Endpoint & Sunspring

April 5, 1991
Endpoint & Sunspring
split seven inch
[SDK-21] photocopied covers and inserts

Originally not planned as a 7″ at all, Slamdek’s twenty-first release marked many new beginnings. As the label’s second entry into the world of vinyl, the Endpoint/Sunspring split 7″ put Sunspring (the band) on the map, adjusted Slamdek’s catalog numbers to start running in numerical order, and brought Endpoint back for another release on a hometown label.

Endpoint had recorded two songs at Sound On Sound in November 1990. One of them, “Promise,” was for a 7″ compilation, A Change For The Better, on Vicious Circle Records. The other, “Priorities,” was a spare song they went ahead and recorded since they were in the studio. In time, and in so many words, I coerced Duncan and Rob into letting me do a seven inch of the songs. They seemed to have reservations about it, though. One reason was that Rob wasn’t proud of the vocal tracks on the songs. Nevertheless, the stage was set for a two song Endpoint 7″ on Slamdek.

Sunspring was also hoping to do a seven inch in the near future. And both bands were especially anxious to see themselves on vinyl. So I pushed the idea of an Endpoint/Sunspring split 7″ on Duncan and Rob. Endpoint and Sunspring had very different styles, and didn’t necessarily belong on the same record together. But John and I were eager to get Sunspring rolling as a fully functioning band. As we ourselves were Endpoint fans, it perhaps made sense that while the two bands weren’t alike, perhaps their audiences would have common members.

By March 1991, Sunspring had only been together about three months. We still had Chad Castetter as a temporary bassist, had played only four small shows, and all things considered, weren’t fully prepared to go into the studio. Despite the recently smoothed compunctions of several involved parties, the Endpoint/Sunspring split 7″ was released April 5, 1991. Having the record in stores just two weeks after Sunspring recorded for it, was another demonstration of the agility Slamdek enjoyed as a small label. The five song record became very successful, outselling every other Slamdek release in its first year, and being the first Slamdek title to enjoy multiple distributors; Cargo, Resonance, Caroline, Blacklist, and Dutch East. Though the printed labels on the record read, “Limited Edition of 500,” it was repressed twice more. This brought the total units in circulation to 1,500 when it was let go out of print in late 1992. Each was hand numbered on the Sunspring side of the record as “___ of 500,” even after the numbers had passed 500. And to disprove anyone claiming to have copy #1, an unknown quantity of records from the second batch were inadvertently shipped without numbers in late 1991. Susan Leach, a friend of both bands and earlier member of Sunspring, is the owner of the genuine #001 of 500. So go call out any of your show-off friends who wrote low numbers on their second pressing copies.
In March 1993, Slamdek Singles, a short lived two cassette set of compiled EP’s, included the five songs from this seven inch. Sunspring’s Poppy CD in June 1993 included their three split 7″ songs as bonus tracks. And when Endpoint’s If The Spirits Are Willing came out on CD in late 1994, it included their two songs as well. This brings the total circulation of these five songs to about 4,600 units.

Over the course of its pre-bonus track life, as an individual release, it was subject to
several cover art redesigns. Those are illustrated on these pages.

The Endpoint/Sunspring split 7″ also created an underlying bond between the two bands that lasted until both of our final shows. In the summer of 1993, the two bands did a lengthy, tiring tour of the United States together. Sunspring unknowingly played our last show on this tour. It was August 15, 1993 in Rapid City, South Dakota with Endpoint, Shelter, 108, and Hellbender. December 4, 1993, a second split 7″ by Endpoint and Sunspring was released. On that record, Written In Rock, the two bands paid tribute to Rick Springfield, an unlikely, but common, early inspiration for members of both groups. And when Endpoint played their final show, December 30, 1994, the definitive 1991-92 version of Sunspring [Hayden, Ritcher, and Weiss] reunited to open the show with a ten song set.

The two tracks on the Endpoint side are “Promise” and “Priorities.” This version of “Promise” also appeared on the 7″ compilation A Change For The Better from Vicious Circle Records in Baltimore. “Promise” was rerecorded later for their Catharsis album on Doghouse, released in fall 1992. And a hilariously uninspired version of “Priorities” was recorded for the compilation album Only The Strong MCMXCII on Victory Records, released in late 1992.

Sunspring’s three tracks are, “Don’t Just Stand There,” a reworking of a Patty Duke single from 1964 that went to #14 on the Billboard chart, “Silver Spring,” and “Kendall.” “Silver Spring” was rerecorded for Sunspring’s Sun cassette on Slamdek in August 1991. A sample that begins the Sunspring side is from the TV movie version of Call Me Anna, the autobiography of Patty Duke. The quote is from a moment right after she received one of the 1970 Emmy Awards. She had given her acceptance speech in sign language, which was out of camera range and it had appeared to viewers as if she were just were just staring off into space saying nothing. As soon as she walked off stage, reporters hounded her with questions, to which she blankly replied, “It’s meaningless. Acting is meaningless. Television is meaningless. My life is meaningless. I’m gonna start a whole
new life.” The song “Kendall” was the oldest of the three, having been carried over from Cold Mourning.

