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The Pedestrians - 1976-1979
The Pedestrians - 1976-1979
In a time when country rock was king in Tucson, Pearl's Hurricane along with the Pedestrians are credited by many people for the introduction of punk to the Old Pueblo In 2001, Rich Hopkins released an album on his San Jacinto label from a live show recorded 22 years earlier. Why should Tucsonans care about the band or the album? Well, the band was The Pedestrians, and the show was recorded live at Pearl's Hurricane in the summer of 1979. In a time when country rock was king in Tucson, Pearl's Hurricane along with the Pedestrians are credited by many people for the introduction of punk to the Old Pueblo. The band formed in 1976, and their demise in 1979 led to the creation of several of Tucson's most notable bands. Chris Cacavas went on to help form Green on Red while Billy Sedylmayr and Dave Seger went on to join Howe Gelb and Rainer in creating the original Giant Sandworms, which later became Giant Sand. But the original punk magic can be found on the release "An Evening at Pearl's Hurricane," where the Pedestrians tore it up with a mix of covers and originals. One of the Pedestrians' early Tucson punk contemporaries was a band called The Pills. Fronted by singer Brian Smith, the Pills capitalized on the glam-punk look and sound, moved to Phoenix in 1983, changed their name to Gentlemen After Dark and released an EP produced by Alice Cooper. Members of the band are still familiar to fans of Tucson music... guitarist Robin Johnson later went on to play in the Sidewinders, Sand Rubies, and Maryanne, and currently plays guitar with desert rockers Greyhound Soul, whle also manning the sound board at Club Congress. Drummer Winston Watson would move on to Giant Sand before becoming Bob Dylan's touring and session drummer from 1992 through 1996. Watson continues to be an in-demand session musician, but has also graced the stage with many local bands including Greyhound Soul. The Pills frontman Brian Smith later went on to form the Phoenix-area band The Beat Angels in the mid-90's, which continues to recycle elements of punk, glam, and pop in their raucous performances. Both the Pills and the Pedestrians will be reuniting in the Old Pueblo over Labor Day weekend for the Club Congress 20th Anniversary event. More information about the 3-day event featuring 40 bands from the past 2 decades can be found HERE


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