Formed in 1973 and never destined for success, the original PAINDAEMOANIUM combined blistering, bowel-loosening electric guitars with gut-wrenching vocals, incredible keyboards and a percussion section which seemed to emanate from hell itself.
Lead guitar/vocalist Del Simmons was rumoured to have sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his unsurpassed skills. He tortured sounds out of his guitar which most axe-men only heard in nightmares. Formerly front-man with the Basildon-based SCAVENGER'S DAUGHTER (rumoured to be the loudest rock-band ever to have played at the Roundhouse), Simmons and fellow Scavenger Pete Northeast (drums) had formed NORTH-NORTHEAST in August 1971 with Andy Brookfield (bass guitar), ex-RED LIGHT ZONE, and Welsh dynamo Gareth Jones (guitar/vocals), ex-SHEEP WORRIERS.
Simmons had advertised for musicians for his ambitious heavy metal outfit in a local newspaper and of the applicants, Northeast, Brookfield and Jones were recruited to form MORTH-NORTHEAST, the nucleus of which would go on to become PAINDAEMOANIUM in 1973.
In February 1972 Gareth Jones apparently had a 'spiritual experience' after being arrested for lewd conduct with a German Shepherd dog. Afterwards, he became increasing unable to reconcile their dark Satanic lyrics and drug-and-booze fuelled orgies with his new-found calling as a Catholic priest. He was finally replaced in November 1972 by Guy Griffiths who had left Southend-based RICH BITCH citing musical differences (he consistently denied that he was sacked). One can only wonder what would have awaited PAINDAEMOANIUM had Jones returned to music.
After playing several gigs under the names NORTH-NORTHEAST, RITUAL ABUSE and WIDOWMAKER, in August 1973 the band finally settled on the moniker PAINDAEMOANIUM which aptly reflected their style.
With the final lineup of Simmons (guitar/vocals), Northeast (drums), Brookfield (bass)and Griffiths (guitar/vocals), PAINDAEMOANIUM had several chart near-misses with singles such as "The Scavenger's Daughter" (an old Scavenger's Daughter song), "Fast Woman Rock" (1974 with Sharon, ex-ESSEX GIRLS, as guest female vocalist) and "Red Stilettoes" (1974). This did not stop them from embarking on an aggressive British tour during 1975. Between 1973 and 1975 they were regulars at The Grand (Leigh-on-Sea), The Cricketers (Southend), Basildon Roundhouse and Chelmsford Shire Hall.
At Wigan they were upstaged by local support act VORPAL BLADE, leading to an unfortunate altercation outside the venue after the concert. Simmons and Griffiths spent the night in police cells while Northeast and Brookfield holed up in a local hotel (apparently with a group of 16 year old girls) until the furore had died down.
Throughout this period, the hardworking PAINDAEMOANIUM narrowly missed being support acts for bands such as Dr Feelgood and Eddie and the Hot Rods when the bands played venues in the Basildon/Southend area. They blamed their lack of success in the UK market on missing out on these potential big breaks. Their 1975 debut album, the self-titled "Paindaemoanium", released on cassette and 8-track cartridge enjoyed moderate sales in their local area.
In 1976 they were one of 2 support acts for faec-rock band IRON MIDDEN on the several of their Home Counties gigs. However, PAINDAEMOANIUM were upstaged by the lightweight ensemble of session musicians calling themselves COPROLIGHT. IRON MIDDEN and PAINDAEMOANIUM parted company after a disastrous gig in Dunstable where the show was stolen by local sixth form band BLIND PANTHER (whose style was heavily influenced by their one-armed lead guitarist, victim of an out-of-control school science lesson accident)
Due to band-members' personal commitments and their need for paid day-jobs, PAINDAEMOANIUM gigged intermittently between 1976 and 1980, mainly on the pub/club/student bar circuit. They re-emerged in the latter part of 1980 with a reworking of "Fast Woman Rock" featuring Lacy Pantz (of girl-rock band SLAPPERS) as female vocalist. Their second album "Paindaemoanium Rides Again" was released April 1981 and the band had high hopes of being part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), or at least part of the tail end of the movement.
