Biography

1894-1989

“A vivid memory of that tour: We’d pulled in to Portland the night before our show at the famous Satyricon, and decided to go down in the morning and check out the venue. There it was! Our name on the Marquee at our first “out of state” show.  Gotta get pictures! Ed whips out his camera and starts happily snapping away. All of a sudden my Spidey sense tingles and I notice this super shady looking character in a long trench coat with long greasy hair eyeing Ed’s camera from a block and a half away and heading towards us in a sort of Night of The Living Dead shuffle. I corral my oblivious compatriots towards our van and suggest we high tail it outta there to find some breakfast. Ok, fast forward five hours and we’re back at Satyricon, mid soundcheck, when the same shady dude comes strolling into the club carrying drums. Yep, he’s the drummer in the band playing after us, local legends Napalm Beach, and a super nice guy t’boot.  Anyway, we play our set and I throw our guitars in the communal dressing room behind the stage so we can fraternize with the locals without worrying about our gear. Napalm Beach starts rocking and I’m transfixed. Like some weird hybrid of Mountain, Sabbath and The Dolls and the drummer’s roaring nonstop like a modern day Ginger Baker.  Then, right out of a Billy Holiday bio pic, another shady dude makes his way behind the band into the dressing room, eyeing the drummer meaningfully and now the drummer’s sweating profusely and visibly distracted. He ends the song quickly and dives back into the dressing room while the cymbals are still ringing, show over. I go back to retrieve my guitars only to find the drummer shooting heroin right over one of my guitar cases, I mean, seconds later!? Good ol’ Spidey sense.  Coming from Transcendental Bay Area, it was the first time I’d seen anything like that, but I soon ascertained that, while the Bay Area partied for alleged enlightenment, the North West seemed to party for complete obliteration…(a little late 80’s North West tour atmospherics for ya.)

On another front, Leslie’s friend Jeff Clark had an excellent band, Shiva Burlesque (from whence sprang forth Grant Lee-Phillips), down in LA whom we regarded as a sister band. We went down to LA on more than one occasion to do gigs with them; but for the most part we couldn’t seem to bust out of the Bay Area treadmill. Berkeley? Yes. San Jose? Yes. San Francisco? Absolutely! Oakland? Uh huh. Sacramento? Occasionally…Outside of California? Just didn’t materialize on any regular basis…

Still, some outstanding gigs happened. One of my faves was opening at The I Beam for a much-ballyhooed “reunion” of Arthur Lee and Love. It was actually just Arthur, a guy from The Knack, and two Rastafarians…but it was killer, and packed to the gills. A monstrous “She Shook Me Cold”, with yours truly straddling a prostrate-but-still-twitching Medford at the front of the stage during the instrumental break, did not disappoint! Love played for 25 minutes, but it was a good 25 minutes.”
-David Immerglück