What's a Press Tone Anyway?

That’s what Johnny Thunders said when he read the front cover of the kick drum the night we opened up for him. I can’t remember if it was before or after he blew up Peter’s amp, but he said it. I might have had a tape as proof, maybe I gave it to Peter, but I don’t know where it is.

As a preliminary post though, I thought I’d mention the speed of the band, one thing we were accused of a lot. There were some songs that went by real quick, and I figured I’d use what is on this site, and some stuff from board tapes I salvaged. If you check the video section, you’ll see New Math doing “They Walk Among You.” Not their fastest number, but it’s up there, and it clocks in at around 120 beats per minute (bpm). And if you check the first video by Personal Effects, “Darlin,” a more uptempo number, it whizzes by at around 155 bpm. If you check the song below called “Who Needs You” from a recording in the early 80’s, you’ll notice a much more brisk tempo, one that tops out just shy of 260 bpm. Not all songs were that fast, of course, and nothing will blaze by that quickly on November 21 at the German House, because we’re all older and bloated. And not to sound too much like Grandpa Simpson on the front porch yelling at neighborhood kids, but back in the day we were loud and fast, like rock and roll is supposed to be. More stories to come, of course, but I figured I’d get at least one post up before I’m pushing up daisies.

“Who Needs You” by The Press Tones 



  1. Jlaben’s avatar

    “I’M TIRED”…


  2. Simon Ribas’s avatar

    I know we did that one fast at times, but the fastest recording I have of that number comes in around 215 bpm. I’ll keep looking for tapes.


  3. Jason L. Brown’s avatar

    Somebody check his scalp for the Number of the Beats . . .

    The Press Tones were fast all right, but the remarkable thing about them was the rate at which they produced memorable songs. In that department they were unmatched, seems to me.


  4. Jlaben’s avatar

    I don’t care how many beats it had…I used to yell “I’m Tired” after every song you guys did. You really DON’T remember anything…


  5. Simon Ribas’s avatar

    I know you hollered, and I remember you hollering, but I’m just a pawn in the machine. Plus, I always had trouble playing the thirds riff at high speed.


  6. C Laben’s avatar

    I don’t remember that song at all – sounds like an old XTC song to me…..


  7. Brian Goodman’s avatar

    Please post more! That’s great!


  8. Brian Goodman’s avatar

    Anyone know the where a bouts of Jimmy Freeze?
    last time I saw his was around 1986 at a bar on Monroe Ave in Pittsford


  9. Simon Ribas’s avatar

    I believe Jim Freeze is in the big house. I’ll double check with Peter when I see him in a few days.



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