Vanessa's Pylon Blog
Scroll down to read my history of Pylon-"Vanessa's Version" and news.
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The official release date of Pylon Live, a double vinyl LP, is July 25,2016. It is available for pre-order through
Chunklet. The records will actually ship out to online orders in June.
Henry Owings approached Michael Lachowski a couple of years ago questioning the lack of very many bonus or live tracks on Chomp More. He set up a meeting with Michael and with Vanessa to discuss finding a suitable live show to release. We were in agreement to issue a show in it's entirety. After listening to numerous tapes from Randy Bewley's tape collection, Henry found a 4 track mix down of a few songs from Pylon's first last show from December 1, 1983 at the Mad Hatter, Athens, GA. The quality was very good for a live show. This had been taped for a TV show pilot that never aired called the Athens Show. John Fuller and Bob Gentile were the investors behind this project and gave okay for it's use. Henry began a journey to uncover what had happened to the original tapes. After following numerous dead ends and leads, he found that Jeff Calder had saved them. The tapes were then sent to Steve Puntolillo at Sonicraft for restoration and then on to Derek Almstead for mixing and clean up. Mastering was done by Drew Crumbaugh and lacquers were cut by Bob Weston. Michael Lachowski did the beautiful graphics. Photos by Michael Lachowski (outside and poster) and Bob Hay (gatefold).
Pylon Live Single
In April, 2016, Pylon released their first vinyl single in over 25 years on Chunklet. It was issued on magenta, clear and black.
The recordings came from Pylon's first last show recorded at the Mad Hatter on December 1,1983.
Design by Michael Lachowski.
Executive Producer: Henry Owings
Audio restored and mixed by Derek Almstead
Mastered by Drew Crumbaugh
Tapes preserved by Jeff Calder along with Steve Puntolillo at Sonicraft
Lacquers cut by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service
Pylon Dinosaur T shirt
Reprint of our Dinosaur shirt originally made in 1982. Illustrated by guitarist Randy Bewley and reimagined by bassist Michael Lachowski.
Printed with water based white ink on American Apparel tri-blend indigo shirts.
Available at Chunklet
Older news archives are at the end of this blog.
Pylon are back together, again. Michael Lachowki asked me to write something for the Pylon website. I decided to write a little personal history leading up to a current update of our band. If you have heard the story before, just skip to the end. If I have left you out, it wasn't intentional - E-mail me and I'll insert you into the story. If my memory of a date or name is incorrect, do the same. I am doing this from my own memory. No names or places have been changed to protect the innocent, only highlighted for my own enjoyment. I think that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
(Photo: Michael-roof of Iroquois, 1980 or so by Vanessa Briscoe Hay)
Click to enlarge.
After graduating from the University of Georgia art school in 1978, I hung around Athens, Georgia waiting for my then husband Jimmy Ellison (the Side Effects) to complete his degree. I had a part-time job at Dupont and another part-time job working for J.C. Penney. There were no music clubs in town at this point, but the parties when they happened were really, really good. My best friend Rhonda Fleming and I took advantage of the happy hour at the Georgia Hotel on most Friday afternoons and used it as an excuse to get all dressed up. We were also back up singers (WUOGETTES) along with our friend Penny for a one off group called the WUOGERZ backing up Spencer Thornton at a birthday party for WUOG in October 1978.
(Photo: Rhonda Nell Fleming and Vanessa Briscoe Hay, 1978, by Jimmy Ellison. Xerox copy courtesy of Rhonda Fleming) Click to enlarge.
The B-52's were starting to make it really big. We drove into Atlanta to see the B's and bands like Elvis Costello, the Ramones and Blondie play. We dropped by Chapter Three Records to see what new releases were out by the Stranglers, Wire, Devo, Pere Ubu,, Talking Heads, etc. We ate at the Eldorado when we could afford it. Bob Croker, a painting instructor at UGA had a party for his 40th birthday which lasted 24 hours called the 24 Hour Party. People were passed over each others heads on the support of the dancing crowds hands while listening to Devo and such. Michael Lachowski started a "gang" called the Scrapes at this party. The purpose of the Scrapes was to scrape off old posters downtown on vacated buildings. The initiation consisted of having your arm scraped with a pinecone and having mecurachrome poured onto to the scrape and then a band-aid haphazardly plastered on. This went on well into the evening until Michael himself was initiated and realized it was a painful experience. The Scrapes actually did get together and scrape off two large windows downtown. We applied a small label in the corner of each window after we were done that said "cleaned by the Scrapes."
(Photo: B-52's, copyright George Dubose. Used by permission). Click to enlarge.
Curtis Crowe and Bill Tabor had a squatters situation upstairs in what is now upstairs from The Grill in downtown Athens. Curtis "sublet" spaces to other artists including Sean Bourne, Neal McArthur, Sam Seawright, Michael Lachowski and Randall Bewley. Downtown Athens was becoming fairly deserted and there were lots of empty spaces. Most of the department stores would finally move to the newly opened Georgia Square Mall in 1981. Bill and Curtis had a Halloween party in late 1978 where a band called Strictly American performed. This band contained friends of Curtis from Marietta, Georgia -some of whom eventually became members of the band Guadalcanal Diary. This space was lit by a lone 40 watt bulb from a long cord hanging from the ceiling. Bill and Curtis dubbed this their 40 Watt Club.
(Photo: Curtis Crowe, 1982, People Magazine photo shoot, unused photo, courtesy of Maureen Mclaughlin's archives) Click to enlarge
On February 14, 1979 I auditioned to become the singer for the as yet unnamed Pylon at the invitation of Randall Bewley, one of my friends from art school. He and his roommate Michael Lachowski, another friend from art school who also worked at Dupont had decided to create a band who would go to New York, play once, get written about in a magazine like New York Rocker and then disband. On arriving to my audition, Michael handed me a notebook that had lyrics to some songs neatly typed within and pointed to me to a mike that they had set up. I listened for awhile and then tried to make the words fit the music. Afterwards, I went downstairs to the street and I remember running into Nannette Consovoy and having some type of conversation with her about trying out for this band.
(photo: Randall Bewley, 1979 by Vanessa Briscoe Hay)Click to enlarge.
Pylon debuted at a party above Chapter Three Records shortly thereafter. Most of our friends from town and art school came to the party.Chemical Features, basically Pylon without me were the opening act. The crowd stood still. This was also the same reaction we received the second time we played a party at Curtis' loft with the Tone-Tones. Not until the third time that we played, did the audience dance. I think that people were a bit stunned. Perhaps they weren't sure what to think. Perhaps we were truly awful. The B-52's came to see us at our third party out in the country. The party was at an old house rented by some art students and the rooms actually became speakers! The wind was moving in and out of the rooms with the bass notes. Our friends and other party-goers began to dance. Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson were very supportive. They thought we should play in New York. We had some cassettes made on K-mart brand tape and sent them to New York with Fred.
(Photo: Pylon's 2nd performance. Opening for the Tone-Tones, 1979, by Jimmy Ellison) Click to enlarge.
