S: BoomShanka: Gal Gurus of Garage Grunge
FC: shakalaka | BOOMSHANKA
1: BoomShanka was formed in 1987 by 5 high school friends Left to right: Leslie Wormorth, Leslie Whittaker, Silva Barakett, Caroline Marrs, Roshell Bissett (Top: band mentor --Silva's future husband-- Jeff Tanguay, The Town Cryers).
2: Number 1 priority: An awesome band name of course! | Leslie Wormworth's notes
3: ...and the all important nicknames. | Apparently, we were Strawberry Jihad for a short while...
4: After many grueling hours drinking beer, deciding which instrument each would play (except for Lana who already played guitar) and debating band names, the gal pals were inspired by the British sit-com The Young Ones and opted for "May the seed of your loins be fruitful in the belly of your woman" or BOOMSHANKA for short. | Artwork by: Leslie Wormworth | Plus Lana thought BOOMSHANKA would sound totally kick-ass being chanted by thousands of people at the giant venues we were sure to play someday.
5: That same summer, Silva found these surprisingly apt instructions for starting a band in "The Young Ones" book her sister brought back from the U.K. | GETTING A BAND TOGETHER | We jammed at Mr. Whittaker's mansion in the recording studio built by Leslie's boyfriend - Roger O'Donnell, keyboardist for the Thompson Twins and later member of the Cure. He also generously gave us his credit card so we could buy ourselves instruments (once we'd agreed on what each would play). | Rock & Roll Mr. Whittaker! Rock & Roll! Leslie Wormworth
6: Rosh Omigosh | Leslie Human Sacrifice | Silva Beyond Belief | Leslie Bloody Offering
7: Roshell: "Once, when we were practicing at Leslie Whittaker's, Silva freaked out 'cause all her finger tips were blue and she thought they were bruised but it was only because Jeff had written the notes in blue ink on tape on the frets! lol!" | Lana Botswana | p.s. none of these nicknames stuck beyond that night. Phew!
8: "No. No. No. Les! Jeff said it's BANKA BANKA BANKA!" | An American In Jamaica... A young man truly in love with his girlfriend decided to have her name -Wilma - tattooed on his penis; the tattoo was done while his penis was erect, so when flacid, all you could see was W A. Shortly after the couple was married and honeymooning in Jamaica, the man was in a bathroom, and standing next to him was a Jamaican man who also had a WA on his penis. The American said to him "Oh is your girl named Wilma too?" The Jamaican replied, "No, Mon mine says, 'Welcome To Jamaica'". | Inspired by a joke that was going around at the time, Lana wrote "Wilma, I'm Wonderful! "
9: Recorded at a practice with Tim Devries, June 17, 1987 | Poor little Wilma met an uptown boy Poor little Wilma met a right pretty boy She liked him right away She liked him right away He was sooooo nice lookinÂ’' And you know he was happy that she liked him too He said Wilma IÂ’m wonderful (bis) Wilma IÂ’m wonderful (bis) Welcome to Jamaica Poor little girl she was so messed up Cause the uptown boy really had her all shook up She liked him right away She liked him right away He was sooooo good movinÂ’' And you know he was happy that she liked him too | Chorus She never found out what it was all about What that uptown boy was talkinÂ’' about He wasnÂ’'t from Jamaica He wasnÂ’t' from Jamaica He was sooooo hot groovinÂ’' Now the poor little Wilma is a-groovin'Â’ too Chorus Welcome to Jamaica Poor little Wilma met an uptown boy Poor little Wilma met a right pretty boy She liked him right away She liked him right away He was sooooo nice lookinÂ’' And you know he was happy that she liked him too Welcome to Jamaica | Wilma, I'm Wonderful | Written by Caroline Marrs | SPLUIT! Sound of Silva spitting-up a sip of butt-beer. YUCK! | WILD THING WILMA PRETTY VACANT HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN | BS1987-2 | BS1987-1
10: The Sunday Herald, August 2, 1987 Boomshanka had to be seen to be believed with their brief performance of Wild Thing and an aborted attempt at covering Pretty Vacant. The enthusiasm was there if not the musical proficiency and as they've only been playing for a month these five girls have lots of room to grow. | July 31, 1987 DOWNSTAIRS CLUB (The Town Cryers) | We were soooo nervous, passing around a bottle of Jack Daniels in the green room. Lana kept her back to the audience the whole time and Silva can't remember any of it. Both Leslies and Rosh seemed to have a blast though. | Roshell: "my favorite moment of all in Boomshanka is after our first song at the Downstair's Club; they wanted an encore so I thought we'd try our second song "Pretty Vacant "by The Sex Pistols and the crowd got all excited when Silva shouted "WAIT A MINUTE! WAIT A MINUTE!" and the whole room got silent and she yelled at the top of her lungs "Derek! Do you have a hard PICK? 'Cause this one's soft and I can't play with it!" Priceless..." | Derek was the bass player for Screaming Bamboo... No wonder Silva blanked it out! | BoomShanka 1987 | BS87
11: Leslie Wormworth's lyrics | BoomShanka was on hold... | After that first --and last-- show, Silva left for France (hence the song above), Leslie Whittaker left for England and Leslie Wormworth left for Toronto.
