A History of Arizona's Local Music Scene From 1979-2000

 

Nita's Hideaway

 

                                             

 

 

 

Minder Binders                                                                             Mason Jar

                                                                             

Long Wongs Tempe

 

                               

                                        Madison Square Gardens                        


A look back at some of the  bands  that made up the local scene from the late 70's to the early 2000's in an effort to preserve their history. In no way is this list comprehensive. I have gathered links to assist anyone who'd like more info on the Arizona Music Scene. I'm sure I've forgotten many bands, if you'd like to see someone included send along the info!

Any bands or record labels that have issue with anything I've posted, please let me know and I will gladly remove it. 

Anyone who would like to contribute info, records, mp3's, fliers, etc, contact me at  azlocal@gmail.com

About This Site  My Music Room 

 

History of AZ music from the New Times (and inspiration for this site!)

 

  Phenomenal Doug Hopkins Site & source for  this site

 

 

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  Bands and People:

 

 

Algebra Ranch- A short-lived project of former members of The Psalms and Jetzons

 

Alison's Halo- MP3's   Early 90's pop

 

Beat Angels- mp3  Brian Smith's group who've turned out two fantastic discs

 

Beats the Hell Out Of Me

 

Best Kissers In The World mp3's Originally from Arizona before moving to Washington State

 

 

Big Moxie (mp3's) formed by all the members of the Stumbles except Ron Walker, released one CD titled "Bacteria"

Mark Moffatt- Big Moxie 

 

Big Shot Allstar- mp3 late 90's Rockers

 

Billy Clone & The Same (mp3's)  Early New Wave featuring Mike Corte, Bruce Connole and Damon Doiron, released this 1979 ep "X and Y" produced by Mike Condello

 

Blue Shoes- mp3's Late 70's, Early 80's Power Pop featuring Peggy "Murph" Murphy,  they released two 7" singles with 3 songs each and a 7 song EP. "Better" is a fantastic song. "Better" Video

 

 

Box Of Cherries - Glenn De Jongh's hook-filled pop band

 

 

Brainz (mp3's) late 70's punk band, 3 members went on to  form Mighty Sphincter

 

Brian Page & The Next mp3  Mid 80's rockers and National Star Search Winners

 

Brian Smith- Leader of The Beat Angels and formerly The Pills and Gentlemen Afterdark most notably. 

 

Bruce Connole- groups include: Billy Clone & The Same, Jetzons, The Strand, The Revenants, Suicide Kings

 

Burning Bush (mp3's) -female punk/pop trio, in the vein of Minutemen/Red Hot Chili Peppers

 

Cartwheels-mp3  Alter ego of The Zen Lunatics with a twangier sound, released one CD "Dang!"

 

Catch 22 VIDEO

 

Caterwaul  (mp3)    This Regret  Betsy Martin fronted this Phoenix rock group

 

Cheddars  (mp3's)- Short-lived band included Wade Brandimore, formerly of Festive Death

 

Chimeras- mp3's  New Times Article CD Another Doug Hopkins band, included the Zubia brothers and their Mistaken For Granted CD, recorded after Doug was kicked out, is much sought after

 

 

Conflict (mp3) - Punk Rock 

 

 

Consumers (mp3's) Late 70's Punk Rock

 

Cosmo Topper (mp3) Arizona Band From 1980, COSMO TOPPER, Members: Jim Lundsford, Rick Unger, Pete Doakley, Paul Fulbright, Ramon Dominguez. 

 

Cryptics mp3's - Bruce Connole's short-lived foray into metal they released one 45 and one cassette.

