MAGGOTS ~ Tammy Wynette EP (Wormusik Sterio 1980)
Additional sources: Jane Weems, Vicki Berndt

A mondo deluxe reissue of the Maggots EP is now available from Discourage Rock & Roll.

Early on in my collecting tenure, I refused to collect anything outside of Texas or California. It would take me a few years to cross over the state borders much less the national borders. Localism had less to do with that choice than the need to focus on what was important. New York could wait. L.A. couldn't. I'd deal with Seattle later. San Francisco needed my attention NOW. And so at the top of my want list was the Maggots EP. A couple years after my first glimpse of a description International Discography of the New Wave (Volume II), the record had grown into full-blown gadfly buzzing around my want list. Such was the mesmerizing power of Volume in a pre-Google world.

Shortly after his departure from the Bay Area, my pal Brian acted on a tip from Record Nurd (renamed and better known as the infamous Stoopid Records and contacted the Maggots drummer, Jane Weems. Jane had a dozen EPs left but only two sets of the oh-so-tantalizing extras. Our man Brian managed to get 'em both, or I'd STILL be looking for 'em. At long last and just slightly past the deadline (I'd just turned 20), I could finally claim to be a Wiggle Teen, too. Dig the Pet Maggot and company:




The delightful sentiments of "Let's Get, Let's Get Tammy Wynette" echo in my brain to this day... even after an episode of Inside Fame revealed Tammy's celebrated abduction to be an elaborate cover-up ruse for a recent beat-down from her then-husband George Richey. That's one man you don't wanna be standing by — especially when he's practicing his backhand. Also, all credit to the Maggots B-side for forever emblazing Sid Vicious's real name (John Simon Ritchie) and his death date in my memory (2/2/79).

Through a rather unlikely sequence of events earlier this year (Japanese toy sold by me on friend's behalf gets sent to a guy who notices my interest in punk and mentions his wife sang for a band called The Maggots), I got to meet up with Vicki Berndt (thanks again for the AC/DC songbook) who provided this background:

The Maggots asked me to be their singer sometime in 1978. I was in high school in San Jose, CA at the time and would commute on weekends to rehearse with the band in Jane's basement in San Francisco. Jane's mother was always upstairs listening to country music and watching the Grand Ole Opry on TV. People magazine came out with a cover story about Tammy Wynette's abduction. She was beaten and left for dead. We thought that this was the funniest thing in the world so Jane wrote the lyrics, and I fit the lyrics into a song that the guys had written. The cover of the single is from that old People magazine cover with Jane's homemade punk lettering.

The one and only show that I remember playing with The Maggots was at a warehouse show south of Market in S.F. We played before The Dils and I was scared to death! Due to my stage fright I realized that I would not make a good punk rock singer so I retired.

When it was time to record The Maggots' single, they asked me to come back to sing "(Let's Get, Let's Get) Tammy Wynette." Susan Garza, who was their current singer sang the B-side, "2/2/79."

Jane was the mastermind behind the record. She put it out and made all of the extras that went with it which included stenciled & spray painted stickers, buttons and a pet maggot. The maggot was a rubber fishing lure that came in it's own handmade carrying case.

Now, it's time for the IT NEVER ENDS trick question of the day: How many copies of the Maggots were pressed?


400, you say? Ah, a fine and logical answer, but alas these wretched little wigglers have some discographical deception up their sleeves. There were actually 500 pressed in all... an additional 100 copies were numbered with A's (e.g. 5A, 6A). The lettered ones were used mainly as promos and to confuse the hell out of collectors later on.

In preparing this INE installment, I happened upon a most invigorating post on rottentomatoes. Who knew Courtney Love would work her way into the Maggots saga?

Posted by Claire Quilty on 03-13-2004 10:41 PM
I've always liked you as an artist, Courtney. I just want you to own up to the people you've ripped off in the past. You remember Jane Weems, Courtney? She's still waiting for you to return her mother's wedding ring that you stole and sold for dope back when you were auditioning for Sid and Nancy. Jane let you stay in her basement, let you eat her food and drink her beer, and that's how you repaid her?

Kim told me she kicked your *** all over Folsom Street over it, but somehow I doubt anyone ever really could kick your ***, even if she is half Filipino.

You got all the money in the friggin world now, and it wasn't that expensive a ring. Last I heard (about 6 months ago) Jane's mom Claudia was pretty sick. Why don't you send her what the ring was worth, ferchrisake, and we won't all need to hold this grudge.

Vicki kindly confirmed that the above-mentioned Kim did indeed do her Filipino forebears proud by opening up a can of whip-ass on Miss Love. No word on ring reparations.

— Ryan Richardson
September 18, 2004

Volume lists a 1980 release date. The label says 1979.

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