The first release from Blind Pig Records was 1973's lone single by The Vipers


The Vipers' Buzzard Luck 7-inch single cover

The Blind Pig is a renown rock club these days—especially after the ad that went viral last weekend—but for a long time it was also known as home of a blues label that shares the name. Blind Pig Records was sold and is now based in California, but the label's about page wrongly lists when it started: "From our humble beginnings in the basement of an Ann Arbor, Michigan blues club in 1977, Blind Pig Records has grown into one of the premier blues labels in the world."

The basement part is right, but as you can see below in the ad from the December 14, 1973, edition of the Ann Arbor Sun, Blind Pig Records debuted four years prior with a 7-inch single by the short-lived jump-blues band The Vipers.


The group featured familiar names to Ann Arbor-ites, such as guitarist George Bedard, Steve Nardella playing harmonica, bassist Sarah Brown and drummer-vocalist Frannie Christina.

If you mailed a "measly" $1.25 to 208 S. 1st St. in Ann Arbor, you'd receive your postage-paid record with "Satisfaction Guaranteed!!"

Bedard and Nardella went on to play in The Silvertones together, issuing the 1977 album One Chance With You on Blind Pig Records before going on to solo careers, but "Buzzard Luck" b/w "Huron River Drive" is the only recording released by The Vipers.

I wasn't able to find both songs online, though if you want the 7-inch, there are sellers on Discogs. But I did find "Huron River Drive" because it ended up on the 2002 double CD comp Blind Pig Records 25th Anniversary Collection.

If you're wondering why I wrote this post even though it's not an anniversary year for the record or the label, and there likely are no plans to reissue the 7-inch, it's because the Ann Arbor District Library is in the process of scanning in every issue of the Ann Arbor Sun and this ad was a recent addition to the collection. You can see more from the Sun here.

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.