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Charlie Pickett

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To Charlie Pickett, a guitar-playing native of Dania, FL, punk rock meant old Rolling Stones and mid-'60s garage rock more than the Ramones and Sex Pistols, and that devotion to a hyped-up roots rock sound was what made Charlie Pickett such a fine performer. With his backing band the Eggs (later called the MC3), Pickett was an anomaly in the era of punk aggression and new wave marketability, playing covers by British old-wavers Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and Manfred Mann when the prevailing cry of underground rockers was "no future." Still, Pickett's unobtrusive, straight-ahead style endeared him to both punks and new wave thrill-seekers, and after a so-so debut live LP (Live at the Button), he quickly fired off a couple of good-to-great records steeped in a blues-influenced, roots rock sound with plenty of guitar fireworks supplied by John Salton. Pickett's best moments came in the mid-'80s recording for Twin/Tone under the watchful eyes of producer (and ex-Suicide Commando) Chris Osgood, who finally gave Pickett the kind of muscular, grimy sound he needed. (This sound was very reminiscent of what Jimmy Miller gave to the Stones on Exile on Main Street.) But moderate success and the support of enthusiastic rock critics was all Pickett could muster. His last LP, The Wilderness, was good, but received little acclaim, and by the '90s Pickett seemed destined to remain a regional phenomenon.

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