The First Step

The First Step is one of the most energetic bands that I’ve ever seen perform live.  In my opinion, they channel the sound, intensity, and essence of Youth Of Today better than any other band has ever done.  I love their message of “peace” and being aware of how your actions can harm others.  A little bit of that message can go a long way towards making this world just a tad better place.  I’ve loved The First Step from day one, and I’m stoked that I was able to maintain a friendship with Stephen after all of these years, eventually helping TFS release records on Rivalry Records.

The First Step – “Demo 2001” cassette tapeHere’s the original demo tape that I ordered off the Revelation Records messageboard by dropping $1 or $2 cash in an envelope solely based off a random new band’s post to check out their new demo.  That’s how we used to roll.

In late 2001, TFS came to California, selling a tape with some new songs on it.  My band, The Damage Done, played the Ojai, CA show with them.  That is how Steve and I became friends.  Crazy to think that night would lead to me releasing TFS records on Rivalry Records 6 years later.

The First Step – “Demo 2001″ 7”Livewire Records, “Demo 2001″ 7”.

Back cover of the Posi Numbers “footprint” cover. There are also blue screenprinted copies.

California Tour cover.  Layout is blue.

Back of the California Tour cover.

Here’s the regular layout.

100 copies of the blue vinyl were hand-numbered and sold on the East Coast.  The rest of the blue vinyl copies do not have the “Ltd Second Press /100”, as shown in the previous photo of the “regular layout”.

The First Step – “Open Hearts And Clear Minds” 7″Livewire Records, “Open Hearts And Clear Minds”.

I’ve always loved tri-fold layouts on 7″s (ala the Chain Of Strength 7″).

Stephen gave me this test pressing when I helped TFS finally release the super-delayed “What We Know” LP.  He knew I really wanted to complete my TFS collection.  I’ve always really appreciated his kindness… I know he gave me his one-and-only copy.  Thanks Steve!

Record Release version.  This was the other record that Stephen sent me in the package with the test pressing.

Numbered inside of the Record Release cover.  Stephen gave me his original #1/50.

Insert/note that came with the record release covers.

Photocopied pre-cover with a “this is not a limited cover” message.  They sold these after the record release show, but before they got the real 7″ covers.  There was also another photocopied cover, often called the “CT cover”, that looked exactly like the record release cover.  The only difference was the “Record Release July 5, 2002” got pasted over with “Open Hearts And Clear Minds”, so the record title is repeated twice.  I traded my copy away a while back, so it did not make any of the photos.

Positive Numbers Festival cover.  I was there when these were sold, and I remember it was a frenzy around that table.  Sold out in seconds.

The inside of the numbered Posi Fest cover.

The First Step – “Open Hearts And Clear Minds” LPAn LP version of the “Open Hearts” 7″ was released in Europe on Anger Management Records.  The LP also includes the “Demo 2001” recording.

Layout

Test pressing

The First Step – “What We Know” LPRivalry #18.  The First Step is one of the most energetic bands that I’ve ever seen perform live.  In my opinion, they channel the sound, intensity, and essence of Youth Of Today better than any other band has ever done.  I love their message of “peace” and being aware of how your actions can harm others.  A little bit of that message can go a long way to making this world just a tad better place.  I’ve loved The First Step from day one, and I’m stoked that I was able to maintain a friendship with Stephen after all of these years, eventually helping TFS release records on Rivalry Records.

Full color layout, with big double-sided 12×24″ folded poster insert. Love this layout. We went all out with it, and I’m so glad we did.

Promo poster

Hand numbered test pressing labels. Test pressings come with a regular LP jacket, but no insert.

Pre-covers made for TFS West Coast shows because we had gotten the vinyl in, but not jackets yet.

Though there are other printing variations, these are the unique vinyl colors.

Blue vinyl, 1st pressing vs. 2nd pressing with “II” labels.

Close-up of 2nd pressing “II” labels.

TFS Crew stamps put on the dust jackets of a few of the 2nd pressing blue vinyl copies at the last TFS show.

What We Know was licensed to Not Just Words Records for exclusive vinyl release in Europe. NJW pressed unique vinyl colors that do not overlap with the Rivalry release.

The layout is the exact same on the Not Just Words and Rivalry release, except for the back of the jacket.

Promo poster for a TFS Euro Tour in 2007.

The First Step – “Connection” 7″Rivalry #28

Layout

Test pressing

“Creamsicle” orange/white mix.

There are a few copies of the 2nd press, European Tour red vinyl with transitional blue streaks.

TFS Crew stamps were put on a few of the 2nd pressing Euro Tour red vinyl copies for the last TFS show.

The “Connection” EP was licensed to Waking The Dead records for an exclusive vinyl release in South America.

The layout of the Waking The Dead and Rivalry versions are exactly the same, except for the Waking The Dead sticker on the back.

Waking The Dead test pressing.

Back cover of the Waking The Dead test pressing.

Waking The Dead pre-order cover.

The back of the WTD pre-cover.

There are a few Waking The Dead clear/red transition copies.

Aram made a few “TFS Crew” covers out of some left-over Waking The Dead copies for the React Showcase. He gave them away free to the first few people who walked through the door.

Here’s another view of the TFS Crew that also shows the back cover.

The First Step – “What We Know Sessions” 7″Bottled Up Records, “What We Know Sessions”.  Alternate recordings from the WWK recording session.

Layout

Test pressing with cool acetate cover.

