The Circle Jerks at their signing party at the "World Famous Oki Dog.” hot dog stand. Courtesy of Keith Morris


Faulty Products was a small record label and distribution company with an outsized influence at a crucial time for rock & roll, launching the Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, Human Switchboard, the Bangles and others before fizzling out in 1982. Though treated like the proverbial ‘red-headed stepchild’ by label owner Miles Copeland, who also owned the more prominent I.R.S. label, Faulty Products had, in some ways, a far more interesting history. Eric Davidson talks to many of the people who shaped Faulty Products.

 Like anything related to music mogul Miles Copeland, there is a fair amount of mystery and suspicion around the short-lived, early ‘80s record label, Faulty Products. Then again, when a label helped unleash underground heroes Dead Kennedys and Circle Jerks, and aboveground stars like the Bangles, but only lasted about three years, you’re bound to wonder how it all could have ended in a blip.

Originally a UK imprint for second wave punk bands, the American offshoot was a subsidiary of Copeland’s burgeoning I.R.S. Records that would really make its massive mark with R.E.M. about the moment Faulty Products went belly up. So, what of this forgotten label that sat in the heart of Hollywood right in the middle of the L.A. punk explosion? We checked in with former staffers and musicians about the heyday of one of the more sneakily influential imprints of the early new wave.


Carmel Conlin – Director of West Coast Sales & Acquisitions

John Guarnieri – Director of West Coast Operations

Carlos Grasso – Ambassador of Creative Services for I.R.S.

Keith Morris – singer, Circle Jerks

Bob Pfeifer – singer/guitarist, Human Switchboard

PKM: Give us a basic history of Faulty Products’ beginnings:

John Guarnieri: I first met Miles Copeland when he brought Squeeze to America. I was the manager/buyer at the largest record store in the Southeast, The Mushroom. I also had the “punk” radio show on Tulane University’s WTUL. Squeeze came by for an in-store, and Miles explained his philosophy of bringing music back to the clubs. I was duly impressed and met him again when he brought the Police through. I pursued Miles for a job in New York City to work for Faulty, which at that point consisted of him bringing a trunkful of singles [on Illegal, Step Forward, Deptford Fun City] for the New York rep, Bob Laul, to sell. Miles eventually said to go to New York and there would be something for me to do. So I went up there, worked two jobs, and hung around the Faulty office. I tagged along with Bob Laul and did whatever I could – sell T-shirts for the Police, drive Buzzcocks equipment, anything to get in! By the end of 1979, nothing panned out so I returned to New Orleans. However, Miles did call later and said, “I just started a record company in L.A., if you want a job, go out there.” Finally in February, 1980, I drove to L.A. to the I.R.S. office at A&M, with the initial idea that I would be selling the U.K. punk singles to shops there. L.A. was in the early days of becoming a vibrant punk scene unto its own.

That’s the Circle Jerks in the background. Derf Scratch from Fear in the sunglasses. Gary Hurstius CJ’s manager in the hat up front.
Photo credit Frank Gargani.

PKM: In general, what did you feel was the relationship to, and/or disconnect from, Faulty Products in the UK?

John Guarnieri: Many of the acts on Faulty UK had street cred, so it was a good intro to the punk scene in L.A. which was still beginning. However, the L.A. punk stuff didn’t translate as well in the UK…Furthermore, as I.R.S.’s U.S. signings were distributed by A&M, many of those signings went through Faulty UK to maintain that street cred. That later changed, and Faulty UK sort of diminished as I.R.S./UK/A&M became more of the focus.

Miles planned to release the Dead Kennedys’ [debut] album, Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, and the single “Holiday In Cambodia” through I.R.S.They were even assigned I.R.S. catalog numbers. However, Jerry Moss, co-president of A&M, told Miles that he was a friend of the Kennedy family and there was no way he was going to release their records. Miles decided he would proceed anyway, but distribute through Faulty, and A&M manufactured the product.

Jello Biafra was looking to launch his Alternative Tentacles label, and we offered to manufacture and distribute. Biafra was kind of a spokesperson for the punk scene, so that was instant cred for us. Initially, it was me and one other person selling Dead Kennedys on the phones to stores. It really opened the doors for us to get punk records into the chains. There weren’t many indie distributors around at that time – Jem, Greenworld, Rough Trade and a few others. That, coupled with punk bands manufacturing their own records, there was a huge groundswell of product that needed distribution. Later we picked up some East Coast acts like Kraut, the Rattlers, and Don Kinsey.

