von Helm. Ulterior Motive bass player Dave Hill pictured left eventually became an American Devices member for years in the nineties (he was also one of the founding members of Men Without Hats in the seventies). To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function.

Pictured below: Current gig poster drawn by American Devices drummer Howard Chackowicz. THE AMERICAN DEVICES / LES DEVISES AMÉRICAINES with BLEU NUIT and NONESSENTIAL PERSONNEL, Halloween weekend, Friday, October 27 at Casa del Popolo, 4873 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal. Doors: 8:30 PM, Music: 9:30 PM, Admission: 10$/PWYC. To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function.

Exploitation genius William (Rosemary’s Baby, The Tingler) Castle & inventor of such moviegoing gimmicks as “Emergo” (dangling skeletons over an audience), “Percepto” (joy-buzzers hidden under theatre seats), & “Illusion-o” (hand-held “ghost-viewers”) left us this oddest of swan songs to scratch our heads over for eternity before passing away in 1977! World renowned mime Marcel Marceau (!) plays dual roles as abused deaf mute puppeteer “Shanks” & the crusty old mad scientist he’s assistant to! When the scientist dies, Marceau reanimates him via the electro-acupuncture remote control techniques they were working on! The heading for this Motion Picture Purgatory which originally appeared in a 2008 issue of The Montreal Mirror was “The Strangest Zombie Movie Ever Made!” As always; the original art’s for sale @ 100 bucks. More deets below or contact me for info. (To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function).

NOTE: If you like this original Motion Picture Purgatory artwork I have many, many more being offered as perks for sale on the crowdfunding page for my newest animated cartoon “Building 108: Barnacle Bill the Tailor”! Pick & choose from the list provided in the campaign perks description section HERE

Original art for sale for $100.00 CAD. Includes three items total: The pencil art preliminaries, the original finished B&W inks (signed & dated by author/artist Rick Trembles in pencil on the back), & a color newsprint tear-sheet (or B&W gray tones, depending on when it came out) from where it was originally published. Postage & framing not included. Motion Picture Purgatory Volumes One & Two available at FAB Press. For original art info, contact Rick Trembles @ ricktrembles (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Carol Kane is perfectly cast as chronic victim Jeannie with her big sad eyes & fragile demeanour, so jaw-droppingly heartbreaking you almost gotta cover yer shock with nervous laughter! The poor 16-year-old is shy & sheltered, & constantly hounded after by her brat bully slut girlfriend Dolly to grow some guts & learn how to shoplift at Kresgie’s & cocktease the grownups for blackmail money! Director William Fruet, who wrote the screenplay for 1970 Canucksploitation classic Goin’ Down the Road (starring the same two hosers that destroy this family), would later employ horror chops to great effect on underrated home invasion nightmare Death Weekend (1976)! The heading for this Motion Picture Purgatory which originally appeared in a 2008 issue of The Montreal Mirror was “Love Blooms In Strange Ways!” As always; the original art’s for sale @ 100 bucks. More deets below or contact me for info. (To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function).

NOTE: If you like this original Motion Picture Purgatory artwork I have many, many more being offered as perks for sale on the crowdfunding page for my newest animated cartoon “Building 108: Barnacle Bill the Tailor”! Pick & choose from the list provided in the campaign perks description section HERE

Original art for sale for $100.00 CAD. Includes three items total: The pencil art preliminaries, the original finished B&W inks (signed & dated by author/artist Rick Trembles in pencil on the back), & a color newsprint tear-sheet (or B&W gray tones, depending on when it came out) from where it was originally published. Postage & framing not included. Motion Picture Purgatory Volumes One & Two available at FAB Press. For original art info, contact Rick Trembles @ ricktrembles (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Director Oliver Stone sets the tone with a baseball analogy dream sequence as cornball as a Bush Administration press release that recurs throughout the film to gear us for the visual punch-line summing up Dub-ya’s legacy; a fly-ball lost in the heavens never to find its way back down into the befuddled president’s outstretched mitt! Judging from the goofy ad campaign, I was looking forward to a Mad Magazine type farce but got a borderline sympathetic biopic instead (closest I came was a brief shot of Alfred E. Neuman as George W. Bush on a protestor’s picket sign)! WTF are you doing humanizing this dumb-ass? The heading for this Motion Picture Purgatory which originally appeared in a 2008 issue of The Montreal Mirror was “Sympathy For The Devil!” As always; the original art’s for sale @ 100 bucks. More deets below or contact me for info. (To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function).