 

 

Damon Doiron- groups included: Billy Clone & The Same, Jetzons, Algebra Ranch, Mortal Engines, The Strand, Spinning Jenny (The Jennys) among others

 

David James - long time Valley musician and former host of Arizon Showcase on Cox Cable

 

Dead Hot Workshop Photos of Mid 90's Tempe Scene & Dead Hot Workshop

 

The Dog & Pony Show mp3's  Though they were only around for about a year or two, the Dog and Pony Show handily brought a new buzz to the Tucson music scene, and sparked a rebirth in what some refer to as "desert rock" with their slightly country infused nineties alt-rock. Their only release, Ashtrays and Afterlife Money, was well recieved by critics, and band members were clearly hoping to do more, but things just seemed to peter out. Went on to form  Creosote and the Friends of Dean Martinez. (from the Club Congress site)

 

 

 

 

Doug Hopkins - Lost Horizons , the definitive Doug Hopkins site New Times Article  Doug's death His Page  Wrote many of the songs for The Gin Blossoms, other groups included: Moral Majority, The Psalms, Ten O'Clock Scholars, Algebra Ranch and The Eventuals

 

The Drakes New Site with MP3's mp3's - Tucson rock/power pop

 

The Eccentrics - Punk/New Wave group from the early 80's included members Randy Bush, Rich Contadino and Derek Shellhorn, played with Gentlemen Afterdark, The Jetzons, etc.

 

 

The Eventuals- Doug Hopkins band post Gin Blossoms

 

Feedbags- featured Jim Swafford and Scotty Johnson

 

Feederz (mp3)  Punk Rock  VIDEO

 

Flathead  Bio  Myspace mp3  Nipp site  CD Baby  New Times Article  VIDEO  Alt Country Rockers

 

Franco Gagliano - influential owner of The Mason Jar, which hosted many bands over the years

 

Frank Lloyd Vinyl -(with mp3's) mp3

 

 

 Gas Giants  mp3  (former Gin Blossoms) Pictures

 

Generiks- mp3  Punk Rockers from the late 80's to 2000

 

Gentlemen Afterdark (mp3) Extremely popular, featuring Brian Smith of the Pills who later moved on to form The Beat Angels. 4 Song record produced by Alice Cooper.

 

Ghetto Cowgirl mp3's  Ghetto Cowgirl/Velvet Elvis page  Straight ahead rock featuring members of Dead Hot Workshop, Pistoleros and Gloritone

 

Gin Blossoms    Videos  Robin Wilson's Side Project The Longshadows(mp3's)

                            Jesse Valenzuela's side project Tres Diablos (mp3's)Jesse Valenzuela's Homepage         

 

Glass Heroes  VIDEO  ageless punk rockers

 

Gloritone mp3

 

Grant & The Geezers (mp3) Early 80's Punk Rock

 

Grave Danger  VIDEO   Rockabilly punks

 

Grievous Angels

 

Greyhound Soul VIDEO

 

Half String  Early to mid 90's group featuring Kimber Lanning on Drums

 

Hellfire - Psychobilly/Punk group featuring Kevin Daly (Grant & The Geezers, Flathead)

 

Horace Pinker VIDEO  punk rock, originally from Tempe, Arizona

 

Jacket Weather - Outstanding Keyboard driven New Wave group from Tucson featuring Tim Gassen and also included Lee Joseph from Yard Trauma and Jonny Sevin. Releasing  Re-issue of all material - info available here

 

Jagged Rocks On the Perimeter (mp3's)

 

Jeff Dahl Group -mp3's  Legendary Punk rocker Jeff Dahl, who has played in Angry Samoans, Powertrip and Vox Pop, an extremely prolific career with countless records released, still going strong, his lates solo record (his 21st!) available here

 

 

Jennys (Spinning Jenny) (mp3's) featuring Damon Doiron, their first CD "Pinata Full Of Bees" produced by Tom Pettijohn as Spinning Jenny before having to change their name to simply The Jennys.  Scott Hessel, their drummer, went on to be in  The Stumbles, Gloritone and Big Moxie.

New Times< xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" prefix="o" namespace="">

HOME BREW

Published: February 19, 1992

SPINNING < xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" prefix="st1" namespace="">JENNY 17th Street
(local tape)

The latest in what seems like a quarterly issue of Spinning Jenny tapes finds the Tempe guitar band stretching its scope with added edge.

Indeed, 17th Street continues the Jenny's push from the comfortable charm of old Beatlemania bits toward a more strident sound, best reflected in the ragged efforts of new lead guitarist Freddy Gildersleeve.

