Jeffrey Lee Pierce – “Flamingo” (1985)

Jeffrey Lee Pierce is best known as the singer and guitarist for The Gun Club, the quasi-punk band that put out most if its material in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. The band mixed elements of blues and bluegrass with punk… but certainly with some new wave touches. Frankly I find their music hard to categorize (which is a good thing). If I were to compare them to another band it would probably be one of a different genre that also had a flamboyant front-man who’s voice defined the band’s sound – Mother Love Bone. Unfortunately the two had something else in common – both died relatively young, Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone at 24 of a heroin overdose, and Pierce at 37 of a brain hemorrhage (while suffering from cirrhosis and hepatitis as well). At least Pierce left behind a fairly substantial body of work before his passing.

Flamingo is a 1985 solo release from Pierce, a 33 rpm 12″ with only six tracks. Most impressive to me are “Fire” and “No More Fire”, the last two songs on Side A, which are (sacrilege alert!) a sort of cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” – complete with synths and a drum machine. Sounds terrible, right? Like the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse covering Hendrix, if the Four Horsemen just happened to all be members of an 80s boy band? But it actually is a pretty cool take on the song, and I have to admit I enjoyed it.

Side B… well… I’d probably just suggest not flipping it when Side A is done and moving on to the next record.