Getting Real with Des Moines Punk

The Real Action is garage punk played for kicks by guys who grew up when garage punk was new. It's a lark. It's also loud, fast and really fun.

Assembled primarily from former members of The Chezwicks and and The Strangefellows, The Real Action is an act that's been a long time coming.

“We did (some Chezwicks) reunion shows in 2008 or 2009,” explained guitarist Matt Wellendorf. “At that point it was all the original Chezwicks, minus the bassist, which is where Timmy (Adelman) came in. We had tried to put something together when those shows were over, and it just didn't work out at that time.”

“The timing wasn't really right then,” he continued, “but it became right about a year ago.”

But while the Chezwicks reunion shows brought Adelman, Wellendorf and vocalist Kurt Johnson together, one piece still needed to be put in place.

“I'm real picky about drummers,” Wellendorf admitted. “For my money, that's the most important part of the band. When I've been out interviewing drummers before, I've always asked what they thought of Bun E. Carlos. I had some very specific ideas for the style and sound what we wanted for this band, and if you don't know who Bun E. Carlos is, or don't appreciate his style, then you don't get the band.”

Eventually, Robby Hughes was added to the mix after replying to a Craigslist ad, and The Real Action was ready to go. For now, they've been content playing primarily Chezwicks and Strangefellows songs.

“A lot of people haven't heard those songs in a few years,” Wellendorf explained, “and I could play them for the rest of my life, so it's ok.”

But the band is working on some originals for the new year, which will be Des Moines' first real taste of what the band is all about. But if you want to find out, you're going to have to do it live.

“We don't have any plans to do any recording,” Wellendorf said. “We just want to play gigs and have as much fun as we can playing gigs. We're all in our 40's now, so recording an album at this point isn't going to do anything for you. We're just go to keep rocking out as hard as we can.

Originally appeared in Cityview January 8, 2014