Endpoint & Sunspring – Written in Rock: Songs of Rick Springfield

December 4, 1993
Endpoint & Sunspring
Written in Rock: Songs of Rick Springfield split seven inch
[SDK-33] photocopied covers and inserts; first 1,000 with translucent vellum overlay, next 500 with two-color photocopied covers

First pressing cover with translucent vellum overlay.

In the summer of 1993, Endpoint and Sunspring teamed up again on several occasions. One of these was a 9,000 mile journey around the United States playing our music for the kids. The other one was this unforgettable seven inch of Rick Springfield covers. Sunspring played a show at the Machine in March, during which we pulled a cover of Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf” out of the bag… along with 40 pounds of confetti (three garbage bags full of punched holes Michael Jarboe “borrowed” from Kinko’s). This inspired a conversation between Duncan and I a few weeks later at Baja Bay, a Highlands Mexican restaurant, which transformed from a discussion of great, old songs, to the idea of creating the seven inch you see documented here.

My love for Rick Springfield’s music was no secret. So, as soon as everyone in both bands agreed that the record was a good idea, Sunspring learned the song, “Love Somebody,” a Top 20 hit from the Hard To Hold soundtrack, and scheduled time at DSL. Our rendition was just under three minutes, not including the last note which was held out for two minutes and twenty seconds. Samples from Hard To Hold were layered in over the finale.

Things with Endpoint moved a little more slowly. The original plan was to have both bands record early in the summer, so the record could be pressed and finished before the Endpoint/Sunspring U.S. tour in August. Things didn’t stick to that schedule, however, and Endpoint ran out of time before the tour. By the time the tour was over, things were even farther off the mark. When the nine boys returned to Louisville for a day before the final four-day stretch, Jason Thompson quit Sunspring, prohibiting the band from finishing the remaining dates. Nonetheless, Endpoint finished the tour without us, and finally visited DSL in October to record their song for the seven inch. They tackled “Jessie’s Girl,” Rick’s first million seller and only Number One hit. Endpoint’s version was (swallow) a little grungy, yet unmistakably Endpoint.

August 1993, Endpoint and Sunspring United States Tour in Tucson, Arizona: Scott Ritcher, Kyle Crabtree, Pat McClimans, Rob Pennington, Andy Tinsley, Chad Castetter, Jason Thompson, Forrest Kuhn, Duncan Barlow.

It was a strange picture when the two bands performed their Rick Springfield covers live, almost as if the kids had never heard the songs. This might make sense as some of them were born in the early eighties when the songs were hits. Endpoint played theirs at Tewligans in November shortly before the seven inch came out, while we had played ours at the Machine in July.

Just as the first Endpoint/Sunspring split 7″ demonstrated, the two bands were considerably stylistically different from each other. Endpoint had changed a lot since 1991. They had released another album, Catharsis, on Doghouse, as well as a seven inch of punk rock cover songs, Idiots.

Bassist Kyle Noltemeyer quit in late 1992. Doug Walker of Majority Of One from Toledo, Ohio, filled in on bass for Endpoint’s European tour that winter. Drummer Lee Fetzer had left the group when they returned from Europe in January 1993. He joined Enkindel on guitar. Duncan’s friend Chris Higdon of Falling Forward suggested his cousin, Kyle Crabtree, as a replacement. Kyle wasn’t into hardcore really, but was a powerful drummer. They were in a bind, though, and tried him out.

Kyle learned Endpoint’s set in a week before some north eastern shows they had lined up, and “came through like a champ.” Curtis Mead of Split Lip from Indianapolis took over temporarily in the musical chairs game that was Endpoint’s bass position. After a few months, he retired and Pat McClimans of Scab from Lafayette, Indiana, moved to Louisville to fulfill a dream playing for one of his favorite bands. Kyle and Pat stayed with Endpoint and the lineup didn’t change again between summer 1993 and their last show in December 1994. Of course, the band still included vocalist Rob Pennington, and guitarists Duncan Barlow and Chad Castetter. This lineup recorded the Aftertaste album during the summer of ’93 and The Last Record EP in December ’94. Both of those were also on Doghouse.

Cover of Rick Springfield’s 1988 album Rock Of Life that the cover of the Endpoint/Sunspring 7″ is a takeoff of. Below, second pressing seven inch cover.

