Monday, September 8, 2008

FAILSAFE - Bravados, A Fistful of Failsafe & Suicide Bridge



First off, a huge thanks to Tim Ayres for contacting me about this very obscure new wave band and very kindly providing the following biographical information and vinyl rips. Nice work, Tim!

Failsafe was a band from the early '80s in Los Angeles which had three releases on their Paris Records label; Bravados (1981), A Fistful of Failsafe (no year listed) and Suicide Bridge (1984), all hard to find today. Failsafe was a mature, understated new wave band playing guitar-based songs with some innovative keyboard effects, vocal harmonies and often interesting musical ideas.

The band included:

Tim Mockler (12 string, lead vocals)
Tom Lloyd (bass, lead vocal)
Tod Polidori (drums, vocals)
Melanie (keyboard, vocals on Suicide Bridge album)


Bravados, the debut LP, includes a wide variety of rather unconventional new wave songs including a cover of the movie theme In Like Flynt.

The band followed the release with A Fistful of Failsafe, a 5-song EP with a fuller production sound and an elaborate cover design imitating Spaghetti Western soundtracks (so much so that it it has mistakenly been listed around the Web as a soundtrack album). It featured a new wave style cover of Hey Joe, a popular song dating back to the '60s performed by various artists (the most famous version is a 1966 recording by The Jimi Hendrix Experience). The EP also includes a remake of Failsafe's own Monica, which originally appeared on Bravados.

Suicide Bridge, the band's second and final LP, took the subtle guitar effects a bit further and flirted with science fiction themes.


Guitarist Tim Mockler went on to play with Los Angeles Band, which recorded a CD of famous rock songs translated into Spanish.


Check out all three releases at the links below. Tim, thanks again for your efforts in pulling everything together!

Failsafe - Bravados (LP, 1981)

Track listing:
1 - You Finally Got It
2 - Jump Bop
3 - Monica
4 - Christine
5 - Flynt
6 - Give Me All Your Love
7 - Rock and I'll Love You
8 - Dust on the Mirror
9 - Maria
10 - You Live Your Life
11 - Surfing Guam
12 - Blood and Sand

Failsafe - A Fistful of Failsafe (EP, no year listed)

Track listing:
1 - Hey Joe (Main Title)
2 - Is It You?
3 - Monica
4 - Talk Back
5 - Suzie Wong (Love Theme)

Failsafe - Suicide Bridge (1984)

Track listing:
1 - Is This the Way It's Done?
2 - 1943 (in Germany)
3 - Shout
4 - I Can Find My Own Way
5 - The Evacuation of Star Station 7
6 - Sixteen Years Ago
7 - Rebel Saint / Luv, Luv
8 - Big Town / Airport
9 - AO
10 - Hullabaloo

33 comments:

Curty Ray said...

Thanks!! I enjoy your posts. Thanks for taking the time and effport to supply us with this great piece of New Wave history!

Daniel said...

Indeed! thanks so much for putting light on these lost new wave gems!

Franko6677 said...

Glad you enjoyed guys, thanks for the comments.

Troy Polidori said...

Thanks for the post! I'm actually Tod Polidori's son, and I just happened to stumble upon this website (the guys think its pretty cool). Here's a bit of news for you: Tom Lloyd is putting together an album full of unreleased tracks for release sometime in 2009 in order to keep the copyrights up to date.

Franko6677 said...

Hey Troy, thanks for your comment! I'm glad you found the site and that the guys think it's cool. Thanks for the info on the unreleased tracks album, that's great.

MichaelConners said...

I used to work with Tim and Tom at the N. Hollywood "Licorice Pizza" record store in the late 70's/early 80's.

Funny guys. Good musicians, too. I remember going to the Windjammer/Failsafe shows in Reseda, etc.

Lots of great memories.

Nice post about them.

Tim said...

how about that German EP on Jaxpax Records...

Tim said...

Tim Mockler here...Failsafe...we had three songs released in West Germany in 1982...it contained "It's All Natasha's Fault"..."Run Silent Run Deep" and "We Must Not Pass This Way Again"...they used a colorized version of our Bravado's cover pic as the art...

suzanneinsacto@yahoo.com said...

Hey, guys - I was a friend and Failsafe fan back in the day in L.A. Miss your performances of "Hey Joe" and "Talk Back" at Madame Wong's. Miss my Failsafe albums too. Best, Sue Tollefson P.S. Thanks for the guitar lessons, Tim, but I was hopeless. Stuck with singing and became a lawyer. Who'd have known?

Jer said...

Ah, I remember them when. Ran across some of the original 'Fistful' cover pics while cleaning just last week.

Guessing that record still lurks in someone's soundtrack bin, i.e. which of these things is not like the others?:

http://www7a.biglobe.ne.jp/~katers-murr/USA-westerns-001.html

Hope Tom finds 'Do You Feel Lucky?' and that dream song we wrote with him for the comp, and that the lads are all well.

Tim said...

hey...a big hello to Jer & Sue...yes...we have Do You Feel Lucky...new digital master...were planning on releasing all of that stuff at the end of summer...Tom & Tod and I have been rehearsing for a reunion show this summer as well...we are doing the classics...Let Me...Christine...Run Silent Run Deep...Radio Waves...all the best...

Tim 'Timoteo' Mockler...

Tim Howe said...

wow!

I was a dj in a prior life, and my promo copy of Bravados is one of my prized possessions. I break it out on occasion for friends who express an interest in that style of music. Universally they are shocked that they never heard of Failsafe. It wasn't for my lack of trying in Quincy, IL in the early 80's!

so glad to find this reference . . . One of the true serendipitous pleasures of the internet.

thanks for the music & the memories!

Anonymous said...

