THE GUN CLUB
For all of the usual idiotic reasons including having the audacity of being vastly ahead of their time, one of the most legendary and increasingly influential Los Angeles bands of the last 2 1/2 decades has characteristically never received the respect and success they so richly deserve. Although always revered in the U.K. and in Europe, The Gun Club virtually escaped any notoriety in the U.S., where adulation is based on record sales rather than artistry and talent. However an abundance of Gun Club bootlegs are currently making the rounds and their original records demand exorbitant collectors' prices. Has the time really come to recognize the immense contribution of The Gun Club?
The Gun Club were irreverent upstarts and genuine innovators. They were among the first to incorporate the punk ethic and flaunt that attitude. They injected it into a resurrection of the dark spirit of Blues and Roots music and thereby created a unique new hybrid genre.
For leader/guiding light Jeffrey Lee Pierce, The Gun Club was an intense and cathartic medium to broadcast and exorcise his personal demons with a repertoire concerned mainly with themes of sex, vengeance and a preoccupation with death. On stage he was known for his substance abuse and unpredictable behavior. Unfortunately his talent and vision was silenced forever in 1996 when he died of a brain hemorrhage.
Working directly with the family of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Animal Records owner Chris Stein, Sympathy For The Record Industry is excited and honored to be re-releasing 3 long out of printGUN CLUB records.sftri 740THE GUN CLUB "MIAMI"cd/lp - OUT IN OCTOBER
Following their ground-breaking debut, "Fire of Love", MIAMI was released in 1982 and has been out of print for more than 10 years. Produced by Blondie's Chris Stein, it has a cleaner sound than its predecessor, yet manages to retain a similar urgency and overall intensity as well as Pierce's ominous trademark howl. Debbie Harry sings back-up on various tracks under the pseudonym D.H.Lawrence.
TRACKSCarry Home, Calling Up Thunder, Brother and Sister, Run Through the Jungle, Devil in the Woods, Texas Serenade, Watermelon Man, Bad Indian, John Hardy, Fire of Love, Sleeping in Blood City, Mother of Earthsftri 741THE GUN CLUB "DEATH PARTY"cd ep/12" - OUT IN OCTOBER
After a lineup shake-up, DEATH PARTY (1983) is the only recording by this version of The Gun Club.
In addition to Jeffrey on guitar and vocals there is Dee Pop (Bush Tetras) on drums, Jim Duckworth (Panther Burns) and Jimmy Uiana on bass. This is a strange record. "Death Party" (the track) was co-written by San Francisco band Flipper and Pierce, and according to Duckworth "it was based on a moronic rock riff that made us all laugh." The standout track among the apocalyptic preaching is the haunting and beautiful "The House on Highland Avenue. "
TRACKSThe House on Highland Avenue, The Lie, Light of the World, Death Party, Come Back Jimsftri 742THE GUN CLUB "LAS VEGAS STORY"cd/lp - OUT IN OCTOBER
Although Jeffrey would reform and reignite The Gun Club up until his death, this release from 1984 marked the end of the original era. Kid Congo Powers was back on guitar after serving time with The Cramps and Rob Ritter who left to join 45 Grave was replaced by Patricia Morrison on bass. Including peculiar choices for covers by Pharoah Sanders and Gershwin, LAS VEGAS STORY begins with a Bo Diddley drum beat and continues through a pastiche of styles and storylines that encapsulate the warped ideals of middle America.
TRACKSThe Las Vegas Story, Walkin' With the Beast, Eternally Is Here, Stranger In Our Town, My Dreams, Master Plan, My Man's Gone Now, Bad America, Moonlight Motel, Give Up The Sunbonus track on CD"Secret Fires"
― william (william), Thursday, 1 July 2004 05:25 (10 years ago) Permalink
Utterly great! When I was kid Gun Club, together with Wall of Voodoo and Thin White Rope, were my psychopomps to the exploration of a highly mythologized Californian pit of the damned. See the damages of american culture around the world. :)
― Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Thursday, 1 July 2004 11:54 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 1 July 2004 12:09 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Jay Vee (Manon_70), Monday, 13 September 2004 23:48 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 14 September 2004 00:14 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 14 September 2004 00:26 (10 years ago) Permalink
This sounds fantastic in theory!
I've just put Fire Of Love on because of this thread. Let's go kill Ivy, woah-oh!!
