Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Pell Mell - Smoke - White vinyl 7 Inch On SST Records produced by Steve Fish
Pell Mell was an instrumental rock combo formed in 1980 in Portland, Oregon. The original members were Arni May, guitar, and Jon-Lars Sorenson, bass, from the Portlnd avant-garde group UHF, and from local Reed College Bill Owen on guitar, and Bob Beerman on drums. This iteration of the group performed and recorded the songs on their first EP release in 1981, "rhyming guitars", which gave the group exposure over the nation's college radio network. In 1982 the foursome hired a manager, Bruce Pavitt in his pre-Sup Pop mogrification, and did a summer tour of the US , visiting colleges and punk clubs on both coasts. Arni May left the group just as the tour was ready to hit the road, re-birthing Pell Mell as a power trio with quickly-acquired chops and skills in those summer months on the road. This version of the band can be heard on the album "Live Cassette", recorded in a Portland club. With the tour over and a desire to keep playing, the entire group moved to a single house near Berkeley, CA, to continue writing and recording the next album, "Bumper Crop". Some of the unreleased songs from the "rhyming guitars" recording session, added to those from a later session with new member Greg Freeman, were released in 1985 on an album named "For Years We Stood Clearly As One Thing". While in Berkeley, more personnel changes took place. Steve Fisk joined as keyboardist, and after making the recordings for the second album, Jon-Lars returned to his career in engineering. Over the seventeen years the band existed, it experienced a number of line-up changes and recorded for no less than five labels. The drummer, Bob Beerman remained the only constant member of Pell Mell, but its most permanent and final lineup included other notable musicians like keyboardist Steve Fisk, bassist Greg Freeman and guitarist David Spalding. Fisk is known for his extensive production work as well as his solo music career and work in Pigeonhed and the Halo Benders. Freeman-- formerly a member of the Call-- also was a producer outside of Pell Mell. David Spalding was the guitar tech for the Call as well.
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