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Something of a Chicago punk supergroup, Pegboy carried the torch for the city's classic post-hardcore sound into the '90s, albeit with a more straightforward, melodic approach. Founder and guitarist John Haggerty had been in the seminal Naked Raygun, while his brother, drummer Joe Haggerty, had played with Bloodsport and a later version of the Effigies. Vocalist Larry Damore and charter bassist Steve Saylors had both been in the Bhopal Stiffs, and teamed up with the Haggerty brothers in 1990, when all of their respective bands had given up the ghost (or were about to). Signing to Touch & Go subsidiary Quarterstick, Pegboy debuted that same year with the Three Chord Monte EP, then followed it in 1991 with their first full-length album, Strong Reaction. Later paired on a CD reissue, these two records bridged '90s punk-pop and seminal proto-alternative punkers like Hüsker Dü, Mission of Burma, and the aforementioned Naked Raygun. Following a tour with Social Distortion, Saylors left the band, owing to a new, less flexible day job. Chicago legend Steve Albini filled in for him on the 1993 EP Fore, after which the group settled on a permanent replacement in Pierre Kezdy, another ex-Naked Raygun member who'd started his career in another early Chicago punk outfit, Strike Under (his brother John also fronted the Effigies). Kezdy debuted on the 1994 album Earwig, which was followed by a split single with Kepone. Falling silent for a couple of years, Pegboy returned in 1997 with their third album, the Albini-engineered Cha Cha Damore. The group continued to perform live, but faced with diminishing career momentum, they elected to disband in 2000. ~ Steve Huey


1990 in Chicago, IL

Years Active:

'90s, '00s