Splat! – "Splat! EP" (RON 1) 1983 :
A1 Yeah The Dum Dum
B1 Biggles Bloodbath
Splat! – "Splat!" (12" EP RON 2) 1984
B1 A Foolish Crawl
B2 Morbius 4
Long Eaton based (which is near Nottingham, for our non-UK subscribers), Ron Johnson Records' founder, Dave Parsons,was in a proto-Ron Johnson type group called "Splat!".
They sound like most of the other groups that appeared later on this label.A kind of a mixture between A Witness and Bogshed; which is a high recommendation indeed.
Much has been said about the inept business acumen of Dave, which led him into bankruptcy; all for the 'love of music'.
I don't think he was alone in struggling to break even with a business model such as this.He was as unlikely to find an indie "Tubular Bells" as anyone else in this trade; but aren't we glad he did it?
Here's an enlightening explanation from the man himself:
"In my defence as the useless money man - I was 21 when I started Ron Johnson and knew nothing about making records or running a business - I just loved music. [censored] of [censored] rough-rided me into agreeing to pay about £6000 out on [censored] - we paid out about £500 on Loudhailer Songs! I was naive and [censored] (nice person though he is) was deluded and the financial morass began there. Their records never sold well. The Ex double-single was a fiasco of Rough Trade's making - they sold it at a price that was lower than the manufacturing cost and because it was reviewed as such amazing product for such amazing price felt that they couldn't put the price up - it sold 15000 copies and RJ lost £15000! Fantastic. The only band who ever made a profit in RJ were A Witness and they have a right to feel slightly aggrieved. I gave 24 hours of my life for 7 years to RJ, lost my house, never made a penny and was eventually bankrupted because I loved the music. Cheers, Dave Parsons".