Before Portland was full of musicians who took pride in the appearance of not really trying [seriously...], there was a band called The Wipers. One of the least talked about aspects of the Jim Chasse story, in fact, is his association with Greg Sage, lead singer of the band. Today, Jason Renaud of the Mental Health Association of Portland posted a link to this video of Sage performing Over the Edge in 1983, from Mike Lastra’s film Northwest Passage. I swear to you: It’s among the best live performances I’ve ever seen.
Renaud and I had a conversation about the Wipers a few months ago after I expressed admiration for their work. I think I may have said I thought they were the best band of all time. He thought I was taking the piss. But I’m serious. For such a band to have come out of early ’80s Portland, which to hear many talk was the ultimate shit hole, makes one ponder what else this city has lost over the last 25 years. Get over there and check out the video.