Silver Abuse

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Final Silver Abuse lineup in garbage cans, circa 1983

Silver Abuse was one of the original punk bands in Chicago, forming in 1977. There were various versions of Silver Abuse, but the original version starred lifetime member Bill Meehan, along with Santiago Durango and Camilo Gonzalez, early members of Naked Raygun. Silver Abuse broke up for good in 1983. After the original version of Silver Abuse disbanded in the late 70s, most of the members of SA formed The Wayouts!. Even though The Wayouts! included many of the same members of Silver Abuse, their lazer-sharp sardonic and cartoonish one-minute pop missives varied so greatly from Silver Abuse's sloppy yet spot-on political and social dissections, that they are best not included in the greater Silver Abuse beastiary. Some of The Wayouts!' members became Silver Abuse again after their last show on New Year's Eve, 1980. There was also a later spin-off group called Burden of Friendship.

Sadly, Jaqui Disler passed away in 2004 after a long battle with cancer.


Santiago Durango's take

According to a Durango interview in Forced Exposure, the original Silver Abuse was a bunch of like-minded high school (Gordon Tech) punk fans who couldn't play their instruments and liked to get drunk on wine and do drugs. They were a five piece and only made it through one song at their very first gig. Opening up at a loft party thrown by Tutu and the Pirates, they started off with a particularly vulgar ditty. That was enough for the crowd... they played one more gig before ending it after Durango left the band. This version of SA never recorded anything except some "cheesy cassettes"

Bob Damrau's take

"There were two groups of musicians that more or less merged at some point to form what would become Silver Abuse. Camilo is the missing link in bringing some members of these two groups together.

  • Group 1 consisted of Santiago Durango and Bob Galardo (they were both guitarists as well as neighbors on roscoe street). Camilo had a number of classes with santiago at Gordon Technical High School, where there friendship began.
  • Group 2 consisted of Bill Meehan, Dennis Sosniak, Camilo, and yours truly. We all got to know Santiago through his acquaintance with gonz.

Galardo was never a member of Silver Abuse. He and Sant did a lot of jamming (which i participated in occasionally). Ultimately, santiago replaced Dennis..."

First show confusion

It is also reported that the first SA was at La Mere Vipere in Spring of 1978. This report is false according to Maxxwell, who was a local scenester of the era:

"The misunderstanding probably comes from the coverage in Gabba Gabba Gazzette #8, which has photos of the event (which was a benefit for the GGG), and a funny letter of apology for Silver Abuse's performance from Boppin Billy (Billy Meehan), but does not name a venue, possibly because the venue was illegal. Even though the Gabba Gabba Gazette was not officially affilliated with LaMere at that time, it would have been easy for someone who read the zine, but was not at the event to just assume it happened at LaMere."

Maxxwell explained that LaMere was not a venue for live music. Furthermore, Maxxwell states:

"Since the purpose of live music from the owner's point of view is to attract customers rather than send them screaming out the door hurling beer glasses as they go, it seems unlikely that Noe, cool guy though he was, would have ever selected the first edition of Silver Abuse as an evening's entertainment."

Maxxwell says his recollection of the first SA show matches Santiago's:

"The concert was held at a rented or possibly surreptitously borrowed industrial space temporarily named "Tutu's Placenta." Our anti-heroes stumbled uncertainly to the performance area, some dressed in combat helmets. In my memory they were all wearing Nazi gear and tinfoil masks. However a photo printed in the Gabba Gabba Gazette #8 (Summer 78) shows only the guitarist wearing a Reynolds Wrap facemask (Santiago perhaps trying vainly to conceal his identity) w/German-looking helmet and another member with a combat helmet of unidentifiable origin. Billy is wearing a jean jacket and t-shirt. Only three of the members were pictured. It still seems to me there was more than one tinfoil mask...but I may have been in only slightly better shape than the band. There was a bit of random guitar skronk, and then the band launched into "Jews Must Die". After what seemed an eternity but was probably a minute and a half the band departed the stage, followed by catcalls and possibly a few projectiles.

In a letter to the editor, also printed in GGG number 8, Billy apologizes for the band's performance, admitting that the band "sucked dog diarrhea through a straw". He attributes the band's performance to lack of practice and being too fucked up to play. With uncharacteristic understatement he notes "we never shoulda opened with "Jews Must Die" He also said he was amused by a David Witz review of the show in The Reader. (David Witz,a very mainstream critic, had an ongoing feud with Mary Alice and LaMere).He said the band would continue to perform but without the neo-fascist shtick, which was "just an attempt at a cheap laugh"."


Original Lineup

The Wayouts!

Silver Abuse II

  • Billy Meehan - Vocals
  • Paul Chabala - Guitar, Vocals
  • Camilo Gonzalez - Bass
  • Bob Damrau - Drums

Silver Abuse III

Silver Abuse IV


Silverabuse fallfromgrace.jpg
  • Fall From Grace 7" - Schwa Records, 1982
    • Jumpin' Thru
    • Rats Tied To Trees
    • Cuban Homo Farm
    • Plastic Rows
    • Rats Reprise

  • Dogs Laughed At Us CD - Schwa, 2009
    • Dogs Have Fun
    • (Sucking Sailors) In The Casbah
    • A Fine And Private Place
    • Ron Santo
    • She's All Tied Up
    • Party Dolls (Faster Than Light)
    • Cuban Homo Farm
    • Kill The Commies
    • Bomb Shelter
    • Who Spooked Rodney


  • They did a cover of Skrewdriver's Antisocial, calling it Anti Hot Dog
  • Cuban Homo Farm was likely a dig at Camilo Gonzales, shortly after he left to join Naked Raygun
  • Pink port wine was the drink of choice for the members


External Links

YouTube Clips