Professor and the Madman, The TVD
First Date and Premiere “A Child’s Eyes”

“As a kid in the early 1970s, I was surrounded by vinyl. My three older siblings were all major music enthusiasts, and so were my parents.”

“Mom was all about Eydie Gormé, Vicente Fernández, and Harry Belafonte. Dad loved the Irish Rovers, the Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem, and Eddy Arnold. My eldest brother, Rikk, was already deeply involved in the Orange County punk scene while I was only in middle school. He played bass in Social Distortion, guitar in the Adolescents, Christian Death, and D.I., and he released a solo album, All by Myself, for Frontier Records in 1982. My other brother, Frank, also played with the Adolescents and many other groups on the scene.

Some of my earliest vinyl memories are of the U.S. versions of the Beatles albums (The Early Beatles, Something New, Beatles VI), and also the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack! In my household, there was also a big box of 45 RPM singles covering a wide range of genres.

Once I started school, I would come home every day and the first thing I would do was play records. Taking after my brothers and sister, I quickly became a collector, myself—my birthday and Christmas “wish lists” always had a long list of desired vinyl releases. Our favorite record store was Music Box in Fullerton. We would ride our bikes down there, go through the used section, and maybe grab an ice cream cone at the nearby Thrifty’s Drug Store, if we had enough pocket change left after our spree.

Early on, I recall Rikk being into prog rock like ELP, King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, and also heavier stuff like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Montrose. By 1976, prog was fading for him and I started seeing albums coming into the house by the Velvet Underground, Television, Suicide, and Ramones, as well as their UK counterparts such as the Sex Pistols, the Damned, and the Clash. Except for a few 8-track tapes, everything was on vinyl. My sister was mainly into soft rock although I do remember her falling hard for Adam Ant. Toni also played the piano a bit and fancied Strauss waltzes in particular.

I started playing in bands at age 11. In my first band, the Attack, I played drums and wrote the music and lyrics. By high school, I was singing and playing guitar in Almost 21. Decades after A21 disbanded, A local label called Gummopunx released our original demo on 7” vinyl. During the 1980s, I recorded and toured with D.I. and the Adolescents. It was while I was in D.I. that I first met my partner in Professor and the Madman, Sean Elliott.

These days, the majority of my music listening time is spent with vinyl again. It’s a cliché but I love the warmth of the sound, as well as the ritual. Putting my massive digital library on “shuffle” is convenient, but I tend to tune out the music eventually due to distractions. Having to flip an album keeps me engaged, and it makes me give more thought to what I actually want to hear.

However, I do love listening to high quality digital files of classic recordings on a good system. For example, my King Crimson digital library. I’ve found that digital affects me more cerebrally while vinyl is a more emotional experience. I’m still pretty spoiled when it comes to having a wealth of vinyl at my fingertips. I shop locally at Burger, Radiation, and Black Hole Records. And, of course, there’s Amazon.

As long as the majority of our fans prefer vinyl, we’ll keep pressing it. Which reminds me, it’s just about that time of year when I need to start assembling my Christmas list!”
Alfie Agnew

“Prior to Professor and the Madman, the only record that Alfie and I appeared on together was D.I.’s Live at a Dive (Triple X, 1993). It was the first time a D.I. album hadn’t been released on vinyl or cassette. We were actually really happy about it because the production cost was less and we got paid more for a CD release. The band earned a whole $1.25 per CD sale, split five ways between the band members.”

When we announced the new Professor and the Madman album, Séance, we initially offered a limited edition pressing of 200 copies on purple vinyl. Those sold out quickly. Now, we’re offering the standard edition on opaque yellow vinyl. Printed inside the gatefold is a punk rock board game.

It’s an idea that I’ve wanted to do since the ‘80s. Alfie and I collaborated on the topics and how the game is played — it’s meant to be humorous, with plenty of music references. In order to play the game, you’ll need to order the accessory kit (pair of dice, cards, and miniature game pieces) which is available on our website.”
Sean Elliott

Séance, the new release from Professor and the Madman arrives in stores on Friday November 13, 2020 via Fullertone Records—on yellow vinyl.

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