Jim Fouratt at Hurrah called to book us in NYC and gave us the opportunity to either open for the Gang of Four or another hot new wave band at the time. We had the Gang of Four's single and were very excited at the opportunity to open for them. On the basis of that booking, we were able to get booked into clubs in Philadelphia and Boston by Vic Varney. Kurt Wood, Jimmy Ellison, Lorri Shipp and myself piled into Kurt's Volvo and headed up north. Randy was already up in DC staying with his Dad for the summer. Michael and Vic drove up in Michael's enormous early 60's car. Our first out of town date was in Philadelphia and the Gang of Four's transportation broke down in the Holland Tunnel. We and another band played our sets while waiting on the Gang of Four to show up. The crowd dissipated even with updates from the club that the band were on their way. The Gang of Four blew into the club like a veritable whirlwind wearing leather jackets. They put a bottle of liquor in the middle of the table in the dressing room and ran onto the stage. They then proceeded to play one of the best shows that I have seen by anybody, anywhere. I really don't have any words to describe one of their shows, but their on-stage chemistry was amazing. If you haven't listened to their music, I recommend that you listen to Entertainment! , then you won't need my words to describe what will become your own personal experience. We opened for Gang of Four in New York City shortly thereafter. There was a huge turnout. I saw members of several famous bands in the audience including the guitarist from the Pretenders. I met Robert Fripp who was visiting with the Gang of Four in the dressing room and I was introduced to Glenn O'Brien by Fred Schneider who both were out in the audience. I remember very little of our set, except that as we came off of the stage, several young men in the front reached out and shook Randy's hand. I also remember that Hugo Burnham and Jon King, members of the Gang of Four, complimented us on the song Danger. I had had to borrow a whistle from the doorman for that particular song.
(Gang of Four-publicity photo/special photo.) Click to enlarge.
When we came home, our show was reviewed in Interview Magazine by Glenn O'Brien. He gave us a wonderful review which said that we ate dub for breakfast. We had no earthly idea what that meant, but it sounded really cool. I used the phrase as the part of the lyrics for a new song.
(Photo of L to R: Angel Dean, Vanessa, Sue Garner, future Last Round-Up duo, taken somewhere and sometime in NYC-early 80's? Sent in by Angel, used by permission)
Sometime shortly after that tour, Michael and I drove to Atlanta to meet Danny Beard who had his own label DB recs which had put out the very first single by the B-52's-Rock Lobster. We delivered a poster of Pylon and one of our K-Mart cassettes to Danny at his store Wax and Facts.
(Photo: Vanessa and Danny Beard, Agora Ballroom apx 1982 by Bob Hay) Click to enlarge.
He became friends with our band and helped us to put out a single which contained the songs Cool and Dub in 1979 which was recorded at Stone Mountain Studios on Buford Highway in
Atlanta, Georgia and engineered by Bruce Baxter (Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People) and Kevin Dunn (Kevin Dunn and his Regiment of Women). A bit of rock trivia that I recently found out from Randy Bewley who heard it from Rodney Mills is that "Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd was recorded using the same board that we used to record Cool/Dub and Gyrate.
(Front cover of Cool/Dub, DB recs, 1979)
This single helped get us further bookings out of town in Atlanta and attention in regional and national media. We opened for bands like Lene Lovich, the Talking Heads and P.I.L. Robert Christgau began mentioning us in his column in the Village Voice whenever we played in New York. There were quite a few fanzines at this point as well, as this was really a DIY scene. A good example of one of those would be Useless Knowledge edited and written by Debbie Heidel.
(Photo: Pylon, NYC, 1980. photographer unknown. Please email me if you information about this photographer)
Click to enlarge.
We carried copies of our first single with us when on tour and went into record stores such as 99 Records in New York City and asked if the store would be interested in ordering or purchasing some copies. The clerk would give it a spin and usually buy some from us on the spot. We were run out of at least one store which shall remain nameless, because they hated bands from Georgia. We took it all in stride and just looked upon it as great fun and an adventure.
Along the way, we had the pleasure of meeting bands and playing with some of them-like The Bongos, Mission of Burma, The Feelies,Bound and Gagged,The Swimming Pool Q's, The Slits, The Bush Tetras, Insect Surfers, The Scientific Americans, Polyrock, The Dance., Vietnam, the stickfigures, Art in the Dark.....
(Photo: (L to R) John, Tim, Roberta, Curtis-Tier 3, NYC 1979 or early 1980 by Vanessa Briscoe Hay) Click to enlarge.
On Halloween of 1979, we played a show above Chapter Three Records with the Method Actors opening. This was their debut. The band was a duo which featured Vic Varney and David Gamble who were former members of the Tone- Tones.
(Photo: The Method Actors 1980. (L) David Gamble, (R) Vic Varney by Margaret Adams. Used by permission) Click to enlarge.
Around this point in time, my marriage with Jimmy Ellison began to disolve. I moved in with Craig Woodall and Edna Lori Shipp Craig was a founding member of the band Limbo District. Limbo District sometimes practiced at our apartment. There were usually fun, arty international people hanging around our place. There wasn't much money and our power was cut off a few times. It was a lot of fun, though. I began dating Mark Cherry who would become a member of the band the Swindles. Eventually I moved out of Craig and Lori's apartment and in with Mark when my divorce became final.
(Photo: Craig Woodall, Feb. 14, 1980)
Click to enlarge.
This is the point in time that I became very good friends with the former manager of the B-52's, Maureen McLaughlin. She was extremely supportive of Pylon from the early days and gave us a lot of free, very good advice.
(Photo: Maureen at the Sex Pistols concert in Atlanta, GA, courtesy of Maureen's archives) Click to enlarge.
Danny Beard asked us in 1980 if we would like to record a full length album. We went back to Stone Mountain Studios and recorded the whole album Gyrate and mixed it in around 3 days if my memory serves me correctly. Bruce Baxter (r.i.p.) again served as the engineer. He was very pleasant and laid back to work with. That summer we opened for the B-52's in Central Park in New York City. The B's gave us the opportunity because the Japanese band the Plastics, their first choice, were having problems getting into the U.S. to play. We didn't play one of our best shows as we had basically just jumped into the van and driven straight up to Central Park. But, it was nice of them to give an unknown band the chance. Ricky Wilson hung out in our dressing room because the hair spray was getting to him in the B's dressing room. He was truly one of the sweetest people ever.
Armageddon Records, responsible for releasing records by the Soft Boys, became involved around this point and wanted to distribute Gyrate in the U.K. They gave us the opportunity to tour in England in December of 1980. We toured the U.K. for around 3 weeks returning to an apartment near Portobello Road most nights. For many of these dates the band Medium Medium opened for us. John Lennon was murdered while we were there. I'll never forget having our driver take our car through Piccadilly Circus in London that night while "Happy Christmas, War is Over" played on the radio. It was so terribly sad.
(Photo: Pylon, L to R Randy, Michael, Vanessa, Curtis, Dec. 1980, London, photographer unknown)
Click to enlarge.
In April 1980, several bands debuted at an old Church on Oak Street which some friends used as living quarters. Among the bands were the Side Effects, the Swindles, Love Tractor and the twisted kites who would rename themselves R.E.M. later that week. The occasion was Kathleen O'Brien's birthday party or K.O as she was fondly called. (Photo: r.e.m., publicity photo for Chronic Town, copyright by Laura Levine. Used by permission. Thanks Chris Bilheimer and Meredith Williams) Click to enlarge.