Faulty was in many ways autonomous from I.R.S. We were fairly self-sufficient and in addition to running Faulty, I also handled A&R, production, and international responsibilities for I.R.S. We had our own offices on both coasts.

PKM: Your title was “Director of West Coast Operations.” What did that entail?

John Guarnieri: My responsibilities were to oversee all functions of the operations, sales, marketing, promotion, production, accounting, everything. Carmel Conlin did all the phone sales for Faulty Products while she was there.

Initially, it was me and one other person selling Dead Kennedys on the phones to stores. It really opened the doors for us to get punk records into the chains.

PKM: Carmel, aside from spending your teen years working at downtown Cleveland’s famous Record Rendezvous shop – working with members or Pere Ubu no less – you ended up in L.A. working at the famous record store, Tower Records in Hollywood. You must have endless stories.

Carmel Conlin: Oh yeah. Like Elton John. If he was in town, he’d come in early every Tuesday morning, we’d open at 9, but he’d be there even a little earlier, and he’d hang out the whole day at the store with us. I was stalked by Dennis Wilson, like he’d literally be waiting for me outside the store after closing. Cheetah Chrome was in all the time. Diana Ross was in the store regularly…We were in West Hollywood, right down the street from that whole Laurel Canyon scene, so those people came in – Brian Wilson, Steven Stills, etc. Joan Jett worked at Licorice Pizza right across the street. Oh, and you know who used to come in every Saturday morning – Richard Simmons! He lived right down the street. I mean, he wasn’t “Richard Simmons” yet, he had a little local aerobics class. He’d come in in pink tights and a body suit and buy a ton of disco. I mistook Cher for Patti Smith once. Anyway, it was the Rainbow, The Roxy, The Whiskey, and Tower Records all on that street; and we were open until two in the morning. Our “lunch break” was like 9 or 10 at night, and if you worked at Tower you got into the Whiskey for free, so we’d go there every night to eat. And everyone played there, of course. Besides all the great local bands, all the British bands came through, so I saw the Clash, Buzzcocks, the Damned, Elvis Costello, 999, etc.

PKM: I assume all those bands came to the store to shop too?

Carmel Conlin: Oh yeah, plus I think they came in hoping to see famous people. Also, everyone would get loaded at these clubs, and in between sets come down and hang out at Tower, so you saw some unbelievable stuff.

So the very first local punk band I remember when I got to L.A. was a band called the Rotters, and they had a great local one-hit wonder called, “Sit on My Face Stevie Nix.”

PKM: Oh god yes, a classic!

Carmel Conlin: Yeah, so the 45 cover was just white with black graffiti: “Sit on My Face Stevie Nix!” So we had a whole wall of the recent Top 100 singles. But since that was such a huge local hit, this one Saturday – our busiest day – we just covered that whole 100 spaces with that single. That morning, around 11 o’clock, one very pissed off Stevie Nicks walks in and says, “I was told you’re selling this record, and I can’t believe this, and aaahhhhhgghhh!” She was right up in my face, the whole store is watching, laughing. Of course, she doesn’t think it’s the least bit funny, she wants them taken down NOW! And I said, “I can’t do that.” I get the manager, Howard, and she lays into him too, making a huge scene. Howard says, “Lady, the only way those things are coming off that wall is if someone buys them.” So she yells, “Then I’ll buy them!” So we take them all down, and she pulls out a check, then staggers out of the store with like 200 singles in her hands, and then throws them very dramatically in the big garbage can right outside the door. And then Howard yells, “Hey Mike, bring 100 more of those “Stevie Nix” singles up front.” And we put them all up again.

PKM: Did you dig them out of the garbage?

Carmel Conlin: No.

PKM: Well then, Stevie Nicks single-handedly helped make that a rare, expensive punk single. Okay, so how do you get from the counter at Tower Records to Faulty Products?

