Friday, January 6, 2012

The Inserts - Doctor's Wives

A. Doctor's Wives

B1. Us The Product

B2. Rent Raiser

Doctor's Wives EP
Classified (NR-12586), 1981

Guitarist Steve Van Derveer and bassist Bill Jenkins started jamming together in 1979. That summer, Billy Pringle, whose short-lived band Boy Problems had just imploded, and Fred Schultz, who had played in the Mistakes, were auditioning musicians for a new project they were cooking up. Steve and Bill presented the 7 or 8 originals they'd written, Billy and Fred dug the songs, and the Inserts were born.

They spent a couple weeks writing up the rest of a set, and after scoring some better equipment through some shady deals, they began gigging regularly. Initially as an opening act, they worked hard to make a name for themselves at their mainstay, Raul's, as well as other clubs like Duke's Royal Coach Inn, the Continental and eventually Club Foot. They got more and more popular through the early part of 1980 and became known for their high energy stage show featuring Billy's extroverted dance moves and the filthy jokes they would tell between songs.

Eventually, personality clashes with Schultz and Pringle got Bill kicked out of the band. Manny Rosario, who had played in the Huns, the Next, and with Fred in the Mistakes, filled in for a couple weeks before Vic Reams took his place on a more permanent basis. Around this time, a bright young kid named Mike Carroll approached them to be their manager. He began working to get them steady gigs and took care of all the publicity. The band also started taking short road trips to Houston and Dallas where they were well received.

The Inserts rushed into the studio to record an EP. Mike designed the cover for the record which was released in a short run on Austin label, Classified, who also put out records for Standing Waves, F-Systems and later, Delta.

The Inserts continued to write more material, churning out two songs in a couple hours at some practices. They gigged constantly. A buzz was even created in LA after a writer caught their act and wrote a glowing review of them in a fanzine. Talks of touring the west coast were broached and future gigs in Austin were already booked when all of a sudden Billy pulled the plug. He had secretly formed a new band called The Jitters with Vic using half of the Inserts songs to fill their set. The Inserts played a couple reunion gigs between '82 and '85 and discussed staying together permanently, but alas, it was not meant to be.

The Jitters pushed on for a couple years before Billy went on to front a band called Bad Mutha Goose with Tim Kerr of the Big Boys. Fred Schultz also had a stint with Kerr when he joined the Big Boys on drums for a long tenure after the Inserts broke up. And even Mike Carroll had a Tim Kerr connection when they played together in Poison 13. Fred and Steve tried another project called Guilt Trip but that never got off the ground. Bill died 6 years ago of an accidental overdose on Valium.

The song "Doctor's Wives" was later featured on the Bloodstains Across Texas compilation.


  1. Billy Pingle (aka Billy Problem) was easy for me to look up to, to respect and enjoy his vitality, his boundless energy and his instinct for using every inch of whichever stage he was working from. I paid homage to him during each performance of "Mars Needs Women," in which the word "women" was stretch out and all the while I imitated Billy's fantastic over-the-top vibrato which invited another bonus to that goofy end-of-chorus . . . not only was I loving Mr. Pringle but the quavering wah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah also drove home the point that the martians' space suits were nothing more than only slightly altered wet suites. Yay Billy. Yay the movie's director Larry Buchanan. Yay Buddy Womack (Dark Motive) for putting all the right riffs in all the right places. Yay E. A. Srere who brought up the idea that Mars Needs Women needed a song written about it (damn, should've been added to the legacy version). And Yay me. Just in general, yay me. Silly me, too. I report on this stuff like I was John Tesh reading a story from a desk on the set of E News Daily. Yeah. I'm important. So is my kid, but I don't allow him the same pleasures that I enjoy. His spurts of importance are forbidden by me to go to his head. I love you Jon.

  2. Yay Chris, yes . . . thank u for giving Buddy (Womack) some flashbacks. He's alive and well, jamming the blues in Indiana. Every now and then I get to hear alittle "Mars Needs Women" riffs when he's playing at home. He was in Austin, last week and was able to play with When Not If (a group from Indiana that just moved to the fine city) at Freddie's Place and a couple of places in Cedar Park. Again, thx Chris for bringing back the history! Jean

  3. Billy Pringle was a really great guy. He went nearly completely deaf, though, performing. Wish I knew what happened to him.