Drag City

J.T. IV - Cosmic Lightning

"Like a bolt from the black, Cosmic Lightning has struck again -- but who felt the shock the first time around? The sounds of J.T. IV were too much for 1980s Chicago. Now they can be truly absorbed, 20 years after they first flashed. Rock and roll often grows out of harsh circumstances. John Timmis IV survived a broken childhood and a nightmarish adolescence, ending up homeless and hustling on the streets after being committed to a mental hospital by his mother in the mid-70s. At New Trier High School on Chicagos North Shore, he obsessed over the Velvets and David Bowie and taught himself how to play guitar. Two years later, he recorded his first 45, Waiting for the C.T.A. backed with Song For Suzanne and Death Trip. Then came In The Can (written during his institutional stay), which was included on the B-side of his second single, Destructo Rock. These singles were pressed in runs of a hundred or two -- and there are only two known extant copies of the first release. Both were recorded at Odyssey Studio on Michigan Avenue and released on J.T.s Rock And Roll Records imprint. John did his best to publicize his work, giving away copies of Destructo Rock all around town. During the 90s, rare sightings were reported at record stores, and rumors persist that a few 45s can still be found in jukeboxes in Europe. Sadly, Johns talents didnt include selling his records, and the copies he gave away havent survived in any great numbers. After an odd absence in which he claimed to have been horribly disfigured in a car accident, John rebounded in 1987, and released his last single under the name Frankenstein. The Cosmic Lightning album was compiled from his singles discography. Additionally, he produced and directed the 85-hour film (longest film in history, according to the Guinness Book of World Records) entitled The Cure For Insomnia, which played once at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He finished a memoir entitled From The Inside, framing his life story inside a narrative of his time incarcerated at the Menninger Clinic. In 1988 he moved to Ohio, never to be heard from again. He died in 2002 after a long struggle with drugs and alcohol. Though his music was energized by the punk and glam movements, John was beyond style, feverishly (and unknowingly) meshing punk and classic rock sounds with dark psychedelic touches. He performed live only three times, at events that were almost make-believe concerts, showcasing his appeal in serendipitous fashion. The spirit of J.T. IV was a unique and damaged thing. He was a legend in his own mind, a mind that opened several times in his lifetime with thrilling results. His 1977 sophomore yearbook photo from New Trier graces the cover of Cosmic Lightning, as close to an official portrait as he ever came. This is whats left of J.T. IV -- and it rocks." - Drag City. Repressed!

  • Sale
  • Regular price $27.00

After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
I understand these terms



Sold Out