Carmel Conlin: I got a job working for Evart Ziglar, like the literary agent. He represented John Steinbeck, Joan Didion…I would sit there reading Steinbeck personal letters, Robert Towne’s Chinatown script, just crazy stuff.  But my mom died, so I had to move back to Cleveland. Meanwhile, I started studying graphic design. When I got back to L.A., I got a job at NO MAG, which was started by photographer Frank Gargani – great guy, he did all those early X covers – and Bruce Kalberg, who recently passed. Penelope Spheeris was on staff. Suzi Gardner later with L7 was there. They saw I was a natural born marketing person. So I was managing director at NO MAG. They were selling ads to SST and some other labels. So I went in to pitch I.R.S. on a Circle Jerks ad. John Guarnieri and Jay Boberg were there. I guess Miles Copeland was too, but I didn’t notice. To me he was like a quiet accountant in a suit in the corner. But he was managing the Cramps, and maybe I had met him before. Anyway, I sat there and completely bullshitted all these stats about NO MAG that didn’t exist to get them to buy advertising, which they ended up doing. Later that night John Guarnieri called me up and asked if I wanted to work for Faulty Products. It had only existed a couple months at that point, like 1981, early ’82. They needed a strong independent distribution arm to sell more, plus he saw from NO MAG that I knew about all these bands.

PKM: Got any stories involving any of the punk bands you worked with there?

John Guarnieri: I got a call one Christmas Eve from the manager of the Circle Jerks about the bass player OD’ing, and went to the hospital to see him. The Bangles used to sit on the floor of my office and stuff singles in sleeves for their first 7” record. Went to Jello Biafra’s wedding in San Francisco in a cemetery on Halloween. I laughed Motley Crue out of my office, as they were looking for distribution. That of course was before the hair bands took off. Oh well.

Carlos Grasso: One afternoon Jello Biafra came rushing into our offices out of breath. He’d apparently been running away from some folks who were upset about his T-shirt. He opened the shirt he had on over the T-shirt he had made – it read, “Shoot Bush First.” This was at the time when Reagan was shot by John Hinckley. He wanted another T-shirt to put on. I think it was a Go-Go’s shirt we gave him.

 Keith Morris: John Guarnieri was our “go-to guy” or A&R person, and the main culprit who presented us our contract that we signed in the rain while dining at the “World Famous Oki Dog.” We attempted to make this a late afternoon event and invited about 100 people, and I think maybe 12 friends showed up. Could it have been that no one wanted to hang out with us on a workday and eat complimentary hot dogs smothered in chili and wrapped with pastrami in a flour tortilla? There was also Carl Grasso who was a really cool dude. The lovely Carmel Conlin greeted us with water and coffee along with her beautiful smile. I want to say she’d already put in her time at SST Records, but I could be completely mistaken.

Carmel Conlin: No, but he might’ve thought that because Joe Baiza from Saccharine Trust was my boyfriend. I also managed them. Dennis Boone from the Minutemen was my roommate, and I managed Redd Kross too.

The Circle Jerks – “Wild In The Streets” (song written by Garland Jeffreys):

PKM: So how did Circle Jerks get involved with Faulty Products?

Keith Morris: I believe we were brought aboard because of a relationship our manager, Gary Hirstius, developed with David Anderle, who was the next guy in charge at A&M Records under Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss. Mr. Anderle loved us but couldn’t sign us to A&M as we weren’t “Big League” material. I guess he couldn’t envision us being on a roster of bands that included some of my faves, such as Free, Procol Harum, Blodwyn Pig, The Move, The Tubes, and Nazareth – even though they’d signed The Dickies. So we were shipped off to participate in I.R.S.’s farm league, Faulty Products. Both I.R.S and Faulty were somehow associated with A&M due to Miles Copeland’s younger brother Stewart’s band, The Police. So we’ve got Miles Copeland’s I.R.S. Records, Stewart Copeland’s band, The Police, Ian Copeland’s booking agency, F.B.I., and their dad was a big wig at the C.I.A. But don’t get me wrong, as Faulty Products were great people and we had a blast with them. Though I actually didn’t spend much time in the Faulty offices, as I’d be hard pressed to figure out why they’d want an obnoxious drunk running around urinating in trash cans or graffitiing their restrooms.

I remember I was called in to do an interview with ABC 7 for one of their popular morning shows. I showed up on a three-day binge. Before they could introduce me, I jumped up on one of their recording consoles and was immediately pulled down and thrown out the door. Our manager was pissed, and I might have wet my pants.

PKM: Considering most of Faulty’s products were from the West Coast, how did Human Switchboard (from Akron) get involved with the label?

Bob Pfeifer: Jay Boberg read the press, heard us, and signed us. We had already recorded the album and they put it out.

PKM: Yeah, you’ve told me Jay Boberg ran Faulty Products, but the others framed him as more of a main main for I.R.S.