I remember that there were a group of girls who dubbed themselves the De-Fi-U's, an alternative sorority of sorts, who lived on that end of town and were early supporters of these bands, especially R.E.M. They wore mini skirts, go-go boots and screamed and ran to the front of the crowd to dance. Tyrones O.C. was the only club in town who would book these type of bands. Curtis Crowe and Paul Scales saw an opportunity to open their own club and did-the 40 Watt Club which was named after Curtis' former bachelor pad. I worked the door that first night and admission was only a dollar to see the Side Effects, beer was also only a dollar.
(Photo: Sandra Lee Phipps-Kaye,apx.1985) Click to enlarge.
Pylon returned to the studio and recorded Crazy b/w M-Train in 1981. This was recorded at Christian Broadcast Studios in Atlanta, Georgia and again had Bruce Baxter as engineer. We were in the process of writing material for what would become our second album-Chomp. Writing for us at this point in time was a bit slow. It usually involved jamming and finding something that worked on our tapes and then working from that. It's not as confusing as it sounds. I had begun writing some lyrics with Michael and we even used a scrabble game between us as lyrics for (K). Crazy is probably the first set of lyrics that I attempted completely on my own. I was in the process of breaking up with Mark Cherry and those lyrics were very therapeutic for me to write.
(Cover of Crazy/M-Train, DB recs)
(Clockwise from upper Left: Curtis, Randall, Michael, Paul Butchart (soundman/roadie), Vanessa)Click to enlarge.
On the positive side, during part of this year we toured some areas of the country and Canada with the Gang of Four. It was a really fun experience except for getting into Canada, which we were newbies at and didn't really have a clue of how to do.
(Photo: Vanessa at the Grand Canyon, 1982)Click to enlarge.
Not much later, I met my current husband Bob Hay at a Thanksgiving dinner party in 1981 thrown by Leslie Michel. He was tinkering with a Casio V/L tone which belonged to Linda Hopper (Oh-Ok) in the kitchen. I had just bought one too, but hadn't quite figured it out. I started talking to him and immediately liked him as a person, but didn't know a thing about him. Bob had such a dry wit and twinkle in his eye. He asked me for my phone number, but before I gave it to him, I went and asked several people at the party if they knew him. They all whispered that he was the nicest person that they knew, so I gave him my phone number.
(Photo: Bob Hay-Wildwood Resturant by Vanessa Briscoe Hay) Click to enlarge.
It turned out that he was the songwriter/lead singer for the band the Squalls. I always joke that if I had known he was a musician, I might not have gone out with him. It was several weeks before we went out, but I'll have to say I fell in love with him very quickly. He was a cook at a local resturant, the Wildwood, and the waitresses had reserved us a little table there on our first date . He is still usually the nicest person I know after 20 years of marriage and 2 children, even if he does have his moments.
(Photo: The Squalls. L to R: Bob, Diana, Ken, Mark, Al) Click to enlarge.
In 1982, Pylon changed producers/engineers and went to Mitch Easter's Drive In Studio in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on several occasions to record the rest of Chomp. Chris Stamey (producer) and Gene Holder(engineer) as members of the pop outfit the dB's brought a different set of experiences for us to utilize in the studio. Beep b/w Altitude was the single that came out of the first session of recording that we did with Chris and Gene.
Recording was spread out because we didn't have quite enough material for an album yet and we were touring on and off through-out the country.(Photo: Pylon, 1982, photo from People Magazine photo shoot, unused in spread, Courtesy of Maureen McLauglin's archives.)
Click to enlarge.
Chris loved to experiment with something that was new to us at that point-the noisegate. Mrs Easter, Mitch's mom, kept the refreshments replenished(coffee, donuts, moravian sugar cake) and I remember having several nice conversations with her. Chomp was finally released in 1983 on DB recs.
(Cover of Chomp, DB recs. 1982)
A highlight of that year was having Oh-Ok open for us on several dates in the Northeast including one at the Peppermint Lounge.
(Photo: Linda Hopper-OH,OK around 1985 or so by Vanessa Briscoe Hay)Click to enlarge.
We opened for U2 for several of their dates on their first major U.S. tour. Our booking agent could not understand why we didn't want to do the whole tour with them. We had nothing against U2, they were and are a wonderful band. At this point, the members of Pylon were beginning to feel that things were becoming less fun and the band was becoming too much like work, without any of the financial rewards associated with it. We were not getting any seeable interest from any major labels and we were just not moving up to the next level. Randy was married and starting a family. Breaking up seemed to be the thing to do, while we were still having fun.
(Photo: Michael outside of the Hot Club, Austin, TX) Click to enlarge.
We played our first final date with Love Tractor at the Mad Hatter which was recorded for something called the Athens Show. This footage was shown at a special listening party in February of the next year with the band Buzz of Delight, a project of Matthew Sweet, opening. Jimmy Ellison (the Side Effects bass player and my ex-husband) died of a brain tumor later that week. I don't think this footage was ever shown publically again until the Georgia Music Hall of Fame had their show on the Athens music scene.
(Photo clockwise from upper left: Evan, Jimmy Ellison, Paul, Norbert, early '80's by Vanessa Briscoe Hay)
Click to enlarge.
We all went on to various jobs. I got a job first at a home for mentally disabled men as a weekend relief person and then got a job at Kinko's copies. I was a night time counter person and worked my way up to become manager of a new store. On January 28, 1986, I was filmed for the movie Athens, Ga inside/out by Tony Gayton and Bill Cody. The camera man was Jim Herbert, my landlord and one of my former drawing professors at UGA. I remember the day very well because the Challenger space shuttle blew up and it also happens to be Bob's birthday. I was in a state of shock that day, as were many people.
(Photo: by Sandra Lee Phipps-Kaye,
Bob & Vanessa's Wedding Day,Clarke County Courthouse)
Click to enlarge.
Bob and I got married later that year in July of 1986 and in January of 1987, we had our first daughter Hannah.
(Photo: Hannah Hay, 1988, by Sandra Phipps-Kaye) Click to enlarge
At some point shortly thereafter, Michael Lachowski approached me and asked if I would like to do some reunion shows. Pylon had continued to get interest from the press, fan mail and Bill Berry from R.E.M. had said that Pylon were the best band in the world or something like that.
(Photo: Bill Berry, Green World Tour. Special photo used by permission. Thanks Chris Bilheimer and Meredith Williams) Click on photo to enlarge.
R.E.M had recorded a version of our song "Crazy" which was released as a B side to their song "Driver 8." It was really interesting and touching to me that so many people had fond memories of our band. We decided to play some dates and attempt to approach things in a more business-like manner. We reformed in 1989. Jim Fouratt, the former manager of Hurrah and Danceteria, assisted us with our management for a little while. We later obtained the services of another manager, Jennifer Blair who set up an actual office for us in downtown Athens. (Back cover of the R.EM. 7" single Driver 8/Crazy-Thank you to r.e.m. and IRS records).
R.E.M. asked us to open for them for the last leg of their second trip through the U.S. on the final leg of the Green tour. After this tour wrapped up, we recorded Sugar Pop with producer Scott Litt at John Keane Studios studio in Athens, Georgia. (Photo: r.e.m., Green World Tour, special photo, used by permssion. Thanks to Chris Bilheimer and Meredith Williams) Click to enlarge.
In July of 1990 we recorded some more new songs for the Sky Records label for our 3rd album-Chain-produced by Gary Smith of Fort Apache Studios and engineered by Steve Haigler at Reflections Studio in Charlotte, North Carolina . (Cover: Chain, Sky Records).
