The History section of this web site is very sparse, especially the pages from 1980, onward. With time, these pages will be flushed out with lots of photos, and the sparse text will be replaced with, ah, well - it'll be replaced. The text following 1980 comes directly from Joe Nolte. Hopefully someone out there will be "encouraged" to write me with alternate ideas about the events described...
So instead of spending the first half of the year recording, we spent it
auditioning people. I'd decided to find someone who could sing and also play
guitar. Mike during his initial tenure had only sang - he was a keyboardist,
but Vitus was already in the band.
Susanna Hoffs wanted to audition, but I wanted a guy, so she went off to form
the Bangs. Dave Roback auditioned, and he was a friend of ours and was of
course good, but his voice was too low - I wanted a vocal copy of brother
Mike. So Dave went and started Rain Parade, and we all know where that led
(Mazzy Star, etc) and I think he still hates me to this day. Also tried out
Steve Wynn, and had the same problem - too low a voice, not Mike-ish enough -
so he started Dream Syndicate, and though we've remained civil and
occasionally friendly I'm pretty sure he also thinks I'm an asshole.
So in essence we spent the first half of the year making powerful enemies and
inadvertantly creating the Paisley Underground.
We ended up with a guy named Tony Rugulo - son of Pete Rugulo (arranger for
Stan Kenton and creator of a whole mess of brilliant "brass in stereo" etc.
albums in the late '50's) who mixed well with us, joined in May, and quit in
July to form the Question. I still see Tony from time to time - more on that
We then stole a guy named Tom Underhill from a South Bay band called The
Earwigs, which caused the breakup of that group, winning us even more enemies.
A reconstructed version of that band reformed in the fall, and Tom quit to
join them, followed by brother David. (This version was called Hector & the
We did the usual "final gig" with David at Madame Wong's East in November, and
brought in John Rosewall to play bass.
We had just begun a new series of recordings at a brand new studio in Venice
called Radio Tokyo . . .