C86 Show - Indie Pop

The Erasers with David Ebony

August 9, 2021

The Erasers with David Ebony  in conversation with David Eastaugh

The Erasers were part of the ‘70s CBGB art-punk scene that included Television and Richard Hell, and though they made a brief appearance on a (long out-of-print) 1982 ROIR compilation, their music and history were lost for decades to everyone outside of a very small circle of critics, collectors, and old punks. But their one excellent, off-kilter single (“Funny/I Won’t Give Up”) is one of the standouts on Numero Group’s comprehensive, painstakingly curated Ork Records: New York, New York box set, which was released to well-deserved acclaim late last year.

The Erasers began around 1974, the brainchild of artists Susan Springfield (guitar, vocals) and Jane Fire (drums), who both saw the fine art world they were embedded in as too economically exclusive. “I wanted to do something in a more populist way,” Springfield says. “Fine art as I was doing it – you know, making paintings – you spend so much time on them that you can’t just sell them cheaply, and so at the end of the day I felt like if I continued to pursue [an] art career, I would only be able to sell it to rich people, because I would have to get enough money to support myself. Music, on the other hand – you can make that available – it was more immediate, and at that time the shows were, like, two bucks.” Fire calls their philosophy as a band “the dematerialization of art in the extreme.”

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