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Dayglo Abortions’ Murray ‘The Cretin’ Acton reflects on 36 years of punk, pranks and political incorrectness

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Controversy and court cases kind of come with the territory when you name your band the Dayglo Abortions.

The Dayglo Abortions playing the Moose Hall in 2013. Photo by Richard Amery
 But Murray “ The Cretin” Acton, frontman of the long standing Victoria based punk icons insists it’s all in good fun.
“I like everyone I meet. I’m a nice guy but with a quirky  sense of humour,” Acton insists.

The band, who play Pulse with fellow punk legends D.O.A., Sept.15, have spent their career pushing hot buttons and skewering sacred cows. They were the definition of political incorrect before there was even a term for it. Their provocative album covers and lyrics brought them court cases and obscenity charges in the ’80s. They have a vast catalogue of material with song titles that can’t be printed in a family newspaper.

“I hate these social justice warriors. I’ve always been about free speech and freedom of expression. Some of this PC stuff has really become hateful. This brain dead PC stuff is what I really hate — privileged kids talking about  black lives matter. Well all lives matter. We have the media whipping up a race war. I don’t like that stuff and those are the people I like to poke fun at, like Frank Zappa, but  not as mean. He really had a mean streak for the people he didn’t like. But I like everybody,” he said, adding he enjoys reading “troll” posts on politically correct posts.

“When they respond, that’s when their true colours come out,” he said.

They are passionate about free speech and have the knowledge to back it up.

 “I’ve probably read the Bible more than most Christians, because I’m always having to argue with them about it,” he said.
They will be coming to Lethbridge as a quartet with the addition of guitarist Mike Jak, to help Acton carry the guitar playing load.

“ I can’t wail like I used to,” he said.
He said a life in punk rock has taken a toll on his body.
“I remember once I played with a cracked pelvic bone. But it was the middle of the set and there was a lot of adrenaline,” he said.

“ Somebody threw a bathtub at me. Though it had beer in it backstage and we threw it at them once it was empty,” he said.

 “ Another time I got hit with something and it cut an artery. I must have lost a pint of blood. But I finished the set,” he continued.
“ But the worst was one time when people started pelting us with ice cubes. We had to hide behind our amps,” he said, sometimes they‘ll catch these characters before they start throwing things then stare them down.
“ Another time we saw some people making snowballs to throw at the band.

We stared them down and they had to hide the snowballs in their pants,” he  chuckled.
“ You can’t put one over on us.”
They aren’t above playing pranks of their own.
“We‘re pretty good to opening band. Sometimes we’ll give them shots with chocolate coated with syrup of  ipecac  which made them throw up so hard they’d shit. We can do pranks,” he chuckled, noting they don’t plan to try that with D.O.A.
“Oh don’t put that idea in my head,” he howled.

 Mike Jak adds a level-headed presence to the band.
“Mike is clean cut and sober. He doesn’t even drink coffee because his brother died of a drug overdose and his sister did too and he wanted to be a good son to his mom,”  he said.

 The Dayglo Abortions have always pushed the envelope and, in some eyes, good taste, by combing metal musical chops with a sneering sense of humour poking fun at everything.
“I think I’ll call the next CD ‘Hate Speech,’” he chuckled.

“I don’t really hate anybody, not even skinheads as long as they don’t hurt anybody.”

These days his family helps keep that sense of humour in check and keep him from stepping over the line.
“I’ve raised two very strong girls. They’d castrate me. One of them punched a guy for making a remark, well not even a suggestive remark. She pulled him out of his car and everything. They both play in bands,” he said.
“But my oldest son is the rebel. He listens to hip hop music and got a serious job, he married and has a nice family. He learned a lot of lessons from watching his dad,” he said.

They are excited to actually tour with D.O.A.
“We’re having a lot of fun with the D.O.A. vs the Dayglo Abortions idea. We played with them in Vegas and got to talking about it. Having Paddy and the guys from BC DC is the best line up they’ve had in a while. They’re great musicians and friendly guys,” he said.

“We haven’t always got along with D.O.A. So this tour is about healing. Maybe we can bring in more people they could  bring in on their own,” he said, adding they are also excited to share their brand new CD.
If you pay attention to the news, it may seem like Armageddon draws closer every day, but that’s no reason for Acton to lose his sense of humour.
 So he named the band’s long awaited new album “Armageddon Survival Guide.”

“It took two years. But I’m really happy with it. it’s spectacular. And it’s thanks to Rob Shallcross,” he said, adding while the CD has been ready to go for two years, it is their first new CD in about 14 years.

“It’s heavier than usual, reflecting drummer Blind Marc’s thunderous drumming.
“I’ve played with some great drummers and he‘s up there with the best. He started out as a punk rock drummer and now he’s doing rolls and fills,” he said.
“I like 20 minute LPs,” he said.

He said the new CD, which is a scant 14  songs,  20 some minutes long  has a serious tone but also a fun side.

The Dayglo Abortions’ Murray ‘The Cretin’ Acton. Photo by Richard Amery
“ ‘Your Facebook can Kiss My Assbook’ is pretty funny. And I wanted to make fun of punk rock anthems, but couldn’t make it funny. So there is a punk rock anthem. But ‘Cockroaches’ is the song people seem to like the most.’ The Dishwasher is about (former drummer Jesus) Bonehead. Because dishwasher is the only job he ever had and he loved it. It’s not the only song I wrote about him. ‘Drunk on Power’ is about him too because he used  to be in charge of the band per diems. We’d make fun of him and bow down before him,” he said.

Acton is pleased a life in punk rock has allowed him to travel the world.
“We’ve got to travel the United States and in Texas. We had the best punk show in Mexico City. And we’ve been to South America and Malaysia” he said.
The band has had an active summer, playing a lot of metal festivals like the Hell Raiser festival in Kelowna.

 That is no surprise to anybody who listens to the band’s music.
“I grew up in the ’70s listening to bands  like Black Sabbath and there was really no punk happening in Victoria then,” he said, adding that has changed, though Victoria is known for  having a lot of roots and folk groups.
“There’s a severe crust punk scene happening here, but they’re pretty severely PC with no booze and no drugs. There’s a band I really like called the Gnar Gnars. Their lead singer is like a young Chi Pig (of SNFU fame).”
He is  excited abut the tour.
“ It’s going to be spectacular,” he said.

D.O.A. vs the Dayglo Abortions with the Scallywags play Pulse, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Friday, 16 September 2016 11:50 )  
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