Even undergrounds have their own undergrounds (sub-undergrounds?) of artists who will never quite make it even to the "total unknown" stage. Although Jimi Lalumia's ever mutating backing band included, at one time or another, such punk luminaries as Johnny Thunders, Cherry Vanilla, and Jayne County, the group only managed two singles and an EP during its chaotic existence.
Growing up in Lake Ronkonkoma, Long Island, LaLumia became more and more interested in the New York City music scene of the late '60s, finally moving to the city in the early '70s and becoming a freelance music writer and a scene staple at the legendary Max's Kansas City, befriending Thunders and County in the process. In 1977, LaLumia formed Jimi LaLumia and the Psychotic Frogs, self-releasing the manic "Death to Disco (Disco Sucks)" later that year. The aptly titled EP Typically Tasteless appeared the following year, featuring the originals "Mangle Me" and "You'll Never Walk Again" on the A-side and hilariously vulgar renditions of "Eleanor Rigby" and County's "I Got Fucked By the Devil Last Night" on the flip. 1979 saw the release of two more Beatles-related covers, the Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout" and the Shirelles' "Boys," on a gold-vinyl 45 featuring vocals by Cherry Vanilla and Blondie's early backup singer Donna Destri. Although the group survived in various forms for several years, that was their last official release.
When the oddball '60s indie ESP-Disk unexpectedly resumed operations in the early '90s, one of their first releases was Live at Max's Kansas City 1981, a reissue of a self-released cassette of a late show by LaLumia and company. ESP-Disk's version thoughtfully added the entirety of the group's three official releases at the end. Although LaLumia plays the occasional gig in New York, he's largely retired from performing and owns a record store in his hometown of Lake Ronkonkoma. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi