Well, if you made it this far, it meant that you're Brave. And Curious. As we certainly were, too. And still are.
So, there's that.
It was a lot of work, like archeology, to dig back 40 years and see what might be left to reexamine. It's amazing how much more than nothing survives. To the extent we despised the past, we could see that soon this would be the past, too, hardly worth hanging onto. "No More Nostalgia" was a favorite slogan among my pals. My attitude at the time was that none of it was important - a new Jerusalem of fairness and equality lay just over the horizon where much greater things would be taking place. We tried our best to make that happen, practicing, writing, exemplifying. We played a LOT of benefits, and helped keep some public health clinics like Aradia open for sure.
Well, we've found these posters, and we have these recordings, and our memories, but they're really fragile. In talking recently with my bandmates, I asked them, "What's your best memory? What's your worst?" And each of them had completely different answers.
As I listen to the remastered recordings, I'm struck by the fierce creativity and energy. Speaking for twenty-something year-old self, I thought we were part of an explosion of autonomy and anti-archist independence that could overthrow Reaganism and change the world. I still think that's a worthwhile project, and it's amazing that the issues right now are so similar to 40 years ago. Who's the President or the police gonna attack next? It doesn't seem like much changed.
10 years after our little heyday, some Seattle bands and record labels went on to notable success. Did any part of Student Nurse's DNA live in those bands? Certainly Helena's example of how a woman could front a loud band and knock out rippin' guitar noise fits into a heritage. Does Student Nurse music fit onto the root of some kind of a "grunge" tree? Hmm. Nobody likes the "G" word in the Northwest : it's meaningless to anyone familiar with the breadth of music, and the breadth of music from this region. Certainly some important folks in the that next more successful generation of bands saw (and I hope they enjoyed) our band. Perhaps we planted some seeds.
But more than any particular music , Student Nurse demonstrated how to make and perform music we loved, because we loved it. We demonstrated how to create something from nothing, how to do your own thing, how to THINK FOR YOUSELF & DO IT YOURSELF.
Thanks for dropping in.
Eric Muhs, September 2021
prime mover, collector, archiver, tape restorer, & digital sub-genius
special thanks to:
All the folks who made posters, a lot of you are unknown to us. If it was silkscreened, it came from Helena. If it had rubberstamps, probably Tom. Black& white xerox propaganda probably by Tom B., handwritten xerox often by Sharon. Some cut-n-paste by Eric. Photos mostly by Randy Hall and Eric. It's amazing that this much is still floating around out there on the interweb.
Helena, John, & Tom - we made some greatness, huh ?
Dennis White, who suggested the project and was always in our corner
Steve Turnidge, who did such an amazing and patient job turning these recordings into something
David Javelosa, who produced the Recht Op Staan single and is still really fun to chat with.
Gretchen Olson, always our number 1 fan
and Maggie, Andy, Val, Sara S, Sarah O,
Peggy, Matra, Heather, Sid, Ben, Jack, Tom,
Daniel, Matt, Brad, Billie, Milton,
David, Glenn, John, Lain, Gabi, Steve,
Deran, Perry, Marc, Einar, Liz, Louise,
Maire, David, Ward, Joe, Mark, Jo, Hal,
Uldis, Rhoda, Judi, Sharon, Sue Ann, Bob,
Jeff, Ray, Randy, Jennifer, Gordon, Art, Kathleen
and there must be a whole lotta of folks who danced.
Eric still does a lot of recording.
The other folks have done music over the years, but most of it is kind of hidden. I've encouraged them to put some up, but not so much...
"In her hair, snow flower, proud of her victory for the free generation"