Founded in 1985, Polkacide was originally organized to play a one-night stand for the Deaf Club in San Francisco, California. The Deaf Club (an actual club for deaf people) had been hiring punk bands to perform. When it was suggested that some did not want a punk band, an inspired band leader and founder Ward Abronski, along with his long term girlfriend and Polkacide's first drummer, Hayok Kay, formed a "really loud polka band" to play. When the gig was cancelled (ironically for noise abatement), Ward realized it was too good of an idea with too many great musicians, to just let die. He booked the band for San Francisco's punk club The Mabuhay on February 8, 1985. Unfortunately, the Mab misspelled their names on the flyers but the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, Polkacide has played with such diverse groups as Sun Ra, Primus (Basa guest with his ocarina at The Fillmore), Brave Combo, k.d. lang, The Dead Kennedys, and many, many more. Press Release for 25th Anniversary
Ward Abronski: saxophones,whistles,toys, ukulele, vocals, front man
Neil Basa: clarinet, ocarina,vocals, sargeant-at-arms
J.X. Lovejones: tenor sax, clarinet, toys, vocals
Alistair Shanks: bass, vocals, soul patch
John Hensley Nieuwguyski: trumpets, trombone, baritone horn, vocals, sex appeal
Max Baloian: guitar, percussion, accordian, vocals
Billy Dee Boom: drums
Aaron Seeman: accordion
John Lieb: trumpet
Current and former members of Polkacide have played with: Flipper, Tragic Mullatto, Rova Saxaphone Quartet, MDC, The Geeks, Pig Latin, Texas Manglers, Fisherman's Famous San Francisco Xylophonic Burlesque Orchestra, Duct, Bad Posture, The Sluglords, Goofball, Extra Action Marching Band, The Original Red Hot 1919 Blue Flame Jazzola Novelty Syncopators, Pennsylvania Mahoney and her Safe Sextet, The San Francisco Boys Chorus, Snakeoil Boys, Those Darn Accordions, Mad Maggies, The Kehoe Nation & more.
* "Exhilarating show, manic pace -- Polkacide are the ultimate entertainers"
... LocalLive - Chicago
* "Don't miss this show ... explosive mix that sounds like the Sex Pistols on kishka!" ... Barfly Newspaper - Chicago
* "Polkacide is one of the great San Francisco freak bands... You will dance. You may in fact slamdance. This is a punk rock show, except they play polka. Fun!!!" ... Josh Wilson - SF Gate
* "Best Local band for Scnitzel, Dachshunds, and dancing ... " S.F. Bay Guardian - 2000 "Best of the Bay"
* "... the Being witnessed an astounding performance by San Francisco- based ten-piece Polkacide. ...the `Cide rocked the Burning Man ..." Strobe Magazine
* "Best place to Overindulge Polka ... " S.F. Bay Guardian - 1998 "Best of the Bay"
* " The best musical moment was San Francisco's Polkacide show Saturday night." Richard Von Busack(at Burning Man'95), Metroactive
* "...I've never seen an opener do that. They took over the room." ...Queenie Taylor, S.F. booking agent
* " And right on the cutting edge of this most misunderstood of polyrhythms is San Francisco's Polkacide, America's premier hardcore polka band." ...Amy Linden, Spin Magazine
* " Best party band: Polkacide... big fun!" ...San Francisco Focus
* "...It's the weirdest conglomeration of people but what they play is authentic, no frills polka." ...Milwaukee Shepard Express
* " It's like a disease...no, it's like an apocalypse...no, it's like your worst nightmare of a Midwestern family reunion! It's Polkacide." ... Music Calendar, S.F. Chronicle
* " ...These days a band called Polkacide is one of the hottest nightclub acts in Northern California." Fred Schuster, Associated Press
* " Something about this 11 piece polka band, Polkacide ... struck a nerve from the start with the local clubsters." Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle
* " What started out as a joke in San Francisco has blossomed into something of a cult, selling out venues with punked up ...polka..." Interview Magazine
* " With San Francisco's own Polkacide...paving the path...could it be polka is really truly finally hip?" Lorry Fleming, BAM
* "... Another great moment in Rock & Roll - Polkacide at the Covered Wagon ... What a band!...thrashing the...out of every polka possible! Truly I have seen god..." Sadie O, The Great American Press
* "...(Polkacide's) music is polka, no less and only a little bit more. Sometimes the playing is a bit more intense, sometimes the tempos are a bit more careening ... but polka is polka and fun is fun." Glenn O'Brien, Interview Magazine