Born Stupid was a punk band I originally formed in the late 90s, while I was doing my A-Levels at Dudley College. We rehearsed and wrote songs on and off for several years, seeking the right people. We finally started playing shows regularly in 2001.
Between 2001 and our final show in December 2004, the line-up was constantly changing. Frustration finally led to the practical dissolution of the band. We did, however, manage to record in a studio three times. We also have a whole load of tapes, videos, minidiscs, of live shows and rehearsals.
In mid-2008, the bassist and I did a special performance of “Fantasy”, for Newbury melodic punks Second in Line’s farewell show (they have since reformed), in Reading. We taught their drummer how to play it in a few minutes before taking the stage.
“Hitler Was a Pumpkin”
Originally recorded in early 2002, by Russ Alsop at Starbox Studios, Reading. It was the debut professional recording. Planned as an album, it ended up becoming a a 5 track EP, as we had only one weekend in the studio and not the originally planned two.
HWAP includes several staple “anthems” that had been written over many years. The earliest song “Fantasy” was written when I was only 14, 6 years before we headed into the studio. Until our final show, we continued to play “Robot Boy”, “Fantasy”, and “The Ballad of Gravesend”. Shortly after the recording, drummer Andy left, citing time constraints.
The different sound featured on Mr. Popular came about by a rather unfair situation. The drummer we recruited to replace Andy left on the day of a booked performance in Slough.
I’d been learning drums anyway for a couple of years, so rather than throw the booked rehearsal time away (which we’d still have to pay for), we decided to go ahead and jam as a three-piece. I sat down at the drums, and lead guitarist Scott stepping up to the mic for lead vocals.
We agreed that if we really sucked we’d pull out of the show. It turned out that we didn’t. Well, not too much. And this led into the most active time in the band’s short history.
We played tons of shows, across the south of England and in the Midlands.
And after a long while of playing a lot of shows, Scott, one of the really staple and reliable members of the band, decided to leave. Money and time had always been an issue, as he lived quite far away. So we started a new hunt for a drummer, as I stepped back up to the mic.
Mr. Popular was to be the only recording featuring our most stable line-up.
We returned to the same producer that recorded Mr. Popular to record something with our refreshed line-up. We had a new lead guitarist and a new drummer. Things seemed to be going pretty well. We recorded two new songs (“Videohead” and “I Don’t Know”), and one really old song that had originally been planned for Hitler Was a Pumpkin (“Moneybags”).
After the recording, the band started to fall apart again. Our excellent new guitarist left to live in Greece, and our drummer left to renovate a house that he had just bought with some friends….