― Hayden (Pow, Pow, Pow) (haitch), Tuesday, 14 September 2004 01:19 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Ian Riese-Moraine has been xeroxed into a conduit! (Eastern Mantra), Monday, 4 July 2005 15:45 (9 years ago) Permalink
Cool piece of art, named "Gun Club". Strips of dyed velvet. Apparently it IS named after the band.
― pauls00, Monday, 4 July 2005 16:08 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Ian Riese-Moraine has been xeroxed into a conduit! (Eastern Mantra), Monday, 4 July 2005 16:34 (9 years ago) Permalink
The Gun Club - Fire of Love (Ruby, 1981)
This isn't southern gothic, it's feral white trash. Jeffrey Lee Pierce is Jack White’s charming older brother until the Wild Turkey comes on; then he’s an arrogant prick swathed in a cloud of Aqua-Net.
The Gun Club had a long career after this album and never hit this mark again. The rhythm section of Rob Ritter and Terry Graham hounds Jeffrey Lee through the scrub pine, chasing down the hollow keen of his voice. Ward Dotson's slide guitar slashes wildly at Pierce, coming after him from the shadows like a trucklot whore with her pimp’s buck knife.
The lyrics whip past your head until you catch one in the face: “I’ve been a real good tombstone / but now I’m blown away.” Gun Club co-founder (but absent from this first record) Kid Congo later covered “She’s Like Heroin To Me” with Sally Norvell, where it loomed in the half-light with an eerie, narcotic allure. "We sit together drunk / like our fathers used to be / I'm looking up and God is saying, 'What are you gonna do?' / I'm looking up and I'm crying, 'I thought it was up to you.'" Pierce sends murderous, adoring valentines to Ivy Rorschach ("For the Love of Ivy") and gets at a piece of Robert Johnson on "Preaching the Blues" that nobody else ever touched.
Then there’s the "Sex Beat," which isn’t sexy or erotic but base, urgent, murderous, nothing more than a criminal motive as unconsidered as the reflex at the base of a dog’s hunched spine. The sex beat hammers away like an all day speed freak. It’s dry hump sex; it’s a black pubic hair caught in a crust of blood on polyblend panties. It’s just a fact, a part of the mosquito landscape.
This record forges the earliest link between punk and blues. For hippies the blues represented a base truth and authenticity. For Pierce it’s raw, repetitive, hypnotic, clangorous, syphilitic. Ultimately, Jeffrey Lee drugged and drank and fucked himself into the grave, but don't get this record because he lived out his blues cliche. Get it because he knew his special rider in the dark, and he had a band that could preach the blues in hell. (David Smay)
― Kim Cooper, Tuesday, 5 July 2005 01:08 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Kim Cooper, Tuesday, 5 July 2005 01:09 (9 years ago) Permalink
The new Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds album should be (indie label gods willing) out by September, but if you're on Myspace you can listen to two of the tracks here: http://myspace.com/kidcongoandthepinkmonkeybirds
I'm in the band. I'd like to know what my fellow ILM'ers think. xox
― Jay Vee (Manon_70), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 04:00 (9 years ago) Permalink
― willem (willem), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 05:52 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Jay Vee (Manon_70), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 12:48 (9 years ago) Permalink
― willem (willem), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 12:57 (9 years ago) Permalink
― latebloomer (latebloomer), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 05:32 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Eisbär (llamasfur), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 06:00 (9 years ago) Permalink
― mullygrubbr (bulbs), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 07:23 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 12:08 (9 years ago) Permalink
(Though my personal favorite's probably be Miami)
― iodine (iodine), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 13:20 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Si.C@rter (SiC@rter), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 22:24 (9 years ago) Permalink
― polyphonic (polyphonic), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 22:25 (9 years ago) Permalink
― alex in mainhattan (alex63), Thursday, 29 September 2005 10:21 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 06:25 (9 years ago) Permalink
― regular roundups (Dave M), Monday, 13 February 2006 06:30 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Monday, 13 February 2006 06:48 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Fastnbulbous (Fastnbulbous), Monday, 13 February 2006 11:15 (9 years ago) Permalink
― howld, Monday, 13 February 2006 12:23 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Jay Vee (Manon_70), Monday, 13 February 2006 12:54 (9 years ago) Permalink
I know there's a lyric or two on Fire Of Love or Miami (both records I love) but I'm listening to a great bootleg from 1982 and at the beginning of Jack On Fire he just says "N-Word".
