NEPA Scene Staff

The Queers celebrate 40th anniversary with punk rock show at Jazz Cafe in Plains on June 15

The Queers celebrate 40th anniversary with punk rock show at Jazz Cafe in Plains on June 15
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From a press release:

It was announced today that longtime pop punk icons The Queers will bring their 40th Anniversary Tour to the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains on Wednesday, June 15.

Northeastern Pennsylvania’s own variety of punk rock bands – Don’t Panic from Stroudsburg, Those Clever Foxes from Scranton, and The Whiskey Bats from Wilkes-Barre – will open the 21+ show.

Doors at the Jazz Cafe (667 N. River St., Plains) open at 6 p.m., and the music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets, which are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the show, are on sale now and can be purchased online via HoldMyTicket.

The Queers are a punk rock band that has been delivering fast, loud, snotty music since the early 1980s, playing the role of beer-sodden teenagers even as they’ve grown into middle age. Their tunes are recognizable for their no-frills pogo punk and purposely puerile lyrics that flaunt bad taste at every turn.

Formed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1982, the group ambled its way through the ’80s, recording a few singles and compilation tracks along the way, most of which were collected on “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” via Lookout Records. Their first full-length album, “Grow Up,” was released in 1990 on a small English label called Shakin’ Street, which promptly went belly up after only 1,000 copies were pressed. Screeching Weasel frontman Ben Weasel convinced Lookout owner Larry Livermore to sign The Queers and, in 1993, the indie label released the Weasel-produced “Love Songs for the Retarded.” This was followed by a yearly salvo of bubblegum punk, from 1994’s “Beat Off” to 1996’s magnum opus “Don’t Back Down.”

After signing with Hopeless Records in 1999, The Queers went through various lineups as vocalist/guitarist Joe King, better known as Joe Queer, remained the only constant. Released in 2000, “Beyond the Valley” marked their first studio album since drummer Hugh O’Neill’s death and, somewhat fittingly, was a relatively darker album than the rest of the band’s prior catalog. A string of releases followed in the early 2000s, including the “Today” EP, “Live in West Hollywood,” and “Pleasant Screams.” A split with The Manges called “Acid Beaters” appeared in 2003, and the classics collection “Summer Hits No. 1” was issued in 2004. Recorded live during a two-day stint at Bernie’s Distillery in Columbus, Ohio, The Queers next released the aptly titled album “Weekend at Bernie’s” in 2006. The record features King joined by Teen Idols’ Philip Hill on bass and Dave Trevino on drums.

That same year, Asian Man Records began reissuing several of the band’s classic albums and, in 2007, released “Munki Brain,” their first album of new material since 2002. The DIY label also commemorated the group’s 25th year with the DVD “The Queers Are Here.” In 2010, The Queers issued their 11th LP, “Back to the Basement.” The next year, they released a split 7-inch with Killtime titled “Alive” via Gonna Puke Records, followed by 2013’s “Ole Maestro,” a 38-song live set recorded in Madrid, Spain in 2009. In 2015, the trio released a limited edition rerecorded version of “Beyond the Valley” entitled “Beyond the Valley Revisited.” Another split 7-inch – “The Queers Regret Making a Record with Bassamp and Dano” – arrived in 2017. 2021 brought not one but two new albums from The Queers – a typically snotty set of originals, “The Queers Save the World,” and their first full LP of covers, “Reverberation.”

This year, The Queers are touring the United States for their 40th anniversary with bands like Teenage Bottlerocket and The Dwarves, returning to NEPA once again this spring. Locally, they have performed at several now defunct venues – Scranton’s Levels in 2018 and the Irish Wolf Pub in 2015, Eleanor Rigby’s in Jermyn in 2011, and Cafe Metropolis in Wilkes-Barre in 2007 and 2008.

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