The rougher treatment helps make older, more established Spinning Jenny songs sound urgent. The travelogue tragedy of "Fastest Car in Town," for example, now seems to make more sense, while "Back in the Light," the band's best song, adds depth to its skinny-tie power-pop.

But the Jenny's tough-guy approach costs the band a little something, too. The cool guitar touches on the chorus of "Back in the Light" are downplayed too much on the cassette, and the band's secret weapon, the back-up croon of bassist Damon Doiron (formerly of the Jetzons and the Strand), is hardly heard behind singer-guitarist Stephen Easterling's lead vocals.

Even so, Easterling is clearly one of the better pop songwriters in the Valley, and 17th Street confirms Spinning Jenny's position as one of Tempe's better bands. For proof, check out the title cut, which literally brims with a communal come-on to suburban Tempe. It's a good song with an inviting feel, and a perfect example of people not having to be told that a music "scene" grows best when it's pushed least.

 

Jetzons (mp3's)  Bruce Connole and Damon Doiron from Billy Clone & The Same

 

JFA   80's Skate Rock  VIDEO VIDEO  VIDEO  

 

 Jim Swafford - involved in many Arizona Bands including Ten O'Clock Scholars, The Psalms, The Feedbags and co-wrote the Gin Blossoms "Mrs. Rita"

 

 Jimmy Eat World   Videos  Discography More Videos Bleed American Live Video

 

Joel Samuel - Backstage Arizona producer/host with an amazing amount of video of local Arizona musicians. Check here for VIDEOS

 

John Dixon (Johnny D.) Local radio legend

 

Jonathan L  Local radio legend

 

Jonny Sevin (mp3's) Early 80's Tucson new wave/power pop group, who turned out a Power Pop gem in 1982 on Art Attack Records, members went on to form Yard Trauma

 

Junior Achievement (mp3) - Arizona Punk Rock

 

Jr CHemists mp3's

 

 

 

 

KEYX FM  Alternative radio Station in the 90's Read about it's origins

 

Killer Pussy    Buy  Killer Pussy CD  Lucy LaMode's wildly popular group, output included a 7" record and LP with the "hit" Teenage Enema Nurses in Bondage. Still available on CD!

 

Kongo Shock Mid 90's Ska band

 

KUKQ  Defunct Local Alternative Radio Station. Read an awesome history from founder Jonathan L. here

 

Lemon Krayola 

 

Les Payne (Lush Budget Presents The Les Payne Product, Les Payne Project)

 

Les Seldoms mp3 Tucson Art Punks, members went on to be in Desert Roses and 35 Summers

 

Live Nudes - A Zubia Brothers band that included Doug Hopkins, when Hopkins left, they changed their name to The Pistoleros

 

Loosely Tight-(mp3's) A Phoenix, Arizona Hard Rock Group, still in existence!

 

Low Watts mp3 (former Gin Blossom project)

 

Luke Skood - mp3's

 

Major Figures - mid 80's pop band VIDEO

 

Major Lingo (with mp3's) Video

 

Man Dingo  mp3 Punk Rock

 

Manic N  (with Mp3's!) local new wave band and 1985 Soundboard magazine's  "Hottest New Band 1985" , opened for The Jetzons and Killer Pussy.

 

 

MC Brennan mp3's Phoenix area  Singer, Song Writer, performer and writer. Brennan's dad was famed Arizona rock musician Ron Dobbins best friends and frequent collaborator with Mike Condello.

 

Meat Puppets  discography an awesome Meat Puppets site Reviews Rehearsal Video VIDEO VIDEO 

 

 

Middletown - An early project from future Stumbles and Big Moxie, these guys played my 30th birthday party opening for the Chimeras and I fondly recall singing a cover of The Call's "The Walls Came Down" with them in 1994.

