In 1974 Jad Fair, along with his brother David, co-founded the lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese. Over the ensuing three decades, Half Japanese released fourteen albums and in the process, attracted a solid base of fans passionate about the band's pure, unbridled enthusiasm for rock and roll.
Half Japanese's first album Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts is a collection of the Fair brothers earliest home recordings, originally released in 1980 as a homemade three LP box set, and now available for the very first time as a double LP. These songs stretch their DIY, lo-fi ethos to the limits featuring sound experiments cobbled together from guitar noise, electronics and odd effects, whilst throwing in some barely recognizable covers (such as tracks by The Temptations, Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan).
Over the years Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts became something of a cult legend, partly helped by it's scarcity and foreshadowed much of the lo-fi movement of early-90s indie rock. In 1995, Rolling Stone designated the album one of the top 100 most influential Alternative albums while Spin Magazine's Alternative Record Guide states; "Half Japanese assumed it was the greatest Rock and Roll band on the planet. It was often right."