NEPA Scene Staff

Pop punk band The Queers performing at the Irish Wolf Pub in Scranton on Dec. 1

Pop punk band The Queers performing at the Irish Wolf Pub in Scranton on Dec. 1
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From a press release:

Kicking off a national winter tour in just a few days, The Queers will bring their fun, tongue-in-cheek, and occasionally controversial pop punk to the Irish Wolf Pub in downtown Scranton on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Joining them that night will be local bands Heart Out, Locket Love, and National Anxiety. Doors at the Irish Wolf (503 Linden St., Scranton) open at 7 p.m., and tickets will be sold at the door for $10. For more information, see the Facebook event page.

The Queers were formed in 1982 by Portsmouth, New Hampshire native Joe King, a.k.a. Joe Queer. Supposedly, the name “Queers” was used simply to poke fun at what he called the “art fag” community in New Hampshire.

The band originally broke up in 1984, but reformed with Joe Queer and a new lineup in 1990. That year, the band signed with Shakin’ Street Records and released their first album, “Grow Up.” The album earned the band notoriety within New England, but with the release of their next album, 1993’s “Love Songs for the Retarded,” on Lookout Records, their following grew to larger proportions.

In 2006, after releasing six albums on Lookout, the band rescinded their master rights from the label, citing breach of contract over unpaid royalties. Later that year, they signed with Asian Man Records.

The Queers play a Ramones-derived style of pop punk, commonly and appropriately referred to as “Ramones-core.” Much like the Ramones, common lyrical themes are girls, drugs, alcohol, and having fun. Musically, the band deviates slightly from the driving rhythm guitar sound of the Ramones and augments their songs with harmony vocals, hand claps, keyboards, and guitar solos; they have been described as “the Ramones meets The Beach Boys.”

Ben Weasel of Screeching Weasel frequently collaborates with Joe Queer to write their songs. The band is also well-known for the variety of cover versions they include on their records and in live appearances. Artists covered by The Queers include The Beach Boys, the Ramones (including a complete re-recording of their third album, “Rocket to Russia“), The Mr T Experience, Skeeter Davis, The Fantastic Baggys, The Who, The Undertones, The Hobos, Tommy James and The Shondells, Helen Love, and many more.

Read NEPA Scene’s interview with Joe Queer back in 2011 here.