Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Gun Club

The Gun Club blasted out of L.A. in 1980, playing punk infused blues before bands such as The White Stripes and The Black Keys had stopped wearing diapers.

In the late 1970's, after he had spent some time travelling to New York, Miami, New Orleans and Jamaica, Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Kid Congo Powers formed Creeping Ritual. They changed their name to The Gun Club around 1980 and started delving further into one- and two- chord drone blues. Kid Congo Powers was offered a job by The Cramps and left before the band made their first recordings, although he would return on several occasions during the life of the band and would also go on to play with Nick Cave.

The Gun Club solidified around Ward Dotson, Rob Ritter, Terry Graham and Jeffrey Lee Pierce, took Delta blues & country and mixed it with equal parts punk, voodoo, slide guitar and total mayhem and recorded their two classic albums - Fire Of Love in 1981, in my opinion one of the great albums of the 1980's, and Miami in 1982.

JLP was becoming a difficult person to work with, as was evident in the constant changes in the band's line-ups and although both albums had received critical acclaim, the band were basically ignored at home and decided to pursue their music overseas. Patricia Morrison, who would go on to play in bands such as The Damned and The Sisters Of Mercy started playing bass guitar.

They toured Australia, where the call went out to Kid Congo Powers to rejoin the band, and Europe where their popularity grew and in 1984 released The Las Vegas Story - probably the bands last great album. As the touring continued, JLP was becoming more difficult to work with, constantly drunk and with a growing habit and with yet more line-up changes continued to record, including the well received Mother Juno in 1987, but the growing self destuctive habits of Pierce affected his health. JLP remained in London until he was deported in 1995 for brandishing a samurai sword in a Kensington pub.

In 1996 Jeffrey Lee Pierce was writing at his father's house in Utah when he collapsed into a coma due to a blood clot to the brain. He never recovered.

If you are interested in a more detailed history of this very influential and important band, check out Stevo Olende's excellent article "Preachin' The Blues".

The Gun Club - Sex Beat


Anonymous Malik Brubaker said...

Hello! Super work performed. Top PAGE, further so!

Wed Jan 04, 03:42:00 am  

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