Cooking Vinyl is pleased to announce the release of three vinyl reissues by seminal post punk The Gun Club OUT NOW.
The releases are albums “Miami” (originally released in 1982) and “The Las Vegas Story” (1984) and also 5 track EP/mini album “Death Party” (1983).
All 3 are available to buy on 180g transparent, coloured vinyl. The vinyl colours are Yellow (Miami) and Blue (Death Party) and Green (The Las Vegas Story). These releases will also come with exclusive downloadable live tracks.
The Gun Club formed in Los Angeles in 1979. Led by flamboyant singer and guitarist Jeffrey Lee Pierce, The Gun Club merged the contemporary genre of punk rock with the more traditional genres of rockabilly and country music. The band split in 1996.
Kid Congo Powers sleeve notes on The Las Vegas Story
The Las Vegas Story was my first recording with Jeffrey as The Gun Club. Although we started the band way back in 1979 as The Creeping Ritual, in 1980 I was poached by The Cramps and left the band to play guitar with them. Four years and two studio albums later, Jeffrey and I were reunited; him as more experienced songwriter and both of us more adventurous musicians.
Jeffrey was looking to do something different than he had done before. We often discussed how the minute people tried to pigeon-hole us we felt like doing the opposite, not wanting to do what people would want us to do. Jeffrey was exploring playing guitar a lot more and our preference for older music made us kind of iconoclastic. We also didn’t want to be a roots band or roots snobs. We liked discovering things in old music and interpreting the sounds in a new way. The Cramps, James Chance, and The Gun Club, were all record collectors and fans of old music. But it definitely wasn’t to be nostalgic; our expression came out of the present. Nostalgia was a no-no.
The year 1984 was a time when Jeffrey was pretty much living with me. That was a great time. We were very into the Beats; Jeffrey was a very big Burroughs fan – as we all were – and we were reveling in Bukowski, Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Brion Gysin, Malcolm Lowry. We passed Under The Volcano around a lot, including passing it to Nick Cave. We were also reading a lot of Joseph Conrad and Heart Of Darkness had a big impact on the album. We liked the way the Beats were using language and we liked listening to a lot of jazz. You can hear this in the little homage to we did to Pharaoh Sanders with ‘The Creator Has A Master Plan’. At that time, we were definitely be-bopping.
Free jazz has its own language that speaks to you. As disjointed as it seems, it has a definite feeling, it seemed very coherent to us. We learned from this music how to listen and create a language. Not only a language that you can understand but a language that people want to learn. That’s the way jazz is; it’s a whole education of sorts and it says things in a different way. We understood these musical influences as saying something soulful, something that hits you on an ambiguous emotional level.
We didn’t try to directly transpose it to rock & roll. Jeffrey always used to say, “Hey, let’s think like jazz!” We weren’t jazz players and we couldn’t play jazz but we can make our own version of it. That’s what we did; we made our own language so people of our tribe could understand that language. We were more interested in the feel of it rather than a note-for-note execution. That was the goal.
After 30 years plus of hindsight, The Las Vegas Story makes me extremely proud because it’s the most different of all of The Gun Club’s records. There was definitely a change in the times; the records before it and the records after it don’t have that mood. It’s very dense and intense. It stands out on its own and it hangs together really well. It was a great production by Jeff Eyrich. I have production issues with the other records but not on this one. It was anchored gloriously by Terry Graham on drums and Patricia Morrison on bass. I think it really captures the mood of America in general and LA in particular.
It was a time of exploration for The Gun Club and shares like-mindedness with other bands like The Birthday Party, X, and other friends of ours. It has the feeling of doom and disgust that was part of those times but is also been made to be quite beautiful.
When on tour, I get a lot people coming up to me to tell me how important The Gun Club and that record was to them and I appreciate it greatly. It was a great time, one where The Gun Club matured but maybe it was more global because people from all over the world tell me how much the album means to them. But mostly it makes me grateful to Jeffrey for shoving a guitar in my hands and making me believe I could take part in creating something as wonderful as The Las Vegas Story.
Buy MIAMI Now From Amazon
Buy DEATH PARTY Now From Amazon
Buy THE LAS VEGAS STORY Now From Amazon