Shortly after "Paindaemoanium Rides Again" Northeast was involved in a horrific car crash on the A127 at Rayleigh Weir. He was found to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time. His girlfriend (who had been giving him a blow job while he was driving) survived with only minor injuries. Northeast was left in a persistent vegetative state and his girlfriend became a minor celebrity, appearing nude in a variety of tabloid newspapers. For the remainder of the tour, PAINDAEMOANIUM enlisted the aid of session drummer Mel Thomas who became a permanent member in October 1981 after Northeast's parents won the right to have his life-support machine switched off (and an injunction against his less-than-distraught girlfriend to prevent her from profiting from her role in the tragedy).
The band touchingly commemorated Northeast in their next single "Ton-up Blow Job". The single gained free publicity when a judge prevented Northeast's family from getting an injunction to prevent its release on the grounds of 'poor taste'. The court upheld Simmons' and Brookfield's (song co-writers) claim that it was a tribute song accurately reflecting the deceased's lifestyle. "Ton-up Blow Job" looked set to make the top ten until it was discovered that the sales figures for the single had been rigged and it was disqualified from the charts. Northeast's former girlfriend then helped promote the single and genuine sales out-sold the number one single, however this success would never be officially recognised.
By the end of 1981, most fans thought the band would pack away their instruments for the last time. With their only potential hit single disqualified from the charts and hence from the record books; having lost their drummer in a horrific car crash and with cancelled tour dates, everything seemed to be going wrong. However, with dogged persistence, PAINDAEMOANIUM released the album "Hellmouth" and the single "Satanic Nativity" in time for the Christmas market.
Rumours of satanic links abounded and PAINDAEMOANIUM bathed in free, if adverse, publicity. The lyrics were said to be words from occult rituals or imparted to the band during ouija board seances (false, the closest any of the band members had come to the occult was a Dennis Wheatley novel). Parents claimed that if the single was played backwards, the words to a satanic ritual could be heard and had caused the suicide of several fans (unproven). Whispered backing vocals were said to be incantations to various demons (false; it was former band member Jones - by then a priest - whispering a Catholic mass in sepulchral tones). It was banned from radio play-lists and the compilers of the music charts refused to include it. Promoted by word of mouth, live gigs in smoky bar-rooms and on pirate radio stations, it was a runaway success.
In 1982, PAINDAEMOANIUM were part of the much-criticised Occult Rock festival alongside such luminaries of the movement: WITCHBURNER, DEMONFLAYER, SATANIC RIGHTS and VERMINE (whose gimmick was to perform naked, or "skyclad"). The Church condemned the festival, the bands and the fans, but by modern standards it was a no more than a new age gathering. The Occult Rock genre emerged and died within a few short, but well-publicised (if you bought the right sort of magazine), months.
By 1983, with several failed singles (the most notable of which was "Selling My Soul to Santa", a heavy metal Christmas song about a dyslexic devil-worshipper) and an unreleased album ("Bawd Of The Rings: Breaking The Hobbit", a pretentious concept album) the band tired of accusations of involvement in occult matters and were aggrieved at being excluded from music charts. They sought a new audience in Europe, especially in Germany. Heavy metal and rock was declining in popularity in Britain but remained a major force in Germany.
The xenophobic bass guitarist Brookfield left PAINDAEMOANIUM to join THRESHOLD SHIFT in the summer of 1983. Doggedly persistent, PAINDAEMOANIUM hired reformed alcoholic musician Ralf Friedrich. Friedrich's performances were erratic however and when he finally went back into alcohol rehab in March 1984 after failing to turn up at several tour venues in Denmark and Sweden, the band were again left without a bass guitarist. A series of session musicians filled in during the remainder of the tour.