We performed at SXSW twice and were the opening act on some northeast dates for the B-52's. We had some trophies engraved with World's Best Waitress and gave them out on tour to outstanding waitresses that we met along the way. All these things are not necessarily in this order, but they all happened. We had management, a new label, a merchandising company, an office. Things were looking well from a business stand point. But, what we didn't know is Randy was unhappy.(Photo: Promo shot for Chain. Photographer: Ruth Leitman) Click to enlarge.
If one person left, it wasn't Pylon anymore. After being unable to dissuade him from leaving the band, we played for most of the rest of 1991 taking care of obligations. In November, 1991, Pylon played their second final show.(Photos by Alan Shelton, 40 Watt November 22,1991.Used by permission. Clockwise from upper left: Vanessa, Michael,Curtis, Randy)Click to enlarge.
I looked on the second demise of Pylon as an opportunity to try a new career. After a stint working at a plant nursery as a propagator and another stint as a substitute teacher, I went to nursing school. I gave birth to our second daughter Victoria in 1993. I graduated nursing school from Athens Tech in 1994 and currently work as an R.N. at a local hospital. Victoria was diagnosed with a brain tumor (ependymoma) that was surgically removed in January, 1997 at Egleston Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia by Dr Joseph Petronio. She received radiation treatment afterwards at the Emory Clinic for 6 weeks under the direction of Dr. Ian Crocker and is doing fine except for a learning disability.
(Photo: Victoria, age 3, by one of her parents) Click to enlarge.
Michael Lachowski opened a store named Candy, which at first had more of an emphasis on electronic music, but now has more of an emphasis on fashion. Candy has closed it's doors, but will continue as a presence on the web and as the name of his graphic design firm. He continues his work with art, photography and graphic design. Curtis Crowe works on the sets of movies and TV shows in the production department. He has worked on films like Cool Runnings and Blue Crush. He worked on the first part of season one of the ABC series "Lost." Curtis most recently wrapped up working on the Showtime series Californication. He has two children who live here in Athens with their mom Diana. Randy Bewley until a few years ago was an art teacher for a local elementary school. He is currently working at a health food store which gives him more time for his art and music and more time with his wife Robin and their two sons. He is also in my new project FFFM and is in the project of Hannah Jones -The New Sound of Numbers.
Some interest in Pylon continued. Members of Elf Power along with a wonderful actress named Gennifer performed an entire show of Pylon tunes as a benefit for the Athens Humane Society. We were interviewed by the publications Perfect Sound Forever, Alternative Press and Crimewave, U.S.A. Two fan sites popped up on the web Pylon and Party Zone. A show opened in 2002 at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, in Macon, Georgia called "Party Out Of Bounds." It had a timeline of the Athens Music scene and had a nice little area devoted to Pylon. In 2003, I sang three Pylon songs backed up by the Wildcats at the benefit Playing for a Cure, a local fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The other performers that night included Jennifer Nettles best known for her work with Sugarland and Redneck GReece.
Link to Crimewave U.S.A.interview
(Photo: Victoria (L) and Vanessa (R) sing at Playing for a Cure. Copyright 2003 by Wingate Downs)
My husband began working on a project with a band made up of former musicians from the Squalls and a few friends called Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars. They released a CD entitled "Toils Obscure. Songs by Robert Burns" March 4, 2004. I worked on this CD project as a production manager.
(Cropped photo: Bob, Victoria & Hana Hay, photo shoot for Toils Obscure by Rene Tewksbury, 2004)
Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars released another CD of Robert Burns material in the late spring of 2006.
Visit their myspace page at Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars for more information. Check out the title track if you are so inclined. It's very long and quite enthralling.
In the early part of 2004, I received a phone call from Randy. He wanted to get the band together and talk. He was apologetic. I thought that it took a lot of guts on his part to approach the band, since he had been the one who wanted to break up before. I had no ill feelings toward him or the band, only fond memories for the most part. All four members of Pylon met at my house and we decided to get together to practice for fun. Curtis let us know right from the beginning that he could be called out of town for his line of work at any time and he would then be gone for months at a time. We agreed that we would try to work around each others schedules. We managed to get around 4 practices in at Nuci's Space and Curtis was called to work on a Disney movie called Catch That Kid. He came back into town in July, 2004. We had a few practices in late July that went really well and we decided that we needed to step up the number of practices to 2 a week the following week to re-learn all of our old material. That following week Curtis came into practice and said that he would have to leave that coming weekend to go to Hawaii to work for a new series for ABC called "Lost." We were really bummed out, but we understood that he had to go. After a little discussion, we decided that to keep the momentum going that we would play at a party. We had a few guidelines. It had to be someplace not associated with anything happening there before-something like a warehouse or an empty space. We had to play before Curtis left town. It probably had to be on Thursday night, because it was too late for me to request time off from work on Saturday. Like most people, I don't feel like getting up at 5:30 a.m. if I've been up really late. We also needed another really good practice. Michael starting making phone calls trying to get something set up.
At Wednesday night's practice, Michael had a space lined up at the corner of Hancock and Hull Street. This space belongs to Joey Tatum. He graciously lent it to us on very short notice. At that point in time, it didn't have a name, but I understand it is called Little Kings now. There wasn't any sound system there, so Randy called Herb Guthrie, one of our former soundmen, to come and help us out. Curtis called Bill Berry and asked Bill to loan him a drum kit. Arrangements were made to rent other needed equipment by the guys. It the midst of all of this, Curtis was having to make arrangements to pack up his tools and clothes for Hawaii. I was a little nervous because I still didn't have all of the lyrics re-memorized, so I typed them all up and put them in a notebook like the old days. We had an excellent practice that night.
On Thursday afternoon, August 5, 2004, I called a few close friends to let them in on the secret. The news had already started spreading through Athens like wildfire. My phone was ringing off the hook from people wanting to know if it was true that Pylon was going to perform that night. My daughter Hana helped me get a sitter for her sister Victoria and for my mom who now lives with us. Hana and her friend Chelsea helped me pick out a top and earrings and they went downtown with me to soundcheck. Hana informed me that the UGA student radio station WUOG was broadcasting at intervals a request for information from anyone who knew where our show was that night. They wanted someone to please call them up and tell them the time and place that we were playing. I told her not to call, but Randy's son Adam did call and he told the DJs where the show was taking place after they promised not to broadcast the time and location. They didn't broadcast it. They decided to go off the air instead when it was close to time for the show. I still can't believe that they actually did that! That is one of the biggest compliments that I think we have ever been paid.
Soundcheck went well. People were already filtering into the space to listen and running past the windows during soundcheck. Mary Beth, an old friend had dug out her Pylon shirt and Michael was amazed at how new it looked. I had initially visualized a show with maybe 75 people. Randy, Curtis, and Michael did last minute things before the show. Hana, Bob and I cleared the floor of all tables and chairs and put the extra furniture in the parking lot next to the Little Kings space just in time for the doors to open. I saw people of all ages and interests and backgrounds come filing in. I saw people that I have not seen for years who had driven in from from Atlanta. Michael had friends who started driving when they got off work in Tennessee and barely made the show. The show completely sold out and there were people hanging out in the street watching through a side window, including Hana.
It was amazing to perform with Michael, Randy and Curtis again. The energy was wonderful. It felt like one of our early 1980's shows. The audience was great. They were so into it. They definitely contributed to our performance in a positive way. By the end of the night we were all soaked with sweat, but very happy with the performance and appreciative of the response that we had received.
