|Origin||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Years active||1982–1985 and 2010–present|
|Labels||X-Claim, Restless, Taang!, Reflex/Wolfpack Records|
Rockin' Bob Cenci
The F.U.'s formed in late 1981 as a three piece Boston hardcore punk band. In 1986 they changed their name to Straw Dogs, moving towards heavy metal and reformed under their original moniker in 2010.
The FUs were a hardcore punk band formed in Boston late in 1981. The band initially consisted of John Sox, bass/lead vocal, Bob Furapples, drums and Steve Grimes, guitar. The original lineup recorded a four-song demo which got a good deal of local college radio airplay.
Shortly afterward Wayne Maestri was recruited to take over bass duties and that four piece lineup recorded the tracks for the compilation "This is Boston Not LA" and eventually three LPs on indie labels. Sox named the band in reference to a comment made by Wendy O. Williams in an interview in which she said [smashing TVs] "is a great way to say 'F U!' to society."
The F.U.'s started out playing fast, thrashy hardcore punk, and their first recorded output was on the 1982 Modern Method compilation, This Is Boston, Not L.A., which also featured tracks by Gang Green, Jerry's Kids and The Freeze. A companion 7-inch EP, Unsafe At Any Speed, included another F.U.'s track.
Later the same year, their debut album, Kill For Christ, was released on X-Claim Records, featuring cover artwork by Septic Death frontman Brian 'Pushead' Schroeder, depicting Jesus with a machine gun.
Their second album, also on X-Claim, My America, saw them labelled as right wing nationalists due to its patriotic lyrics (which were half-sarcastic), and artwork. The satirical punk band The Dead Milkmen poked fun at the band's supposed right-wing views on their song "Tiny Town" from the album Big Lizard in My Backyard.
The band's final album as The F.U.'s, Do We Really Want To Hurt You? followed in 1984, on Gasatanka/Enigma.
During the period of ultra-political hardcore punk of the early 1980s, The FUs ran afoul of the influential Tim Yohannan and his Maximum Rocknroll for their patriotic personal politics, which were regarded by MRR as right wing nationalism. Drummer and songwriter Bob Furapples noted that MRR's negative publicity had adversely impacted the band's record sales, particularly in Europe.
A note from the author, "When I wrote the song, My America, I knew it was over the top. I wanted to get a reaction. On our first tour I encountered lots of young kids who had their entire lives in front of them. A lot of them had turned to hard drugs. I was looking for a shocking way to say, 'Yeah, America has it's problems but destroying yourself isn't helping.' It had to be high impact because I saw a crisis looming." -John Sox
After the release of the third FUs album, Do We Really Want to Hurt You? the band had begun to take a more aggressive rock direction, or more of a punk direction vs a hardcore direction "whatever those words mean" as Steve Grimes wrote in a band bio. The changes were taken further when the band changed its name to Straw Dogs, with guitarist Steve Martin and drummer Chris "Bones" Jones added to the line-up. As Straw Dogs, the band released an EP followed by two albums. Drummer Jones died in a car crash the day after the debut Straw Dogs LP was released. The EP and first LP, Straw Dogs and We Are Not Amused, respectively, were released on the Restless/Enigma label. The third album Your Own Worst Nightmare was released by Lone Wolf Records, an independent label from Toronto. European re-releases came from German label, Lost and Found Records, some of which were authorised by the band.
Recent and reunion work
John Sox reintroduced the music of FUs and Straw Dogs by forming the band Payload! in 2006 with Richie Rich, Bobby Frankenheim (who later joined the reunited DYS), Jack Snyder currently of Wrought Iron Hex, and Mick Stunt, currently of the West Coast band, The Stunts. When approached by Katie Goldman of Gallery East to participate in an upcoming documentary called xxx ALL AGES xxx Sox decided to reunite all of the original members with members of Payload! to form the first hardcore supergroup for lack of a better term. Sharing the stage for a live show (as mentioned in the press release) at Club Lido in Revere were, Sox, Grimes, Furapples, Maestri, Rich, and Stunt.
The FUs performed a reunion show in the Boston area on August 29, 2010 along with fellow Boston pioneer hardcore punk bands DYS, Jerry’s Kids, and Gang Green as well as New York City’s Antidote. The show was in support of xxx ALL AGES xxx, a documentary about the original hardcore punk scene in Boston in the early 1980s, being produced in association with Stone Films NYC.
The reunited band has followed the Club Lido show with gigs in New England, and returned to the studio to record a song for a compilation called Cashing in on Christmas Vol. III for Black Hole Records.
The reborn FUs continue to play extensively in New England and have completed tours to Europe including the festivals Rebellion and Bloodstains in the UK and Ieper Hard Core Fest in The Netherlands, and in the USA to the mid-atlantic states and the West Coast including an appearance in the Punk Rock Bowling Festival, held annually in Las Vegas.
The current lineup is John Sox, vocals, Steve Grimes, lead guitar, backup vocals, Ian King, second guitar, backup vocals, Jimmy Foul, bass, backup vocals, and Bob Furapples, drums.
- Kill For Christ (1982), X-Claim
- My America (1983), X-Claim
- Do We Really Want to Hurt You (1984), Gastanka/Enigma
- Straw Dogs EP (1986), Restless
- We Are Not Amused (1986), Restless 1986
- Your Own Worst Nightmare (1990), Lone Wolf
- Sox, John 7/26/13
- Beldin, Fred "Kill For Christ Review", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation
- Bill Bartell, "F.U.'s" Flipside, whole no. 43 (Fall 1984), pg. 41.
- Robbins, Ira, "F.U.'S", Trouser Press
- Sox, John 9/1/11
- Thomas, Tuesday (3 June 2010). "Gallery East Reunion Press Release" (PDF). Cambridge Marketing Group.