Tru Fax and the Insaniacs

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Tru Fax & the Insaniacs (TFI) are a punk/new wave band in the Washington, D.C., area. The voice of the band's lead vocalist, Diana Quinn, has been described as evoking "early Deborah Harry -- sort of Blondie meets The Stooges or New York Dolls." TFI was part of DC's infant punk scene in the late 1970s/early 1980s.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

New wave is a genre of rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music (later) that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

Debbie Harry American singer-songwriter and actress

Deborah Ann Harry is an American singer, songwriter, model and actress, known as the lead singer of the new wave band Blondie. Her recordings with the band reached the number-one charts place in the United States and the United Kingdom on many occasions through 1979 to 1981. Blondie's song "Rapture" is considered the first rap song to chart at number one in the US. Harry also achieved success as a solo artist before re-forming Blondie in the late 1990s. Her acting career includes credits in over 60 films and television programs.


Band members and other projects

The members of TFI are Diana Quinn (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), David Wells (lead guitar, backup vocals), and Michael Mariotte (drums). Artist/musician Libby Hatch, self-proclaimed St. John's College alumni, took a turn on bass guitar in the early 1980s. Hatch was previously with the Shirkers.

St. Johns College (Annapolis/Santa Fe) Liberal arts college with two campuses, Annapolis and Santa Fe

St. John's College is a private liberal arts college with dual campuses in Annapolis, Maryland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, which are ranked separately by U.S. News & World Report within the top 100 National Liberal Arts Colleges. It is known for its distinctive curriculum centered on reading and discussing the Great Books of Western Civilization. St. John's has no religious affiliation.

Quinn is currently involved with several other projects including:

Honky Tonk Confidential

Honky Tonk Confidential is a retro/alt country band from the Washington, D.C. area. The band's latest CD is the result of a collaboration with CBS News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation anchor, Bob Schieffer. Schieffer penned the lyrics to four of the tunes on Road Kill Stew and Other News, and he sings on his own "TV Anchorman." One of HTC's members, guitarist and vocalist Diana Quinn, was a founding member of Tru Fax & the Insaniacs, an early DC punk/new wave band.

A girl group is a music act featuring several female singers who generally harmonize together. The term "girl group" is also used in a narrower sense in the United States to denote the wave of American female pop music singing groups, many of whom were influenced by doo-wop and which flourished in the late 1950s and early 1960s between the decline of early rock and roll and start of the British Invasion. All-female bands, in which members also play instruments, are usually considered a separate phenomenon. These groups are sometimes called "girl bands" to differentiate, although this terminology is not universally followed.


Initially, the band organized their own shows at Hard Art, MOTA, dc space, Madam's Organ, and The Bayou in Georgetown.

The Bayou was a music venue and nightclub located in Georgetown, Washington, D.C..

TFI played its first 9:30 Club show on July 9, 1980. The band became a long-term favorite at the club. They were even there when the original 9:30 Club closed its doors at its 930 F Street location to move to its new location at the intersections of 9th Street, V Street, and Vermont Avenue.

9:30 Club

The 9:30 Club, originally named Nightclub 9:30, also known simply as the 9:30, is a nightclub and concert venue in Washington, D.C. In 2018 the 9:30 Club was named one of the 10 best live music venues in America by Rolling Stone Magazine. The club was originally housed in the ground floor rear room of the Atlantic Building at 930 F Street NW, in the city's downtown area, where it opened on May 31, 1980, with a legal standing capacity of only 199 patrons. In 1996, due to its increasing prominence, the club was moved to a roomier space, its current location at 815 V Street NW, where it anchors the eastern end of the U Street Corridor.

TFI was one of six local bands chosen to record the music featured on a two-CD set which memorializes the closing of the original 9:30 Club. The CD set is titled "9:30 Live - A Time, A Place, A Scene". The CDs were recorded live at the 9:30 Club between December 28, 1995, and January 1, 1996. The following TFI songs are on CD 2: "King of Machines", "Chinese Wall", "7 T.V. Me", and "Washingtron".

In addition to the 9:30 Club CD, TFI recorded a '45 (Washingtron b/w Mystery Date) and an album (Mental Decay, 1982) on WASP records. WASP was a local D.C. label. The band favored its indie status and eschewed major labels.

"Washingtron" is arguably TFI's biggest hit to date. It is a song about life in the nation's Capital City. In the early 1980s, "Washingtron" received quite a bit of air play on local radio stations like WHFS. The song had local appeal, with lyrics such as: "I used to work as a waitron in the lounge at the Hiltron. Now I work for my Senatron and I live in Arlingtron." "Arlingtron" is a reference to Arlington, Virginia, a suburb just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The song also contains era-specific references such as "Accu-tron" watches and the film " Tron ".

TFI played at CBGB and The Ritz in New York City, as well as locations in Philadelphia, Richmond, Ohio, and North Carolina. The band knew that they had finally made it when Washingtonian Magazine named them the "worst band" in 1980 without ever having heard them. This early recognition cemented TFI's status and popularity in the local punk/new wave scene.

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