Flagpole Magazine Aug.18, 2004 Vol.18 No.33, article by Lee Valentine Smith
Flagpole Magazine Aug. 18, 2004 Vol. 18 No. 33 article by Gordon Lamb
Thanks to Ed Legge for two corrections to my history on December 23, 2004.
Thanks to Randy Bewley for a correction on May 11, 2005 about Pylon's debut.
Thanks to John C. Falstaff for two corrections to my spelling of Kevin Dunn and Lynyrd Skynyrd on August 14, 2007.
New Year's Eve 2005
Curtis came back into town for the holidays and we were able to get a few practices under our belt to ready us for our New Year's Eve show.
(Photo: Pylon. L to R Michael Lachowski, Curtis Crowe, Vanessa Briscoe Hay, Randy Bewley by Chris McKay copyright 2004. Unused promotional photo for Flagpole Magazine. Concert Shots.com) Click to enlarge.
We played New Year's Eve at the 40 Watt Club. Elf Power were the opening band and did a tremendous job. They had nearly every musician who had ever been a member of this band at one time or another up on stage with them.
(Photo: Elf Power by Daniel Peiken)
We took the stage right on time. It was easy to keep track of what time it was that night. Gene Dixon lent us a huge clock which is usually used for the Twilight Criterium here in Athens so that we could count down the seconds and minutes until the New Year.
(Photo : Michael (L) and Vanessa (R) by Daniel Peiken.
A couple got engaged on our stage right before midnight and we played "Fluorescence" an unrecorded song of ours from the early '80's to kick off the New Year. Paul Scales, a registered electrician and former owner of the 40 Watt, had rigged up some fluorescent tubes to provide a little extra light for us at midnight.
(Photo: Curtis-partially hidden by his new drums (L) and Randy (R) by Daniel Peiken).
After the show was over, we chatted with friends who had come from across the country to see our show and to help us celebrate the New Year. The show was taped by Lava Post Productions out of Atlanta and it may be released at some point. We'll keep you posted. Krush Girls finished out the night with their DJ magic.
Athens Banner-Herald article by Julie Phillips
(Photo: Pylon by Chris McKay, copyright 2005 Concert Shots.com) Click to enlarge.
2005 Atlanta Heroes Awards
The B-52's asked Pylon to play a song in their honor at the Atlanta Heroes Awards Gala and we were delighted to do so. The B-52's, as everyone knows, were the first big thing to come out of Athens, Georgia -- except for football -- in a very long time. They have had an undeniable influence on modern fashion and music and have also been socially active by supporting causes like the fight against HIV/AIDS,protecting the environment and working for the defense of animals. I have had the pleasure to get to know them over the years and there are no sweeter, more gracious people on earth. They all also have an extraordinary sense of humor, which as everybody knows, is a sign of intelligence. Our band opened for them at Central Park in 1980 and also back in the early nineties on the Cosmic Thing tour in the Northeast and Canada. They have always been really supportive of our band.
The Atlanta Heroes Awards this year honored the b-52's, Charlie Brusco, Coretta Scott King and Usher. Past recipients have included the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, James Brown, Ray Charles, Outkast, TLC, Jermaine Dupri and others. This award is given by the Atlanta Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to celebrate those who have made outstanding contributions to the creative community. The Atlanta Heroes Awards Gala is a fundraiser for their professional development programs. The NARAS also are responsible for the Grammy Awards and sponsor organizations like Musiccares who put instruments in the hands of disadvantaged youth and provide educational programs in the school systems.
That's the background to the event.
(Photo: B-52's, copyright by Eika Aoshima, 1998. Used by permission) Click to enlarge.
Pylon arrived at the Peachtree Westin Hotel in a limo, the first our band had ever taken. Our driver was Joe Guerzo, a former member of the Earthworms, current member of Flood City Shootout and a dead ringer for Bruce Lee. I felt like Cinderella! My date for the evening was my older daughter Hana who is now 18. Her dad Bob Hay was performing with his band Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars at a benefit for the Upper Oconee Watershed Network at Tasty World back in Athens. The Atlanta Heroes Awards Gala was held in the 8th floor ballroom. The stage was already set up with a giant model of a golden gramophone on it, a very large flower arrangement, amps, drums and a star field backdrop flanked by projection screens. The ballroom floor was filled with white round banquet tables set with crystal glasses, silver chargers and adorned with bunches of white roses. We were met by the Atlanta chapter director Michele Caplinger who introduced us to the project manager Erin McAllister and the stage manager Bobby Carroll. During our sound check Kate Pierson came through, waved at us giving us her support and disappeared to take a rest. I understand that they had just flown in from the west coast. Sound check went well. Afterwards I said hi to a member of the house band, Mike Steele, who is considered one of the best session bass players around Atlanta and Athens and introduced him to the other members of Pylon. Mike and I have both volunteered in the past for Playing for a Cure, a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Curtis Crowe (drummer for Pylon) had already checked into a room so we went there to rest and to hang out. The hotel was filled with kids from all over the world who were in town for a robot competition. If we saw kids on the elevator, we said "Go Robots!"
The Pylon guys dressed in baby blue tux jackets with pink pylon t's. I put on a pair of capris with a pattern reminiscent of a twister game and an acid green jacket. When we got off of the 8th floor elevators, the B's were gathering for their walk down the red carpet. We said hi to Kate, Fred, and Keith and to their friends. Pylon decided to go ahead and hit the party as the B's were still waiting for everyone in their party to get there. We walked down the red carpet, a new experience for us. On the left was a bank of photographers behind some ropes and to the right was a cocktail party with silent auction items on the terrace. The guys were ahead of me and kept walking. I heard someone say "Vanessa look over here" and I stopped and looked. It was Chris McKay, a photographer who has taken pictures of Pylon before. All of the photographers started saying "Vanessa look here!" So I stood there for a few minutes and let them take my picture and walked into the VIP lounge where Adam was teasing his dad Randy Bewley (guitarist for Pylon) that he should have worked the photographers like I had.
(Photo: Vanessa by Chris McKay, copyright 2005, Concert Shots.com) Click to enlarge.
After a little discussion with the other band members, we all went backwards on the red carpet and had our picture made together. The B-52's arrived about this time and we had a lot of fun chatting and snapping photos of each other. We introduced them to Hana, my daughter and to Adam, Randy's son. The official photographer came in and took our picture against the Grammy backdrop and Usher came over and had his photo made with us too. It was a lot of fun to hang out. I teased Cindy that we should make a video called "Moms gone Wild" and we chatted about our kids. I spotted Jon Bon Jovi on the other side of the room and had Michael Lachowski (bass player for Pylon) come and snap a photo of me and Jon. Hana then spotted Big Boi (Outkast) and we went and took each others picture with him. He was very sweet about it. Danny Beard (DB Recs) then appeared and he chatted with all of us. Kate, Cindy and I had our picture made with him. I told Kate we could be in the Honeybees. I wouldn't mind being Mrs. Howell for that! Then it was time to go into dinner.
