Home > Live Recording > No Heroes: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-23-84

No Heroes: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-23-84

January 13th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

No Heroes stickerNo Heroes flyerNo Heroes flyer

No Heroes flyerNo Heroes flyerNo Heroes flyer

I first saw No Heroes at a 6/2/84 Foolkiller gig opening up for Winnipeg, Canada’s Personality Crisis. While I was ready for Personality Crisis to tear it up (and they did — what a fucking amazing and underrated band. Check out the book “Warm Beer and Wild Times” to read their whole story), I was pretty shocked when No Heroes just came roaring out of nowhere to play a killer set. Despite hailing from Omaha, their sound was unlike what I was used to from most other Midwest punk bands of the day — though some Toxic Reasons comparisons came to mind they also had at least a few SoCal sounding numbers that wouldn’t have been out of place on an early 80’s Posh Boy release. After their set was done I gushed about how good I thought they’d been (both in person and later in my ‘zine), and struck up a brief/intermittent flyer trading relationship with their drummer Mark Blackman, the results of which you can see represented above.

The show I’m sharing here is actually from a few weeks later though, when they opened for the Freeze (who were great of course; there’s audio from that show and a rather personally embarrassing story forthcoming). To be honest, compared to the earlier gig No Heroes weren’t as on fire here; they battled some gear problems (which I remember them being pretty pissed about later) and had longer gaps between numbers as a result. Still while it maybe isn’t as tight of a performance as the first time I caught them, the upside is that this set was a longer one and more of their songs made it to tape — that’s good news because while the band stuck it out at least another year after this gig (i.e. there might be a demo or something floating around), for all I really know this could be your only chance to hear the pride of Omaha circa 1984. Certainly in retrospect I wish I’d had the prescience to record every local and small band opening the shows I taped — so many of those songs are probably lost forever.

To refresh my memory for this post I did some internet poking and found that a thread running through much of the early Omaha punk scene seems to have been artist and drummer Mark Blackman. Prior to No Heroes he was in a band called Self Gratifukation and later did time in several other groups (Apathy, Nuns with Guns, etc) before settling into his current gig Bad Luck Charm. These days guitarist Phil Thompson is playing with Snakey Billy (with Seth Kirschman, ex-vocalist for Apathy), and if my memory serves me right Omaha producer Jim Homan (yeah, he was ALSO in Apathy) was the second guitarist here. So who was on bass? For the life of me I can’t recall (Jim’s brother Michael, also ex-Apathy? Confirmed! Yes.)– there’s gotta be a ton of folks out there who can fill in more details here, so please feel free to set me straight.

Update from Michael Homan via the comments: The lineup was Mark Blackman on drums, Dave Loomis on guitar 1, Jim Homan on guitar 2, Michael Homan on bass and vocals.

Also: this may only be tangentially related, but it would appear that there was recently a large Omaha punk reunion show which amazingly enough my old pal Meghan (from Empty Records, the Rat City Rollergirls, and other general coolness) looks to have been heavily involved in! You can read about and see video and photos from the event here, here, & here among other places. Oh, and be sure to look here for a bunch of old flyers and pics; it’s a pretty amazing archive!

No Heroes: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-23-84
Click to enlarge

No Heroes: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-23-84
Click to enlarge

No Heroes: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-23-84 (192 kbps)
01 TV Preacher (3:06)
02 Read Between The Lines (2:42)
03 Ban The Klan (2:40)
04 Media Burn (2:21)
05 Brainwashed (2:53)
06 Screw Religion (2:13)
07 ASOPB (4:04)
08 Fuck You Jim (0:20)
09 Nothing’s Left (2:26)
10 Thing’s Gotta Change (1:55)
11 Butcher And Murder (1:29)
12 What’s The Cost (3:24)
13 Fun Outta Life (2:15)
14 Once Upon A Time There Was Hiroshima (2:16)
15 Social Reject (3:56)
16 Judgement Day (1:22)
17 Proud American (2:54)
18 Seven Steps (2:14)

  1. January 13th, 2009 at 18:32 | #1

    I loved No Heroes, Toxic Reasons and I really loved the Freeze (a band that I wished I would have been able to see in High School, but never did…)

  2. January 13th, 2009 at 21:15 | #2

    The lineup was Mark Blackman on drums, Dave Loomis on guitar 1, Jim Homan on guitar 2, Michael Homan on bass and vocals. I have many fond memories of the Foolkiller, and we drove to KC for most of the shows of which you write. Those were magical days back in 1984. Thanks for chronicling this Jason. Punk rock on the Great Plains in the early 80’s… I find it amazing how many of us from the “scene” went on to be punk rock adults, fighting for social justice and humanitarian rights. But then again, some of the people from the scene didn’t get much further and hit their apex back in the 80’s due to sniffing scotch guard and related items. Thanks again Jason. Maybe I’ll hear from you again in another quarter century.

  3. January 13th, 2009 at 22:40 | #3

    I remember the guys from No Heroes gave me the following advice on buying guitars: Make out the check before you go in to the guitar store. And write it for the price you’re willing to pay, not the price they’re asking. And don’t leave until they let you take the guitar with you.

    Of course, I never had the guts to do that. And that’s why I was not a No Hero.

  4. Tim
    January 13th, 2009 at 23:46 | #4

    This was the first show I went to in KC. We stayed with this dude Dennis in KC with the guys from No Heroes that night and skated the big Metro ramp the next day before going to DRI. I’m loving this site. Just reading about these shows makes me feel the sweat from being crammed into the Fool Killer.

