It takes Rock & Roll double trickery to make it all happen, but it all works out in the grand scheme of things. It’s the good with the bad. It’s the great with the awful. You can’t fight it, just roll with it. It’s designed to be that way.
The Long Gones formed in 1996 amid a wave of short-birth. Garage Rock was back, with some saying it never went away. The big secret was just about to break whereas others said there was no secret at all. It was a time of danger and gangs and laughs and nods. It was the last days when punk bumper stickers had meaning.
The Long Gones were blazing through their days and nights fueled by cheap beer and records. With guitars, amplifiers drums and microphones, they documented their lives and dreams and aspirations. They lived for the day. They killed tomorrow.
It was this for that. It was a tit for tat. It’s a dog for a cat. Straight ahead with no looking back.
They did more than a handful of shows in every nook, cranny, disease-infested, sewage-ridden basement or bar where you could do your laundry while you got drunk — yeah, a time of multi-tasking. In places that would hold pompadours, liberty-spikes, leather jackets, boots and braces as well as homemade Germs shirts with one sleeve. From here to wherever they took their sound.
That mission seemed to be undefined and open-ended with no end in sight. In those mad times, we prepared to burn somewhere out there, back there or whatever. Everyone ended up getting burned in one way or another.
It was sometime before all the stupid kids started calling records “vinyls.” Sometime before those same fucks took turns dancing in front of each other.
Sometime before the time when safe became popular. Sometime before "at" became "to." When "for" became "with." When it was all replaced with doppelganger complacency that made all the kids feel better about themselves.
Those days were days. There were casualties along the way and sacrifices were made in many ways, shapes and forms. With a blink of your eye you realize 10 years later that it all was something and it’s all gone, long gone.
Another blink and you realize that the journey isn’t over. You went back to the base to discover that those times are still these times and more times to come.
It got to be time for The Long Gones’ debut LP, Prepared to Burn, and their four-track single to be combined with oodles of band recordings and demos and released by Shake It Records as a CD. It’s only proper that a reunion show would happen, but with the times scattering the group from one end to the other and from here to beyond, Bryan Dilsizian regrouped what he could and filled in the holes where necessary to get a new version of The Long Gones running.
For some, it was unfinished business. It was forward without any promises or plans, just an urge. Dilsizian (vocals), Adam McAllister (bass) and Stace Keeny (guitar) had all returned, this time with the illustrious Andrew Jody (drums), who recalls seeing The Long Gones as one of his first Cincinnati Punk Rock (CPR) shows.
The band began to do shows (again) and make extended plans but not pouring any concrete around their shoes to sink them to the bottom. A realization took place and maybe, just maybe, a punk bumper sticker means something again. Maybe someone heard someone under 24 use the word “record” again.
That feeling you feel, it might be danger and uncertainty (or just gas). Maybe that wave of nostalgia was only the first of a Rock & Roll Tsunami that could cleanse us all of our wrongdoings.
In the next month or so, The Long Gones will re-enter the studio and take the first step in a process to further their resurgence. Sitting in Dilsizian’s infamous Northside flat scattered with recently purchased 45 rpms and makeshift shrines to Rock & Roll, he and Jody talk about hooking up with the infamous Peter Greenburg (Customs/DMZ) for a recording session but are tight-lipped about how many songs will be recorded and where they'll end up.
What is certain is a show on Friday with The Customs (whose notorious hit “Long Gone” gave the band its name) and The Cynics for a “record” release party to celebrate Get Hip Records’ vinyl reissue of the band’s anthological CD from Shake It Records (with two bonus cuts). It’s a don’t-miss opportunity to see what made Cincinnati great and what continues that greatness. What’s next after that is known only to them.
Once again, a secret is a secret.
THE LONG GONES (myspace.com/theLongGones) play with The Customs and The Cynics Friday at the Southgate House. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.