C.O. I remember when Mark White & Mark Brown were in the Band and it was called "Windjammer"! They were a great "Live Band" and I video taped (2) shows @ Madame Wongs China Town & Santa Monica. They also opened for Josie Cotton & The Knack in Santa Monica, early 80's.
Tim Mockler was a very good song writer, one could say he was playing like "The Edge" in U-2 long before the band! There was a conflict of interest with Holly (A&R) and I played in different bands with Todd Polidori for 10 years before Windjammer & Failsafe!
Say "Hi" to Chuck, Donna & Lacy!

Anonymous said...

Thoughts On Failsafe: Richard Blade, Teenage Girls, Tom Eagle, KROC, Madame Wongs East & West, Josie Cotton, The Knack, Christine(Seagull), Lisa Mockler(Cancer), Holly, One Leg Liz & Julie, Sex, Black Panties, Hey Joe, Monica, U-2Sound, Homegrown Jam Orange County, Zzyzx Records, A Fool & His Money, No Thanks No Credit,
Good Live Band With No Direction No Manager No Rules = FAIL SAFE

timoteo said...

To Chris O...the Connors boys...Sue. T. ...Liz Hole/Vidal...Charity...Freedner...Treadwell.....et all...to the Failsafe minion...
The reunion in 2009 was a blast...we ruled and killed...just like the old days at Madame Wongs...
We just tracked some new songs...and I mean...Just!
Last weekend...for the first time in eons...
...the original Failsafe...Tim...Tom...Tod...
We tracked six songs...!
...another EP...our first in years...
Somethings never change...

PS...
I think we're doing a couple of shows this summer...but to be honest with you...those Failsafe guys never let on to their shit until it's like already

Anonymous said...

To Tim M.

El Supremo says hello! Rock on Failsafe!!

Anonymous said...

I played lead guitar with them in the early 80's, did Madam Wongs, Bullwinkles and stuff in LA. Did a few albums with them too. Interesting to find they have a memoir page here. I still think they were under marketed. Great Singing and Bass by Tom, loved the 12 string Rickenbacker by Tim.. Tom was a great drummer too. Miss the good old days. Where's Will in all of this?

Hideki Francis Onda

http://hfo.jp

tim said...

From Tim to Frank (Hideki)...
Loved your guitar work...you were an important part of Failsafe...you were just what the doctor ordered at the time...
send us your email and we'll send you our new tracks...

thanks for the kind words about my Ricky-12...still have it...part of my arm...

tim said...

From Tim to Frank (Hideki)...
loved your leads...you were a big part of our sound at that time...
we did some great shows...those parties on the coast were amazing...I never knew there were so many college students until we started playing your frat parties...
leave us your email so we can send you our new tracks...
You rule...
Tim

Anonymous said...

Good to see some things never change in the Failsafe universe: Chris O. is as CLUELESS as ever!

Tim said...

Thanks for all the great memories posted here in the comments section to my album uploads, thanks to this great blog. I just wanted to share this wonderful music with others and had no idea band members and their friends and fans from the day would add their thoughts. Failsafe Forever.

Tim Ayres

Tim said...

A live video of a reunion gig at Paladino's of "Hey Joe", posted on YouTube. Tight!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa0citIJ1gE

Frank - Vinyl Goldmine said...

Yes, I think this is the most commented post on the site. Thanks to all for sharing their memories and updates.

bstefans said...

These links seem to be dead and I'd love to hear these records. Can you repost?

Russ Mitchell, said...

Tim Mockler...Just a quick hello from the guy that cut Suicide Bridge at Westworld. I'm on the east coast since 92. Hope you're still making music.
Russ M.

Tim Mockler said...

Russ...great to hear from you...you made Suicide Bridge work...it was a very 'cut and paste' style of recording...and you pulled it off...great job

I'll be doing a solo show at the Universal Bar & Grill in NoHo on November 11th...8PM sharp...I'll being doing a lot of Folk Rock songs from the 60's for fun...

Tim Mockler

Art Freeman said...

Tell Tod "Hi" from an old friend who lost track of him, Art Freeman. We shared an apartment when we lived in Hollywood. I played 12-string and sang, ended up in broadcasting, back easwt in Virginia.

artfree@cox.net

Tim Mockler said...

From Tim Mockler...

Tom Lloyd has an album coming out soon...great stuff...
Melanie just released here first solo CD...a superb work...
I, myself have a 3 disc CD coming out in December called Failsafe...I used the name for fun, to screw with the other bands calling themselves Failsafe...LOL...they won't be able
to cope with this one...Arthur Lee meets Copland...
done deal...

Tim Mockler said...

From Tim Mockler

Tom Lloyd has an CD coming out soon...I've heard it...it's great...reminds me pleasantly of David Crosby's first solo LP...
Melanie just recently released her CD...very strong...very UK...
I have a 3-disc CD coming out...33 songs...called Failsafe...I only used that name to screw with all of those UK bands calling themselves Failsafe...screw them...LOL
hope all is well on Earth for you...this world does just keep spinning

Ewa said...

Hello,
Is there any chance to re-upload the links? I know only one song by them, "Is It You" and it's so fantastic... I would be very happy if I could listen to the rest of their music :)

Timothy Mockler said...

Mockler here...now living in Colorado...see a lot of Failsafe vinyl available on the web...also available in record stores in Boulder...so cool...

Anonymous said...

Praying for Tim!

So cool "anonymous" mentioned "BLACK PANITIES". I am the girl in "BLACK PANTIES" in the video. I also sang on the track.

Those were the days! They were a blast. Was at all their shows, Friends with all the peeps mentioned. Played music with most of them too!

Thank you Failsafe!

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. Tim. You're missed...