Bob Pfeifer: Yeah, they were the indie distributed arm of I.R.S./A&M. I saw it as their minor league team. So if you did well there, they could bump you up to I.R.S. We thought Faulty were cool. I.R.S. was a successful new label with our sort of music. You have to remember at that time… there were very few labels that straddled that major/indie world. This was a step up from putting your own record out, which we had already done successfully. And it wasn’t as if Columbia Records was about to sign a CBGB sort of band.

PKM: Did Faulty Products people actually come out to Ohio or NYC (where the band frequently played) to meet with the band? 

Bob Pfeifer: Yes, Jay [Boberg] came to New York, and when the record came out Michael Plen, who did radio, even came to Cleveland to work WMMS, which was a huge radio station at the time. I am sure New York people at IRS/A&M, maybe like Kathy Shankar, came out.

PKM: It seems like Faulty fairly quickly set itself apart as exposing a wider sound, kind of envisioning a post-punk world.

John Guarnieri: Yes, in addition to the punk scene, there was a burgeoning art scene here with Human Hands, BPeople, and the whole Paisley Underground scene. I signed Three O’Clock to I.R.S., we distributed Dream Syndicate through Faulty. I wanted Miles to sign the Long Ryders to I.R.S., but he didn’t like them, said they sounded like the Beatles.

Keith Morris: Faulty Products was more eclectic, including The Bangles, Bpeople, Human Hands, Chrome, and Wall Of Voodoo, and had pretty decent success. But you’ve got to take into consideration that during this period in Circle Jerks’ history I was folded in quarters and placed at the back of a drawer. I was suffering through my blackout phase, most commonly known as the “Beerbonic Plague.” I’m not familiar with the punk rock bands on the label with the exception of the Fall, Dead Kennedys, TSOL, The Anti-Nowhere League, and The Cramps – never forget them! Lux, Ivy, and Nick, they should’ve been ultra-mega superstars and achieved the same success as The Bangles.

John Guarnieri: I got to be pretty close to Lux and Ivy through my role at I.R.S., but in the U.S. they were on I.R.S. not Faulty. In the UK early on they were on Illegal, but I think Psychedelic Jungle went through A&M there. I compiled the U.S. album, Bad Music for Bad People, and later signed them to Enigma. I was encouraging Lux and Ivy to own their own masters and to make Vengeance Records an outlet for Ivy to produce other bands.

 Carlos Grasso: One time the Cramps were up in our offices, as they had just gotten off tour. Our offices were next door to The Carpenters’ office. At that moment, I saw that Richard and Karen Carpenter were coming up the stairs. They stood in the doorway of our shared lobby face to face with the Cramps. The Carpenters looked like they had seen a ghost. There was an awkward silence, then Ivy said, “We dig your music.” The Carpenters smiled and went into their office.

I went to their house in Hollywood several times. Much of it was painted black inside with cool outsider art, including lots of velvet paintings. Very neat and clean house that you could tell was always like that. Also, I went to Memphis when they were recording Psychedelic Jungle at Sun Studios to go over cover art and photos. We had a late night and then went in search of a hotel, but it took three tries and having to hide them, because no one would rent us rooms when the clerks took a look at them.

Miles Copeland used to stay at a hotel on the Sunset Strip just a block from our office when he was in town. One afternoon he showed up at the office with his suitcase. Bryan Gregory had gone to the hotel looking for Miles, and the hotel manager got so spooked by Bryan that he kicked Miles Copeland out.

PKM: Keith, why did you decide to go with Faulty Products for the second Circle Jerks album?

Keith Morris: I have absolutely no idea as to why we went with Faulty Products, except that maybe they were the only label that made us an offer? I think we were excited to be a part of their roster of bands, as we were fans and had played about a dozen gigs with the Dead Kennedys. I think our prevailing mentality was “If Faulty Products are good enough for Jello, they’re good enough for us!”

PKM: Carlos, can you tell me how you got to working with Faulty?

Carlos Grasso: I worked for Faulty Products because I was art director for I.R.S. already, so it made financial sense. I loved Faulty because they were punk rock, I.R.S. was not really, and consequently some of my faves were on Faulty. Besides the Cramps covers, my fave to work on was Circle Jerks Wild In The Streets because I liked them a lot. And nice folks, too. They came into the office a lot and liked to just roam around and get promos for bands they liked. I believe the drummer at the time was also going to law school and wasn’t sure how much longer he’d play with them. I still hear from Keith Morris occasionally.

Richard and Karen Carpenter were coming up the stairs. They stood …… face to face with the Cramps. The Carpenters looked like they had seen a ghost. There was an awkward silence, then Ivy said, “We dig your music.” The Carpenters smiled and went into their office.

