Old punks still talk about Greg Sage with unmitigated reverence, both in Portland and worldwide. For fans of Gibson SGs, of vacuum tubes, of Marshall stacks, this dude with the lax do-it-yourself attitude walked through a solid wall of feedback and smacked you in the head. Clearly a big Hendrix fan but with a sneer, with a small town broken heart, and with an underrated voice which frantically messaged pitiful loneliness. The Wipers were immediately great with Greg backed by Dave Koupal and Sam Henry for the first album, Is This Real?, from 1979 first released on Trap Records, now rereleased on Jackpot Records. On that seminal album is the bleak anthem of the moment, Alien Boy, which captured the fears and fantasies of Greg’s friend Jim Jim; that he would be hunted and killed by cops.

What stepped Greg above others was his dedication to the sound. The sound needed to be well made, well wrought, and filled with passion and intensity; it was a form of telepathy, a message from me to you. From the others, well, the best of intentions, at best.

Often after midnight, circa 1979, you’d find Greg hanging with Jim Jim or other pals, drinking bad coffee at Quality Pie, wondering about the future or debating Lou Reed, smoking endless cigarettes and complaining about Reagan and hippies and everything between. It was a cheap club to join, and you’d think these were losers, castouts, runaways, teenage alcoholics, art school drop outs and ne’er do wells. Some yes, most no. At least they had found each other.

Time passes, things happen, people change.

2006 Chasse was dead, killed by ignorant cops. Now Alien Boy is being resurrected by Portland filmmaker Brian Lindstrom as a backdrop for a documentary about what happened to Jim Jim – James Chasse. It’s a grassroots effort, worthy of your support, from a up and coming director, director of Finding Normal (which was privately screened for Tom Potter and Randy Leonard last week to school them on what’s happening on their own streets), and other powerful non-fiction films.

No One Wants An Alien from Over The Edge, 1983 by The Wipers.

Looking from the inside you feel,
Nothing on the outside is real.
Does it really show?
All the other kid’s put you down,
No one ever wants you around.
No one wants an alien.

Never ever thought you could feel
Cause everything around you stands still
But will they ever know?

Dreaming of a place far away
Know that you were born here a stray
Does it really show?

Can’t make it playing their games,
When everyone plays it all the same
No one wants an alien
Never ever thought you could feel.
Cause everything around you stands still.
But will they ever know?

Looking from the inside you feel,
Nothing on the outside is real.
Does it really show?

The vision keeps coming at you still,
Cause something deep inside you is real.
But will they ever know?

Never ever thought you could feel.
Cause everything around you stands still.
No one wants an alien.

EXTRA – Zeno Records
EXTRA – Reunite The Wipers on MySpace
EXTRA – Neo Boys Pat Baum and Kim Kincaid remembering Portland punk of the late 1970s (MP3)

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