I was in the bands Laughing Academy and Tin Brood in the early and mid 1980s with Joe Dean. Prior to Laughing Academy and Tin Brood, Joe and I had been in 3 recording and performing bands together in Santa Barbara: fX, a few Circles and Victor the Florist (I may be posting music from those bands at some point). After playing in bands together in Santa Barbara, we moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and formed Laughing Academy which morphed later into Tin Brood. We wrote a lot of material that never made it onto an album. We were good at writing, but bad at selling ourselves. A lot of our music was recorded live with a single microphone or once or twice off the mixing board at live gigs, but we did also record ourselves on a reel to reel 4-track on a few occasions.

These recordings include myself, Elizabeth Montague, Joe Dean and Thom T (that was the name he went by most of the time, but his real last name was something like Tankionovich) on guitar. Joe and I switched off between keyboards/synthesizer, bass guitar and vocals. Joe was an amazing bass player, I had just started playing bass when we started Laughing Academy. If the bass is ripping, it’s Joe playing, if it’s simple with fuzz on the bass, it’s me. We had several drummers over the years and at the moment I’m not going to be able to tell you all of their full names, but I can tell you that Rod (China) Figueroa (Christian Death, Super Heroines) recorded with us early on when we were Laughing Academy. Guitarist Dag Midtskog (Chinas Comidas) played with us at that time. Also as Laughing Academy, we played and recorded with drummer Steve Roth in 1983/1984 (Steve’s current Spiritchasers project). For a short time we played with the drummer from the band DV8 (Barry Schneider) who we knew because Thom used to play with him in that band. We also played with drummers PK, Mitchell, Chris and Ron (last names unknown, sorry guys). Towards the end of Tin Brood, Joe started playing the drums because we were always losing drummers, Joe had an experimental drum style/drum kit, for instance he played standing up and he used a metal trash can lid as a cymbal, he also played synthesizer. During that time, I took over on bass and didn’t play keyboards/synthesizer, we both still sang lead vocals. For our final live performance at the Roxy in Hollywood, we had two drummers (Joe and drummer PK, who also was playing with ‘Detox’ at that time).

If I sang the song, I wrote the song initially and then took it to the band to collaborate on, and that’s the way it worked with Joe’s songs as well. If he sang it, it means he wrote it and then brought it to the band to write our own parts. A couple of songs may have deviated from this method, but for the most part that’s how it worked.

So far most of the songs here are songs that I wrote and sang, I have more invested in those songs, and they were already in MP3 format. It will take a little work to dig up more of Joe’s songs, but I’ll try to get to that eventually. As a band we did about half my material and half his material.

The is Joe’s bio from his Soundcloud page: Joe Dean was born in a log cabin that he helped his Mother build. He has played bass in fX, A Few Circles, Victor the Florist, Laughing Academy, Noise God, Tin Brood, Crawlspace, Maria Silver, Object:blender, Christian Lunch, Constant Llama, ¿What Street?, The Mooseheart Faith Stellar Groove Band, The Watts Band, Three Eyed Fish, The Jack Brewer Reunion Band, Cast of a Thousand and Sassafras. Joe Dean’s current main project is The Wrinkling Brothers.

Around the time that Tin Brood stopped performing, Joe Dean and I recorded this experimental vocal music.

This post is a work in progress. I will be adding to this collection of songs and images over time.

Thanks for listening,
Elizabeth Montague