It’s December 1980 in Worcester, Massachusetts. At the community radio station WCUW, outsider psych-folk legend Bobb Trimble is playing songs from his recently self-released debut LP, Iron Curtain Innocence, when one of his fans, a second-year Clark University student named Kris Thompson, stops by to introduce himself. The two become fast friends, and by the first of the next year, Trimble starts hanging around for basement practices and house show parties put on by The Prefab Messiahs, a band Thompson just started playing in.
The Prefabs started in 1981 as a project coordinated by Xeth “Xerox” Feinberg, a college senior recently returned from some time abroad in the UK. During one drunken night in Europe spent criticizing '80s consumer culture and the general state of things, a peer of Xeth’s made a reference to the “prefab messiahs” who were controlling the American mainstream mindset: Ronald McDonald, the Pillsbury Doughboy, and other “friendly face[s] of corporate fascism.” Hyped up on some German Expressionism classes he’d recently taken, Xeth knew he eventually needed to start a band with this name. When he returned to the US, facing forthcoming graduation into a rough economy and bleak post-grad prospects (sound familiar?) he did just that, and the Prefab Messiahs were born-- a noisy psychedelic band commited equally to writing weirdo pop songs and being socially critical punx. The band lasted about 16 months.Read More