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BAM Magazine today
Here Comes Trouble: Pearl Harbour is Back!
(by Anthony Hayes, BAM Magazine)
This time a year ago Pearl Harbour was faced with the unenviable task of sending out unsolicited demo tapes to record companies, knowing in the back of her mind that the cassettes would most likely end up in the trash. This can be a humbling experience for even novice artists, but Harbour, who has released several albums (the last one in 1986), couldn't help but wonder if the music business had passed her by.
Then last summer Bob Peterson, a guy who sat next to Harbour in her high school algebra class, saw an ad for one of her gigs. Soon she and her band had inked a deal to record for his fledgling Southern California-based indie, Shattered Music. And you thought algebra would never come in handy in the real world!
"I invited him to a show, and he asked us if we wanted to make a record. I thought it was a miracle, really," says Harbour.
The recently released, 13-song Here Comes Trouble, featuring former Dead Kennedy's lead guitarist, East Bay Ray, showcases the Harbour band's brand of light-hearted rock 'n' roll. Common lyrical themes include fast cars, loose girls, and bad boys. Musically, the band, which also includes drummer Mike Hunter, bassist Lee Vilensky (of the Billy Nayer Show), and rhythm guitarist Stinky Le Pew (ex-Buck Naked and the Bare Bottom Boys), leans heavily on surf guitar, punk, and rockabilly influences.
After growing up on and around U.S. military bases in Germany, Harbour moved to San Francisco in 1975 at the age of 17, with the innocent intention to become a country singer. She ended up becoming a hot-pants-clad dancer known as Pearly Gates for the Tubes. Soon thereafter, Harbour fronted her own band, Pearl Harbour and the Explosions. The Explosions scored a modest hit with the 1979 single, "Drivin'." When the band broke up after one studio album, Harbour moved to London. There she married the Clash's Paul Simonon (they've since split up) and released several rockabilly flavored solo albums.
Since coming back to the Bay Area in the late '80s, the Harbour band has been a popular attraction, headlining both their own club gigs and supporting acts as varied as the Cramps and Van Morrison. Though there has been a bit of a drought between albums, she never thought of giving up show biz.
"Performing live is what keeps me going. My life would be pretty boring if I didn't do it," Harbour says. "Some people are just born hams."
Friday, July 26, 2013 5:29 PM