Scabby Road
The DEFEX incognito

Formed in the late 1970's to fill the needs and desires of an ever-growing collection of head-bangers, beer-chuggers, and hard-core punk rockers, the Defex enjoyed popularity in the Boulder-Denver area playing at night-clubs, bars, and small concert halls. While billing themselves as "New Wave", the Defex were also punk rockers at heart, drawing influence from The Sex Pistols, The Dammed, Dead Boys, and The Ramones.

Defex in Denver
The DEFEX in Denver

Consisting of three college students and one vagabond musician, the Defex provided it's audiences a high-energy stage show based on a non-stop frenzy of ear shattering music. Playing mostly original music, the fans would whip themselves into a frothing mass of bodies slamming to such tunes as Machine Gun Love, Psycho Surfer, Ripped, Torn, and Tattered, and Those Boss Dudes. Only the near-comatose and very drunk would still be sitting at the end of each set. Their biggest break came when their quick-acting manager Steve Brunner landed a gig as the opening act to The Police at the Rainbow Music Hall in Denver. Even though The Police were just starting out with Roxanne on a single, this was still the biggest thing to happen to The Defex to-date.

Rainbow Music Hall
The DEFEX delight 1500 screaming fans with Dead Heat at the Rainbow Music Hall in Denver
as the opening act for the Police (Spring of '79)

By 1979 The Defex had honed their music and stage presentation to near-professional quality. Local demand for their show was growing, as was their popularity. It was during this time that fast-acting drummer Sonkin sniffed out lone entrepreneur Tom Wacker who, lured by the smell of spilt beer and big bucks, provided financial support enabling the Defex to cut a single. Wacker also supported a move to New York City in order to promote the record and beat the record company's doors in search of a contract. During the Winter of 1979, The Defex packed up a U-Haul and invaded the New York scene with their raunchy style, while based on Long Island. After a month of practice to further tighten an already tight act, the Defex emerged only to find the doors slammed closed in their faces.

Review in the Colorado Daily

After weeks of scouring the city and surrounding metropolis, The Defex landed their first gig at The Fast Lane, a small club in Asbury Park, New Jersey. This night was a mix of several local bands, the only one that comes to memory was an all female (except for the drummer) group called Minx ("Spreading Like A Social Disease"), playing for the benefit of a local gentleman whose name also escapes memory. The Defex were well accepted, although it took a while for the hanging jaws of the numbed audience to return to the closed position. They never knew what hit 'em.

The DEFEX showin' them how it's done at The Fast Lane in Asbury Park, NJ
Home of The Boss

This gig boosted their spirits and the band returned to Long Island with renewed hope and vigor. Shortly thereafter, another gig was landed at CBGB's in the Bowery. Again the band was well received. At the end of the night, the band heard good news! Max's Kansas City, an renowned club in the city, wanted them to play there. The Defex returned to their Long Island home with the feeling that the tide had finally turned.

The Defex at CBGB's
The DEFEX doing their thing while Scott rips out a guitar break
at CBGB's in the Winter of 1979

Unfortunately, a quick check of the books showed a negative cash flow. Both the Fast Lane and CBGB's gigs were freebees and there was rent, food, and heat, which all took money. The well had gone dry. With no means of support, the band had no choice but to return to Colorado and re-group themselves. To the dismay of the others, the drummer decided to remain in New York, where he had family ties. Little did they know that this would ultimately lead to the utter destruction of the Defex.

First gig after returning to Colorado
The DEFEX perform their first gig after returning to Colorado with a new drummer

After the "We're Back" gig with the new drummer (Bill Van Duesen), it was soon apparent that things were just not the same. Singer Murdock elected to return to school full time and left the band. Kulpa (who also returned to school part-time), Bracken, and Van Duesen formed the band "Static" and performed one gig, consisting of half Defex songs and half new material. They then added a second guitarist Phil, changed their name to "The Farmers", dropped the Defex material, and added new material. Shortly before their premiere gig, personalities clashed and they broke up.

Today, the band is spread out all over. Bassist Kulpa lives in Tennessee and has three daughters, has been divorced and re-married in October 2000. He's a consultant currently working in Nashville. Guitarist Bracken is probably still in Colorado with his wife, and is the only member still musically active (I think). He's gone deep underground and his exact whereabouts are unknown. Singer Murdock has since married, has a kid, and is still in Colorado working as a software engineer. Drummer Sonkin, who remained in New York when the band left in 1980, followed his father's footsteps and is a successful stock broker. He too married and has two kids.

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Created 7/29/97 - Last Modified 4/14/09 - Steve Kulpa Mail Icon Nolensville, TN
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