Lights Out

Lights Out – “Get Out” 7″Lights Out was an awesome band from the Bay Area, CA that featured some of my best friends Connor Spencer, James Gianello, and Aaron O’Neil. Through the band, I also met Andrew “Durag” Dilburger and Kevin Williams, who were 2 young kids that were seriously fucking wild. I used to go everywhere with Lights Out – I was quite a bit older than most of them, so I think I was like their dad? haha. I went out with them on an East Coast tour with Desperate Measures, and on a bunch of different weekend trips to Seattle, LA, San Diego, places like that. They were a lot of fun to hang out with, and there were always so many hilarious crazy stories to tell – like when Durag and Kevin decided to light my hair on fire in the van and then Durag asked Aaron “What’d ya think of the joke?” (in his weird Southern-ish sounding accent type thing), and Aaron replied with “I thought it was alright”. I wanted to kill all 3 of them, haha. The first piece of vinyl shown in the photo above is a test pressing, out of 24 copies. The record directly to the right of the test pressing is a story in-and-of itself, classic Lights Out style… It’s a record release record out of 115 copies, but they didn’t have the vinyl at the record release show, so you “went to the Lights Out record release and all you got was this lousy coupon”! More detailed photos below. The rest of the 1st pressing is shown on the bottom row – 150 on green vinyl, 300 on yellow vinyl, 435 on black vinyl, plus the 115 record release covers on black vinyl. The 2nd pressing was 500 on black vinyl with red labels, but 170 of them have a Posi Numbers 2004 cover out of 170, so the other 330 have regular covers.

Close-up of the test pressing labels.

The record release was on March 20th, 2004. This is the back cover of the record release, mine is #99/115.

“I went to the Lights Out record release and all I got was this lousy coupon!” In true Lights Out fashion, they made these goofy coupons when the vinyl was not ready in time for their record release. Instead of playing a record release show without a record to sell, they sold the “record” anyway, haha! Well, not exactly. They sold a photo-copied cover that came with this coupon. When the vinyl finally came in, you could redeem your coupon for a 7″. Kids ate it up, and they sold all of their covers and coupons pretty much immediately at the show. At times like this, we would all just chuckle and say “typical Lights Out”.

Close-up of the green vinyl out of 150. Two other classic Durag / Lights Out jokes shown in the photo here. #1 is the “Dilburger Pride” sticker. Andrew “Durag” Dilburger is the middle brother of 3 Dilburgers that have run around the Bay Area hardcore scene for the last 15 years or so. Eldest brother “Dan-O” is 96-2000 “my era”, “Durag” is next generation “Lights Out age”, and “D3” is Andrew’s younger brother. Anyway, Durag would run around at shows, putting these stickers on people’s fucking cars, on the back of people’s shirts, or hell, he’d even slap one on your face while he moshed by. Like I said, classic Lights Out shit. The second funny thing in this photo is obviously the black dude on the vinyl labels. We were all hanging out at some shitty show at the Burnt Ramen, which is in a really hard area of Richmond, CA. This sketchy/crazy dude was just roaming around the show, mumbling to himself, doing all sorts of crazy wrestling maneuvers in the pit, etc. This kind of “bum behavior” was typical at Burnt Ramen shows. Anyway, at some point I turn around to see Durag, Kevin, and Connor writing “Lights Out” all over this dude with something – I don’t remember if it was a white marker of some kind, sunscreen, chalk, or fucking white-out. All I remember is me, Eightclip, and Aaron O’Neil just fucking cracking up at these idiots, and worried that we were going to have to bail them out of yet another sticky situation. Classic, classic, classic Lights Out shit. PS – You’re probably wondering why “Durag” is called Durag? Well it’s because he spent an entire summer wearing cut-off shirts, and using the cut-off sleeves as headbands/durag looking things on his head. Ryan Desperate Measures one time said “yo, what’s up with that little… that little… yo, what’s his name? that little Durag kid?!” And it stuck.

Some crappy covers were made for Posi Numbers Fest 2004. Mine is #165/170. I remember the guys deciding at the last minute that they just had to have a limited cover for Posi Fest, so they scrambled to put this crappy thing together. I remember sitting with them while they were putting these covers together at the Lights Out / Allegiance table at the Posi Numbers Fest that was in that big “maze” building. We were all just sitting there laughing at how ugly and pointless these things were. Yet another classic Lights Out job.

Here’s the full layout of the fold-over cover.

A photo in Vancouver, BC during the Lights Out Northwest weekend with Internal Affairs. John Eightclip and I rode up in the Lights Out van just to hang for the weekend. This was the infamous trip mentioned above where Kevin and Durag lit my hair on fire, haha.