There were eight tables across the front of the floor directly in front of the stage. Looking at the stage from left to right, I'll tell you who sat where. Charlie Brusco's party, which included Styx and Jon Bon Jovi, had the first two tables. The next two tables over were for Usher's party which included his family. Tables 5 and 6 were the B-52's party. The B-52's were seated at table 5 along with close friends, family members and management. Kate was wearing a pink and white sequined ensemble with her hair done in a loose shag. Cindy had on a very smart black evening pantsuit with her hair in a blond ponytail twist. Keith was also wearing an all black very nicely cut suit and black shirt. Fred wore a suit with a burgundy shimmery fabric shirt and sunglasses. They looked fabulous. Pylon was seated at table 6 along with our family and friends who included B's guests Danny Beard and Bill Benson of Team Clermont. Danny was wearing a nice, short sleeved plaid shirt. The very next table had Coretta Scott King, her family and I believe Michael Bolton.The last table at the front included many members from the King Center in Atlanta. Mrs. King was beautifully dressed in a burgundy evening suit with sequin accents and looked as beautiful in person as she does in her photos. She seems a little fragile and her family closely attended to her. The salads were placed before us on top of the silver chargers and we were offered our choice of a red or white wine. I finished my salad, but when they brought my dinner plate I was unable to eat it due to a little case of nerves and the server nicely covered it up until I could eat it later. We were offered a choice of roasted sea bass with hoisin sauce or marinated grilled vegetables with a red pepper coulis. About the time the dessert was served, a nice young lady came to take us backstage. I could see all the proceedings from backstage on the projection screens-backwards. Leslie Fram and Ryan Cameron, local Atlanta radio personalities were the emcees. They began by honoring Charlie Brusco, president of Alliance Artists, Ltd. He has managed the Outlaws, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Survivor, Peter Frampton, Bad Company, Styx, Tesla and John Waite and has also promoted many concerts including "Volunteers for America" which raised a lot of money for the victims of September 11th. Jon Bon Jovi introduced him and told a funny story about when Mr. Brusco and a band he managed met the pope. Styx took the stage and played a medley of their hits. Their guitarist spotted Randy's guitar and asked if he would sell it. Randy politely declined. These guitars are his babies.
(Photo: Pylon. L to R Curtis, Vanessa, Michael, Randy by Chris McKay, copyright 2005 Concert Shots.com) Click to enlarge.
Then it was time to honor the B-52's. A short film about the B-52's career highlighted them from their early days up to the present and included lots of wonderful photos. Big Boi from Outkast introduced them and they all each graciously accepted the award which was a hefty looking plexiglas object with a gramophone etched into the side of it. We were introduced and got up on stage. Curtis Crowe (drummer for Pylon) began lightly playing and I said, "the B-52's have made a lot of people happy with their music and that just has to have made the world a better place." I then proceeded to do the whispering kinds of sounds I make at the beginning of our song "Danger!" and dancing a little. This seemed to go on a little longer that it should to me. I peeked back and neither Michael nor Randy were able to get their amps to work and there were all of these roadie types scurrying around checking all of the lines. I continued doing that for about another minute until Ryan Cameron bounded up and started joking with and speaking to the crowd. The road crew switched out Randy's amp for another one they had backstage and they got Michael's amp to work. We restarted "Danger!" and the audience really seemed to be with us! I looked over at Usher's two tables in front and they were all gently moving in their seats and taping their feet. The B-52s two tables were as well. I didn't really look at the other tables, but I felt nothing but good vibes in the room. We got some genuine applause when we finished and the B's were all waiting to hug us when walked off the stage. They had been watching from the side and rooting for us. Randy said Terry Lewis said "good job" to him as he walked off. Some nice ladies gave us each a shopping bag filled with goodies.
(Photo: Pylon live at the Atlanta Heroes Gala by Chris McKay, copyright 2005 Concert Shots.com) Click to enlarge.
Usher was honored next. He was introduced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The camera really loves him! He is so photogenic. I kept glancing back and forth between Usher and the screen. You could feel the pride emanating from his family as he received his award. He has a long, wonderful career still ahead of him. Unfortunately, his special performer for the evening, James Brown could not make it. A close friend and companion of his passed away. I was really looking forward to this part of the evening. My condolences to Mr. Brown if he reads this. I did meet Super Frank, his manager afterwards. I also went over and introduced myself to Usher's grandma afterwards and had my photo snapped with her. She had seemed into Pylon while we were playing and was very cool to talk to. She told me I reminded her of her friend Nancy in California.
Last, but not least by any means, to be honored was Mrs. Coretta Scott King who has worked for social justice and human rights her entire life. A film and overview of her life was shown. I learned that she had received a BA in music and education (which I did not know) and that she had studied violin and voice at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston which is where she met Dr King. She was introduced by Janet Jackson, wearing a white open front skirted dress over capris with a tie. The emcee Ryan Cameron was beside himself and had someone from the audience take his picture with Miss Jackson. Mrs. King was escorted to the stage by her son Martin Luther King, III. She then gave a moving and very eloquent speech. We were in the presence of living history and it was an honor to be in the same room with her. After her speech, Michael Bolton sang a song which was a work in progress dedicated to Mrs. King. He was then joined by a 45 piece choir who helped him blow the roof off of the ballroom with a gospel version of "Lean on Me."
Michele Caplinger thanked everyone and the programmed section of the night was over. "Shining Star" was piped in over the PA. We all had fun chatting and ohmigosh- we were late calling our driver! The B's told us where there was a party. We dropped off our goodie bags in Curtis' room and went to the party in a suite way up high in the building. Our driver Joe met us there. We had more fun mixing with the B's and some of the other party goers. Jon Bon Jovi was there chatting with Charlie Brusco. I still don't know whose suite this was, but it was nice. Michael Lachowski got behind the bar and mixed up some drinks for all of us. Fred and I had a blast talking. He is extremely supportive of Pylon and thinks we should do another record. The B's are well into their next album and if I remember correctly he said they have 6 songs for it. I can't wait! I talked to Danny Beard and he ate one of the chocolate-covered strawberries which were decorated with little tuxedos. I was afraid to eat anything else, but wish I had had one now. I hugged Keith. He is so good looking and is such a hunk. Then it was time to go home to Athens. We piled into the limo and Joe drove Pylon sans Curtis back to Athens.
(Photo: The B-52's and Pylon, copyright by Hana Hay, 2005, Used by permission) Click to enlarge.
Pylon played at Athfest 2005 on Friday June 24, 2005. We try to do something special for our shows when we can. In this case, I had the idea of doing something to the audience instead of to the stage. We gave out 500 pink balloons with the new Pylon logo designed by Michael Lachowski. Thanks to Maureen McLaughlin, Hana Hay, Jeff from Up and Away Balloons, Erin and Vanessa McGinley and all of their friends for helping us blow them up and distribute them. It took around 2 hours to do this!(Photo by Clair High. Used by permission) Click to enlarge.
The first part of our set was a bit rough and Randy had an amp die early in the set. (Thank you to Brian from Elf Power for helping out by obtaining another amp).The second half felt much better and the audience was dancing and really seemed into our music. We had a great time. I have no idea how many people showed up, but it looked like a lot. (Photo by Clair High. Used by permission) Click to enlarge.
Read about highlights of Athfest here in Flagpole Magazine Kudos to Jeff Montgomery,Troy Aubrey, Mary Segelas, Michelle Roche for a job well done and thanks also to Barry Buck for her hospitality and for giving us somewhere to blow up all of those balloons and do an interview with UPN. Thanks to Jet by Day for interrrupting their soundcheck so that we could do this. (Photo by Clair High. Used by permission) Click to enlarge.
