Dr. Sadistic & The Silverking Crybabies!

Daddy?  Where did Dr. Sadistic come from?

        It's a little hazy from my perch, recollections are sketchy, and perhaps that's how they best remain.  But here's how Dan remembers it.  (taken from the "liner notes" of the CD)

        In the freezing winter of ’79, I rolled into Aspen from Telluride, lured by the promise of a steady gig and a more agreeable male / female ratio.  The gig collapsed, but the ratio didn’t.

        National Lampoon magazine was big, Steve Martin was hilarious, and Saturday Night Live was getting its second wind.  Aspen was an open-air asylum, its lunacy certified by celebrities thrashing in hot tubs.  We were bulletproof and naive.  Moderation and mortality?  They were around the corner.  But nobody looked ahead.

        I couldn’t ski that well, so I visited Highlands, where other skiers, also wearing jeans and dropping shrooms, were not judgmental.  At aprËs ski, the "Christian-Endeavor Bar" was a rockin’, beery, rathskeller with its heating bill in deep default.  It smelled of wet dog and steak fries.  Dancers did the Frankenstein Boogie in ski attire and moonboots.  Females sported a projecting chestal display in ski-bibs nicknamed “the Hang-Ten”.  The band was the Aspen Flyers.

        I became friends with their guitarist-fiddler, Steve Saylor, who soon became my landlord.  We lived in a big house he hand-built.  On New Year’s Day, 1980 (my birthday), we were listening to the radio --. punk music, or some tepid redaction thereof, had reached FM -- and a very stupid song stumbled out the speakers.

        Our immediate response was of one accord.  “That sucks dead bats!  We could write crap like that with one hand tied behind our backs!”  So we did, right there and then.


        Steve had a reel-to-reel 4-track Teac.  We giggled and chortled our way through four sick hits:  “Condo Bondage” “Real Bad Case” “Mad at the World” and “Blank Stare Baby”.  We listened.  Omigod, was it ever murky, twisted and psycho!  It wasn’t punk, but it was just as bad... in a good way.   Tapes circulated, friends responded.  Steve started to get ideas, and nobody gets away when Steve starts thinkin’ big.

        He forced me, I tell you, to come up with titles and lyrics, just like he used to make me play “The $25,000 Pyramid” (a game show on which he was resolved to one day appear).

        Friends would visit, and their commentary stirred into our creative stew.  Vic Garrett came up with a good name for a band, “The Crybabies”.  Kenny Thomas always wanted to write “Tits As Big As Texas”, but we stole his title and beat him to the punch.  Pat Flynn and Scott Meyers fed us sidelong Hollywood snippets, like the one about the lawyer who got sodomy reduced to following too close.  Anne Dunkelberg bestowed brainy bijoux, like the title for “All Men Are Beasts”.  Other ideas came off t-shirts and bumper stickers.

        A theme emerged.  A dark and pointless story pushed us forward.  We made fun of everyone in town.  Ninety percent of our characters were real as death.  The sex kitten, the friendly local sheriff, the dungeon-master from “Condo Bondage”, the trashy ski bums from “Go Back to New Jersey Polka”.  And the damaged little dipshit (Dichromium Jerome, our central character), was punk music itself—a back alley of pop that I still can’t take seriously, but that only now I can respect.


        We promptly abandoned the punk form, but I think some Crybabies’ tunes stand up pretty well in that genre.  “Real Bad Case” and “Mad At The World” read as thick and injured as anything by, say, Green Day or even Rage Against The Machine.  “Dead Weight In The Hot Tub” was Van Halen before Van Halen.  “I’m A Cliché” could have been a “Tommy” outtake.

        Anyway, The Silverking Crybabies, (in diapers, soiled E.R. scrubs, and nurses' skirts) became Aspen’s premier Halloween band, back when Aspen took Halloween seriously.  The Mad Hatter’s Ball in Snowmass hosted legendary Crybabies gigs.  Christ, we were loud.  My brain rang for days, we blew up amps—ha-ha, whoopee!  I was astounded when costumed partiers knew the lyrics to “ESTholes On Parade”.

        But those days are gone.  Our final gig completely cleared a houseful of fur-and-caviar Eurotrash racer-chasers.  Oh, well.  Mighty rivers peter out in some muddy arroyo.  Atlantis sinks.  My only regret is that we never recorded “Trust Fund Surfer”, “Ute City Sneakaround”, or “Silverking Girl”.  The latter uncannily predates Cake’s “Long Jacket” by twenty years.  And somehow “Let’s Eat the Cat” became a frat-band staple at Rutgers.  That’s good, right?

        Steve Saylor went on to win the real “$25,000 Pyramid” ($32,000 and... a BRAND NEW CAR!!).  We both had babies, but not each others’.  Our kids are going to find out about all this sooner or later, and so... Here are the collected works of Doctor Sadistic and the Silverking Crybabies, my sweet children.

        At least we’re not lying to you, okay?!  Like your President or your organized religion!

Dan “Dr. Sadistic” Sadowsky -- November, 2002

           Thank you to Steve Skinner, the members of The Aspen Flyers, and the staff of the Timbermill during those years.  And thanks to Rainshadow Studios and the crew at Independence Press, who took pity on us.