 

 

 

 

Mighty Sphincter

 

Mondo Guano  Tucson Desert Rock

 

Monitor mp3  Art Punk, The Meat Puppets performed on their 1981 LP

 

Moral Majority - Doug Hopkins and Bill Leen's first band

  

Nervous (mp3's)

 

Nova Boys (coming soon)

 

Nowhere Dreamer mp3's  1993 Band Of The Year Phoenix  Hard Rock

 

 

One Foot In The Grave-  Oldest punk Rockers in the world, from Sun City, AZ

 

The Out! Crowd- Grant from Grant & The Geezers 80's band VIDEO VIDEO

 

Paul Murphy - mp3's

 

Pedestrians  Tucson Punk Rockers from the late 70's,  members went on to Green On Red and Giant Sandworms (Giant Sand)

 

 

Phunk Junkeez

 

 

Piersons mp3 two CD's, Humbucker and Appleberry Wine both produced by Jim Swafford

 

Pills(live show) (mp3)   

 

 

 from Club Congress web site: The Pills/Gentlemen Afterdark
1979—1983/1983—1989


Fronted by singer Brian Smith, the Pills capitalized on the glam-punk look and sound, moved to Phoenix in 1983, changed their name to Gentlemen Afterdark and released an EP produced by Alice Cooper. Members of the band are still familiar to fans of Tucson music... guitarist Robin Johnson later went on to play in the Sidewinders, Sand Rubies, and Maryanne, and currently plays guitar with desert rockers Greyhound Soul. Drummer Winston Watson would move on to Giant Sand before becoming Bob Dylan's touring and session drummer from 1992 through 1996. Watson continues to be an in-demand session musician, but has also graced the stage with many local bands including Greyhound Soul. The Pills frontman Brian Smith later went on to form the Phoenix-area band The Beat Angels in the mid-90's, which continues to recycle elements of punk, glam, and pop in their raucous performances.

Don Jennings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pistoleros    (mp3)     Formerly Live Nudes, The Zubia brothers post Doug Hopkins

 

Poppin' Wheelies- mp3  Gin Blossoms, Low Watts connection

 

 

Psalms  - 1983 band featuring Doug Hopkins, Bill Leen and Jim Swafford, they released a 45 "A Story I Was Told" b/w "Christmas Island" and a cassette only release "No Great Cathedral"

 

 

 

 

 

Rabid Rabbit (mp3's) Often compared to Janes Addiction, turned out One Lp  - Technicolor Yawn, a masterpiece.  Members from Mighty Sphincter and JFA

 

Radio Architecture - mp3's

Red Squares (mp3's) Early 80s' punk Modern Roll 7" and Modern Roll LP

 

Refreshments    Refreshments - Down together (Video)  Wanted (Live)

 

 

Reporters 

 

Reuben's Accomplice

 

  

 Revenants  Bruce Connole's latest group

 

Rip & Tear- metal band from the 80's VIDEO

 

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers   Video     (formerly The Refreshments)

 

 

 

 

Ron Walker (mp3's) -  Blue Diamond Man was a limited edition debut, cassette only release, that showed the promise for future groups Middletown and The Stumbles. This cassette featured Ron with lead vocals, background vocals, guitars, bass and keyboards with help from Kerry Jackson and Ron's brother Darryl sharing vocals and writing credits on "Echoes Of Laughter". Ron wrote and produced it as well. 

Review:                              

New Times

HOME BREW

Published: February 19, 1992

 

RON WALKER Blue Diamond Man
(local tape)

"Solid" and "shiny" are the words here.
Glendale rocker Ron Walker likes to do things his way. On Blue Diamond Man, he sings everything and takes all the writing credits-save for the tape's single ballad, the sad but pleasant "Echoes of Laughter." Walker also takes the lion's share of the string and keyboard work here and lets no one sit behind the drum kit but himself. His one-man-band approach is rock-sturdy. From the Beatlesque, shake-it-up-baby "Stay Out of the Rain," to the Romantics-flavored, drum-heavy fun of "U Don't Know," Walker has permitted these musical influences to be no more than just that.

On the funkified-and most lyrically polished-song "Don't Take My Advice," Walker's fine, rangy voice shows its brightness and versatility. Overall, Blue Diamond Man is a steady-at times downright flashy-howdy-do by a musician who should be around for a spell.

