Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sleeping Dogs

     Sleeping Dogs were an unusual band that surfaced on Crass Records with their single 'Beware' in 1982. Their music was very experimental, their lyrics were along the same lines as Crass, and they were the first of two American bands(they were based in San Francisco/New York) that had their singles released on Crass Records. The line up was leader Sue 'Bad Boy' Bachemin(a woman) on bass and vocals, Dirty Dog on drums and vocals and Helen Harmon on guitar, and they also featured John Simmons on guitar, The Great Jeff on electric violin and Jeff Mattson on guitar over time.

     The band member named 'Dirty Dog' was responsible for designing the infamous Crass logo that was used on all the covers for all the other bands featured on Crass Records. They also managed to play at the Infamous Zig Zag squat gig, going on between Lack of Knowledge and The Apostles.

     In 1982, the band recorded their debut single 'Beware' with help of additional drums from Penny Rimbaud and additional guitar by Phil Free from Crass. The band disappeared after the Zig Zag gig, and eventually changed their name to Brain Rust in 1986. The line-up for Brain Rust was Bad Boy and Dr. Mabuse on vocals, Pablo Wrytetwoski Pickles on bass and Dirty Dog on drums. The last known bits of material I have found by them is from 1988, which was recorded in Berkeley, California. It is unclear as to what happened to the band after that point.

"Same Old Story"

From generation to generation it continues.
Passing on the fear and the guilt.
Handing down
the lust for power
and the lack of vision that results.

From father to son,
the prejudice lives on.
Teaching the good old way.
How to exploit, to profit, to gain.
Let no one else have their say.

And some rebel,
but most agree.
As father would say:
"What's in it for me?"
So the boy takes the gun,
like a dutiful son.
The world's not yet destroyed.
Can he get the job done?
Can he get the job...
Can he get the job


Concrete walls are spreading.
You see them more and more.
Soon we will be so cut off,
we won't know what life is for.

Some are shocked in mental homes,
or locked behind prison walls.

The rest of us get office blocks,
highways and shopping malls.

Those shopping centres are advancing,
covering the hills.
This one has twenty restaurants.
To glut away our ills.

Back at the institutions
that wait beyond these walls.
Guards live in houses in a row,
and they're behind the fences too.

Radio waves don't like concrete
if your driving in a car.
you're trying to get a message through.
You have the radio on.
Your driving under an overpass
and the music's power is gone.

"Suzy's Song"

What a lovely day.
I love your clothes.
I love your makeup.
I love your shoes.

I love your microwave oven.
I love your eye-level grill.
I love your butcher cook.
I love your garbage compactor.

I love your weekend house.
I love your living space.
I love your media wall.
I love your beta-max.
I love your conversation pit.
I love your Track lighting.
I love your high-tech taste.
I love your Doberman attack dogs.

I love their silver collars.
I love your sex encyclopedia.
I love your mirrored ceiling.
I love your black satin sheets.
I love your chromium handcuffs.
I love your therapist.
You seem to have such a perfect relationship.
I love your friends.
I love you.
You love me.
We all love each other.
We all love each other.

"(I got my Tan in) El Salvador"

In San Salvador,
and Guatemala City,
joggers run through rich neighborhoods each mornings.

Young couples dance at disco in the evening.

Soccer fans jam stadiums
for weekends.

Death squads in the street.
They do what they want.
Each morning the women go out.
They try to wake the dead.
The bodies are difficult to recognize.

Lists composed by army collaborators.
The military is suffering from paranoia.
anyone not in uniform is suspect.

They rape.
They torture,
and then they kill.

Unspeakable violence.
Unimaginable suffering.
Too many bodies.
Too little land.
Decades of oppression
by military governments.
Supported by America.


I sit crouching,
cleaning my gun,
cleaning my equipment,
filling my canteen,
making up by bedroll,
for I must be ready to move
at 2 A.M.

I draw out my 14 inch bayonet,
test its edge,
find it sharp enough.
Before battle, I can see myself blasted to mangles by a bomb.
Or blinded by rock fragments.
Or pounded crazy by artillery.
Or gelded by mortar shrapnel.
Or pierced by bayonet-
pierced through the belly, wriggling helplessly.
Pierced through the throat-
pierced through the groin and anus.
Pierced and pierced again.
Pierced through the chest hearing the bone grate.
Pierced through the temple, feeling the bone crumple.
Pierced through the back and nailed.
Pierced through the spine and paralyzed.
Pierced through the lips and tongue, biting on steel,
or buried alive under crumpled roof.
Or skewered by tracer bullets.
Or torn apart by grenades.
Or killed,

Soon to come Downloads:

Beware 1982 Crass Records
Live at the Zig Zag Squat Gig December 1982
Random Tracks from the Mid-Eighties
Leaving the Mind Behind(Brainrust) 1988


  1. They retired from music in the early 90's I believe.

  2. they released a discography CD on Broken Rekids.

    --joe defiant

  3. DD formed Crippled Hippo with his partner after Brain Rust. My partner and I went down to SF to see them a few times. They moved to Michigan in the early 90’s. Last i heard from them his partner sent me a homemade quilt made of mens shirts when i was sick.

  4. I took this picture and I would very much appreciate it if you include a photo credit. Thanks.

  5. I have a recording of Sleeping Dogs on KFJC in '84. Looking to get a hold of any former band members.

    1. I would love to hear that recording and am actively looking for any secondary sources about Sleeping Dogs! I'm in touch with Dione King from the band if you're looking for information too.

  6. Bad Boy was Dione King, not Sue Becheman, and Dirty Dog was Dave King, not Charlie Nash. Charlie Nash was the one who went on to form Crippled Hippo and moved to Michigan. Dave and Dione stayed in San Francisco.