Never ones to be held back by lack of talent, PAINDAEMOANIUM began their 18 month stint supporting the all-female Glitter Metal outfit SLAYED during 1985 with SLAYED's talented bassist Vibratia Clitty-Williams helping them out. During 1985 and 1986 they were perhaps more famous for the notorious post-concert gang-bang between the Paindaemoanium personnel, the Slayed girls (Tamponia Pussie, Throblabia Minora, Emily Dampgusset-Dildette, Vibratia Clitty-Williams) and a number of "associated personnel" (in the words of a Kerrunch journalist). The PAINDAEMOANIUM/SLAYED joint venture might have been an enduring and profitable partnership had it not been for 2 pregnancies, 1 case of VD needing long term treatment and the porn video "Backstage With Slayed" made by a disaffected roadie as part of a blackmail attempt. Other notables during the Glitter Metal years were QUEEN KRIMSON, GUNS'N'BLOUSES and the transvestite QUEERSREICH.
The SLAYED partnership came to an abrupt and mysterious end in the opening months of 1987. There were rumours of paternity suits, unpleasant sexual fetishes and an incident involving an onion, a butt-plug and a quantity of deep heat lotion. PAINDAEMOANIUM returned to their native Essex denying that they were in any form of disgrace. Little was heard from them for almost 2 years while they licked their wounds and (according to rock journalists) endured length rehab for sex-addiction, drink and drug problems and undisclosed "personal problems," the latter rumoured to be linked to the deep heat incident.
Despite their lengthy absence from active gigging, they were still moderately well-known on the UK underground rock and metal circuit. Simmons, Thomas and Griffiths still required a bassist. Luckily for them, former member Gareth Jones had just been defrocked as a priest following lewd behaviour involving a Black Labrador. Though primarily a lead/rhythm guitarist, Jones proved a capable bassist and rejoined the band, earning himself the nickname of the "Rocking Priest". They holed up for several months writing new material and revamping old numbers.
When they finally re-emerged in 1989 from their self-imposed internal exile, PAINDAEMOANIUM were invited to headline spot at the first (and as it happened, the last) "Studs in Leather" gay-metallers festival. Supporting acts included PINK SABBATH, DEEP CRIMSON, GAYMEN CORNER, AC-DC (not the world-famous band, but a Luton-based gay metal outfit), LIMPWRIST PARK, BITCHFINDER, QUEERTZ and JUDITH PRIEST. Rarely had so much leather and so many metal studs and rings been assembled in one place.
As a Kerrunch music journalist suggestively wrote at the time "Leather jackets and wearing studded belts and wristbands, PAINDAEMOANIUM fitted right in. Perhaps there is something they need to tell their fans." The mysterious butt-plug incident and their eventual appearance at a gay-themed festival led to misunderstanding and they were erroneously filed under the shortlived Gay Metal movement. However, they benefited from the publicity and were extensively interviewed for gay and lesbian magazines. They were nominated for (and won) the "Queer Band of the Year" Award, after which they spent several months openly womanising in order to reassert their heterosexual inclinations. In between servicing the sort of groupies other bands won't touch, PAINDAEMOANIUM personnel said in interviews at the time: "Fans aren't interested in our sexual orientation, they just want to hear good music." By that time, however, Gay Metal had dropped out of the mainstream metal movement and returned to the clubs and bars.
Never ones to admit defeat, PAINDAEMOANIUM spent the remainder of 1989 writing advertising jingles for local radio as a way of making ends meet and playing the occasional gig at local Southend, Basildon and Chelmsford venues, often under pseudonyms such as THE BASHING BISHOPS or PORNUCOPIA. At that point, Simmons hoped to turn the band into a Stadium Rock outfit, though Southend Football Stadium was never going to be the best place to start a British Stadium Rock movement and the idea never reached fruition.
This was written over several years as a mickey-take about a friend's band. If I can be bothered (and get inspired), I will complete the story of PAINDAEMOANIUM from 1989 to the present day. Alternatively, feel free to suggest ideas for the further exploits of this fictional British heavy rock band.