Lights Out – “Overload” LPLights Out’s “Overload” LP is a total rager. They really stepped up their game from the “Get Out” 7″. The 7″ was rooted in modern “goofy” Lockin Out style hardcore, but the LP built upon that style by incorporating more speed, anger, and even some rockin parts. Connor’s vocals got way gnarlier, and the guitars got so much more dirty sounding and a hell of a lot more aggressive. You started to hear all sorts of influences from Infest to Motorhead, haha. Almost every song on this record is a banger, and the slower song at the end is a sweet change of pace. Plus, the drawing on the cover of this record is so fucking cool! I’ve always felt like this was such a great album cover. All in all, a really underrated hardcore LP that should have gotten a lot more attention than it did. Prior to the 1st pressing, there was actually a “pre-pressing” out of 325 made for their Summer Tour, shown in the bottom right. The LP jackets were not ready, so they have a screen-printed jacket and a different insert. The 1st pressing was 225 on pink, 300 on blue, and 525 on black. The next summer, there was a 2nd press on white vinyl out of 202 for another summer tour. I also owned a test pressing of this release, out of 24 made, but I sold it back in 2010. It came with an alternate screen printed cover.

Test pressing with screen printed cover, out of 24 copies. I sold this a while back.

Close-up of the test pressing labels.

The “pre-pressing” out of 325 was made for their Summer Tour because the real LP jackets and inserts were not ready. This cool “peace logo” looking thing was something Lights Out was using on a lot of their t-shirts around this time, too.

The following summer, they did a 2nd pressing for another summer tour, this time on white vinyl with stamped labels, out of 202.

The back cover of the Lights Out LP has this cool band photo. I’ve always really liked this photo of the dudes.

Promo poster, showcasing Durag’s hops.

Allegiance and Lights Out. Bay Area hardcore family.

V/A – “Generations” LP Compilation“Generations” features songs representing some of the best bands from this era of hardcore, including a Lights Out track. My buddy, Bob Shedd, put together this compilation when he was handling most of the label duties at Revelation Records. He did such a sweet job, all the way down to patterning the layout after the original “NYHC: The Way It Is” LP comp. Like any classic compilation should, it accurately documents a snapshot in time of a particular generation of hardcore kids. What you see here is a test pressing plus a blue vinyl copy. There was also red vinyl pressed.

Cover and insert.

The back of the cover and insert.

Lights Out – “Demo 2003” cassette tapeThe original Lights Out “Demo 2003” cassette tape.

The Lab Rats – “Start Thinking” cassette tapeHere’s a cassette tape of a full length released by Connor’s very first band, The Lab Rats. Connor was about 14 years old when I met him singing in this band. They were a cool punk band from SF. My band, The Damage Done, would go on to play a ton of shows with them. This laid the foundation for close friendships amongst all of us, and led to one of the guitarists from The Damage Done, James Gianello, later doing a band with Connor called… Lights Out.

My Lights Out collection, at its peak…

  • YBR-019 Lights Out – Get Out (TEST PRESS, out of 24)
  • YBR-019 Lights Out – Get Out (BLACK, 1st press, Record Release 03/20/2004, #99/150)
  • YBR-019 Lights Out – Get Out (GREEN, 1st press, out of 150)
  • YBR-019 Lights Out – Get Out (YELLOW, 1st press, out of 300)
  • YBR-019 Lights Out – Get Out (BLACK, 1st press, w/black & white labels, out of 435)
  • YBR-019 Lights Out – Get Out (BLACK, 2nd press, posi #’s 2004 #’d 165/170)
  • YBR-019 Lights Out – Get Out (BLACK, 2nd press, w/red and white labels, out of 330)
  • YBR-020 Lights Out – Overload (TEST PRESS, out of 24)
  • YBR-020 Lights Out – Overload (BLACK, Pre-press, Summer Tour Press, out of 325)
  • YBR-020 Lights Out – Overload (PINK, 1st press, out of 225)
  • YBR-020 Lights Out – Overload (BLUE, 1st press, out of 300)
  • YBR-020 Lights Out – Overload (BLACK, 1st press, out of 525
  • YBR-020 Lights Out – Overload (WHITE, 2nd press, out of 202)
  • V/A – Generations LP (TEST PRESS)
  • V/A – Generations LP (BLUE, Revelation Records, out of 550)
  • Lights Out – Demo 2003 cassette tape
  • Lab Rats – Start Thinking cassette tape

One Response to Lights Out

  1. Pingback: Allegiance, The Damage Done, Lights Out, Right On, and SSB |

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