Music » Local Music Profiles

Dow Jones and the Industrials drop anthology at multiple events this weekend

The legendary punk band has shows in Indianapolis, West Lafayette and Bloomington this weekend.



  • Photos by Keith Smith
In 1979, life was a bit lonely for West Lafayette's Dow Jones and the Industrials. With a shared love for all things out-there, Brad Garton, Chris Clark, Greg Horn and Tim North were four punk outcasts living in a city where very few punk outcasts lived.

And nevertheless, they managed to make a name for themselves, both in and out of the state, going down as one of Indiana's most legendary punk acts.

"[In West Lafayette at the time], there were a few heavy rock bands with greasy drunken fat guys, but that was the only thing that I was familiar with," remembers Clark (bass/vocals). "There was a real feeling of, 'How could people fall for all of this stuff?' So we really just wanted to demonstrate what something good was."

Originally from Philadelphia, Horn moved to West Lafayette to attend Purdue, primarily as a way of getting away from his parents. One day while standing outside of the university's Mathematical Sciences Building, he found himself chatting with Clark, who had a strong desire to start a band.

RELATED: See the anthology's contents 

"It was extremely boring in Indiana in general, and in West Lafayette in particular. I really wanted to be in a band, and Greg had a lot of good ideas. He knew a lot of really good music that I had just barely heard and that I liked," Clark says. Many of these bands that Clark speaks of, like Devo, the Stooges and Television, were bands that Horn was introduced to via Philadelphia radio stations. In fact, Horn would even make his way up to CBGB's every now and again, which gave him a good taste of rock's stranger side.

"I saw Devo, and they were fucking awesome," Horn (guitar/singer) says. "Back then, there was nothing like that at all. It's pretty hard for something to blow my mind, but they did."

Once Horn and company got the ball rolling with Dow Jones, fellow West Lafayette weirdos quickly began to latch onto the band.

"It was like people were just sitting in their houses looking out the front window for years, waiting for something to happen. So they were ready. They had all their weird clothes, hair and attitudes," Clark recalls. With this entourage of fans, the group was able to draw fairly large crowds, despite feeling very out of place in West Lafayette.

"There were these people that were just kind of out there for one reason or another, and we all found each other," says Garton (synths, keyboards, etc.), perhaps better known by his nickname of Mr. Science.

Eventually, the band decided it wanted to venture out and find some fellow Indiana punks who they could potentially play shows with. This led Clark and Horn on a road trip to Bloomington, where they saw the Gizmos perform at a rather odd pizza joint/country-western bar called the Bassaloon.

Tim North (from left), Greg Horn and Chris Clark of Dow Jones and the Industrials goof around in front of a West Lafayette garage - PHOTO BY KEITH SMITH
  • Photo by Keith Smith
  • Tim North (from left), Greg Horn and Chris Clark of Dow Jones and the Industrials goof around in front of a West Lafayette garage
"Back then, there really was no audience for punk yet. So these two guys that came in and eventually started dancing were really noticeable to us," remembers the Gizmos' Dale Lawrence. At this show, the Dow Jones guys gave the Gizmos a cassette, which featured several songs that would later appear on the Dow Jones/Gizmos split Hoosier Hysteria LP.

"We loved the music, and we were just kind of thrown for a loop that there was another punk band," Lawrence says. "It's hard to get across how anonymous and uncool punk rock was at that time."

After listening to the cassette, Lawrence and company eventually went to check out a Dow Jones show in West Lafayette, where they were first introduced to the group's bizarre stage setup. Known for having several props on stage, Dow Jones often played next to all kinds of random objects, including mannequins and a cardboard businessman known as "The Dude." Additionally, they would sometimes even invite a friend up on stage to act as the band's secretary.

"We were really going for two things," Clark says. "One was to be really loud and the other was to be really weird."

This Friday, Indianapolis will be treated to one of Dow Jones' truly unique live shows when the band plays at State Street Pub in celebration of a brand new double LP anthology release via Family Vineyard. A collection of tunes spanning the group's illustrious yet short-lived career, Can't Stand the Midwest 1979-1981 features tracks from the band's now sought-after physical releases, as well as some previously unreleased material.

RELATED: Remembering Tim North, who passed away in 2003 

"We had to dig through all the tapes and try to find the originals of everything, or at least the highest quality copies that we could get our hands on," Horn says. "Then, we gave it to Paul Mahern to do the re-mastering. I think it sounds pretty darn good, considering it's 37 years old."

At this show, Vess Ruhtenberg (filling in for Garton, who can't make it to the show) and Mike Doskisill (filling in for North, who passed away in 2003) will join Clark and Horn on stage. And in case you can't make it to this show, Horn hopes to continue "sporadically" playing out with Dow Jones in the future.

If you go in Lafayette: 
Dow Jones and the Industrials and Indiana Punk History Talk 
Spot Tavern, 409 S. 4th St.
Thursday, September 15, 8 p.m. 
$5, 21+

If you go in Indianapolis: 
Dow Jones and the Industrials and Indiana Punk History Talk 
Friday, September 16, 9 p.m. 
State Street Pub, 243 N. State Ave. 
$5, 21+

If you go in Bloomington: 
40th Anniversary of The Gizmos and Dow Jones and the Industrials, Laffing Gas, DJ Donovan  
Saturday, September 17, 8 p.m. 
The Void, 1607 S. Rogers St. 
$15, all-ages 


This Week's Flyers

Around the Web