In 1988, Bill Sassenberger and his wife, Julianna Towns, left the imploding California punk scene to lay roots in Tucson. They brought with them the Toxic Shock Records record store and label, and renamed them Toxic Ranch and Westworld, respectively. Join Sassenberger and co. (including Raw Power, from Italy) in celebrating 20 years, at Vaudeville Cabaret (Sunday, Aug. 3) and Dry River Collective (Monday, Aug. 4, all ages).
What was the first concert you ever saw?
Doobie Brothers, Spokane Coliseum, 1973. I remember the haze, sorta. A clearer memory was my baptism into punk: D.O.A., The Bags and Catholic Discipline, six years later at the Hong Kong Café in Los Angeles' Chinatown.
What CDs are in your changer right now?
Roky Erickson, Gremlins Have Pictures; Mighty Sphincter, The Mighty Sphincter; Rudimentary Peni, No More Pain; Meat Puppets, Meat Puppets; a live Hawkwind CD; No Age, Nouns.
How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?
A couple hundred CDs, maybe a 1,000 LPs, 600 or so 7-inch (records) and about 200 cassettes. I lost my Three Day Stubble 8-track.
Do you download music, and if so, legally or illegally?
I'm too old-school for that; besides, I spend too much time on the damn computer anyway.
What was the first album you owned?
CCR, Cosmo's Factory.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
I resent the question. I plan on outliving all you bastards.
Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about?
What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
I'd rather hear Neil Young than the Misfits.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
Raw Power. My proudest achievement as a record "mogul" was releasing their Screams From the Gutter LP in 1984 and involving myself in their many tours.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Flipper, Generic. Something about that cacophony that merged a snail-like, yet hypnotic beat with a worldview seething with cynicism really struck a chord with me. It destroyed any preconceived notions of what punk was all about and made me more of a skeptic.