The Gun Club

The Gun Club

:"For information on "gun clubs", see shooting ranges".Infobox musical artist
Name = The Gun Club
Img_capt = The Gun Club with Jeffrey Lee Pierce front and center deletable image-caption
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Background = group_or_band
Origin = Los Angeles, California
Years_active = 1980 - 1996
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Associated_acts =
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The Gun Club was an American punk blues band from Los Angeles in the 1980s led by flamboyant singer/guitarist Jeffrey Lee Pierce.

The Gun Club injected punk rock with doses of blues and country music. Pierce's wailing vocals were an ideal delivery for his songs, which generally had a spooky, haunted quality.


The Gun Club was formed by Jeffrey Lee Pierce, former head of the Blondie fan club in Los Angeles, who sang lead and played guitar, Brian Tristan, who later renamed himself Kid Congo Powers, lead guitar, Don Snowden (who was at the time a music critic for the Los Angeles Times) played bass; and Brad Dunning who was on drums. The core members of the original group (Pierce, Tristan/Powers and Dunning) had parted ways with Pleasant Gehman who was the lead singer for their short lived rockabilly band The Cyclones to form the band. The group was initially called The Creeping Ritual before settling on "The Gun Club", a name suggested by Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris.

Kid Congo left before the first album to join The Cramps. He was replaced by Ward Dotson, who played lead and slide guitar on the band's debut album. Other notable members included bassist Rob Ritter and drummer Terry Graham, who had both previously been in The Bags. Rob left after the debut album to form 45 Grave, and changed his name to Rob Graves. Later, Patricia Morrison, then known as Pat Bag, one of the founders of The Bags, joined to play bass on two LPs "Danse Kalinda Boom" and "Las Vegas Story" before leaving to join The Sisters of Mercy and then The Damned.

Their first album, 1981's "Fire of Love", was released on Slash Records division Ruby and is regarded as a classic by many rock critics, and is perhaps their strongest effort. Critic Stevo Olende has written that the "album's lyrical imagery is plundered from voodoo, '50's EC comics and the blues," while another notes that "Nobody has heard music like this before or since." [] "Fire of Love" sold well and arguably received the best reviews of any release from the band. Their second album, "Miami", was also well received. "Death Party", a 1983 EP, was recorded by Pierce and an assortment of musicians while he was in New York. Along with The Cramps, X, and other bands, they set much of the tone for the Hollywood rock scene in the 1980s. (Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe is rumored to have borrowed some of Pierce's distinctive look for his own early career.)

Powers rejoined the Gun Club for "Mother Juno" (1987), which received very positive reviews and seemed to prepare the group for greater fame. Unfortunately, Red Rhino records went out of business shortly after the album's original release, and Pierce's alcohol and drug abuse didn't help matters.

In 1992, Pierce returned to his musical roots by recording an album of mostly pre-war blues songs with his long time collaborator, the British blues Guitarist Cypress Grove. "Lucky Jim" (1994) was the band's final album. Pierce continued leading various incarnations of the Gun Club up until his death in 1996.

Romi Mori and Nick Sanderson went on to found the band Freeheat, with ex-members of The Jesus and Mary Chain Jim Reid and Ben Lurie. Sanderson died on 9 June 2008 of lung cancer. He was 47.


* "Fire of Love" (Ruby/Slash 1981)
* "Miami" (Animal records 1982)
* "Death Party" EP (1983)
* "Sex Beat '81" (Live) (1984)
* "The Birth, The Death, The Ghost" (Live) (1984)
* "The Las Vegas Story" (1984)
* "Two Sides of the Beast" (1985) Compilation
* "Danse Kalinda Boom" (Live) (1985)
* "Mother Juno" (1987)
* "Pastoral Hide and Seek" (1990)
* "Divinity" EP (1991)
* "In Exile" (1992) Compilation
* "Live In Europe" (1993)
* "Lucky Jim" (1993)
* "Early Warning" (1997) Rarities and demos


* Olende, Stevo [ Preachin' the Blues: The Gun Club Story] . "Perfect Sound Forever". (2002)

External links

* [ Guitarist Kid Congo Powers talks in depth about the Gun Club from the beginning to Jeffrey Lee Pierce's death] from
* [ Interview with former Gun Club guitarist Kid Congo Powers] from the Modern Pea Pod
* [ Gun Club] on [] DVD "Hardtimes Killin' Floor Blues", a film by Henri-Jean Debon (1992-2008, unpublished).

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