Beefeater (band)

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Origin Washington D.C.
Genres Post-hardcore
Years active 1984–1986
Labels Dischord Records
Associated acts Strange Boutique
Fidelity Jones
Rhythm Pigs
Rites of Spring
Peach of Immortality
To Live and Shave in L.A.
Truth Serum (band)
Past members Tomas Squip
Fred "Freak" Smith
Dug E.Bird(Birdzell)
Bruce Taylor
Mark Shellhaas
Kenny Craun

Beefeater was an American post-hardcore band from late 1984 until 1986. Formed by Tomas Squip, Fred "Freak" Smith, Dug E. Bird (Birdzell) and Bruce Atchley Taylor, they were pioneers of the post-hardcore genre and the Revolution Summer which took place in the Washington D.C. hardcore in the mid-'80s with similar bands like Embrace, Rites of Spring and Gray Matter, among others. Their debut LP, Plays for Lovers was released in 1985 on the Dischord and their follow-up House Burning Down was released in 1986, as their farewell LP. Drummers Mark "Two-Chair" Shellhaas and Kenny Craun replaced Taylor on later albums. Squip and Birdzell went on to form Fidelity Jones, while Craun joined the Rhythm Pigs and Fred "Freak" Smith joined Strange Boutique.

While Beefeater's songs had all the angry energy of its hardcore labelmates the energy was channelled as much through funk and jazz as rock and roll. Dug E. Bird's fast-paced bass slap drives a rhythm section over which Fred "Not Sonic" Smith's guitar rides in a way reminiscent of the Minutemen. House Burning Down saw the incorporation of even more non-punk influences, most notably world music and included musical cameos many of the Dischord Records regulars (Ian MacKaye provides an intro to the album, in addition to some saxophone).

Squip's essay in Threat by Example: A Documentation of Inspiration (Martin Sprouse, editor, 1991 Pressure Drop Press: San Francisco, ISBN 0-9627091-1-5) outlines his notably religious world view and motivation, unusual for a Dischord band.


  • Plays For Lovers 1985 Dischord Records (catalog No. 17) Bruce Atchley Taylor plays drums.
  • Need A Job 1986 Olive Tree Records (catalog No. 106) Mark Shellhaas plays drums.
  • House Burning Down 1987 Dischord Records (catalog No. 23) Kenny Craun plays drums.

External links[edit]

Beefeater at AllMusic
Interview with Tomas Squip (now known as Onam Emmet)
Interview with Dug E. Bird
Onam Emmet (formerly Tomas Squip) speak about Positive Force shows