12: Everyone returned in October (on Silva's BDay) and spent the weekend at Lana's cottage. | ahh... Leslie always has the best underwear!
13: We brought our equipment and planned to jam but really just spent the night talking into the amplified mic.
14: 18 months later, the 3 band members still in Ottawa (Roshell, Lana & Silva) met Ginny (Virginia Fanthome) through Gary Blundell (The Desmonds). | Ginny's artwork
15: BoomShanka's Back!
16: Practicing for our second debut - Ginny's first - at a space we shared with The Desmonds on the (now demolished) Ottawa U. Campus.
17: Saturday April 1, 1989 CKCU AWARDS (Faculty Lounge, Carleton Univerisy) | Silva sheepishly remembers her first - and last - "Rock & Roll" moment: trying on outfits before the show, she actually banged her head with her bass and knocked herself out! | PRETTY VACANT GILLIGAN CAN'T EXPLAIN FAIR GAME BOSS HOSS WILD THING | BS1989-1
18: April 22, 1989 HOUSE PARTY (King Edward) | Friday April 28 1989 HOUSE PARTY (Caroline & Rob's, 264 Lisgar) | June 3, 1989 CHRIS & PAM'S STAG (Lakeside Gardens) | Ah... house parties... Who could forget playing at Lana's and seeing two people boinking beside the makeshift stage? They were hidden from the audience but the rhythm section got an eyeful! | PRETTY VACANT BOOMSHANKA RAP FAIR GAME CAN'T EXPLAIN SOMEBODY GILLIGAN BOSS HOSS WILD THING | PRETTY VACANT BOOMSHANKA RAP FAIR GAME CAN'T EXPLAIN ACE OF SPAKES SOMEBODY GILLIGAN BOSS HOSS WILD THING | BS1989-2 | BS1989-3
19: Friday August 3, 1989 DOWNSTAIRS CLUB (The Town Cryers) | July 1, 1989 CANADA DAY (The Town Cryers at the Downstairs Club) | November 3, 1989 THE DOWNSTAIRS CLUB (The Town Cryers) | Ginny had to miss the November 3rd show(to go to Toronto) and Jeff played drums for us. We made him wear a wig! | BOOMSHANKA RAP CAN'T EXPLAIN BOSS HOSS FAIR GAME GILLIGAN ACE OF SPADES PRETTY VACANT WILD THING | JEFF DRUMS
21: December 16, 1989 SATURDAY NIGHT ALIVE (Pepper Mill, Carleton Univerisy) | BOOMSHANKA RAP FAIR GAME PRETTY VACANT GILLIGAN CAN'T EXPLAIN BOSS HOSS VENUS DE MILO SOMEBODY JET BOY JET GIRL WILD THING ACE OF SPADES | Saturday Night Alive | BS1989-4
22: PUNKFEST was one of the strangest shows... We were tucked-into a recessed stage about 4 feet up from the rest of the room where teems of kids ran around in a circle as fast as they could. | It felt like were going to get crushed every time the pack came charging back. Must be what replaced slam dancing... | Based in San Fransisco, this is an "International DIY punk fanzine, radio show, and record label. By the punks, for the punks since 1977". | Article written by Shawn Scallen
23: January 27, 1990 PUNK FEST (Sandy Hill Community Center) | Ginny also remembers: "at that same gig, we didn't even have to carry or set up our own equipment - all these willing, young male fans rushed to help us do everything, so we just sat and drank in the Green Room. " | This may have been the gig that got shut down by the cops because some racist skinheads came in and started making trouble.
