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Seduction of the Innocent-Myth, Legend, Fact and (altered) Reality

The legend begins with our heroes Bill Mumy, Max Allan Collins, Miguel Ferrer and Steve (with the great hair) Leialoha attending the San Diego Comic Con in 1987. While listening to the rather uninspired and slightly insipid performance of a local casual band, one or more of the future band members begins to complain (rather loudly) about the (lack of) quality of the music. After being overheard (impossible not to) by one of the Con Cognoscenti, Jackie Estrada, it is suggested that someone (I wonder who?) should put together a band of "comic book pros" to play for the parties at The Con. Bill- "I play guitar." Miguel-"I play drums."Max-"I play keyboards." Steve (the tall cool Hawaiian)-"I play bass." Can you say "synchronicity? Jackie-"Why don’t you guys play at the Con next year?" A big unison "yes" erupts from the soon-to-be Comic Book Supergroup. They all congratulate themselves on their good fortune, promised to keep in touch and get it together, and promptly forget all about it.

Fast forward to 1988. It’s not too long before the Comic Con, and someone in the group receives a call asking how preparations for the as-yet -un-named supergroup are proceeding? A quick fumbled "just great" gets splurted out as "Oh Shit" resonates in the cosmos. Frantic phone calls begin to take place. You see, even though our (super) heroes live in the same universe, they do not live on the same block. Needless to say, practice is difficult. Some members also begin to wonder whether the other guys can play or not. You see, outside of our two heroes from Planet Hollywood, the rest have never heard each other play. Meanwhile, song lists are being compiled and key signatures decided upon by phone, by fax and by candy-gram.

Seduction of the Innocent, circa 1988

Some folks are thinking, "Oh my God, what if we suck?" Then as things progress at lightning speed, the question is asked, "what do we call ourselves," or "what do you call yourselves," depending on who’s version of the myth you’re listening to. Miguel, eyes ablaze like a thunderbolt says, "SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT." And everybody agreed it was damn good. Anyway, the band meets in San Diego and engages in a maelstrom of practice. In ’88 SOTI played for just about every event at the Con that had people in attendance. They were a Success. They were Large. They were everywhere. They play "Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying" so that Jack and Roz Kirby can slow dance. Will you play again next year? "Yes." Will you play at Wonder Con? "You betcha." How about the Golden Apple Anniversary Party on the Santa Monica Pier? "Yeah baby."

Seduction of the Innocent, circa 1990

Things are rolling. Comic book pro’s sit in with the band. Shaun Cassidy performs with the group. It’s now 1989. I, Chris, AKA: John Christensen, am attending the San Diego Con for the very first time because I had conceived/produced "The Spirit Picture Disk" for Kitchen Sink Press. I know Bill through our mutual buddy Artie Barnes, AKA: Robert Haimer, and even though we know each other, and have done some work together on "The Spirit Picture Disk," we are casual friends. Never having been to The Con before, and not being a guest of The Con that year, myself, my wife and my 10 year old daughter end up staying at a bad hotel, in a bad part of town, with a line of drug dealers a block long standing outside. It’s nighttime, but I brave the drug dealers and the bad lighting and walk by myself to another hotel in a better part of town to go "sit in" with SOTI.


Seduction of the Innocent, circa 1990

Left to Right, Leialoha, Ferrer, Mumy, Dr. Demento and "Weird Al" Yankovic. "The Golden Age" CD release party at Golden Apple Comics. Hollywood-1990.

Having gotten the "OK" from Bill sometime previously, I am excited about sitting in with the group. Cut to the chase! SOTI plays well in a sort of garage-band-sloppy-rock and roll-with –a-slightly-punk-attitude that is refreshing. I can’t wait to sit in! Bill, "You can’t sit in. The band has decided that nobody can sit in." So, Chris (AKA: John) sits around feeling strangely like a groupie and a fish out of water. Not a good place to be for a professional musician. However, watching Vampirella bend over showing me everything that the Good Lord had gifted her with was at least a little comfort.

As I sit (groupie-like) on the side of the stage, a thought begins to take shape; hey, I’ve got a record label. I should capture this raw punk energy. This sound would make a great CD! OK, maybe they’ll let me sit in now. Probably not. But just think! The name, the pedigree, the reputations. Millions! Trillions! Or at least, tens of tens. I propose the idea to the band. They are mildly interested. They are talking about doing a deal with Rhino, or Kitchen Sink, or David Geffin. I’m deflated, dejected and slightly depressed. Seduction of the Innocent are invited to play for the San Diego Comic Con and Wonder Con again the following year. They have now become a tradition.

To be continued…….

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"The Golden Age"

The Truth Hurts
Pussy Whipped
True Detective
Sunshine Superman
More Fun
Reality Break
Super Hero Blues
King Jack
Flame On
The Golden Age
Vintage Pulp

Available in CD and Cassette.

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