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This is the story of a band called Dalkon Shield. Although we are not famous, we experienced the whole punk band enchilada, including magical realist rehersals, paranoid beyond belief gigs, angry split-ups for no damn reason, stalker fans, band members who took the DIY philosophy to new extremes, guitar players who couldn't play guitar, singers who couldn't sing, and bad drug mojo. Not to mention the spontaneously combusting drummers...


Dalkon Shield '84: left to right: Marco Mysterioso, Amy Prinkey, Bruno Hare, Dave Vasquez (ca. 1984)

Dalkon Shield was formed in 1982 in Santa Cruz, California, USA. The band name referrs to a defective IUD which sterilized thousands of women, including at least one of our initial line-up. Our slogan was 'Modern Love is a Corporate Crime'. The music was described as "power punk".

The originating members of the band were Bruno and Amy, who are not currently on speaking terms. Amy brought to the table her backup band, the Dynobabes, including Leslie Cole, who already knew Bruno because they both went to Kresge College, UCSC. Bruno had just gone through a bad breakup with Britt Leggett. He wrote most of the bands' songs in one depressed burst, one week in January of 1982.

The band rehersed for one month and was ready to go. The bass player, Denise, was living next door to Bruno and had already wanted to be in a band called 'Dalkon Shield', so she was just perfect. We mostly rehersed in the Japanese Garden behind Bruno's apartment where the drummer Mika lived (along with his band; altogether there were four other bands filed under "D" living in the building: Dalkon Shield, Intimate Details, Love Dogs and Laughing Dice. Other bands that emerged from the same building (at 112 Elm St.) were Riot of Perfume and Spacely Sprockets). We also rehersed once on the rooftop of the Pink Elephant supermarket, where Amy lived.

The first gig was at the Sound of Music club in San Francisco on May 1, 1982, opening for the Child Prostitutes, who left the stage after a fight with another band so Dalkon Shield both opened and headlined (after midnight). Subsequently, we ran into dozens of people who claimed to have been at this concert even though we know of only one actual verified audience member, our soundperson (Viv).

The next gig was at Kresge College at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC), the alma mater of several of the band members. Click here to view the poster [72Kb]. The event was Kresge day, a celebration of spring, baked goods, jugglers... and music. The Kresge gig found D/S sandwiched between two mellow-speak bands (and inadverently pluralized). The gig turned into a riot with broken glass, etc. This has been memorialized in the infamous (in our own minds) recording "This Band is not fucked up, this band is Dalkon Shield". Click here for an MP3 of the song 'That sorta thing' from that gig. [3,148,892 bytes]). Also available is a shorter [60,181 bytes] MP3 from the same gig. (If you have a short attention span or are connected at 300 baud.)

In Amys' immortal words: "Hurry up, the drugs are wearing off...". After the Kresge gig we played at a party which later became known as the down on the farm gig and then we all had a nervous breakdown for about a year.

In 1983 Dalkon Shield reformed to play at the Them festival, held at ChaChas on Memorial day. D/S opened for Box'o Laughs and the Holy Sisters of the GagaDada. Click here to view the poster [57Kb].

That year D/S had its only number one hit, the Martian Twist. Who can forget Bruno and Amy spazzing out on MTV in the live version [MP3 1,675,176 bytes] (recorded at the Them Festival) or how the 'Extended Play' studio version [MP3 2,069,314 bytes] (with the stupid Drumulator track that everyone was imitating within 45 minutes) got played over and over in the discos until everyone was totally sick of it. Then there was the unfortunate lawsuit about the backwards masking in the studio version... Per the settlement, we once again humbly and sincerely apologize to everyone who ended up walking backwards into things.... Joining the band at this point was Marco Mysterioso, who was Amys' on and off boyfriend. Gus, the bass player tried to get Bruno to stop drinking, with little success. Amy tried to get Bruno to marry a tall blonde cocktail waitress named Janet, (Vivs ex-roomate), (Purely for tax reasons....) with little success.
Also about this time, Tierney cast her spell on several of the band members. Literally. If anyone knows how to reverse a 'turn the drummer into a hamster' spell, please contact us. Please.

It was 1984. Something had to give. The band was arguing all the time and partying heavily. Sound checks became excruciating exercises in interpersonal venting. We had to take our personal teams of lawyers and entourage along if we wanted to go out for drinks. More than once one or all of us ended up dancing on the ceiling. So all we took a few months off to pursue other projects.

1984 turned out to be not as bad as we expected. Marco recorded three accordian albums (mostly covers of obscure revolutionary Digger drinking songs from pre-industrial England) which went platinum in France (go figure). Bruno went to India and met (and dated, naturally) the Goddess. The same year Amy finally met (and dated, naturally) the obsessed fan who was stalking her (all of the posters we had put up over the years and mysteriously disappeared were plastered all over his room). Dave Vasquez showed up and spread his special brand of sunshine. D/S reunited and played the Catalyst Garden room and annoyed the bartenders with our drum machine and bad habits, getting Bruno 86ed for life from the Catalyst, the biggest breeder bar in Santa Cruz.


The obligatory where are they now section

Santa Cruz was completely destroyed in the big one of 1989 and was never properly rebuilt.

Amy is currently in New York.

Leslie Cole apparently sailed away a long time ago to parts unknown. Also missing in action (and missed): Viv, Janet, Tierney, Britt, , Evan, Mika and Denise the first bass player.

Dave Vasquez is a much-in-demand house-guest to the stars. Bruno and Dave got together on Y2K to watch civilization go out the window.

Marco passed away in April of Y2K in Long Island, New York after a long illness. He is sincerely missed by all concerned. At Bruno and Marcos' last jam session, we played a hot cover of Marco's favorite, 'the Digger Song' and ate warm pizza. With Marcos' passing, the fabled Dalkon Shield Reunion (we were once offered $20 and a sixpack for worldwide broadcasting rights) becomes increasingly less of a possibility.

Bruno is living in Santa Cruz. He fixes the lost souls of the ghost in the machine for a living.

Bruno still can't help saying 'fuck' a lot.