Royal Normans (mp3's) New Times Article Royal Normans at Garage Band (mp3's) Local power pop group fronted by Greg Simmons with extremely catchy tunes

 

Satellite  Stephen Ashbrook's band

 

Scones 

 

Scotty Johnson- Guitarist for The Gin Blossoms , Feedbags, Low Watts and  The Peacemakers

 

Serene Dominic (with mp3's) legendary figure in the Arizona music scene as a  musician and writer

 

Serfers (later Green On Red)- (mp3) Live Show Tucson band who moved to Los Angeles and changed their name to Green On Red after signing with Slash Records.

 

Shadow Talk mp3   Late 80's New Wave

 

Sixthyearsenior  mp3 - Punk Rock

 

Soylent Green mp3's   Early 80's Phoenix Skate Punks (Thanks to former drummer Neil for the mp3's!). Neil played in Soylent Green, The Nova Boys and an early incarnation of Jagged Rocks On the Perimeter.

 

Spiffs  mp3- Guitar pop band from the early 80's. Glenn De Jongh went on to perform with many bands, most notably Bob Welch. Released this 5 song 7" called "Don't Waste Your Money On This Garbage"

 

Steppchild  VIDEO

 

Sticky Thang - high energy punk rockers from the early 90's with former memebers of Nova Boys

 

Strangelove mp3's

 

Squares Tempe power pop in the 80's featuring Scotty Johnson, later of The Gin Blossoms

 

Stickmen- I saw these guys a few times, amazing!!!! I know they recorded a CD at Salt Mine then moved to New York and I never heard of them again. As far as I know, the CD was never released.                         Very Talking Heads-ish. Unfortunate  they disappeared.

 

The Strand- Another Bruce Connole and Damon Doiron group, released one cassette in 1987

 

Street Pajama (mp3) 80's New Wave Group

1986 Photo

 

Stumbles-(mp3's) Out of the ashes of Middletown, one of my all-time favorite local acts that could have  (should have) been huge. Fronted by master musician Ron Walker, who traded vocals with Mark Moffatt, they produced 2 self-released CD's, their debut was self-titled and their 2nd cd mocked the K-Tel releases of the 70's and was titled-Best Of Greatest Hits Volume 7.  Scott Hessell, who was in The Refreshments and later Gloritone joined on drums in the later stages and Moffatt and crew went on to form Big Moxie.

 

Desert Discs - The Stumbles< xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" prefix="o" namespace="">

Continued from page 2

Published: November 30, 1995

The Stumbles
The Stumbles
(self-released)

After Jefferson Airplane, but before < xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" prefix="st1" namespace="">Styx, "eclectic" became a dirty word in rock. An "eclectic" young band is one that hasn't figured out what it wants to be when it grows up, while an "eclectic" older group means even the drummer thinks he can sing (and, worse, write). The Stumbles fall somewhere in between. The band boasts two strong front men/guitarists, Ron Walker and Mark Moffatt--and Walker plays all the drums on this CD.

Any group that runs as wide a spectrum of styles in a 40-minute live set as the Stumbles can is eclectic in the best sense of the word. This band can harness the power of Sugar or Live and tack on highly polished block harmonies worthy of the Plimsouls or the Rembrandts, as demonstrated here on "SSS Man" and "Undertow."

"And She" is a whisper-to-scream pop gem that starts out with chiming acoustic 12strings like The La's "There She Goes," before launching into a nasally Bob Mouldish chorus. When he sings this song live, the large-framed Moffatt resembles Ed Wood's beloved wrestler/actor, Tor Johnson, at his eye-bulging best. In the recorded version of "And She," Moffatt states that his beloved "gets on my face." Live, however, I could swear he sings "sits." In any case, "And She" is a killer song, and the band has more where that came from: The number of new tunes the Stumbles are currently playing out indicates the band didn't succumb to debut fever and shoot their wad on one album. Good thing. A recording this good deserves a quality follow-up. --Serene Dominic

Stupid Dummy Head-  mp3  late 90's Punk/Surf band

 

Sugar High Guitar Pop    New Times Article  

 

 

Suicide Kings - Another Bruce Connole project

 

Sun City Girls   discography   VIDEO 

 

Swooping Monkeybats SMB mp3's  Cramps-like punkers of the early 90's

 

