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WAZMO NARIZ BIOGRAPHY

For some reason it seems only strange stuff comes out of Chicago... For example, Skafish, one of Mr Bill's ex girlfriends (just kidding, but you know who you are), The Cubs and... WAZMO NARIZ!

"The Waz has Pizzazz" or "The Waz is the Naz" is what the liner notes on various records have said. Yeah, whatever that means! The Waz tried to single-handedly bring about the "two-tie-look" and failed (though Mr Bill did try the look few times, but the backwater folks of Norfolk -- where he was stationed at the time -- failed to appreciate fashion trendsetting on their turf). Wazmo (Larry Grennan) and his band (guitarist Jeff Hill, bassist James E McGreevey III, keyboardist Jeff Boynton and drummer Bruce Zelesnik) were really too weird to be mainstream but not strange enough to truly be avant-garde. Their sound was highly melodic and the tunes could even be described as "catchy." Most tunes revolved around a theme of quirky sex, delivered in Wazmo's trademark hiccupy tremelo.

They scored a minor local hit in 1978 with an independent single, "Tele-tele-telephone" that was picked up reissued in the U.K. by the then fledgling Stiff Records. In 1979, they followed up with an EP which caught the ear of Miles Copeland who signed them to his Illegal Records/I.R.S. label where they released their debut LP THINGS AREN'T RIGHT and single "Checking Out The Checkout Girl" which managed to get some airplay in their native Chicago. Below are the Non-I.R.S. Recording of Waz and the band...

Indy Single Indy EP
2nd LP (on Big Records) The final record
Above are all the US non-IRS Wazmo recordings... Top Left: The single that started it, "Tele-tele-telephone"/"Gadabout" and (Top Right) the follow-up EP ("I Hate My Life", "Touchy Feely People", "Propinquity", "I Just Want To Have Sex" (all on Fiction Records)... Bottom Left: TELL ME HOW TO LIVE, the 1981 2nd LP for BIG Records and (Bottom Right) the final Waz, 1986's 12" single of "Yahoo Eeeee" on Bigtime Records...

Critical and commercial response to the group's quirky pop was slight, and Wazmo Nariz moved on to Big Records, where TELL ME HOW TO LIVE was released. Then, after a five-year hiatus, Wazmo released a 12" single of a rather catchy country-like tune, "Yahoo Eeeee". Alas, a promised LP from this period never materialized and everyone in the Wazband moved on to other projects. Wazmo has contributed both vocals and music to several Stan Ridgway recordings, under his real name, Larry Grennan. So has drummer Bruce Zelesnik who (as of 2002) has become a permanent member of Stan's band.
The Wazband
The Wazband in 1981. If you look closely you'll see The Cramps' GRAVEST HITS
Ep on the table among the beer bottles and naughty playing cards...

WAZMO NARIZ IRS DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only WAZMO NARIZ's recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for WAZMO NARIZ, below...

Albums & EPs

Things Aren't Right cover THINGS AREN'T RIGHT
IRS SP-005 (Released 7 Nov 1979)

Vinyl Only

Produced by Wazmo Nariz
Arranged by Wazmo Nariz and the Waz Band Recorded at Tanglewood Studio, Brookfield, Illinois (* Recorded at Shade Tree Studio, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin)
Engineered by John Pavletic (* Engineered by Dave Neitzke)
Mixed at Tanglewood Studios
Art Direction by Carl Grasso
Product Manager Jay Boberg
Mastered by Bernie Grundman at A&M
Photography by Paul Natkin and Micael Weinstein/Photo Reserve
Thanks to Keith DeBolt
Helps & Hindrances: Helen & Richard, Dr James Thursby, Jack & Muffy Miner, Marijean & Joe, Carol & Rich, Rick Landerman, Tria, Jeffery Timander, Rev. Spleef Bader, C.S. Baker, Lori Dana, Sandy Rothberg, Nancy (both), Steve (blano) Hoyt, Eric Uram, Jan Nerkorn/Debolt, Jack Cash, JAW, Andy Waterman, Dave Neitzke, Betty, Tim Love.

Musicians:
Vocals: Wazmo Nariz
Guitar, Back-up Vocals: Jeff Hill
Bass James E McGreevey III
Keyboards: Jeff Boynton
Drums: Bruce Zelesnik

Track Listing:

  1. The Mind Is Willing, But The Flesh Is Week (Nariz) 3:14
  2. Who Does It Hurt? (Nariz) 2:14
  3. Luncheonette Lovers (Nariz/Zelesnik) 1:56
  4. Stubbies (Nariz) 2:33
  5. Plunger (Nariz) 2:52
  6. Deeply (Nariz) 5:59
  7. Checking Out The Checkout Girl (Nariz) 2:35
  8. This Is Your Elbow (Nariz) 3:16
  9. The Oven (Nariz) 2:52
  10. Lips (Nariz) 5:24 *
  11. Germ Proof Cleaners (Nariz) 2:02
  12. Al's Radiator (Nariz) 2:58
REVIEW COMING SOON!!!

Singles

9006 Sleeve "Checking Out The Checkout Girl" & "Who Does It Hurt?"
IRS IR9502 (Released 28 Sep 1979)

Produced by Wazmo Nariz
Sleeve Design by Carl Grasso

Musicians:
Vocals: Wazmo Nariz
Guitar, Back-up Vocals: Jeff Hill
Bass James E McGreevey III
Keyboards: Jeff Boynton
Drums: Bruce Zelesnik

This catchy little ditty garnered some airplay in the Wazband's native Chicago, but success elsewhere remained elusive...


Compilations & Soundtracks

I.R.S. GREATEST HITS, VOLS 2 & 3 (IRS SP70800) includes "Lips" on side 4, cut 5
THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS (82010) includes "Checking Out The Checkout Girl" cut 4


WAZMO NARIZ LINKS & OTHER COOL STUFF

Unfortunately we found virtually no links to WAZMO NARIZ nor anyone else in the Wazband.



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This Page Last Updated 5 October 2002
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