From: CA,United States
Originally formed out of the Los Angeles Rock Against Racism chapter in late 1979, Benedict Arnold and the Traitors released their first (now rare and collectible) single, "Kill the Hostages" b/w "Red Alert," in 1980. "Kill the Hostages" was based on the still (then) unfolding "Iranian Hostage Crisis" that started during the end of the Carter Administration, and ended (strangely enough) on the 444th day of the hostages' captivity, which was (not so coincidentally) at the same moment Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. President, was sworn into office. Rodney Bingenheimer played "Kill the Hostages" and the B side "Red Alert" on his popular and influential "Rodney on the ROQ" radio show (on KROQ 106.7 FM, Los Angeles, CA). "Kill the Hostages" also received airplay nationally on the syndicated "Dr. Demento" radio show, and at numerous indie college radio outlets. (The song still receives airplay to this day on indie music and college radio outlets and internet podcasts.) The band played live and was interviewed on the groundbreaking "New Wave Theater" television show, hosted by the actor, Peter Ivers. In 1982, the band released a 7-inch ep, "No More Heroes or Gods," which was again played heavily by Rodney on his radio show. "I Hate Sports" featured guest musicians Don Preston (Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention) and a sax solo by Sam "Sluggo" Phipps (Oingo Boingo), but Rodney played the songs "Hollywood" and "White Boy Singing Ska" on his show regularly, and "White Boy..." was picked up for airplay by a couple of the other KROQ jocks.
By this time the band was transitioning to a "neo-psychedelic" incarnation, which, with some personnel changes, became known first as "The Antinomians," but soon became officially known as "The Hundredth Monkey." A single (produced by Geza X) and a full-length 12-inch album ("Mute Lament," with cover art by renowned "lowbrow" painter Robert Williams) were released between 1983 and 1987 before the band finally dissolved around 1989.
Cut to the year 2000, and three out of five original members of The Traitors get back together to perform some live shows for political causes, and start recording their last record ever, "Star Spangled Bummer." Eventually, four of the five original members were back, playing (occasionally) live, and recording tracks for the "Bummer" project. The album, released in August, 2008, contains twenty-two songs, including two covers of songs originally recorded by The Hombres and The Dicks. “Star Spangled Bummer” is a kind of musical timeline of the negligence, fraud and related political and corporate criminality of all sorts, committed by the Bush Administration and their accomplices and cronies against the American People, the Constitution, and the rest of the World in general. The album’s first track, “Hello Baghdad,” along with scenes from the band's animated music video "Death Penalty For Pot," are featured during the opening scenes of the Mechinistic Films documentary, “American Heart” (2008), and is also heard on the film’s official soundtrack CD. Other bands in the film include legendary San Francisco bands Jefferson Starship, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Big Brother and the Holding Company, among others.
Artifix Records ("the archaeologists of punk" - www.artifixrecords.com) has reissued "Kill the Hostages/Red Alert" on 7" vinyl, and a full-length CD of the band's early material from the years 1980-1982 is in the works.
“Kill the Hostages,” in a newly re-mastered version, was included on the Brutarian Records and Magazine twenty band compilation CD “We Went And Recorded It Anyway – The Best of Pop-Punk and Power Pop 1977-84.”
Band bio written by Tim Konspiracy, Copyright 2009.
STAR SPANGLED BUMMER CD:
TRAITORS' WEB SITE