Jerry Springer has three claims to fame: He was mayor of Cincinnati; he's the millionaire host of a TV show some consider the trashiest form of popular entertainment; and he's responsible for the re-formation of a New York City-based, Crass-influenced peace-punk band called A.P.P.L.E. Springer was familiar with the band's brief but stridently political '80s punk oeuvre, and had been airing A.P.P.L.E.'s old cover of "Blowin' in the Wind" every Friday on his one-time show on the liberal Air America radio network.
The band was founded by singer Jae Monroe and her brother Vinny in 1984, played a lot of benefit shows for leftist causes, and shared its drummer with the band Reagan Youth. A.P.P.L.E. released a 7-inch EP called A Sensitive Fascist Is Very Rare and the classic 1988 Plutocracy LP, breaking up shortly after.
Emboldened by Springer's support, Jae reconstituted the band in March 2006 with new members (drummer Jim Hass from her early '90s group Word Made Flesh, and Calum from Oi Polloi and Final Conflict) and played the first reunion show several months later. A.P.P.L.E.'s activist/pacifist message is as strong as ever, and it's not just straight-up punk -- the band mixes in influences from ska, reggae, blues and heavy metal. (The track "Holy Land" sounds quite a bit like Mötorhead.)
"We've got a growing fanbase [and] kids that we never knew were into us," Jae told Springer on his radio show, in her inimitable Brooklyn accent. "[There's a] movement of these kids that are very politically active and serious about what's going on in the world, and they're only like 14-to-21 years old." And of course there's Springer himself, who promised on the show to jump up onstage and sing with A.P.P.L.E. Hey, it could still happen.
A.P.P.L.E. with Dishonor, Oh Shit They're Going to Kill Us, Blood Vessels to Wires and Machete. 6 pm. Fri., Jan. 19. Belvedere's, 4016 Butler St., Lawrenceville. All ages. 412-687-2555
- Blowin' in the wind: A.P.P.L.E.