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JON M ASHLINE R.I.P.    May 8, 1951-November 11, 2012

It's with a heavy heart that we report the passing of a St. Louis music icon and one of the true, original punks, Jon Ashline. Jon was half of the legendary Screamin' Mee-Mees, one of the earliest proto-punk  basement rock outfits. Along with partner-in-crime Bruce Cole, the Mee-Mees recorded their brand of racket since the late 60s in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO. What started out as drunken/stoned goof-off recordings quickly morphed into paint-peeling Kraut Rock/noise-inspired jams which they dubbed Warp Music. The Warp name was soon supplanted by the Screamin' Mee-Mees moniker, and they went on to record countless hours of original material, much of it written spontaneously as they were taping it. Jon played drums, handled most lead vocals, and contributed the occasional guitar, organ, slide whistle or other backing part, as Bruce led the songs with his drunken guitar wailing.

The Mee-Mees saved up and unleashed their first piece of vinyl on the world in late 1976, though it sported a 1977 date, as not to seem too "last year's model." The Live From The Basement EP stands as one of the crudest, most mind-boggling Midwestern D.I.Y. rock slabs of the original punk era. Plans for more records followed, but a lack of funds, marriages, jobs and other real-life stuff got in the way. The Mee-Mees stayed silent for most of the 80s, but enjoyed a resurgence starting in the early 90s, releasing two LPs and a string of 7-inchers on several different labels. Wowing even the most hipper-than-thou fanzine and indie-band folks, the Mee-Mees had more fans than ever.


Jon had moved from Ferguson to Topeka, KS shortly after the release of their first album in 1992, but they continued to record new material on his holiday visits back to St. Louis. Starting in the early 2000s, Slippy Town and then Gulcher Records helped bring even more attention to their music with several reissues and collections of unreleased material. In 2007, Gulcher released what would be the last "new" Mee-Mees album, Plastic Hong Kong Doorbell Finger. Affirming there is still an audience for the Mee-Mees, Rerun Records released two cassette/CDR releases just this year, with many more to follow from Bruce's vast basement archives. Gulcher is also reissuing the two 1990s Mee-Mees LPs on compact disc, remastered from the original tapes.
 
Diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in 2002, Jon wasn't about to leave this world without a fight. After ten years, it finally got the best of him. Never giving up on playing the music he loved, Jon had a new, Topeka-based musical duo during the last few years called the Don't Wait Arounds. A CDR-EP and other new recordings proved he hadn't lost his sense of humor or mellowed with age. Jon Ashline was a one-of-a-kind and will be greatly missed. If there's an afterlife, we're sure he's keeping time for Captain Beefheart or jamming with other fallen heroes.

 
-Jason Ross, Rerun Records



Check out the other Screamin' Mee-Mees related pages:
BRUCE COLE - A page about the solo recordings and other musings of one half of the Screamin' Mee-Mees

MEE-MEE'S DISCOGRAPHY - Just like it says. An illustrated discography of their releases!


Available on Rerun Records!


The Screamin' Mee-Mees-Comedy Hour CS/CDR
(2012-RERUN #017)

Although the Screamin' Mee-Mees are best known for their 1977 EP, the D.I.Y. Punk masterpiece "Live From The Basement", the boys had been making tapes since the late '60s. They recorded goofball rock n' folk songs on guitar and homemade drums, Kraut Rock-n'-pot fueled white noise jams and the odd bit of comedy, organ music and other experimentations.

This cassette is a real gem I'm proud to have re-discovered during one of our many excavations of Bruce Cole's basement. Recorded around '69 or '70, the tape was long thought lost and not heard for a couple decades. The first side is Bruce and Jon of the Mee-Mees putting on a production of "TV shows" with songs and bits, including a variety show with the boys posing as a couple rock bands. The second side starts with Bruce and Jon recording their observations as they drove around Ferguson in Jon's Javelin station wagon. After that trek, the boys head back home to play a handful of original songs. Vocals by both, with Bruce on acoustic guitar and Jon on coffee can drums. About a full hour glimpse into the mind's of the Mee-Mees, a very, very scary place.  -Jason Ross

Shrink-wrapped, pro-made, chrome cassette with full color cover. CS is limited to 100 copies. CDR format also available. CDR duped on archival grade disc with full color cover. Packaged in standard CD jewel case.

Format: Cassette or CDR

Listen to sample tracks:


SEE ALL ARTWORK, FULL TRACK LIST
AND BUY YOUR OWN COPY IN THE MEE-MEE'S STORE

  
 
  

AND FROM 1/2 OF THE MEE-MEE'S...


Bruce Cole-Oh, Lou Lost The Elvis Tapes CD/CDR

(2012-RERUN #018)
A solo release by Bruce of The Screamin' Mee-Mees! Almost a full hour of just Bruce singing songs with his guitar.

Side A is Bruce's solo cassette release from 1989 titled The Lost Elvis Tapes. It's just Bruce and his trusty electric guitar. The originally cassettes were mostly mailed for review or distributed to the patrons of a couple of Bruce's neighborhood bars in Ferguson, MO. Very few, if any were sold to the public. The material was reissued on CDR by Slippytown almost a decade ago, but even that was a tiny edition of 50 CDRs. Side B is a collection of acoustic songs compiled from Bruce's various basement tapes. About half was recorded in the early to mid '90s and the rest going back to the early '70s. Bruce does original material along with a few covers (Capt. Beefheart, Kevin Ayers, etc) in the Dog Face style

Shrink-wrapped, pro-made, chrome cassette with full color cover. CS is limited to 100 copies. CDR format also available. CDR duped on archival grade disc with full color cover. Packaged in standard CD jewel case.

Format: Cassette or CDR

Listen to sample tracks:


SEE ALL ARTWORK, FULL TRACK LIST
AND BUY YOUR OWN COPY IN THE
MEE-MEE'S STORE



  
 
  




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