  5. Mark Blackman
    January 14th, 2009 at 04:15 | #5

    Wow! Jason, i’m blown away by this! You know, i have no tapes or any audio from No Heroes. We never recorded anything! I haven’t heard any of our stuff in probably 25 years!!!! This is great! I too have fond memories(?) of the KC gigs & No Heroes. Good times! The Personality Crisis show was one of my all time favorite No Heroes gigs!! It was also great to play with The Freeze who we all liked as well. Foolkiller was a great place. I saw Subhumans there too. Some facts: No Heroes started in 1982 & lasted into 1985. I played in Self Grat. during No Heroes & later played with them in Milwaukee. Returned in ’86 to do Apathy with Mike & Jim Homan. During Apathy, I did Sleez Kangs with some drinking buddies & had a blast! I did another version of No Heroes (in name only) in the 90’s with me being the only original member. I regret using the name again, but at the time, no one could come up with a name we could agree upon & it was my name so…… After that i did Nuns With Guns for a few years (released one cd & some songs on a local comp). For the past 10 + years. i have been doing Bad Luck Charm. I also played in a Kiss tribute band “Kissin’ Time” in Japan (2003 – 2005) with 3 Japanese guys i met while travelling there!! That was really fun!! Anyway Jason, thanks again so much for posting this! It really brings back allot of memories! Take Care.

  6. Seth Harty
    January 14th, 2009 at 14:48 | #6

    Wow, what a great site. I moved up to Omaha in 84 and my 1st show there was Samhain, No Heroes. Not knowing what to expect out of this Midwest scene, I was just floored by No Heroes. They blew Glen and company out of the water. Right, they differed from what I knew of Midwest hardcore (Necros, Negative Approach) as there were hints of melody and pop. I remember going home that night and thinking that perhaps Omaha was going to be ok (and it was). I got to know some of those guys pretty well and consider them my friends. It is great to see some attention thrown their way, of all the bands from that era, they were the best.

  7. Jason
    January 14th, 2009 at 15:54 | #7

    Man, this is all very very cool to read — now I’m even more glad that I managed to hold on to this tape over the years. It’s great to hear from the guys in the group again and just crazy to me that No Heroes never recorded (as there were some great tunes there). I guess that just underscores how much I now wish I’d been able to afford batteries and blank tapes for every band I saw back then. Modern day historians take note!

    Also crazy is to find a link between this group I dug 25 years ago & Meghan the gal who helped sign one of MY old bands (the Weird Lovemakers) to Empty Records over 10 years ago. Small damn world.

    All of this is exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping for when I started this site. Thanks guys.

  8. January 14th, 2009 at 17:33 | #8

    It’s a very small world and yeah, it’s a little strange, since most of the above folks have no idea (or next to no idea) about the label. I might have been one of the last people at that time who should / would end up putting out records.
    I did learn the basics on how to be fair to bands from being schooled by older folks in the scene. Even if that idea wasn’t fully formed until a few years later.
    I like a very particular type of punk rock that really fits with what Blake from Empty likes. I think the midwest was a much more difficult landscape to try and create something more lasting.
    Most bands from this time didn’t put out records and tape trading in the back from MRR had a stronger foothold. Exactly what Blake was doing at the time, but having the advantage of being in the bay area. It’s really too bad, considering how many 3rd rate bands managed to put of 7″ at the very least. The ’80s was a very special time and now that everyone can put out a CD or an MP3 — we end up with a glut of crap. The DIY movement is great, but it does tend to effect quality (and I am using quality loosely, since I like some music that doesn’t even sound like music) — it’s sort of like digital cameras. When you can take photos of everything, how many photos are going to mean something later on…

  9. February 8th, 2009 at 21:57 | #9

    I’m from tulsa (later kcmo), early-mid eighties scene, and I’m really impressed by your dedication to archiving those good ole days. you & I were at a lot of the same shows. I’ve also saved flyers, recordings and zines from that time. recently I’ve thought about creating an online archive, and your work here is inspiring! even after all these years, I fondly remember hanging out with the no heroes boys back then, seeing their gigs across the midwest. it was a truly great time.

  10. January 20th, 2010 at 08:09 | #10

    Now phil is still in snakey billy getting ready to release their 3rd record with seth still on vocals, barry from nightmare, brian may (not from queen), todd roberson from jrz system. Phil is my dad and has filled me in on many of these no heroes shows and is very pleased to see a floating around. i actually possess a demo tape that i listen to fairly regularly.

  11. Jim “Slim Jim” Fitzgerald
    January 24th, 2010 at 03:31 | #11

    This site is great. I hung with Mark, Seth, and No Heroes in 84-85. We had a blast. I haven’t been able to get in touch with Seth (we were good friends) since I went into the AF-1986. I now live outside NYC and have no idea where he ended up. The last time I was in Omaha ~2002, I went to Drastic Plastic and saw Mark Blackman, we had a short discussion but time had changed us both. 2004 I took my now 22 yr old kid to see the Misfits here in NJ. He didn’t understand. email james.fitzgerald@strategicci.com

  12. Davey
    August 27th, 2011 at 14:50 | #12

    @cynthia (cyndi) hands

    Hi Cyndi, I remember you very well from the good ‘ol days. The crappy apartment on east 32’nd street that I shared with the vibe meister. the Slabs Texas tour (boy…did we suck ). I remember well the first night we met after a show @ the planett on Troost,@ our apartment with the swimming pool. Just thought I would say Howdy.

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