PKM: Did Faulty do creative promotions, like in-stores, outdoor shows, etc.?

John Guarnieri: Yes, we did in-stores, radio interviews, etc. Our first “real” promo push was to hire 415 Records producer, David Kahne, to do a remix of “Real World” by the Bangles that was serviced to radio. I think we even did a low budget video. However, when we distributed the first Bangles single, Miles picked them up for management with L.A.P.D and Mike Gormley. L.A.P.D. also managed Oingo Boingo, Wall of Voodoo, and Lords of The New Church. The idea for the Bangles EP was to build a buzz and shop a record deal. He didn’t want to put them on I.R.S. for fear of conflict with the Go Go’s. The only significant cross-pollination with Faulty and I.R.S. was some of the album covers were done by Carlos Grasso and his assistant Ron Scarselli.

PKM: Keith, did you guys have a record release show for Wild in the Streets?

Keith Morris: I’m sure we did, but I can’t remember when, where, or why. Possibly a big show with the Dead Kennedys at the Florentine Gardens on Hollywood Blvd. in beautiful Tinseltown. It erupted into everybody going completely apeshit and bouncers taking the opportunity to pummel the punk rock patrons. It turned into a bloodbath as they tossed the guys across the stage against a wall directly behind the stage which was basically a giant six-foot tall block of cement rising up off the floor. There was a space on the floor where the bodies would land after hitting this wall, and then dragged out the back door to be battered in the parking lot by the security shits as the L.A.P.D. looked on with approval.

PKM: The eventual big pop breakout for Faulty was the Bangles, although obviously they got really huge later.

John Guarnieri: Yes, Carmel Conlin saw them when they had their first single and brought them to Faulty where we distributed it. We were all tied to the scene so it was a very harmonious, creative time. We knew the Bangles were going to be big, and since L.A.P.D. shared offices with Faulty, that’s how they got interested in the Bangles.

Carmel Conlin: It was near Fourth of July, I was dating Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate, and we were going to go out of town for a trip, but we broke up. The DKs were in town that weekend, and I told Jello Biafra he could stay at my place. We ended up going through this box of records playing 45s. At the Faulty offices, there was a submission box with tons of band cassettes or 7” submissions. So from that I heard Salvation Army, Redd Kross, Social Distortion, Green on Red, all these bands that didn’t have any records out at that point. Jello and I are listening through these things, so much good stuff, but what made the Bangles stick out – they were still called the Bangs at that time – was they were really good writers.

I called them into my office the next week. We talked and met a few more times. I mean I did this all the time. I sat with Brett Guerwitz (Bad Religion), Epitaph was putting out its first record at that time, and I taught him how to run his label. I called Social Distortion, and we did the first P&D deal with their first record too.

So I was calling the Bangs and asking them where they were playing – they weren’t really playing much yet, so I told them what to do. And soon they just asked me to manage them. I only managed them for six months and turned them over to Miles Copeland without asking for any money at all. Oh well. I remember we got a cease and desist letter about their name from some band in England, so we had to figure out a new name. Biafra wanted to call them “The Whirling Pink Twinkees.”

John Guarnieri: Carmel was great to work with, and she had a good relationship with the bands. We started out with good sales people. The first was Bryan Huttenhower, whom I hired from Moby Disc Records in Sherman Oaks, then Carmel, then John Silva, who managed Salvation Army/Three O’Clock, then Beth Tomlinson. As Faulty grew, we expanded beyond just the phone sales to a full-service label – Joseph Minkes, accounting; Mark Cope, distribution; a radio guy, shipping manager, and more.

PKM: Not to judge or anything, but it seems apparent that Faulty Products just wasn’t a large enough operation to handle bands getting bigger.

John Guarnieri: Well, the problem was getting paid from the distributors. The bands only left when we couldn’t pay royalties or pay for manufacturing and overhead. It was a tough time for indies. Miles would occasionally float us money from his own pocket, and at the time of our demise he was in negotiations with RCA to distribute. That was the crossroads when he thought, I have I.R.S. with distribution through A&M/RCA, why do I need a second label?

The Bangles-courtesy Debbi Peterson

PKM: I’ve got to ask about Miles Copeland. He’s an important industry figure and brought a lot of great music to the world, but he sure has his detractors!

