January:

After some final vocal sessions (at Pennywise's Redondo Beach studios in January), the new album was mixed by Bill Stevenson in Colorado and efforts were made to get the thing released. Many people agree that this is the best-sounding, best-produced Last album to date, and the band is extremely pleased at the way it turned out. Unfortunately, the expected Summer '05 tour never materialized.


June:

Joe had better plans for the Summer of 2005 - starting the season off by getting married to Misfortune Cookie bassist Lisa Torres. Following their June wedding in Las Vegas, part of their honeymoon was spent travelling to Fort Collins, CO, where the Last performed again at the Starlight, which is where Joe and Lisa first met.


September:

Meanwhile, final preperations were being made on a couple of CD reissues: Warfrat Tales and Keats Rides a Harley. Both compilations were released in the early '80s, and both consisted of some great LA bands, such as The Last, The Gun Club, Wednesday Week and the Leaving Trains. Although released by different labels, the decision was made to hold a joint record release party for both CDs. Furthermore, someone had the great idea that maybe each band could play using the lineups they had when these records were released.

Easier said than done, as both Vitus Mataré and John Frank hadn't played in over a decade, and weren't quite sure they wanted to participate.

John Frank: "For me the practices were the most fun—getting to renew old friendships, getting to play and hear the old tunes again, and getting to reawaken many old memories of good times. The practice before the show on Saturday has allowed me to think of myself as a drummer again—a very good feeling indeed...The show was fun, and it was great to be able to have my wife Mirma hear me drum for the first time...Thanks again to everyone involved, especially Joe for bringing me back into the fold... Also thanks to Vitus for continuing to ask me to play even after I had said no..."

Fortunately they changed their minds, and the lineup eventually was comprised of the same one the Last had back in 1982 (with the addition of Mike, who was not in the band back then): Steve Andrews, Vitus Mataré, John Frank, Joe Nolte, John Rosewall and Mike Nolte (pictured below, left to right).

The show was fantastic. The Last put on a great show, as did The Urinals, Wednesday Week, The Question, The Human Hands, The Earwigs and Lunch. Especially cool was seeing so many friends there - many of whom hadn't seen one another in decades.
Joe Nolte: "That whole experience was way more fun than I could've imagined, and although I had a feeling we'd find a way to pull it off musically it sounded way better than I think any of us would've believed."
...
Vitus Mataré: "The re-release party at the Echo was great. Many familiar and interesting faces from over 20 years ago. The sets were all fun and getting to perform with Joe and Mike was an unbelievable treat. Them Noltes have never sounded better. John Frank, John Rosewall, Steve and myself all ended up repeatedly thanking Joe for having us up there. We even got into an argument as to who should be thanking whom. Obviously it's the friends from all over the place who took the time to find the Echo on a Saturday afternoon that we should be thanking."



Here are the 2005 performances by The Last:

Friday June 17, 2005 - The Starlight, Ft Collins, CO
Joe Nolte, Mike Nolte, Karl Alvarez, Bill Stevenson

Saturday Sept 17, 2005 - The Echo, LA (Warfrat Tales & Keats Rides a Harley record release party)
Joe Nolte, Mike Nolte, Vitus Matare, John Rosewall, Steve Andrews, John Frank