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The Imports (1979-1980)
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The Imports: Ben Krug, Joe Strell, Tom Krug, and Tom Wall at Tuts - Photo by Peter Strell
The Imports forged their unique brand of post-punk in the quiet and tree-lined neighborhood of Hyde Park on the South Side of Chicago in the spring of 1980. Making up the core of the Imports were Ben Krug (vocals), Tom Krug (guitar) and Joe Strell (bass). Like many bands, the Imports went through a series of drummers including John Krug, who helped establish the Imports as one of a scarce few Chicago punk bands in 1980, Alec Dale, who accompanied the outfit through its transition from punk to post-punk, and finally Tom Wall, who with his inimitable minimalism completed the band's singular sound that would prove to be decades ahead of its time.
Initially, the Imports played a quick pop punk set of originals inspired by late seventies American and British punk acts such as Iggy Pop, the New York Dolls, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Jam. Their repertoire soon swelled to over sixty originals, few of which ran much longer than two minutes, if that. The songs were fast and to the point, their earnest vocals and basic harmonies backed by driving durms, a melodic three-string bass, and the grist of a Gibson SG Junior Les Paul pumped through a Fender Twin Reverb. However, soon after their Chicago debut at the club Ann Arkees on March 6, 1980, the Imports traded their high-intensity pop-punk bombast for a hypnotizing style wrought of brooding melancholy.
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