A couple weeks after the release of the record, Chad was growing tired of playing in both Endpoint and Sunspring, and working an early morning job at Paul’s Fruit Market. He retired his temporary bass playing position in Sunspring. Jason Hayden, who played bass in Endpoint, coincidentally replaced him. After about a month of practice, May 10, 1991, the two bands shared a stage for the first time. The frenzied, controversial, animated, energetic, uproarious, and (perhaps) legendary show took place in the auditorium of Louisville Collegiate School. Collegiate is a private K through 12 school in the Highlands with a notoriously effective field hockey program.

The show began with an alternative cover band, followed by Long Arm which was a short lived hardcore band. Sunspring played third as our first show with Jason Hayden on bass, and the new line up seemed to gel instantly. I announced to the crowd of hundreds at Collegiate that the following day would be ear X-tacy’s one-year anniversary in their Tyler Park Plaza location and there would be free pizza. Endpoint’s ferocious set (including a cover of Minor Threat’s “I Don’t Wanna Hear It”) threw the evening out of control by inciting the crowd to move too much. Despite the school’s mixer-esque “No Slam Dancing” signs, rebellion lurks in every young child’s heart and movement erupted. This prompted school officials to threaten to pull the plug if it didn’t stop. And, of course, it didn’t stop. The school pulled the plug, but drummer Lee Fetzer kept playing and the kids kept singing along to the beat.

Collegiate’s school newspaper, Pandemonium, ran a story about the melee. The article by Amanda Wagoner and Karla Millan tried to clear up the rumors about what had actually happened:

… Despite the rumors recently buzzing in the school hallways, no one was hurt. Neither Upper School Head Jay Selvig nor the band he unplugged blame one another for the sudden halt of the party.

This was after the audience “started getting crazy,” said Lee Fetzer, Endpoint’s drummer.
By this time the audience had already received several warnings to calm down, this was reiterated by Selvig and Endpoint. The audience obviously ignored these notices, and seemed to test their authority…

A separate editorial called “After the Battle” was also printed:

…The band threw certain objects into the crowd and did not shut down when instructed to do so by Head of Upper School, Mr. Jay Selvig. It took the actions of pre-hired police to finally shut down the band, putting an end to the slam dancing…

The fact that the event did not run as smoothly as hoped cannot be blamed entirely on Endpoint. The Upper School Senate is equally, if not more, to blame for its naivete in hiring bands that often play for slam dancing crowds… The Senate could have easily bypassed the problems by hiring bands that are followed more by Collegiate students. Certain planners of the concert obviously knew that slam dancing and objects being thrown into the crowd occur at Endpoint performances…

Endpoint was paid the $200 they were promised, and the incident ended with no hard feelings. It turned up again (in a big way) by accident in January 1992 when a young girl named Shanda Sharer was murdered after a Sunspring show at Audubon Sk8 Park. Part of a Sunspring interview as the first story on WHAS-TV’s 6:00 news program included a clip of “Sunspring” playing at Collegiate. Newscaster Chuck Olmstead had cued the video to the most menacing-looking part. In doing so he inadvertently showed part of Endpoint’s set on the air and identified them as Sunspring. The chaotic, riotous scene, however, did go nicely with his slant on the story. The 11:00 news included an apology for the mistake.

LINER NOTES:

Endpoint side:
Promise
Priorities

Endpoint:
Duncan Barlow, guitar
Chad Castetter, guitar
Lee Fetzer, drums
Jason Hayden, bass
Rob Pennington, vocals

Sunspring side:
Don’t Just Stand There
Silver Spring
Kendall

Sunspring:
Chad Castetter, bass
K. Scott Ritcher, guitar & vocals
John Weiss, drums

Recorded at Sound On Sound. Endpoint produced by Howie Gano and the EPA, November 1990. Sunspring produced by Howie Gano and K. Scott.

Endpoint thanks: Andy, Matt from New Zealand, K. Scott, EPA, Dennis, Shelter, and Vans.

Sunspring thanks: Endpoint, Kendall, Joey, Kim and Jay, Sister Shannon, Betsy, King G + J Krew, Susan, Simon, Jon, not-so-little Dave, Christi, Tishy, Mary Verna and Techno-Poppy, Tim, Will, Kelly Sue, Marcy, John and Susanne, Lettuce Prey, Don and the Wednesday group, the fellowship, Fullout, Anne and Allan Weiss (patience and tolerance), Bill, Dan, Erica, Carrie and Layla, Max, Dale, and Crawdad.

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