Greg Owen, Rolf Berteig, Craig Mueller and Dan Peters
The White Boys and Girls
Melissa and Rolf up top,
Tammy and Dan below
Dan, Melissa and Rolf Berteig
White Boys poster
The White Boys
The White Boys were a Hip Hop group that Dan Peters was part of with Craig Mueller, Greg Owen and Rolf Berteig in the mid 1980s. They all met at Garfield High School in Seattle, and are still friends making music together. Garfield was a very eclectic place at the time, and the influence of Hip Hop cannot be underestimated. The Beastie Boys had opened the door for white kids to embrace Hip Hop in a more personal way, and their weaving together of punk, rap, rock, soul, R&B, and jazz like Pharrell does now was similar to our musical choices. Our group had a wide range of influences from The Stooges to Public Enemy, The New York Dolls to Funkadelic, Led Zeppelin to The Ramones. I also remember Dan’s passion for Joy Division and The Fall as well, he wore his Joy Division t-shirt with their Unknown Pleasures cover on it regularly.
Rolf had access to some cool vehicles including a party van and a vintage Range Rover. In my romantic memories we were like the movies Rock and Roll High School or Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High rolling out of the party van with a plume of smoke following us. Everyone also gathered at Al Arrien’s shop class at Garfield, making silk screened T-shirts (like the KISW rock logo) and flyers for the White Boys. There is hilariously sexist flyer with one of the early nude pictures of Madonna that were published in Playboy in 1985 and it says “You know you want it baby.” We were a mixed group of guys and girls, and this was before being politically correct really hit, so it was just punk and rebellious to advertise the group like that. I think Craig may have been the mastermind behind that flyer.
I saw Greg Owen said the White Boys opened for Soundgarden at the Central Tavern in his remarks here, I could not remember how in the world they got that show. Tammy Watson of Kill Sybil, Krista Paulsen and myself were the females in the posse of friends, and Tammy and I ended up being the white girls for the show. In very uncharacteristic outfits, we had on short sixties dresses and high heels, with the more common wigs also sported. We were 15 or 16 years old, and were allowed into the over 21 club for the show, but were supposed to leave after the performance. We all drank a lot back then, so I do not remember much from the actual performance other than that Tammy or myself may have fallen off the riser we were on during our vigorous go-go dancing. Right after the show Tammy and I wiped off the dresses and returned to Doc Martens and cut-off t-shirts to blend into the crowd.
Somewhere I also have a tape with Nils Bernstein and Tammy Watson’s “excellent adventure” from the mid 80s sharing cuts from Dan’s discography on the college radio station KCMU where Mark Arm and Bruce Pavitt also DJ’d in the 80s. It is a charming romp through Dan’s many bands including recordings of Bundle of Hiss, Feast, and the White Boys. If I find the tape I will share some of their lyrics here, Rolf even name checks his parents in one of the songs. Thanks fellas for all the good times, you made the teen years more bearable.
"Our friend Craig Mueller put the White Boys together when the Beastie Boys were really big. It was Dan, Craig, myself and our friend Rolf Bertieg. This was 84-85. Craig would write the lyrics, and I think we went into the Dutchman studio (where Mudhoney would end up practicing) to record. Melissa was talking about the time we opened for Soundgarden at the Central Tavern in Pioneer Square. We were all way under age, so we had to come through the back door. Unfortunately, I took way too much acid, so whenever it was my turn to rap, I just stood there frozen. Oh well. There is supposedly a video of the show, though I've never seen it."
I would like to say thanks to Greg and Melissa for all photos and informations. Hugs, love and respect, M.Anttila 2014
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