Sunspring’s last stand had apparently come and gone. Jason and I got back together in September without Forrest and began writing songs and looking for a new drummer. We wanted to write all new songs and possibly change the name of the band. We began practicing, doing only the most recent Sunspring songs. We first tried Jon Smith, who was exactly the type of drummer we were looking for, but he seemed too busy with other projects. That fell apart after only two practices. A more successful series of practices with John Causey followed. That lasted about a month and a half. Ultimately, it seemed that it might be best to just let it die. Other than a one-show reunion of the Hayden/Ritcher/Weiss lineup in December 1994, Sunspring never played again. Our last show had been August 15, 1993 in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Shortly before the tour began, Chad and I were evicted from the apartment we shared above the Cherokee Animal Clinic at Eastern Parkway and Baxter Avenue. That apartment lasted us about eight months in 1993 during which Slamdek got knocked into a more organized state with the help of Chad and my girlfriend Carrie Osborne, a bright economics major at Bellarmine. Slamdek added a fax machine and beefed-up distribution, actual stock on hand, and revamped the packaging on older releases. The turnaround time on direct mail orders was the shortest it ever was. Needless to say, the loss of the apartment meant the loss of a headquarters for the label. With the upcoming Endpoint/Sunspring tour in August ’93 as an impasse for employment, it also left Chad and I homeless for about a month on either side of the tour. My mom and Carrie took care of mail orders during the tour.

While on the tour, Pat and I grew to be great friends. Afterwards, I returned to work at ear X-tacy and moved into the apartment at 2217 Grinstead with Duncan, Kyle Noltemeyer, and Matt Loeser. This lasted until December when I moved into a house at 1233 Bardstown Road with Layla Smith and Carrie. Pat moved into the Grinstead apartment and stopped by our house often on his way to and from work at Mid City Mall’s Subway. He became a major player in Slamdek. The time was right for him to come in and fill the absence left when I lost the apartment with Chad. Pat and I worked on filling mail orders, assembling records, listening to Steve Martin albums, and recording parodies of Shelter songs under the name Shitler (“In Depants of Regularity” and “The Ooze”).

The cover artwork for Written In Rock was modeled after, or rather stolen, from Rick Springfield’s last album Rock Of Life, released in 1988 on RCA. As well, the seven inch is named for a song from his 1985 masterpiece, Tao. The seven inch received a good deal of verbal questioning looks from reviewers, but one particular review stands out in retrospect. That review was praise and endorsement from a summer ’94 edition of RLS: Rick’s Loyal Supporters, the quarterly newsletter of the Rick Springfield fan club. Now that was pretty cool. The newsletter even reprinted the liner notes from the seven inch. Written In Rock’s liner notes consist of a fourteen-paragraph biography of Rick and an explanation of his importance to Endpoint and Sunspring. An additional insert to the seven inch was a lengthy story of the Endpoint/Sunspring U.S. tour, complete with photos. The record also included a CD discography listing for both bands and Rick Springfield.

August 1994, Endpoint in California: Rob Pennington.

The first pressing of Written In Rock was 1,000 units, 900 on black vinyl, and 100 on clear. The covers were solid light grey cardstock copied on the Xerox 5090. The titles were not printed on the cover itself, but rather on a square sheet of translucent vellum paper placed in front of the actual cover. This paper, in addition to being particularly expensive, had to be visually monitored as the copies were being run. Afterward, each sheet had to be individually hand-cut. Michael Jarboe and Carrie oversaw the copying at Bardstown Road’s Kinko’s at Stevens Avenue. Pat and I later enjoyed the cutting and folding process. Thommy Browne also stopped by the house to help assemble records on a few occasions. Because of the uniqueness and expense of the vellum paper, I took full advantage of it. It came in 8.5″x11″ sheets. Obviously, a seven inch cover being cut out of the sheet leaves a 4″x8.5″ piece of unused area. In this area, I had two 4″x4″ cassette covers printed. One was for The Telephone Man’s SDK-35 cassette, and the other was for an upcoming LG&E cassette. Only about fifteen of the T-Man covers were used, but all of the LG&E cassettes came from this batch of translucent vellum.

The second pressing was 500 units, some of which were still around when Slamdek went out of business. All of those were on black vinyl. The covers were slightly different. Due to the expense, the translucent vellum overlays were 86-ed for the second pressing. Instead, they were photocopied on the same light grey cardstock with the titles in black and the photo in brown. This brought the total units in circulation to 1,500. Both bands later released retrospective CD’s of their previous work on Slamdek. But to avoid dealing with calculating royalties and all that nonsense, neither band included their Rick Springfield song on their CD anthologies.
Engineered by Mike Baker. Recorded at Dave Stewart Land.


Endpoint side:
Jessie’s Girl

Sunspring side:
Love Somebody

Special thanks to: ear X-tacy Records, John Timmons, Jeffrey Lee Puckett, Mary & Allan Ritcher, Chris Higdon, Mark Damron.

Duncan Barlow, guitar
Chad Castetter, guitar
Kyle Crabtree, drums
Rob Pennington, vocals
Pat McClimans, bass

Forrest Kuhn, drums
Scott Ritcher, guitar/vocals
Jason Thompson, bass

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