Rights of the Accused

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Rights of the Accused (called ROTA for short) was a Chicago band from approximately 1982 to 1992. The band was well known for their wacky live shows and funny lyrics. At some point around 1985 or so, the band's sound went from more of a punk sound to a metal sound.

On October 9th 2009, Rights of the Accused played their first show in nearly 10 years at the Metro along with Naked Raygun, No Empathy and Wax.



  • Fifth Amendment tape (demo)
  • Mean People Suck tape (intended to be a 7" on Version Sound/Feedback)
  1. Faith
  2. Hypocrite
  3. In school
  4. Innocence
  5. What i learned today
  • Dillinger's Alley LP (National Trust, 1987)
  • People You Fear 7" (Big Money, 1989)
  • New Rose 12" (Noise International, 1990)
  • Kick-Happy, Thrill-Hungry, Reckless and Willing LP (Noise International, 1991)
  1. Give It All You Got
  2. Drew
  3. Way Down 1
  4. Chance
  5. The Ride
  6. Beer & A Girl
  7. Deathwish
  8. Mudflap Mama
  9. Open Fire
  10. Shoulda Stay'd At Home
  11. Here I Am
  • Christmas With the Devil split flexi w/ Soundgarden(Reflex, 1991)


  • Meathouse tape (Version Sound, 1982) - "No Fun Til I'm 21"
  • Starving Dogs tape (Little Farmer Music, 1983)
  • Code Blue Compilation(Last Rites, 1984) - "No Fun Till I'm 21", "Fuck Up"
  • The Middle of America Compilation (H.I.D., 1984) - three tracks
  • Empty Skulls tape (1984) - "Fuckup", "In School", "Guns of Youth", "Mean People Suck"
  • Best of Flipside Vinyl Fanzines CD (Flipside, 1993) - "Try"


Mike and Anthony, already friends, put up an ad at Wax Trax Records looking to start a band. Jay and "Perry" (who met shortly before at O'Banions), along with a bassist named "Ken" responded. Initially the three wanted Anthony and not Mike, but Perry didn't work out (for being a "Mommy's boy") and Mike was on board. Ken (a roommate of Sean Duffy), who only lasted a short time on bass, left and they put up another ad. Steve responded and you have the first "real" version of ROTA. At this point all the members (outside Steve who was a couple years older) were in high school, around 14-16. They played their first show on July 23, 1982 with Six Feet Under and DV8 at Cubby Bear. -- all info taken from an interview in Last Rites #1.

Life After ROTA

Many of the members of ROTA went on to notable careers in other arenas.

  • Jay Yunger went on to become "J" in White Zombie
  • Brian St. Clair became half of Local H
  • Wes Kidd formed Silent Partner Management, who manages acts such as Cheap Trick & Local H
  • Kidd & St. Clair formed the band Triple Fast Action
  • Herb Rosen is the owner of popular Chicago nightclub The Liars Club, where Mike O'connell also works.
  • Steve Stepe is the brother of Barry and Chopper Stepe, who were part of Negative Element, as was Tom Faulkner
  • Anthony Illarde formed Regress with Chopper Stepe and Joe Losurdo of Life Sentence
  • Illarde is also a member of The Chamber Strings


External Links