NOTE: If you like this original Motion Picture Purgatory artwork I have many, many more being offered as perks for sale on the crowdfunding page for my newest animated cartoon “Building 108: Barnacle Bill the Tailor”! Pick & choose from the list provided in the campaign perks description section HERE

Original art for sale for $100.00 CAD. Includes three items total: The pencil art preliminaries, the original finished B&W inks (signed & dated by author/artist Rick Trembles in pencil on the back), & a color newsprint tear-sheet (or B&W gray tones, depending on when it came out) from where it was originally published. Postage & framing not included. Motion Picture Purgatory Volumes One & Two available at FAB Press. For original art info, contact Rick Trembles @ ricktrembles (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Peter (Mission Impossible) Graves is an undercover FDA agent trying to crack an illegal bennies ring catering to overworked truckers! While snooping around trying to weed out the ringleaders, he starts falling for the widow that runs his rooming house (her hubby overdosed on “co-pilots” AKA “happy pills”), & has to contend with a jazzy, outta-control, hopped-up party animal roommate Chuck (Soylent Green) Connors! The heading for this Motion Picture Purgatory which originally appeared in a 2010 issue of The Montreal Mirror was “My Way Or The HIGH way!” As always; the original art’s for sale @ 100 bucks. More deets below or contact me for info. (To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function).

NOTE: If you like this original Motion Picture Purgatory artwork I have many, many more being offered as perks for sale on the crowdfunding page for my newest animated cartoon “Building 108: Barnacle Bill the Tailor”! Pick & choose from the list provided in the campaign perks description section HERE

Original art for sale for $100.00 CAD. Includes three items total: The pencil art preliminaries, the original finished B&W inks (signed & dated by author/artist Rick Trembles in pencil on the back), & a color newsprint tear-sheet (or B&W gray tones, depending on when it came out) from where it was originally published. Postage & framing not included. Motion Picture Purgatory Volumes One & Two available at FAB Press. For original art info, contact Rick Trembles @ ricktrembles (at) hotmail (dot) com.

David Lynch is the master of transitions to parallel universes! In this epic 3-hour digitally-shot film about actors getting horribly lost in their character, Laura Dern is offered a Hollywood dream-role by Jeremy Irons that could put her “back at the top”! Trouble is; her co-star-to-be is a notorious womanizer & hubby is homicidally jealous! And the proposed flick’s based on a cursed Polish gypsy folk tale where previous attempts at filming have left the lead actors mysteriously murdered (a tale, it seems to turn out, that hubby is hopelessly enmeshed in & had an insidious hand in bringing to her)! This, she’s finally told while going over some lines on a soundstage where noises are heard near the film’s creepy fake house set! Co-star decides to chase after whatever it is but turns up nothing! Lurid hanky-panky, time-travel portals to Poland, & sitcoms with humanoid rabbits soon follow! The heading for this Motion Picture Purgatory which originally appeared in a 2007 issue of The Montreal Mirror was “’I Dunno What Came Before Or After & It’s Kinda Laid A Mindf*ck On Me’ –Laura Dern” As always; the original art’s for sale @ 100 bucks. More deets below or contact me for info. (To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function).

NOTE: If you like this original Motion Picture Purgatory artwork I have many, many more being offered as perks for sale on the crowdfunding page for my newest animated cartoon “Building 108: Barnacle Bill the Tailor”! Pick & choose from the list provided in the campaign perks description section HERE

Original art for sale for $100.00 CAD. Includes three items total: The pencil art preliminaries, the original finished B&W inks (signed & dated by author/artist Rick Trembles in pencil on the back), & a color newsprint tear-sheet (or B&W gray tones, depending on when it came out) from where it was originally published. Postage & framing not included. Motion Picture Purgatory Volumes One & Two available at FAB Press. For original art info, contact Rick Trembles @ ricktrembles (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Fave short in this collection of sexual character studies by Baghdad-born Chicago filmmaker/photographer Usama Alshaibi is The Amateurs (2003) where 3 bumbling aspiring smut-peddlers can’t get the money shot! After sending a couple of uptight prospectives home for wanting to do “Truffaut meets Karen Finley meets David Lynch in a Victorian setting with fish involved,” the pornographers miserably try to extract sex scenes outta more willing starlets! Intertitles introduce each confused beauty! The heading for this Motion Picture Purgatory which originally appeared in a 2011 issue of The Montreal Mirror was “’We’re Making F*ck & Suck, Not Fish Video Art’! –The Directors” As always; the original art’s for sale @ 100 bucks. More deets below or contact me for info. (To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function).