24: LanaShanka | RoShanka | APPARENTLY, BAND NICKNAMES
25: GinShanka | SliverShanka | ARE STILL A MUST...
26: February 8, 1990 AN EVENING IN ORANGE (The Desmonds) | The band flew the irrepressible Ginny in from Toronto to play the gig | "I thought that was so cool!" says Ginny | SOMEBODY GILLIGAN FAIR GAME BOSS HOSS BS RAP UNIVERSITY STRAY CAT'S CAN'T EXPLAIN PRETTY VACANT ALANAH VENUS WILD THING ACE | BARRYMORES - ORANGE | BARRYMORES - Backstage
27: February 23, 1990 DOWNSTAIRS CLUB (The Town Cryers) | March 9, 1989 BARRYMORES (The Town Cryers) | FAIR GAME BOSS HOSS BS RAP UNIVERSITY STRAY CAT'S Tape cuts off : ( | There's also a good 40 mn of backstage "Lana Show" followed by Silva's ramblings. Yikes! | BARRYMORES - TOWN CRYERS
28: Punks Without Cause Hit Porter Hall | Remembering Craig Chivers made us all laugh; Guess he never got over the fact that none of us would give him the time of day in High School. | March 10, 1990 PUNK-MOD- GARAGE FEST (Carleton)
30: Shaka laka Boomshanka groove galore Now this is Boomshanka weÂ’re an all girl four Hip-hop bop bop Bedrock rap Electrifying satisfying heart attack! ThatÂ’s not all we know more We know whatÂ’s behind the Green Door WeÂ’re the lockmaster, weÂ’ve got the key We know whatÂ’s cool and whatÂ’s Groov-ey! Shaka laka Boomshanka in the Ring-of-Fire We walk the line of Good Year Tire These boots we wear were made for walkinÂ’ Shut up Bud, were the oneÂ’s whoÂ’s talkinÂ’! ThatÂ’s not all we know more We know whatÂ’s behind the Green Door WeÂ’re the lockmaster, weÂ’ve got the key We know whatÂ’s cool and whatÂ’s Groov-ey! | BoomShanka Rap Written by Roshell Bissett Performed by BoomShanka, circa early 90s
31: April 26, 1990 DOWNSTAIRS CLUB (Dr. Shiny Forehead & Strange Concer) | April 21, 1990 ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX (Deloris Telesopeb) | Lana remembers that her parents came to the Zaphod gig and afterwards her dad was all "you were sooo much better than the band you opened for!!". | Roshell also remembers "a few comments about my version of Ace of Spades, by Motor Head: like when we played at Zaphods and there was that band from the U.S. listening to us in the back room; a couple of them were having an argument as to whether I was a chick or not."
32: Silva had some young guy walk-up and tell her he came to the show just to see BoomShanka! | Rosh also remembers the time we played with Day Glo Abortions, a head-to-toe tattooed biker came up to her and said that that was the best rendition of Ace of Spades (besides the original) he'd ever heard and proceeded to take off his shirt to show her his tattoo of Motorhead across his back.
33: August 25, 1990 THE ASTROLAB (for Amnesty International) | May 19, 1990 DAY-GLO ABORTIONS (Ottawa U. Blue Room) | Silva's sister, walking up the steps to the Justice Building in MontrÃ©al the following Monday, overheard 2 guys talking about how sexy the girls in Boomshanka were. | We felt like Rock Stars hanging in the green room at the Astrolab. | Ginny recalls that the Day-Glo Abortions' drummer's kit, - which she borrowed - was so big that they had to find her a couple of phone books to set on the drum stool because she couldn't play it otherwise!
34: Safety Virgin Control | Originally Safety Vermin Control (for the pest control company across the street from Al MacDonald's where we used to practice).
35: Recording Session
36: Bohemian Rhapsody (Way before Wayne's World!). ... so avant-garde!
37: There was also something about a pungent and persistent smell. | Maybe Paul remembers...
38: We made it on the chart! Okay so maybe we recorded our demo at CKCU and ... welll... our drummer was a DJ there too... | Our very own BoomShanka stationary designed by Ginny! | still counts right?
