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Larger Than Live

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Editors’ Notes

Although its recording date is sometimes erroneously identified as 1992, Larger Than Live is The Gun Club’s complete concert at Paris' Elysée Montmartre on Nov. 29, 1990. It features Kid Congo Powers on guitar, Romi Mori on bass, and Nick Sanderson on drums. Frontman Jeffrey Lee Pierce would say in his autobiography that this was the best band he ever had. Powers was Pierce’s musical soulmate, while Mori was his girlfriend at the time (although she'd later marry Sanderson). It's testament to Pierce’s spirit that his band could still rekindle the initial energy of early punk with “My Dreams,” “Devil in the Woods,” and “Fire Spirit,” even though the scene that had birthed those songs was long since dead. Rather than simply replay his younger years, Pierce was reaching for something greater in 1990. “The Straits of Love & Hate” and “Emily’s Changed” are some of the most majestic, accessible rock songs The Gun Club ever recorded. They exude the same religious urgency and melodrama that made U2 massive, but while Bono became a stadium messiah, Pierce was destined to remain an untamed wolf boy.

Biography

Formed: 1980 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Tribal psychobilly blues is the best way to describe the Gun Club's energetic death rock, but the band's career seemed doomed from the get-go due to leader Jeffrey Lee Pierce's reputation as an unreliable wildman, and well-publicized bouts of drunkenness dogged him throughout his career. Formed in Los Angeles in the early '80s, the band was vaguely aligned with similarly roots-inspired groups like X and the Blasters, but later picked up and relocated to the Lower East Side, resting more comfortably...
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