The Earl-Atlanta, GA
Pylon took the Earl stage on July 7, 2005 to help them celebrate their 6th birthday! The other performers included: Nikki Sudden and Tennement Halls. This was our 1st Atlanta Show since we got back together. It was great! Everyone danced!
(Photo not available. If anyone has a good one, please send it in-I'll post it here).
Athens Rewind Party
What a wonderful reunion weekend it was! Thanks to the Athens Rewind Committee for making it all possible. Oh-Ok were absolutely incredible. They have never sounded better! Craig Woodall did a spoken word piece. The movies, video, photos were great!Thanks to Spencer Thorton and Betty Alice Fowler and many others for sharing their film footage. Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars and Time Toy did a great job (reported to me by those who were there-I had to work. Boo-hoo.)(Photo by Bob Schuman)
But best of all, reconnections were made with old friends who flew in from everywhere: California, Massachussetts, New York, Ohio, Michigan, England....and who drove in from across the Southeast. I hear that the Athens Rewind site will remain operational for awhile. I have never been tempted to go to a reunion before -I am so happy that I made it to this one. I loved Athens then and I love it now!
(Photo of Pylon by Julie House. Visit the Athens Rewind site to see tons of other great photos)
Athens Popfest 2005
Pylon performed Friday August 12, 2005 at Athens Popfest 2005. This event went on for 4 days and featured independent bands from all over. Music lovers came in from everywhere to enjoy the fun at Little Kings and the 40 Watt Club here in Athens, GA-not to mention the roof at Wuxtry. The vibes were great.(Pylon members Curtis, Randy, and Michael enjoy dinner before the show. Photo by Vanessa Briscoe Hay) Click to enlarge.
Other bands who performed at Athens Popfest 2005 on Friday at the 40 Watt Club included: Dan Deacon, Kiddo, Poison Control Center, We versus the Shark, Casper and the Cookies and the Marbles (pictured:L to R Marcie Mars, Darth Vader on keyboards, Robert Schneider, Robby the Robot is just out of the frame)
(Photo by Bob Hay) Click to enlarge.
We had an great time! We appreciate the support of Mike Turner and the staff at Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records and at the 40 Watt Club to the indie music scene. There is so much that is wonderful and fresh happening right now in this town and we were honored to be a part of it.
(Pylon by Bob Hay) Click to Enlarge.
Pylon on R.E.M. Collection-Disc 1
The August 2005 issue of Uncut was devoted to REM. The UK magazine had 3 different covers-one for each current member. Magazine 1 0f 3's disc is devoted to Mike Mills picks for the best of classic U.S. underground rock. The bands included on this disc are Green on Red, Big Star, The Blasters, The Jayhawks, Dream Syndicate, The Replacements, The Embarassment, Soul Asylum, Pylon, The Long Ryders, Miracle Legion, Love Tractor, Jason & the Scorchers and a bonus live R.E.M. track.
Thanks Mike!!! Also, thank you to Rob for helping us get the music to the mag and Meredith for contacting us for them. (Cover of August 2005 Uncut. Click to see CD cover)
Feast on My Heart with Mission of Burma
I sang with Mission of Burma at the Earl in Atlanta on January 13, 2007.
Clint from MOB invited me to sing a Pylon song-Feast On My Heart. How could I turn them down? This was sort of a "we may never pass this way again sort of thing." (I was able to do it with the support of my co-workers, one of whom filled in for me on Sunday so that I could stay up late after working my shift on Saturday). Bob and I drove back to Athens after the end of their first set, and I wish that I had been able to stay up for the second one. I had the best time! They are still one of the best bands in America and their new material lives up to their old material. They played FOMH perfectly and made it easy to do without rehersal. Kudos to MOB and to my co-workers! I'm gushing away, aren't I? Well, it's true!!!!
Sloan was there taping MOB, Here's the link. I haven't figured out how to open it yet. http://www.archive.org/details/mob2007-01-13.flac16
Pylon at Little Kings 4-4-07
We played a "secret" show at Little Kings on April 4, 2007. The reason was to announce to our local friends the re-issue of Gyrate on DFA records in NYC.
We had a blast and the energy and sound were good. A lot of our friends came and danced and sent us good vibes. (picture by Mike White,coypright 2007
Deadly Designs. Used by permission.
Click on the picture to see an alternate view).
We played a lot of our old songs and resurrected a few which had never been recorded like: "3x3" and "Heaven in Your Eyes."
We had a big celebration because we made it through "K" without screwing it up.
If you were there, thank you for coming and joining in the fun. If you couldn't be there, see you next time. I'm still looking for a good picture of Curtis. Will post it, when I find it.
(Michael and Randy feedback during "Driving School". Click for an alternate picture. Both photos by Mike White, Copyright 2007 Deadly Designs. Used by permission.)
500 Songs for Kids-Supercluster!
The biggest music charity event in Georgia history is taking place May 3-12 in Atlanta, GA at Smiths Olde Bar to benefit many different children's camps. 500 bands will perform the 500 top songs of all time as determined by Rolling Stone Magazine. Camps being benefited include: Camp Twin Lakes ,Camp High Five (for children who are HIV affected),Camp Joint Venture (for children with rheumatoid arthritis),Camp Rainbow (for children with cancer and rare blood disorders),Camp STARS (for children who have lost family members),Camp Sunshine(for children who have undergone and are undergoing treatment for cancer),To Be Independent (for children with acquired brain injuries), Kate's Club (that empowers children and teens facing life after the death of a parent or sibling), Camp Braveheart (for children with heart defects and heart transplant recipients),CCFA Camp Oasis (for children with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), Camp Independence (for children with kidney disorders and transplants),Under the Stars (for Families of Children Under Stress), Camp Horizon(Year-round programs for children who have been abused and neglected), Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (Enhances the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education).
Supercluster , a project that I recently formed along with stellar musicians Hannah Jones, Will Hart,Peter Erchick, Bob Hay, John Fernandes and Bill David will perform on Thursday, May 10 at 8:30 pm-song number 130-Maggie May. Tickets are $7 and the Camp benefited that night is Camp Sunshine, a camp that my daughter Victoria attends and has attended every summer for the last 5 years. They do an outstanding job with the kids and the kids have fun, fun and more fun. It's a great cause and we hope to see you there!
Supercluster was renamed FFFM briefly, but is now Supercluster again. Also, Randall Bewley and Kay Stanton have joined Supercluster. Peter and Will are no longer with us, but we appreciate everything that they did while they were here.
Kevin Dunn visits Athens Popfest
Guess who I ran into at this years Athens Popfest 2007? Kevin Dunn! Click on his link above to check him out on myspace.
I haven't seen him in over 20 years and it was exciting to catch up with him.
There were lots of great bands at Athens Popfest this year. I saw Robert Schneider perform with the Marbles and with Thee American Revolution. Randy Bewley sat in on guitar with The New Sound of Numbers. Ideal Free Distribution were great! As were Russian Spy Camera, M-Coast and the Instruments. I missed more bands than I saw this year because I had to work. It's a great event and kudos to Mike Turner for getting it all together! Check out the Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records website for CDs by many of these groups. Photo at the 40 Watt Club by John C. Falstaff-dj at WRFG, among other cool jobs.
