Wicked Lester You Are Doomed on 2 x 7" Vinyl
700 Series Release from Numero Group!
Over the last decade, the Numero Group has been primarily concerned with telling big stories. Stories that cover two or more LPs with word counts in the thousands. Stories with a plethora of photographic evidence. But in that time they've come across an equal number of smaller tales. Tales about bands with a single 45 and a destroyed photograph.
Their 700 series of 2 x 7"s aims to shed light on these darker, humble stories. More mini-Numero album than mere singles, they've packaged and constructed these records with the same care and attention to detail as their bigger siblings. Each replica 45 is housed in a sturdy, tip-on gatefold 7" jacket, with a bonus single of previously unreleased material tucked in the second pocket. Their identical spines and fastidious numbering system is sure to stoke the inner collector.
Gene Klein and Stanley Eisen had moved well past calling themselves Wicked Lester by 1979. Known to the record-buying world as Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, they’d ditched their original handle back in 1973, to take on the name and greasepaint combo that catapulted them to worldwide rock superstardom: Kiss.
Repossessing Wicked Lester would take a certain level of gumption, but none too much for Bill Arth, Pat Singleton, and John McLaughlin, three West Side Clevelanders plotting their own rock ascent while riding the St. Edwards High School football team’s bench. Mark Cleary, the fourth Wicked Lester, went to Holy Name, but he and Pat had been neighbors since the age of five. They’d already burned through the Fyre and Decoy brands before coming of high school age. Wicked Lester, named after and in awe of Kiss, was to be a more serious endeavor.
Wicked Lester’s sole vinyl release, a 1981 7” that Thomas Boddie jotted down as W-8110, paired teener throwback and distorted guitar on “Here Comes My Girlfriend” with the shifting meter, lovesick late Pink Floyd moves, and creepy kid laughter in the coda of “Say Your Prayers,” recorded on the same ominous day that John Hinckley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan. The single proudly wears Louise Boddie’s hand-scratched label design, with Wicked Lester’s brash “WL” logo, nicked whole-cloth from Van Halen’s early LPs and displayed brazenly during Lester stage shows.
Much to the chagrin of VFW patrons who happened to be hanging about the Halls they sometimes played to, Wicked Lester hung an altered American flag, with that flashy logo replacing our 50 stars, as their backdrop. The band also put the Boddie cassette duplicators to work, though only briefly. With a five-song demo cassette run of no more than 100 tapes, Wicked Lester barely had enough to place in the hands of classmates and friends.
Four of those songs are now being unleashed from the Boddie tomb. Housed in an attractive gatefold sleeve, Rob Sevier’s essay attempts to capture the angst of suburban Cleveland hard rock in the early ’80s. Success abounds!
Wicked Lester You Are Doomed Track Listing:
1. Here Comes My Girlfriend
2. Dogs Of War
3. Woman You're Gonna Pay For This
4. You Are Doomed