SAN DIEGO — Completely unknown punk band the Ass Blasters ended their underwhelming 30-year career to absolutely no fanfare, according to venue and bar staff waiting for their shift to end.
Founded in 1987, the Ass Blasters were an irrelevant and completely ignored surf-punk band that played over 1,000 shows to almost 20 different people. Members of the band say the highlight of their pointless career came four months into their existence, when a circle pit broke out for 14 seconds during a Bad Brains cover.
“You never forget that first pit — all the more special since it was also the last pit, but whatever. These kids nowadays don’t know what good punk is. And you know what? Kids back then didn’t know what good punk was, either,” said Ass Blaster bassist Tommy “Tightwad” Tampanelli before their final show at the Tool & Die Bar. “We played by our own rules. We didn’t care if people liked us, which is good, since nobody actually cared for us.”
Forming during a resurgent period for SoCal punk and hardcore, the Ass Blasters intended to make an indelible mark on the underground music scene, but instead waffled in complete obscurity over three full decades.
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“When we started this band, we had clear goals: achieve some level of national success, release a metal album, fade into obscurity in the ’90s, and reunite only for festivals paying big money,” said drummer Danny “Dead” Depanowski. “None of that happened. Most of our buddies either signed to hot-shot record labels and sold their souls for financial comfort, or have boring-ass families who love them and shit. Like true punks, we always played first on every show we booked, and never sold a single piece of merch.”
Local punk historian Rob Moran seemed baffled during their final performance.
“I don’t get it. They have a banner that says, ‘REAL PUNK ROCK SINCE 1987,’ but this is the first time I’ve seen them,” said Moran. “It’s kind of sad. They claimed the Tool & Die has been their home base since the start, but my buddy has been the sound guy here since 1989, and even he can’t remember ever hearing of these guys.”
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Article by Stacey Beretta @staceyberetta.