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 (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)