The Riverdales

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The Riverdales were a group formed by Ben Foster and Dan Sullivan, both formerly of Screeching Weasel, in 1995. The Riverdales displayed a heavy Ramones influence musically, lyrically, and visually. Originally described by Ben as being a "golden oldies-type band with some Ramones touches", the duo first set out to find a female bassist/singer. Unable to find anyone who would fit the bill, former Screeching Weasel bassist Dan Schafer entered the picture. Schafer and Foster would split both the singing and songwriting duties for the band. The trio hit vinyl in mid 1995, releasing 2 singles and an LP on Lookout Records. The group followed that with a 3 month tour supporting Green Day (the Riverdales were one of several Lookout bands that Green Day brought on the road after they signed to a major label). The decision to do a long tour was ironic considering that Ben had developed a strong dislike of touring while in Screeching Weasel. Unlike Screeching Weasel, the Riverdales were run as a democracy and the band had agreed as a group to do the tour (Ben would later claim that although he was initially in favor of the tour, he would later voice his dissent but was outvoted by the other members). The tour, however, would exacerbate tensions within the group and prove to be its undoing. At the same time, the band members had become embroiled in a dispute with Lookout Records over royalties from Screeching Weasel and Riverdales album sales, resulting in the Riverdales finding a new home for their 2nd LP. Following the release of the record in 1997, the band effectively split. In 2003, Ben and Dan Schafer resurrected the Riverdales with new drummer Dan Lumley (ex-Screeching Weasel/The Mopes/Squirtgun) and recorded a new LP, Phase 3. The band went on hiatus after its release. The following year, Screeching Weasel and the Riverdales would be the first in a wave of bands to pull their albums from the Lookout Records' catalog over lack of royalty payments (The Queers, Green Day, Avail, Pansy Division, and Operation Ivy, some of Lookout's biggest acts, would all follow suit). The first Riverdales' album was reissued by Asian Man Records in 2006. Phase 3 followed at the end of 2008. In 2009, it was announced that Foster and Schafer had resurrected The Riverdales with new drummer Adam Cargin. That same year, Invasion U.S.A. was released. Live shows in 2009 saw Schafer switch to second guitar while the band's engineer/producer Justin Perkins handled the bass playing. Later, Simon Lamb was added as second guitarist while Schafer returned to the bass, making the band 4/5s of Screeching Weasel's then-current line up. In 2010, the band released Tarantula, after which Lamb was replaced by Drew Fredrichsen (who also replaced Lamb in Screeching Weasel). This would prove to be the band's final album. Schafer, Cargin, and Fredrichsen would resign from both the Riverdales and Screeching Weasel in March 2011 following a Screeching Weasel show at SXSW in Austin, TX where a confrontation with a heckler led to Ben throwing punches at two women, an incident which was caught on a cellphone and uploaded to YouTube.

Members

  • Ben Foster - Vocals/Guitar
  • Dan Schafer - Vocals/Bass (also 2nd guitar, live only in 2009)
  • Dan Sullivan - Drums (1995 - 1997)
  • Dan Lumley - Drums (2003)
  • Adam Cargin - Drums (2009 - 2011)
  • Simon Lamb - Guitar (2009 - 2010)
  • Drew Fredrichsen - Guitar (2010 - 2011)
  • Justin Perkins - Bass (2009, live only)

Discography

  • "Fun Tonight" b/w "I'm A Vegetable" (Lookout Records, 1995)
  • "Back To You" b/w "I Can't Pretend" (Lookout Records, 1995)
    • "I Can't Pretend" is a cover song and has never seen reissue
    • "Back To You" appeared in the movie Angus
  • Riverdales LP/CD (Lookout Records, 1995/Asian Man Records 2006)
    • The Asian Man reissue contains 12 bonus tracks (tracks 13 - 24) including 2 b-sides, 2 unreleased studio tracks, and 8 live tracks. It also features all new artwork because Ben did not know how to contact the person who took the original cover photo about the rights to the picture.
  1. Fun Tonight
  2. Judy Go Home
  3. Wanna Be Alright
  4. Back To You
  5. Not Over Me
  6. She's Gonna Break Your Heart
  7. I Think About You During the Commercials
  8. Rehabilitated
  9. Plan 13
  10. Outta Sight
  11. In Your Dreams
  12. Hampton Beach
  13. I'm A Vegetable
  14. Two-Headed Girl
  15. I Won't Forget You
  16. No Sense
  17. She's Gonna Break Your Heart (live)
  18. I Think About You During The Commercials (live)
  19. Judy Go Home (live)
  20. Wanna Be Alright (live)
  21. Back To You (live)
  22. Rehabilitated (live)
  23. Give It Up (live)
  24. Hampton Beach (live)
  • "Blood On The Ice" b/w "No Sense" (Honest Don's, 1997)
  • Storm The Streets LP/CD (Honest Don's, 1997)
  1. Make Way
  2. Mental Retard
  3. Don't Let Them Beat My Baby
  4. Cementhead
  5. Riverdale Stomp
  6. Dyna-Mole
  7. I Will Make It Up To You
  8. Blood On The Ice
  9. I Don't Wanna Go To The Party
  10. Kick Your Head In
  11. I Accuse My Parents
  12. Boy In The Plastic Bubble
  13. Give It Up
  14. I Am Not A Freak
  • Phase 3 (145 Records, 2003/Asian Man, 2008))
    • The Asian Man reissue contains five extra tracks, a different running order, and new artwork (the vinyl and CD versions have diffent artwork). Available on black (100 copies), clear yellow (400 copies), and baby blue vinyl, the latter available exclusively though Interpunk.com (limited to 300 copies).
  1. Homesick
  2. A.W.O.M.
  3. Sniper
  4. Lead The Way
  5. Out Of My Heart
  6. Look Me Up
  7. Wait It Out
  8. Getaway
  9. Tick Tick Tick
  10. I Believe In You And Me
  11. Party At The Beach
  12. Last Stop Tokyo
  • Invasion U.S.A. (Asian Man Records, 2009)
    • Vinyl edition available in 4 different colors: red, white, blue, and green (the latter only available though Interpunk.com) at 300 copies per color.
  • Tarantula (Recess Records, 2010)

Trivia

  • The Riverdales are named after the town that the characters in the Archie comics lived in and not the town located in the south suburbs. Ben claimed to only learn of Riverdale, IL, after the formation of the band.
  • The Riverdales never included a lyric sheet in their records and stated that asking for one would be "pointless".

External links