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What is Led Condom?
Q. What is Led Condom?
A. All of the Above!
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|Jeff "Bongo" Laird - Vocals|
Jason "Pill Pill" Makela - Guitar
|Tom Kinner - Bass|
Brent Ritchey - Drums
|Alex Smith - Vocals that Jeff didn't want to do|
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The History of Led Condomby Brent Ritchey
Led Condom first started as the musical wing of The Legion of Decency...not to be confused with the group of the same name from the Twenties and Thirties. The purpose of this group escapes me, but it seemed to revolve around ingesting large quantities of alcohol and causing general mayhem in our town.
Then one fateful night in June, June 25, 1988 to be exact, Led Condom played their first show in Waterman, IL. The music flowed from the musical giants like the alcohol flowed through their veins. Great songs were created and recorded for all to hear. In fact, the session went so well that Led Condom decided that there would be other shows...the Prophylactic Tour was born.
Recordings were made at the various shows played by Led Condom and these recordings were made available to the public. Response was amazing...or maybe it was just amazing that there was a response...either way Led Condom had become the premier trash-metal punk band to call Sycamore, IL their home. Sycamore must be proud.
Led Condom, like all great super-bands, eventually broke up. Members moved away to attend college, other members just got burned out from the demand of meeting the public's expectations. In the end Led Condom became Ded Condom. Only their recordings live on.
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Led Condom wove a musical tapestry that pleased the masses. Many are owed thanks for their influence upon Led Condom in making this music. Among them are...AC/DC, Led Zepplin, Metallica, Motorhead, Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, and cheap Vodka.
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Discography(click on each album title to find out more - now includes downloadable audio tracks!)
This is the first album from Led Condom. Recorded in July of '88 it represents the music created at their first show in Waterman. The title for the album, JTMD, stands for John Toles Must Die. He was the physics teacher that tormented the members of Led Condom their senior year in High School. Among the songs on this album is Led Condom's anthem song 'Led Condom', which explains not only what a Led Condom is, but also what it is used for. Also included on this album are the Guitar solo 'Velvet Sludge' and the ballad ' Let's Go Pick Flowers in the Grass'.
In Tom is the second album from Led Condom. It contains both re-mastered versions of a few songs from JTMD, along with some new songs that show the musical growth of Led Condom. One of the best known songs from Led Condom appears on this album, 'Let the Children Come'. This tune proved to be such an underground hit that a popular Austin, TX metal band, Wicked Gypsy, went on to cover this song during their live performances. In Tom also shows an experimental side to Led Condom in such songs as ' The Hangover Song' and 'Scrotum's on Fire', as well as a failed attempt at recording the song 'Incest', which would later be recorded by the Peoria, IL band Jaws of Life.
The best (or worst) thing about In Tom is that it contains the Butt Lint sessions where Led Condom laid down tracks for their Christmas album. The Christmas album never materialized, but a few tracks from the Butt Lint sessions were found and placed on In Tom.
The third album from Led Condom, Had Enough? breaks new ground in recording quality for Led Condom albums. Although continuing its use of the $99 Sears Stereo made popular by the first two albums, an actual investment in microphone equipment helped make this arguably the best of the four recordings. Made in the Spring of 1989, Had Enough? retreads the Led Condom classics while adding some great new cover songs such as a well-mixed version of 'Communication Breakdown' which nicely shows off Alex's vocal stylings, along with renditions of 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' and 'Rock and Roll' in which Tom sings and Jeff plays the bass.
The tape used to record this album is simply marked 'Final Master', which is fitting since it really does mark the end of an era for Led Condom. This would be the last time the band would perform with Brent on drums and probably should have been the last time the band ever recorded, given the rather lame effort to revive the band later on in 1992 (Led Condom's fourth and 'final' album, Ded Condom).
Although the purists do not recognize Led Condom's fourth and final album, Ded Condom, as an official release by the band, this recording produced in the spring of 1992 stands as a fitting epilogue to the four years the band was together. This album is really a super-group effort, sounding more like an unrehearsed Rock & Roll Hall of Fame jam than the continuous stream of great music Led Condom has been known for. Joined by numerous guest musicians throughout the course of the album, Ded Condom stands as an important lesson for bands which follow to not incorporate every person they know into a jam session. Despite its problems, there are some good songs on the album, such as 'Crossroads/Parasite Blues' and 'Four Guitar Blues', but overall the recording lacks the attention to detail which made the band popular, probably owing to the fact that at any given time there are more guitarists involved than there ever should have been.
Although not up to the standards usually associated with the good name of Led Condom, Ded Condom does have accompanying video footage which will be released sometime in the near future after extensive editing is used to remove the long, boring dead spots on the tape where the band members lost interest in the task at hand.
As a footnote, the Ded Condom session did spawn another band called Sammy's Blues, featuring Tom and Jeff with newfound drummer Eric Biletzky.
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Found at last, some of the lost lyrics of Led Condom. These are songs either never recorded or discarded by the band, left over on napkins, paper plates, and physics class notebook covers. Unfortunately, some songs will be lost forever due to the passing of time (with titles such as 'Hungry Stumps' and 'U.A.N.'), but we were able to salvage these for your enjoyment:
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