|The DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES' history begins on May 2, 1982 around 4:00pm, in the city of Houston,TX. It was on this day that the musically aggressive quartet we now know as D.R.I. made their first Dirty Rotten noise and called it a song. Back then it was Spike Cassidy (guitar), Kurt Brecht (vocals), Eric Brecht (drums), and Dennis Johnson (bass).
The group started practicing at Kurt and Eric's parents home, where the brothers lived amongst the "Madman" (their father). They practiced a few nights a week around 5:00pm, just as the Madman would be on his way home from a hard day at work. He would open his front door only to be blasted with 120db of the band's horrendous attempt to make music. The Madman would then pound on their jam room door until he was let in so that in turn, he could throw them out of his house calling them such things as "... you bunch of dirty rotten imbeciles". This is how D.R.I. got their name.
2 months later, on July 2,1982, the band played their first show at Joe Star's OMNI, in Houston.
On November 6th & 7th of 1982 D.R.I. recorded their first release, the Dirty Rotten EP, stuffing 22 songs into 18 minutes on a 7" EP that played at 33 rpm's. Only 1000 copies of this EP version were pressed, making it now a very rare collector's item. Demand caused this EP to be pressed into a 12" LP version, released in 1983, appropriately called Dirty Rotten LP. Leaving the underground music scene thriving for more, DRLP became a major success and also an inspiration for many new bands at the time. Soon after D.R.I. was labeled the fastest band in the world.
In 1983 D.R.I. moved to San Francisco, where they lived in their van and ate at soup kitchens in between gigs. Dennis Johnson quit the band and returned home to Texas. He was replaced with Sebastion Amok, and within a few months D.R.I. found themselves on the "Rock Against Reagan" tour with the Dead Kennedy's. At the conclusion of this tour, they replaced Sebastion Amok with Josh Pappe'.
Their next release was the 4 song, 7", Violent Pacification EP, in 1984. After touring in the summer of 1984, Eric Brecht got married and left the band. He was replaced with Felix Griffin.
D.R.I.'s second full length release, Dealing With It , came in March 1985. The group toured extensively in support of the album. Sometime during the recording of the album, Josh took a leave from the band. Mikey Offender (bass player of the Offenders) was asked to play for the album, although Spike played bass on the songs that Mikey didn't have time to learn.
The songs on DWI pointed slightly towards a metal direction, but still remained very hardcore. Almost legendary is the band's recording of "Madman", where Kurt's dad is mad and disturbs a rehearsal. The band gains a real cult status, supported by such fans as Dave Lombardo (Slayer), who tells everyone he's influenced by D.R.I.
On April 26th, 1986, they recorded their show at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, and released the video, which was entitled Live At The Olympic.
Their third album, Crossover, released in 1987, was perfectly named since the songs on this album had a strong metal sound to them. As the band began to "crossover" to thrash, their songs became longer, slower, and more complex. The press has called D.R.I. the major band of the "crossover" movement, a style that combined punk, hardcore, and metal. This music invited a mixed audience of punks, skinheads, and metal fans to their shows, who introduced things like stage diving and slam dancing.
The 'Live at the Ritz' video was recorded next, on June 27th 1987, at 'the Ritz' in New York, during the band's worldwide Crossover tour. Also in 1987, one of their songs, 'Snap' appeared on a compilation (with other bands supporting some cause) entitled P.E.A.C.E.
In February of 1988, the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles returned to the studio to record Four Of A Kind. The songs on this album have even more of a metal sound to them, and production is the best it's ever been. They even released a music video for the song 'Suit and Tie Guy'. At the same time, the Dirty Rotten LP was remixed to include the songs from the Violent Pacification EP, and was re-released.
The band toured Europe again to support the Four of A Kind album, then once home in the U.S., Josh Pappe' leaves the band because of an offer to play for Gang Green. He is replaced by John Menor.
September 1989 brought the release of Thrash Zone. Two music videos were released from this album. One for 'Beneath the Wheel' and the other for 'Abduction'. Sometime after this, Felix Griffin leaves the group and is replaced by Rob Rampy.