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Pearl Harbor & The Explosions

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Pearl Harbor & the Explosions was one of the first American new wave groups. The band was formed in San Francisco in 1978 by vocalist Pearly Gates, guitarist Peter Bilt, bassist Hilary Stench, and drummer John Stench. The group became a Bay Area favorite and was an integral part of a fertile new wave scene that also spawned Romeo Void, Translator, and Wire Train. Gates was once a background dancer for the Tubes and after she quit, she joined Leila and the Snakes, eventually renamed Pearl Harbor & the Explosions. In 1979, the band released the single "Drivin'." Even without any promotion, the record sold more than 10,000 copies. The group was signed to Warner Bros. that year. However, the group's self-titled debut LP was not a commercial success and the group disbanded. Gates started calling herself Pearl Harbor and went solo. She released Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost Too, in 1981. In 1995, she collaborated with East Bay Ray (guitar) of the Dead Kennedys, recording Here Comes Trouble. Along with Stinky Le Pew (guitar), Lee Vilensky (bass), and Mike Hunter (drums), they headlined the 1998 Psychobilly Festival, resurrecting the Explosions' infectious new wave energy and thirst for fun. ~ Michael Sutton



Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s