Local Music

Published on December 13th, 2017 | by TLV News

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This Week in Oxford, Mississippi Music History: The Very First Punk Rock Show, December 19, 1987

Thirty years ago this week, Oxford, Mississippi’s very first punk rock show took place in a little shack near Faulkner’s Woods on South 8th Street.

The show featured the local bands Dead Fish and Nightmare on Sesame Street and it was organized by the DIY fanzine collective, Assault With Intent to Free. Both bands were born out of Oxford’s first punk rock band, 4 Dead Fish.

Nightmare on Sesame Street’s songs included hits such as “A Better Way,” “Drinking is Your Way of Life,” and “Society Sets the Stereotype,” which was later covered by The Cooters on their 2004 album, Punk Metal.

Dead Fish played songs including “Right Now,” “50 Swastikas,” and the crowd favorite, “Dead Fish.”

Nightmare on Sesame Street featured Gentry Webb, Tait Graves, Chris Robertson, and Mike Featherstone.

Dead Fish featured the local musicians Tom Queyja, Josh Cooker, Skip King, and Mike Featherstone

Tom Queyja's Oxford High School annual photograph in 1988.

Tom Queyja’s Oxford High School annual photograph in 1988.

Both bands went on to help propell Oxford’s vibrant punk and metal scene of the 1990s.

Gentry Webb co-founded Oxford RocknRoll legends The Cooters in 1993.  The Cooters have consistently been going strong for the last 24 years. Gentry aka RAW recorded a bunch of critically acclaimed albums. He toured all over the United States, and was featured on an hour long program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Tom Queyja also played in a slew of legendary Oxford bands including Wobitty, New Madrid Click, and Pithecanfunkus Erectus, who are playing Friday, December 15 at Proud Larry’s. The New Madrid Click is reuniting Friday, December 29 at Yalobusha Brewery in Water Valley.

Queyja has produced dozens of albums at his studio The Lip, which is now based in downtown Los Angeles. His current band Fuzzy Crystals just released a new video which will show at the 2018 Oxford Film Festival.

Josh Cooker went on to form Cardinal Fluff in Oxford before launching a solo career as Captain Midnight in New Orleans and Nashville. Josh currently tours all over the United States, and has recorded quite a few incredible albums.

Tait Graves went to the University of California at Berkeley and became an attorney in San Francisco.

Chris Robertson also eventually ended up in the Bay Area, where he currently works for CBS Interactive.

Mike Featherstone is rumored to be playing drums in the Chicago area.

Skip King is a daddy who lives in the Jackson, Mississippi area. He sometimes plays shows with Robert King.

Newt Rayburn was an honors scholar raking leaves in Dr. Murchison’s yard on Douglas Drive in Oxford, Mississippi on Saturday, December 19. 1987. He is currently writing about that day right now.

And it all began thirty years ago this week—December 19, 1987. The Local Voice Ligature

Chris Robertson at Oxford High School in 1988.

Chris Robertson at Oxford High School in 1988.

Tait Graves, Chris Robertson, and Gentry Webb in San Francisco in 2008. This reunion of the original Nightmare on Sesame Street line up took place during The Cooters West Coast Tour.

Tait Graves, Chris Robertson, and Gentry Webb in San Francisco in 2008. This reunion of the original Nightmare on Sesame Street line up took place during The Cooters West Coast Tour.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.



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