John Guarnieri: Yes, Miles didn’t do a great job of making friends in the industry, and I honestly think A&M had enough of dealing with him, which led to the move to MCA. I hear that in retrospect A&M regretted that I.R.S. left. The scene changed by the mid-80’s, major labels were signing bands from the street, and it was more money driven.

Keith Morris: We were on the label for that one album. They offered us a second album, and we were totally psyched because the Circle Jerks loved the company and the people I mentioned, but there was a snag. Greg Hetson, the Circle Jerks’ guitarist, and I were given an appointment to discuss the band’s future with Faulty Products, and it couldn’t have gone any worse. We were told we’d be face to face with Miles Copeland, but arrived to be introduced to Gene October, who was the lead vocalist in a UK band called Chelsea. My opinion of him, after listening to him and having listened to his band, was if the bar was set at 2 & 1/2 feet, they couldn’t even reach that. His band was managed by Miles Copeland, and that weighs heavy on Greg and I making the final decision we’d make.

The first words out of Mr. Copeland’s mouth were, “Faulty Products want you to record your next album at our studio in the UK. You’ll come over and sleep upstairs and record downstairs.” Greg and I were beyond excited. As we’re looking at each other in amazement, he goes deeper into his pitch by dangling another carrot in our faces. There’s to be a Chelsea tour of North America, and the Circle Jerks are to open for them. At this point, and what the Circle Jerks have done, opening for this band is not happening! They had no foothold in North America and were going to attempt to ride on our backs. We’d gone out on countless three- and four-month-long road trips where we’d play any pizza parlor, rundown nightclub, or VFW hall that would allow us in, and we didn’t bust our asses and build the following we had to say yes to this kind of mess.

PKM: Why do you think the label went under?

Keith Morris: Mismanagement? Failing to sign bands that would bump them up a few notches? Miles Copeland trying too hard to be Richard Branson? I don’t really know, but that last meeting between us and the main guy at the label was a joke.

PKM: What’s your opinion of Faulty Products and the job it did, or didn’t do for Human Switchboard?

Bob Pfeifer: I think they did OK. I am analytical in the sense that I look at what we could have done differently and how we might have been better. I tend to blame myself for things. Artists often need managers, and we didn’t have one, so I think we were probably a headache. We didn’t know what we were doing beyond a certain point. When you are in a band you want everything to happen yesterday, or at least that’s what we were like. On the other hand, did they have great A&R or did they produce a miracle in the experience? No. They gave us creative control and they paid for the record, which was more than most people do. I think Jay was great. Betsy Alexander was great. We didn’t have a bad experience with anyone.

PKM: What’s your insight into how Faulty Products ended?

Carmel Conlin: I know exactly why – they were just mishandling funds. I brought on all the SST product, all the Sub Pop product, different labels. I remember Angry Samoans had just come on, and came up with this amazing neon cover art – but they paid for that out of their own pocket. They were these kids spending their bar mitzvah money or whatever. So the money Faulty was making from these independent labels was just being pumped elsewhere. We had one guy doing accounting who didn’t know what he was doing. Everyone was getting pissed off. Then for me personally, Public Image Ltd. was doing their second big U.S. tour, and I ended up promoting two shows at the Pasadena Civic, with Social Distortion opening one night, Savage Republic the next. Big shows. I was managing Redd Kross too.

PKM: How did that go?

Carmel Conlin: Well, Steve was like 19 at the time; Jeff would’ve been like 21. Honestly, I think I would’ve made more money if their mom paid me to baby sit them. Great kids, great talent, but they were incapable of showing up on time for anything. We were paying Geza X for a decent rehearsal studio in Hollywood, and they wouldn’t show up to practice. They were kids, they were on drugs, you know, it was just of the time.  They were a great band, we all loved them, nobody wanted to see them just fade. But they were kids, and they were fighting, and it was tough.

Guarnieri saw I was starting to do that stuff more, and he was like, you have to make a decision – Faulty Products or concert promotion. And I picked promotion. But that was hard too, so many people doing drugs. Needless to say, I got sober in 1985, and been sober ever since. I ended up going to 20th Century Fox to do product licensing for seven years, mostly Simpsons stuff. Then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame brought me back to Cleveland to start their product licensing department.

PKM: Do you think Faulty Products was kind of treated as an after-thought by Copeland?

John Guarnieri: He liked the idea of Faulty because we had our ear to the street and knew what was coming up on the horizon.

Carmel Conlin: But yeah, to I.R.S., Faulty Products was kind of the red-haired stepchild down the street.


Faulty Products Discography