Fall Tour 2007
We played some dates to help promote Gyrate Plus:
November 1, 2007 The Earl, Atlanta, GA
w/The Selmanaires and The New Sound of Numbers
November 5, 2007 Local 506,Chapel Hill, NC
w/Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies and The New Sound of Numbers
November 7, 2007 The Mercury Lounge, NYC
w/The New Sound of Numbers, Antietam, Great Lakes.
November 8, 2007 Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, Oxford Collapse, Hugo Burnham-Gang of One, Andrew Butler, New Blood.
November 10, 2007 World Cafe Live Upstairs, Philadelphia, PA, Support w/The New Sound of Numbers, Shawn Ryan, Hurrah DJ.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the show!
(Pictured: Pylon L to R: Randy, Curtis, Michael and Vanessa w/Ray Abeyta's car in Brooklyn. Snap by Hana Hay. Click for alternate view)
Pylon at the 40 Watt
We performed 17 songs in the set and a 3 song encore. A lot of people danced. We had a great time. Thanks for coming out. Mike White/Deadly Designs has some great pictures of all three bands up on his website.
December 2007 Harp Magazine by Fred Mills
May 2008 issue of Punk Globe by Ginger Coyote
March 25, 2008 Chelsea Zine
Revolve Film Festival: Friday, August 8, 2008 with Gravel Truck (Mitch Easter's Let's Active cover band).
Melting Point: Thursday, September 4, 2008 with the Buddy System. A taping for the Athens 441 series for Georgia Public Radio.
Halloween, 2008. Opening for Deerhunter at The Variety Playhouse. Atlanta, GA. With Jay Reatard and Times New Viking.
November 16,2008. Part Time Punks Festival at the Echo/Echoplex, Los Angeles, California.
November 18, 2008. The Independent, San Francisco, California.
12-15-2008 19:00 at Knitting Factory,
74 Leonard Street, New York, New York 10013
Cost: $20 Advance/$25 Day of show
"WNYU 35th Anniversary Celebration (a full club event!) with special guests Pylon, Psychic Paramount, Grouper, Ehnahre, Sword Heaven, Zola Jesus, many more!
Older News Archives
"Special 5" e.p. is available for download at CD Baby, itunes and Amazon.com. All physical copies are sold out. There were 100 pressed. This material will be available in 200 as part of a full length project which we are working on now.
Recorded and Engineered at Starratt Studios and Bel Air Studio by Jason Nesmith.
Mixed at Bel Air Studio by Jason Nesmith and Supercluster.
Musicians include members drawn from Pylon(Randy & myself),Sound Houses (Hannah Jones, John Fernandes), Casper and the Cookies (Kay Stanton) and Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars (Bob Hay & Bill David). Mastered at Rodney Mills Masterhouse in Duluth, GA.
Gyrate Plus Reissue
Gyrate Plus was reissued by DFA records in NYC on October 16, 2007 and is being distributed by Revolver/Midheaven. Press is being handled by Girlie Action.
A reissue party was held on October 15, 2007 at Wuxtry Records in downtown Athens, GA from 11pm to 1 am. It was nice to see so many friends there. The CD is now available in select stores and on the web through many CD distributors including our very own athensmusic.net, Target.com and in the UK at the rough trade store.
A very special thanks to all of our all fans, family and friends for your support. We would not have been able to do this without you.
Gyrate Plus made it onto at least two best of 2007 reissue lists-Spin Magazine and the Washington Post and has gotten reviews in Rolling Stone Magazine, Harp, Blender, Pitchfork and Paste just to mention a few. Kudos to the guys at DFA and Girlie Action for making all this possible.
We Love Randy
Statement issued and written collectively by Pylon on Wednesday February 25, 2009
This past Monday evening, Randy Bewley had a heart attack while driving his van on Barber Street in Athens, GA. He was taken to Athens Regional Medical Center. Today, our bandmate and brother passed away at a little before 5 p.m. with his family and friends at his side. He will be missed, even as we celebrate his life and creativity. His guitar sound was as special as he was and always will be. Randy's guitar work defined not only a generation of sound but Randy himself. His visual art, painting and photos, combined with his signature sound formed a loose set of boundaries that helps understand him. His quiet devotion to family and friends will become a benchmark for those he leaves behind.
Athens - Randy Bewley, loving father and beloved friend, died February 25, 2009. He was born July 25, 1955, to Nancy Hampton Bewley and Gene Bewley in Bradenton, Fla.
He graduated from Sarasota High School and had degrees from the University of Georgia in drawing and painting and in elementary education. Over his life, Randy managed an art supply store, a receiving department, taught school at Gaines Elementary and Winterville Elementary and most notably, was a member of the critically acclaimed band, Pylon. In addition to art and music, Randy enjoyed being with children and the young people of Emmanuel.
Randy is survived by his sons, Blair and Adam Bewley of Athens, whom he loved without reservation. His love and generosity of heart were a foundation for them, and he was proud of both of them. He is also survived by his former wife and great friend, Robin Bewley of Athens; his mother, Nancy; his brother, Chris and his father, Gene. Randy was devoted to his mother and loved her dearly. All who knew him will miss his quick humor, his artistic integrity and curiosity about the world.
Visitation will be Friday, February 27 at Bernstein Funeral Home from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. The funeral will be at 1 p.m., Saturday, February 28 at Emmanuel Episcopal. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Nu�i's Space, 396 Oconee St., Athens, GA 30601 or The Athens Nurse's Clinic, 496 Reese St., Athens, GA 30601.
Bernstein Funeral Home, Athens, has charge of arrangements.
Obituary published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 2/27/2009
Chomp More is scheduled to be released October 20, 2009 by DFA records. It will be distributed worldwide by Revolver/Midheaven. The CD will include 4 bonus tracks and special pictures. Randy Bewley and Jeff Calder supervised the long process of finding the tapes, baking them and having them transferred. The tapes were transferred at Sonicraft by Steve Puntolillo at Sonicraft and remastered by Rodney Mills.
7 inch single now available from Supercluster
Limited edition pressing of 300 singles on colored vinyl (some are blue green and some are grey) with a mini hand screen printed poster by Athens, GA artist Amanda Burk which are numbered and signed.
Songs: I Got the Answer/Sunflower Clock
Available online exclusively at Athens Music dot net and in Athens, GA at Wuxtry and Schoolkids records. We have a couple of upcoming shows so far in January where they will be available if not sold out.
Waves, the full length project by Supercluster is scheduled to be released October 6, 2009. It will be released on our new label Studio Mouse Productions for Cloud Recordings and distributed by Secretly Canadian worldwide.
Performing on "Waves" are our usual lineup of Randy Bewley, Bill David, John Fernandes, Bob Hay, Vanessa Briscoe Hay, Hannah Jones and Kay Stanton. Studio friends include the talented Heather McIntosh and Jason NeSmith, as well as Hana Hay and Sarah Cabaniss. Bradford Cox came in to help finish up the recording after Randy died and performs on 3 songs. It was recorded and mixed by Jason NeSmith for the most part at Bel*Air Studios, with some tracking at Starratt Studios. Rodney Mills mastered this for us at his Masterhouse in Duluth, GA. The cover features drawings by Randy Bewley, design by Candy. The back of the Cd features art by Hannah Jones and the interior has art by Kay Stanton, Kiran Fernandes and photos by Mike White/Deadly Designs.