Tao Overstreet (mp3)  later changed their name to Idols Of Perversity    New Times Article   

 

Teds (mp3)  Local threesome, one member went on to be in Mighty Sphincter and was half-owner of Placebo Records. Only 500 records pressed of this 7"

 

Ten O'Clock Scholars- Doug Hopkins, Bill Leen, Jim Swafford, David McKay and Randy Sanders around 1986 and just prior to The Gin Blossoms

 

Tone Set  discography 

 

Tripping With Grace  (mp3) Alternative Power Pop featuring Michael Shannon, Ward Aycock, Bryan Kuban and Jon Leech

 

Trunk Federation

 

Undertow- A near miss Goth/Pop group (late 80's, early 90's), nearly had a deal with Sire Records included Allan Ross Wiley, Mark Lauer, Robin Johnson (Gentlemen Afterdark) and Harry McCaleb. Later incarnation included Rich Contindino (Jagged Rocks), Mark Cady and Jerry Stevens and the departure of Johnson and Wiley. Lauer went on to form Crushed.

 

The Van Buren Wheels mp3's "a '60s-style Vox-organ-grinding R&B outfit"

 

Victory Acres (mp3) - Meat Puppets side project

 

 

X Streams-  mp3's VIDEO

Zany Guys (mp3) - 80's punk rock

 

 

 Zen Lunatics   New Times Article  Another New Times Article-mp3  pop rock band formed in the early 1990s. Originators of what became know as the Moon Valley Sound , Terry Garvin (vocals/guitar), Chris Hansen Orf (vocals/guitar), Ric Napoli (drums) and Gilbert Padilla (bass guitar/vocals), all from Phoenix, combine classic pop rock sensibilities in the vein of The Beatles, The Who. Previously Fourth Generation Rain. Their country-tinged alter ego is The Cartwheels and also members of Dead Brains.

 

 Zig Zag Black

 

 

Zubia Brothers- bands include The Chimeras and Pistoleros

 

 

 

TUCSON, ARIZONA  EXTENSIVE DISCOGRAPHY

 

 

More Tucson bands (Courtesy of Bill Cuevas - Conflict/Broken Horse):

 

Sex Snax (1988, all-girl with Tasha on guitar)
Slo-Deluxe
Haus
The Black Supersuckers (dropped the "Black" and moved to Seattle, ca. 1988)
Thai Pink
Pollo Elastico (Pete Holmes' band, 1987)
The Napkins
Bebe and Serge
Winelord
The Okmoniks
Hobart
The Pork Torta
Rotte Kappelle
Chromatics
Clean Dog
Corporate Whores
UPS
Blood Spasm
Zero Tolerance Task Force
ESS (1982, Lee Joseph/Joe Dodge/Lance Kaufman throbbing gristle
experimental trio post Jonny Sevin-Pre-Yard Trauma)
Civil Death
Broken Horse (band I've been in for almost 20 years now, post
Conflict, we moved to SF in 92' but played out a ton from 88 til then)
 

 

 

Knights of Fuzz DVD - killer DVD featuring a ton of cool Garage Rock bands put together by the multi-talented Timothy Gassen

 

 

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Looking for info, mp3's, photos etc. of:

The Out! Crowd               Mental Pictures              Undertow             The Trend                      

The Feedbags                  The Strand                      Method U             Nova Boys                     

The Photos                      Victory Acres                 The Squares          Mortal Engines            

  ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

 

 

 Of Interest:

 

                            GetOutAZ's Local Top 50 All Time

                        GetOutAZ's Top 25 Local Albums All Time (Listen!)

azpunk.com   the definitive site for Arizona Punk Rock

Arizona Punk Rock Site

Early 80's Phoenix Punk Scene Pictures (Some really cool Meat Puppets photos!)

Blatant Localism- a cool site!

Awesome Site with Phoenix and Tucson Hardcore Fliers, articles, etc.

                       Current Local Arizona Bands

                       Stinkweeds Records- One of the best independent record stores around

                       The Big Takeover- Jack Rabid's incredible magazine

 

 

 

Some Great Websites:

http://www.nwoutpost.com 

 

 

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/

 

 www.collectorscum.com