39: Cassette was sold in John Westhaver's record store on Bank. The first batch sold out in a couple of days or something, and the second batch in a couple of weeks. | BOOMSHANKA ARF... talented (not!), rockin', ridiculous, noisy, weird foly, headed for greatness, or... I hear... ROSHELL BISSETT Hollerin' CAROLYN MARRS Gaetar Noise SILVA TANGUAY Bass Boom GINNY FANTHOM Percussive Slaughter ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! Recorded Live to 4-Track In Ottawa, Ontario at CKCU FM Studios August 11th, 1990 Committed to Tape By PAUL "CHILI BOY" SHERIDAN (who has since been committed himself) THANKS TO : "Chili Boy", Stinky, The Desmonds (!) Jeff Tanguay, The Leslies. All the Ottawa Clubs that booked us, Deb. CKCU, CFUO, Lemmy (for inspiration) and all the bands who aren't aware that we ripped off their tunes!!! WARNING: This cassette is not a toy! Prolonged exposure to its contents may produce dangerous side effects (especially side B effects! ) | SIDE A - The "Play if you dare" Side Fair Game - University Song - Boomshanka Rap - Venus de Milo - Wild Thing Can't Explain - Stray Cat Blues - Pretty Vacant - Nabob - Where's Capt. Kirk Ode To Alanah Myles - Good Times - Gilligan's Island - Boss Hoss SIDE B - The 'Annie Get Yer Gas Mask" Sessions Cross Town Traffic - Bohemian Rhapsody | Caroline | * + Somebody & Ace of Spades | *
40: Daddy, I wanna be a rock star Daddy, I wanna be one now! Hey, I wanna be a rock star And I wanna be one now! It’ll just take a few thousand dollars or so Then you can hear me on the radio I need a big speaker and some session men What will it cost, nine thousand, ten? Cuz Chorus I don’t wanna ride no horses no more I don’t wanna be in those shows Blue ribbon Trigger and me are nowhere You can turn him into dog food cuz I don’t care Cuz Chorus | Ode to Alannah Myles Written by Caroline Marrs Performed by BoomShanka, circa early 90s
41: What do I do when you’re such a fool I smiled at you when I thought you were cool It’ll be so easy, just wait and see Everybody will just love me Just like Alannah Myles did it, man I know I can do it, I know I can! Cuz Chorus I wanna hear my music on AM radio Then I want a MuchMusic video Heavy rotation is assured Cuz you know, Daddy, about me and Chris Ward Cuz Chorus I’ll get to wear black leather and tease my hair My friends’ll be so jealous, they will I swear First on the block with a huge hit And then I’ll...marry a millionaire or something! Cuz Chorus
42: On our way to jam practice -which at this point was on Merivale road with Zealous Witness - we drove by Rob Bissett and Lana - his then girlfriend - exclaimed: "He's such a nabob!" Silva wrote Nabob that night (with Jeff's help of course). | NABOB | These two, inspired by an annoying acquaintance, wrote "JOAN" that same night. Why "Joan"? well to rhyme with "alone" of course! "Splat a flea"? "Badaly"? nope nothing worked.... | Surprisingly, Silva never brought "JOAN" to the band. | JOAN
43: While all of us were out drinking with the Desmonds at that tavern on Bank, James challenged Ginny to a song writing contest, which he claims she won hands down with Venus de Milo. | Lana later made Boomshanka t-shirts with a photo she took of Venus on them.
