Wasted Lives / Phil Smith
Wasted Lives were formed in November 1978 by singer Phil Smith, guitarist Colin Griffiths, and bassist Mary-Jo Kopechne (Mary Armstrong). Guitarist Brad Kent was a founding member of the band, but left to join the Avengers. Phil Smith was a journalist writing for Simon Fraser University’s The Peak; he also contributed to SnotRag and Public Enemy. Wasted Lives disintegrated in summer 1979 when Mary-Jo joined the Modernettes; but not before they recorded the incendiary proto-hardcore tune Wirehead for the Vancouver Complication album. In October, they released the posthumous single, Divorce b/w False Hopes, on their own Spoken Records label. The single’s B-side was actually credited to Big Black Puppets, an ad-hoc combo consisting of Phil and Mary with Bill Napier-Hemy on guitar and Dimwit (credited as Ed Norton) on drums.
Phil Smith acted as the manager of The Dishrags during 1980. In 1981, he fronted the Doors spoof Jimbo & The Lizard Kings, one of many bands operating within the Bud Luxford stable of “fuck bands.” Smith formed his next serious project, Corsage, with childhood friend Bill-Napier Hemy. In November 1981, Corsage released the cassette Rome Burns, Corsage Sings, which included the song Shame I Feel. Corsage continued throughout 1982-84 with various musicians. In March 1983, the best selections of Smith’s various projects were released on The Phil Smith Album, the debut release of the new Zulu Records label, and a music video was shot for The Shame I Feel. Phil Smith and Bill Napier-Hemy continue to record and perform together from time to time, usually under the Corsage moniker.
Les sez: Corsage was a parody of Visage and the new-romantic movement. "Phil the K" was a capable singer, but he also had a talent for drawing musicians into projects that always had a certain clear-eyed high-spirited parody. He now teaches English and Humanities at Emily Carr University.