Test pressing labels.

Limited cover with white vinyl.

Black vinyl, numbered labels.

The First Step @ Rivalry Showcase 2008


The First Step @ Rivalry Showcase 2008. Click above to watch, or watch on Vimeo for a larger version.

My The First Step collection, at its peak…

  • the First Step – Demo 2001 (BLACK, Cali Tour cover, #83/100)
  • the First Step – Demo 2001 (BLUE)
  • the First Step – Demo 2001 (BLUE, limited 2nd press cover, #18/100)
  • the First Step – Demo 2001 (RED, Posi #’s 06/12/02 cover w/red print, #3/25)
  • the First Step – Demo 2001 (RED)
  • the First Step – Open Hearts And Clear Minds (TEST PRESS, out of 8. )
  • the First Step – Open Hearts And Clear Minds (CLEAR, 07/05/02 rec release cover, #1/50)
  • the First Step – Open Hearts And Clear Minds (CLEAR, pre-cover w/note about sending $1 for real covers when finished)
  • the First Step – Open Hearts And Clear Minds (CLEAR, Posi Numbers cover #18/100)
  • the First Step – Open Hearts And Clear Minds (WHITE/GREY cow pattern)
  • the First Step – Open Hearts And Clear Minds (CLEAR)
  • The First Step – Connection (TEST PRESS, #1/20)
  • The First Step – Connection (BLACK, out of 110)
  • The First Step – Connection (ORANGE, out of 170)
  • The First Step – Connection (ORANGE CREAMSICLE, out of 9)
  • The First Step – Connection (WHITE, out of 270)
  • The First Step – Connection (RED, out of 1030)
  • The First Step – Connection (RED, TFS Crew stamp, 2nd press, white labels, out of 15)
  • The First Step – Connection (RED, 2nd press, white labels, Euro Tour, out of 270)
  • The First Step – Connection (RED with some BLUE streaks, 2nd press, white labels, Euro Tour, only a few found)
  • The First Step – Connection (BLUE, 2nd press, out of 1270)
  • the First Step – Connection (TEST PRESS, #20/20, Waking The Dead Records – South American Press)
  • The First Step – Connection (RED, Pre-Order cover, #22/50, Waking The Dead Records, South American pressing)
  • The First Step – Connection (CLEAR with some RED streaks, Waking The Dead Records, South American pressing)
  • The First Step – Connection (CLEAR, out of 150, Waking The Dead Records, South American pressing)
  • The First Step – Connection (RED, Regular cover, out of 300, Waking The Dead Records, South American pressing)
  • The First Step – Connection (CLEAR, TFS Crew React Showcase 2010 cover, out of 10)
  • The First Step – Connection (RED, TFS Crew React Showcase 2010 cover, out of 60)
  • The First Step – What We Know Sessions (TEST PRESS, out of 13)
  • The First Step – What We Know Sessions (BLACK, #26/100)
  • The First Step – What We Know Sessions (BLUE)
  • The First Step – What We Know Sessions (WHITE, limited live cover, out of 15)
  • The First Step – What We Know Sessions (WHITE, out of 250)
  • the First Step – Open Hearts And Clear Mind EP LP (TEST PRESS, #3/30)
  • the First Step – Open Hearts And Clear Mind EP LP (BLACK, misprint cover, out of 50)
  • the First Step – Open Hearts And Clear Mind EP LP (BLUE)
  • the First Step – Open Hearts And Clear Mind EP LP (CLEAR)
  • the First Step – What We Know (TEST PRESS, #1/20)
  • the First Step – What We Know (RED w/WHITE SPLATTER, out of 135)
  • the First Step – What We Know (PINK, out of 235)
  • the First Step – What We Know (BLUE, Pre-cover, out of 250)
  • the First Step – What We Know (BLUE, 1st press, out of 605)
  • the First Step – What We Know (BLUE/BLACK SWIRL, 2nd press, out of 215)
  • the First Step – What We Know (BLUE, TFS Crew stamp, 2nd press, II b-side label, out of 35)
  • the First Step – What We Know (BLUE, 2nd press, II b-side label, out of 885)
  • the First Step – What We Know (TEST PRESS, #9/20, EURO PRESS on NJW Records)
  • the First Step – What We Know (GREY, WHITE cover, EURO PRESS on NJW Records, out of 270)
  • the First Step – What We Know (GREY, regular cover, EURO PRESS on NJW Records, out of 270)
  • the First Step – What We Know (BLACK, EURO PRESS on NJW Records, out of 525)
  • the First Step – What We Know (WHITE, EURO Press on NJW, 2nd press for TFS Euro Tour, out of 330)
Advertisements

6 Responses to The First Step

  1. Marlon says:

    Love this band. Stephan gave me his copies of “connections” test press as a Thank you for always supporting them. I hope they make a comeback now that Aaron is coming back.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Kyle, this is so awesome bro. It really brought back some fond memories. You have always been a good friend to me and TFS. And for the record, Rivalry saved TFS. For real.

    Love you man-Stephen

  3. Anonymous says:

    This looks really awesome dude!

    – Niels Portena

  4. Anonymous says:

    “What We Know” Pre-Cover FUN FACT: I originally designed that image for an OUR TURN shirt, but Stephen asked if he could use it for the limited cover instead. Photo is from the Huntington Beach pier. I will try and find it to post later.

  5. Bob Sermon says:

    Is there any way to get my hands on The first step vinyls?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s