44: Venus De Milo Written by Ginny Fanthome Performed by BoomShanka, circa early 90s | Once there was this woman that I know The cannibal queen called the Venus de Milo What happened to her arms I think I know She bit her fingernails So they wouldnÂ’t grow Venus de Milo HowÂ’d you use a spoon Venus de Milo She came to rock and ruin My mother told me one day that to bite my nails was bad I listened to the woman which was really kinda sad She told me that she bit and bit and really couldnÂ’t stop And now she has no arms, come on and do the Milo bop! Chorus When the British called to arms she said she couldnÂ’t go Would have liked to steer a ship with forearms she could row Asked her once to lend a hand but she just answered no Never got the writerÂ’s cramp like Edgar Allan Poe Chorus
45: Everywhere you go weÂ’ve got our eyes on you Since the girl you left before, she was untrue DonÂ’t try to hide, cuz weÂ’ll find you just the same Everybody wants you cuz youÂ’re fair game A hunting we will go A hunting we will go Hi-ho the derio A hunting we will go Ever since I saw you I thought you were so cool My knees started shaking and I start to drool All the girls want you but I stake my claim TheyÂ’ll never get you because youÂ’re fair fame Chorus You know that girl you left ya, sheÂ’s so dumb Now sheÂ’s going out with another bum You can run and hide, but you canÂ’t get away So listen up bud IÂ’m gonna get you someday Chorus Everywhere you go weÂ’ve got our eyes on you Since the girl you left before, she was untrue DonÂ’t try to hide, cuz weÂ’ll find you just the same Everybody wants you cuz youÂ’re fair game Chorus | You're Fair Game Written by Ginny Fanthome Performed by BoomShanka, circa early 90s
46: So you wanna see me again You wanna meet me after 10 You’re looking really eager You’re looking kinda hooked I think you mighta got me But I took another look Well you got the clothes, you got the walk And just as I expected, you got the talk But I draw the line, when I find You’re nothing but an airhead, deep inside You coulda pulled it off I’d fall down at your feet If only, if only, if only, if only You never opened up your mouth to speak I’m gonna take it out on you, (bis) I’m gonna take it out on you. (bis) | University Song Written by Caroline Marrs Performed by BoomShanka, circa early 90s
47: What do I do when you’re such a fool I smiled at you when I thought you were cool You were in my class, it was philosophy But now I see you’re in a fraternity And I thought that good guys all wore black When I saw you I had a heart attack But seeing is believing, you’re no Einstein Behind that pretty face is a big no-mind Chorus So I learned my lesson, I learned it well Higher education is a living hell It’s no fun, it ain’t zen It’s just high school all over again And now I know there’s no god in the sky Cuz she never woulda let me catch your eye And now I don’t know what to do I think I’m gonna take it 0ut on you Chorus
48: JUNE 15, 1991 THE BUDA BASH on Victoria Island (The Desmonds) | Jeff played for Lana who was gone to Honduras (snif...snif...snif...) | OUR LAST GIG...
50: BoomShanka Set List | BoomShanka Rap Written by Roshell Bissett Performed by BoomShanka, circa early 90s | House of the Rising Sun Wilma, I'm Wonderful Wild Thing Pretty Vacant Gilligan's Island Can't Explain You're Fair Game Boss Hoss BoomShanka Rap Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked-in Tonight Ace of Spades Venus De Milo Jet Boy Jet Girl University Song Stray Cat's Blues Ode to Alanah Myles Nabob Where's Captain Kirk? Good Times Cross Town Traffic Bohemian Rhapsody | The Animals Caroline Marrs The Troggs The Sex Pistols Theme song in Rap The Who Ginny Fanthome The Sonics Roshell Bissett The Rezillos MotorHead Ginny Fanthome Elton Motello Caroline Marrs Rolling Stones Caroline Marrs Silva Tanguay Spizzenergi Nobody's Children Jimmy Hendrix Queen
51: BoomShanka Gig List | July 31, 1987, Downstairs Club, The Town Cryers April 2, 1989, Carleton Faculty Lounge, CKCU Awards April 22, King Edward, House Party April 28, Lana & Rob's on Lisgar, House Party June 3, Lakeside Gardens, Chris & Pam's Stag July 1, Downstairs Club, The Town Cryers August 3, Downstairs Club, The Town Cryers November 3, Downstairs Club, The Town Cryers December 16, Carleton Pepper Mill, Saturday Night Alive January 27, 1990, Sandy Hill Community Center, Punk Fest February 8, Barrymores, Evening in Orange (Desmonds) Februrary 23, Downstairs Club, The Town Cryers March 9, Barrymores, The Town Cryers March 10, Carleton Porter Hall, Punk Fest April 21, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Doloris Telescope April 26, Downstairs Club, Grave Concern & Dr.Shiny forehead May 19, Ottawa U. Blue Room, The Dayglo Abortions August 11, Recording Sessions August 25, Astrolab, Amnesty International June 25, 1991, Victoria Island, Desmond's BudaBash