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The Consumers were originally just three guitar players with no rhythm section—Paul Cutler, Mikey Borens and lyricist / lead singer David Wiley, all bonded by love of psychedelic Euro-prog jazz like Henry Cow, Gong and Robert Wyatt—who’d stopped listening to rock ’n’ roll after Bowie’s Spiders from Mars came out around 1972. By ’77 our guys had re-discovered rock through Britpunk pub raunch like The Sex Pistols and The Damned. Cutler and high school bud Wiley had even driven all the way to L.A. determined to hunt down a copy of The Pistols’ “Anarchy in the UK” single. In the pre-Internet days there wasn’t a record store anywhere in Arizona that had even heard of it, let alone stocked it.
All My Friends Are Dead was The Consumers’ “fuck you” to Phoenix since nearly all their gigs there ended in brawls with long-haired rockers and other redneck gnarlers pounding on the band for daring to play punk rock in public in 1977! It didn’t take long to suss. Head on out. Just before they packed for L.A. in early ’78 the band managed to get themselves on tape during a single session blow-out frenzy. All My Friends Are Dead successfully captures The Consumers as a pissed-off-yet-still-fun, no-frills, punk-rockin’ band... exactly who and what they were during their extremely short and sweet existence.
After a few months of violent and intense live shows at The Masque and other local punk dives, the band finally imploded. Some headed back to Phoenix and some stayed on in L.A. to form new bands. Cutler went on to form the goth / punk 45 Grave and still later joined the Dream Syndicate. Wiley formed the Pasadena art rock Human Hands. Sadly, today there are only two surviving members of The Consumers. Sadder still, what passes for punk rock today is easy listening when compared to All My Friends Are Dead.