The epic Venom banter mixtape, 1986

My friend Mikael Jorgensen of the band Wilco just turned me on to a classic tape I'd never heard before: The Venom Banter Tape (MP3).

From a 2005 WFMU blog post about this classic tape of "mentally-defying sounds of the between-song banter that tumbled from the mouth of Venom vocalist Cronos when his band played at City Gardens, (Trenton, NJ)."

Backstory: In 1986, Black Metal legends Venom played what some thought of as an unlikely bill with Rollins-era Black Flag at famed punk dump City Gardens, in scenic Trenton, New Jersey. The club was a magnet for all types of unsavory social elements -- skinheads, criminals, bikers, leather-studded punks, people who liked Meat Beat Manifeto, and so forth. Anyway, the punkers, metalheads, and general thugs who turned out for the show not only got to witness two of the more badass bands of the era sharing a stage, but were also treated to some of the most (unintentionally?) hilarious between-song stage banter ever, courtesy of Venom's knuckle-dragging vocalist Cronos.

The story behind this recording is shrouded in mystery, but the local history texts claim that a Black Flag roadie recorded the entire show, cut out the middle sections of all the songs, and the subsequent stage banter and guitar intros/outros were released as an Ecstatic Peace single. The legacy of the recording is impressive, to say the least. It was sampled by the Beastie Boys on one of their records ("Because you're wild, man..... WIIIIILD!") and it's got more quotable one-liners than a Monty Python movie.

"You're fuckin' pretty loud, New Jersey!"


  1. A true classic. It’s also on the absolutely essential “Celebrities at their Worst” collections, which is where I first heard this.

    Indeed!, Indeed!

  2. This is currently blowing my mind. I was talking about this gig (w/ Flag) with my buddy just last night. Can you imagine that lineup? Unusual…

  3. Ricky: Helix was a wicked concert. Fuck, I sold a lot of dope at that concert. I mean, they had good lyrics like, “Gimme an R-O-C-K”, and the crowd yells “ROCK” really loud. Now that’s a fuckin’ concert!
    Bubbles: I’m not giving anyone a fuckin’ R!

    Saw David Yow scream cuss words at people and spit on them, while wearing only a negligee which was back lit by stage lights. Now that’s a fuckin’ concert.

  4. This was recorded when Venom played with Black Flag at City Gardens. God I wish I could have seen this.

    1. Also City Gardens wasn’t a dump. Ok it was kind of a dump but seeing 7 Seconds there was one of my first great punk experiences.

  5. Wow! I just realized that DJ Q-Bert sampled 1:52 in that MP3 for his track “Cosmic Assassins” years ago. I always wondered where it came from.

  6. I never really understood the fuss about this- that’s what a Geordie rock band sounds like. Anyone who has hung around the Mayfair or Trillians in Newcastle will have been exposed to similar ‘banter’ many times.

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