day the earth
  • The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs
  • Raw Power
  • So Cold
  • What Love Is
  • Ain't It Fun
  • Transfusion
  • Life Stinks
  • Muckraker
  • 30 Seconds Over Tokyo
  • Satisfaction
  • Sonic Reducer
  • Never Gonna Kill Myself Again
  • Final Solution RFTT
  • Foggy Notion
  • Amphetamine
  • Read It & Weep
  • Seventeen
  • Frustration
  • Down In Flames
  • Search & Destroy


The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs ART

Rocket From The Tombs
The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs

Released February 1 2002.

Fire Records FIRECD196
(World) December 2011 cd and vinyl

Order RFTT physical product from here.

Release Notes

These are the only recordings of the legendary Cleveland band that spawned both Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys, a collection of live and rehearsal tapes from 1975.

"This album is more than just an artifact of a specific time and place. It offers a tantalizing glimpse at one of the greatest albums never recorded. Many of us - fans of this arcane sub-chapter in the history of rock music - are convinced that had Rocket From The Tombs survived long enough to record "30 Seconds Over Tokyo", "Sonic Reducer" and "Final Solution," as well as lost classics like "Muckraker," "So Cold" and "Amphetamine," the resulting record would, today, be ranked alongside the MC5's Kick Out The Jams, Patti Smith's Horses and the Stooges' Raw Power as seminal albums of the punk era. This collection of demo and live material is the closest we can get. Still, after 26 years worth of mythologizing, it provides ample proof that during their all too brief existence few bands rocked harder or closer to the edge." - Excerpt from liner notes by Jon Allan

Rocket From The Tombs featured David Thomas and Peter Laughner from Pere Ubu, Cheetah Chrome and John Madansky from The Dead Boys, and Craig Bell from The Saucers. The "classic" version of the band lasted no more than 7-8 months in 1974-5 but during that time it came up with great songs, among them Final Solution, Amphetamine, 30 Seconds over Tokyo, Ain't it Fun, Life Stinks, Sonic Reducer and Muckraker.

The cd is 74 minutes long. The material is drawn only from original sources. We have the Loft tapes recorded Feb 18 1975 (not the WMMS broadcast or the compiled tape that was broadcast but the original master tapes). Also included is a never-before released studio 2-track recording of the May 5 1975 Agora concert and a never-before released 2-track recording of the July 24th 1975 Piccadilly Inn concert. We had access to everything that exists. This is the best of it. At some future point, if there is demand, we will release the out-takes from the Loft session and all the other versions not chosen for this release.

Bootleggers, aware that this package is imminent, have begun to make all sorts of claims of rarer material that features in their products. Caveat Emptor. Identical concert performances have been claimed as 3 separate events but differentiated only by increasingly poorer sound quality of the copy used.

John Thompson designed the package which includes a 12-page booklet with exhaustively researched liner notes written by Jon Allan with contributions from Gene O'Connor, Craig Bell and David Thomas.

Tracks 1-9 recorded Feb 18 1975 at the RFTT rehearsal loft. David Thomas (vocals), Peter Laughner (guitar & vocals), Craig Bell (bass & vocals), Gene O'Connor (guitar), and John Madansky (drums).

Tracks 10-16 recorded Jul 24 1975 at the Piccadilly Inn. David Thomas (Organ, sax & vocals), Peter Laughner (guitar & vocals), Craig Bell (bass & vocals), Gene O'Connor (guitar & vocals), and Wayne Strick (drums).

Tracks 17-19 recorded May 5 1975 at the Agora. David Thomas (vocals), Peter Laughner (guitar), Craig Bell (bass), Gene O'Connor (guitar), and Don Evans (drums).

David Thomas sings tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 17-19.
Peter Laughner sings tracks 4, 9, 12, 14.
Craig Bell sings tracks 7, 13, 15.
Gene O'Connor sings track 10, 11, 16.

'The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs' was the name of an 8mm stop action film made in high school by David Thomas and Jon Luoma. Mr Luoma later designed the cover art to the first Pere Ubu single, 30 Seconds Over Tokyo / Heart Of Darkness.

Rocket From The Tombs

Crocus Behemoth
vocals, sax
Peter Laughner
guitar, vocals
Cheetah Chrome
Craig Bell
bass, vocals
John Madansky
drums til April 1975
Wayne Strick
drums from June 1975

Release History

  • Smog Veil SV37 (US & World) Feb 1 2002 cd & vinyl.
  • Glitterhouse GRCD 549 (EU) Feb 1 2002 cd, (UK) 3/18/2 cd.
  • Bomba Records BOM22157 (Japan) cd.

Press Reaction

The Wire, March 2002
"Blazing amazing trails, they deserve to be celebrated, not consigned to a historical footnote."

Musik Express, Frank Sawatzki, March 2002.
"The definitive document of a short-lived, but seminal band... wrestling with something which is not punk yet, but goes far beyond the rock of the New York Dolls, a Metal Monster for which the world had no name."

Les Inrockuptibles, 2/20/2, JD Beauvallet.
"A record of great historical importance, envisaging the Punk-Rock revolution.....Furious songs full of tension and of a surprising modernity that deserve being regarded alongside the best songs of the MC5, Patti Smith, The Stooges or VU on the list of the seminal non-mainstream rock bands."