Box o' Laffs was a post-punk band formed at UCSC around 1981, most notable for the occasionally hilarious and usually demented lyrics by its singer, Eric Curkendall and for its bass player: David Lowery, who founded Camper Van Beethoven a couple of years later. Chris Hart and Chris Molla were also in the band. It might not be too much of a stretch to say that many of the elements that Camper Van Beethoven later made use of and became famous for such as a rampant eclecticism and an interest in absurdist/situationist posturing was important to the overall atmosphere created by the Boxers. Important points of reference would be the Captain Beefheart, Art Bears, Blurt, Bauhaus, Flipper,LA hardcore bands, PIL, Rick James, The Police, The Contortions, the Talking Heads, Big Youth, Mikey Dread, and Eek-A-Mouse.
Despite their name, the comedic element was in direct competition with an overbearing and serious ambition to create funky grooves between changing the topic in mid sentence to the goth thing. Box O' Laffs continued to gig and develop their sound around Chris Hart's minimalist melodic rhythm guitar work and Eric Curkendall's increasingly solipsistic and non-referential lyrics until 1986, by which time there was a second guitarist (Joaquin Martinez) and a much more solid rhythm section in bassist Flip Sophie and drummer Vivek Bald. The interest in Prince and Parliament Funkadelic was getting thrown together with a Sonic Youth and the Swans thing. Though to be fair, the Laffists were well into their own sort of Kenny Scharf hallucination generating algorithm when the singer Eric Curkendall quit, unaware that the band was only carrying on for Eric's edification and out of a fear that he might go off and do something better on his own, which as we all know today (2007) never happened. What happened to them all? I don't know, I'm too lazy to go and research it.
That band put on a great show in all of it's incarnations. Several of us fans still have the | dogbook album and love it just as much today as back then. VERY good stuff. Eric didn't give himself enough credit. -LH Link title