Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The Golden Palominos were a NYC rockband that I was REAL interested in during the mid-to-late-80's. I was in my twenties then, going to law school and playing in bands myself. 

I can't believe that I've had this blog as long as I have and have not written about The Golden Palominos and the many related spin-off bands and artists that hovered in it's vicinity during the 80's. They played on well past the time my interest waned in them. 

I didn't care much for their 1983 self-titled release, but in 1985 and 1986  their second and particularly third releases on Bill Laswell's CELLULOID record label were and still are greatly enjoyed by me.

After owning those two albums for 15 years, I stumbled upon a copy of their freshman release in a used record store in the 5 Points area of Columbia, South Carolina. After literally combing record and cd bins in LA and Houston and Dallas and Austin and New Orleans and not finding the first GP cd or album anywhere, I find it in South Carolina. Go figure.

I wouldn't have even thought about The GP's but I was reading an obit in the LA TIMES of former Flying Burrito Brother bassist and songwriter Chris Ethridge and at the bottom of the article there was a link to the obituary from 2007 of Sneaky Pete Kleinow, who not only was a very interesting person and virtuoso on the pedal steel guitar, but even Sneaky Pete appeared on a GP album. 

And that Sneaky Pete obit, of which I have no recollection, made me think of the Blast of Silence CD by the GP's, and the country flavor of some of the tunes on that CD. Which of course led to me asking myself, self, why haven't you posted about the GP's on your blog?

To which I have no response.

I possess an amazing amount of knowledge about bands and musicians ranging from the 30's to perhaps the early 1990's. I can remember minutia about all kinds of bands and musicians that I read in a music magazine nearly 40 years ago, but cannot recall what I ate for dinner on Monday two weeks ago.

There are lots of resources now for people to list information about bands like GP. Wiki, of course, has a good page on the GP's, but a more thorough development of their cd's and their extremely varied members would be great. It'd be nice to see a list of all of the folks who passed in and out of GP sessions over the years. There were so many guest artists over the years that it'd be a pretty good list of some amazing performers.

Back then, in those long ago and scary days  of P.I.E. (pre-internet existence), those days of ignorance and bliss, I'd hear about a band in some music magazine or in a copy of the Austin Chronicle, the LA Weekly and other such non-mainstream weekly newspapers. I don't recall where I heard of the GP's, but sometime in the mid-80's I took a trip to the old Infinite? Record store on lower Westheimer in Houston and found a copy of their first C.D. I got my first CD player (once again, in those pre-digitalized times) in the fall of 1986, and they had come out about a year before.

CD's were still hard to find and finding CD's from groups like The GP's was next to impossible. In Houston at that time, you had to go "inside the loop" (meaning the freeway that surrounds the inner portion of Houston, the 610 Loop) to find music like the GP's.

The GP's got no radio play in Houston, except probably some on the Rice University and the Pacifica radio stations, those at the low power "left end of the radio dial". None of my musician friends cared much for the GP's, and none of the folks I was in bands with over the next 20 years were interested in covering some GP songs. Or even A GP song. Just one.

But I nonetheless enjoy their CD's that I have, particularly Blast of Silence from 1986. It features some great singing by Syd Straw of some country rock originals THAT shoulda ended up on AOR radio. They'd have been hits, nee anthems, that would still echo in bars across the world.

Instead, they were indy stars. Meaning, not much if any money at all. Maybe they made something from the album releases, but we're not talking Guns and Roses money here.

In any event, the highly creative forces that came together for 1985's Visions of Excess and moreso for Blast of Silence create some great music on those two cd's. Blast of Silence would definately be on my desert island ipod.

I'll end part one with a great line sung by Syd Straw from Blast of Silence's DIAMOND...

A girl's best friend is a diamond, a man's best friend is a dog.

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