Whipping Boy (American band)

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Whipping Boy
OriginStanford, California
GenresHardcore Punk
Years active1982–1989
Associated actsOxbow
Past members
  • Eugene Robinson
  • Steve Ballinger
  • Sam Smoot
  • David Owens
  • Ron Isa
  • Steve Shaughnessy
  • Niko Wenner
  • Bart Thurber

Whipping Boy was an American hardcore punk, psychedelic, and experimental-metal band from Palo Alto, California.

The band was created in 1982, made up of four students from Stanford University: Eugene Robinson, Steve Ballinger, Sam Smoot, and David Owens. Their sound featured lightning-fast melodies, tight, chunky rhythms, and violently incoherent vocals. They espoused a radically anti-government view that caught the attention of the Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra and led to his support. They were featured on a punk compilation Not So Quiet on the Western Front. Their first LP, The Sound of No Hands Clapping was produced by DK's Bassist, Klaus Flouride. The band enjoyed moderate success, and a national tour in 1983 was capped by the release of the psychedelic MuruMuru in 1983. This abrupt change in style was not welcomed by Whipping Boy's fanbase. After another national tour, several personnel changes followed. In 1984 Ron Isa on bass, Steve Shaughnessy on drums, and Niko Wenner on guitar and backing vocals joined original members Robinson and Ballinger. Not long after, Ballinger left and Bart Thurber joined on guitar, though Ballinger appeared on the next LP The Third Secret of Fatima. This third record was another relative stylistic change, and also involved Fluoride. After several further lineup changes and a 7" record of a live-in-the-studio recording at radio station KFJC entitled "Crow," the band broke up in 1989. Incendiary front man Eugene Robinson and multi-instrumentalist and composer Niko Wenner are now in the avant-garde noise-rock band Oxbow.