Is this ok?
― derekerdman (Derek Erdmany), Sunday, 8 October 2006 20:27 (8 years ago) Permalink
To address the heart of the matter, Jeffrey Lee Pierce was not a racist; he loved and respected black people, and he was an avid follower of many blues and reggae artists. He certainly wasn't a bigot on account of his lyrics. In his music he used a device called a persona, which is to say he delivered his songs from the perspective of a fictional character whose views were not necessarily consistent with his own. If the line "I was hunting for niggers down in the dark" makes you uncomfortable, just pretend the narrator of the song is a deranged mid-20th-century Kentucky preacher whose wife just left him for a black woodcutter whose name is probably LaDerrick. And if you're offended by Jeffrey's casual use of the word "nigger" at the beggining of "Jack on Fire," just pretend he was hopped up on heroin -- and thuis deprived of his social conscience -- for the duration of the concert. [/prolixity]
― King-a-Ling (King-a-Ling), Sunday, 8 October 2006 21:59 (8 years ago) Permalink
― King-a-Ling (King-a-Ling), Sunday, 8 October 2006 22:04 (8 years ago) Permalink
"It is not an art statement/to drown a few passionate men"
Fire of Love totally beyond classic
― J0hn D., Tuesday, 22 May 2007 23:07 (8 years ago) Permalink
She's like heroin to me, she cannot miss the vein... Wow. Fuck "Miami", it's indeed all about "Fire of Love"... Oddly the GC is currently being revived here in Montreal by an up and coming band which regularly plays covers of their songs during their live sets. The Club's really another one of these obscure bands from which spring various cult figures... the Kid, Patti Morrison... It's a bit like Crime & the City Solution, confidentially yours...
And "Sex Beat"! What an album-opener!
-- Simon, Wednesday, April 4, 2001 12:00 AM (6 years ago) Bookmark Link
i wonder what band this was/is
― s1ocki, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 02:15 (8 years ago) Permalink
mother of earth (from 'miami') is one of my favourite songs of all time.
― estela, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 02:48 (8 years ago) Permalink
are the gun club really obscure these days? i remember tons of kids seeming to dig/ at least know about them -- goths, rockers, punkers, mockers...
but then i do speak of twenty-plus years ago.
and yeah i love them a lot, in small doses. best rev. gary davis cover, ever.
― Mike McGooney-gal, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 03:31 (8 years ago) Permalink
ohh wait that's son house, doh.
― Mike McGooney-gal, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 03:32 (8 years ago) Permalink
― latebloomer, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 03:34 (8 years ago) Permalink
Godspeed You Sex Beat
― Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 03:51 (8 years ago) Permalink
are the gun club really obscure these days?
― Curt1s Stephens, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 03:56 (8 years ago) Permalink
Waht! I thought they were pretty well known.
― Trayce, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 04:00 (8 years ago) Permalink
I wouldn't have heard of them if not for the Left of the Dial comp which I only came across thanks to the internet. Even then they were still buried amongst 50 other artists.
― Curt1s Stephens, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 04:00 (8 years ago) Permalink
I knew about them cause of the Guthrie production, apparently "Breaking Hands" is awesome tho I dont know if I have it/have heard it.
― Trayce, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 04:14 (8 years ago) Permalink
I know their music from way back when.
Kid Congo's living in DC these days. He was in the row ahead of me seeing "the Fabulous Stans" movie at the Library of Congress a little while back.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 04:35 (8 years ago) Permalink
His new album's pretty nice, and there's ILXor involvement...
― Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 04:48 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Capitaine Jay Vee, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 07:22 (8 years ago) Permalink
Two Lone Swordsmen are doing their best to revive them.
― baaderonixx, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 08:39 (8 years ago) Permalink
My typo above--Kid Congo was seeing the "Fabulous Stains" movie. I am also trying to remember if I ever saw the Gun Club. I know I missed them opening for the Cramps at the Bayou in Georgetown (DC) because I was studying for a final. Hmmmm, I wonder if they ever came back to town.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 23 May 2007 13:06 (8 years ago) Permalink
Lucky Jim's a bit crap though, IMO.
― Colonel Poo, Friday, 29 February 2008 16:26 (7 years ago) Permalink