NOTE: If you like this original Motion Picture Purgatory artwork I have many, many more being offered as perks for sale on the crowdfunding page for my newest animated cartoon “Building 108: Barnacle Bill the Tailor”! Pick & choose from the list provided in the campaign perks description section HERE

Original art for sale for $100.00 CAD. Includes three items total: The pencil art preliminaries, the original finished B&W inks (signed & dated by author/artist Rick Trembles in pencil on the back), & a color newsprint tear-sheet (or B&W gray tones, depending on when it came out) from where it was originally published. Postage & framing not included. Motion Picture Purgatory Volumes One & Two available at FAB Press. For original art info, contact Rick Trembles @ ricktrembles (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Road movie Mario Bava style! Thugs kill the treasurer of a pharmacological institute & make off with the payroll! One of them’s killed during the getaway & their gas tank’s shot fulla holes so they gotta find other wheels! “Thirty-Two” (named after his penis size in cm), “Doc” & “Blade” take a female hostage after brutally murdering her GF to show cops they mean business & then hijack an older man’s car taking him & his sedated sick kid with them! What ensues is a paranoid, claustrophobic thriller like no other as tempers flare & victims are terrorized in the escape! Doc breaks down the situation in a simple good-guys-versus-bad-guys fashion; “one side we want money, the other side all of you keep us from it”! But things aren’t so black & white as the cruelly ironic jaw-dropping twist ending will soon prove! The heading for this Motion Picture Purgatory which originally appeared in a 2009 issue of The Montreal Mirror was “I Vant To Be Atoned”! As always; the original art’s for sale @ 100 bucks. More deets below or contact me for info. (To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function).

NOTE: If you like this original Motion Picture Purgatory artwork I have many, many more being offered as perks for sale on the crowdfunding page for my newest animated cartoon “Building 108: Barnacle Bill the Tailor”! Pick & choose from the list provided in the campaign perks description section HERE

Original art for sale for $100.00 CAD. Includes three items total: The pencil art preliminaries, the original finished B&W inks (signed & dated by author/artist Rick Trembles in pencil on the back), & a color newsprint tear-sheet (or B&W gray tones, depending on when it came out) from where it was originally published. Postage & framing not included. Motion Picture Purgatory Volumes One & Two available at FAB Press. For original art info, contact Rick Trembles @ ricktrembles (at) hotmail (dot) com.

On the strength of his earlier work, docudrama filmmaker Peter (Punishment Park) Watkins was commissioned to make a critique about nuclear war for TV by the BBC, but Gov’t pressure got the resulting film War Game promptly banned! Released in cinemas instead, it won a 1966 Academy Award while the ban continued in the UK for 20 years! You can see why the fuss! It’s a non-stop nauseatingly graphic rendition of what could happen to England if attacked by thermonuclear weapons & a scathing condemnation of the country’s unpreparedness! The heading for this Motion Picture Purgatory which originally appeared in a 2011 issue of The Montreal Mirror was “’This could happen by 1980′ –director Peter Watkins.” As always; the original art’s for sale @ 100 bucks. More deets below or contact me for info. (To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function).

NOTE: If you like this original Motion Picture Purgatory artwork I have many, many more being offered as perks for sale on the crowdfunding page for my newest animated cartoon “Building 108: Barnacle Bill the Tailor”! Pick & choose from the list provided in the campaign perks description section HERE

Original art for sale for $100.00 CAD. Includes three items total: The pencil art preliminaries, the original finished B&W inks (signed & dated by author/artist Rick Trembles in pencil on the back), & a color newsprint tear-sheet (or B&W gray tones, depending on when it came out) from where it was originally published. Postage & framing not included. Motion Picture Purgatory Volumes One & Two available at FAB Press. For original art info, contact Rick Trembles @ ricktrembles (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Smut-peddlers hopped on the punk bandwagon pretty quick judging by this sleazy scumfest originally finished XXX without as many rock references in it, but now available with all the additional “historical” footage intact! It was even inexplicably retitled Rock Fever to cash in on the popularity of disco hit Saturday Night Fever (1977) with a John Travolta clone on the poster art! The heading for this Motion Picture Purgatory which originally appeared in a 2012 issue of The Montreal Mirror was “Punk Schlock!” As always; the original art’s for sale @ 100 bucks. More deets below or contact me for info. (To see image full-sized, click on it to open in a new window & use the magnify function).

NOTE: If you like this original Motion Picture Purgatory artwork I have many, many more being offered as perks for sale on the crowdfunding page for my newest animated cartoon “Building 108: Barnacle Bill the Tailor”! Pick & choose from the list provided in the campaign perks description section HERE

Original art for sale for $100.00 CAD. Includes three items total: The pencil art preliminaries, the original finished B&W inks (signed & dated by author/artist Rick Trembles in pencil on the back), & a color newsprint tear-sheet (or B&W gray tones, depending on when it came out) from where it was originally published. Postage & framing not included. Motion Picture Purgatory Volumes One & Two available at FAB Press. For original art info, contact Rick Trembles @ ricktrembles (at) hotmail (dot) com.