Song of the Week – Mother of Earth, Gun Club

Ignored            Obscured             Restored

The Gun Club was a pioneering punk rock band out of LA.  They separated themselves from the rest of the punk rock scene by incorporating blues and country influences into their sound, leading to the genre titles “psychobilly” and “cowpunk.”

They performed and recorded from 1979 to 1996 and the untimely death of their cofounder and leader, Jeffrey Lee Pierce.  His erratic behavior and stage antics made him a true rock and roll original.

Pierce was also a huge Blondie fan.  He rose to be the president of the LA chapter of the Blondie fan club.  That led to a relationship with Blondie’s Chris Stein and Deborah Harry.  The Gun Club’s 1982 album, Miami, was produced by Stein and included backing vocals by Harry under the pseudonym D.H. Laurence Jr.

Today’s SotW is “Mother of Earth” from Miami

The song has an interesting connection to Billy Idol as told here by Drew Wardel of Far Out:

Around the time The Gun Club released their second record, Miami, Billy Idol met up with Jeffery Pierce at a bar in L.A. and told him that his smash hit, ‘White Wedding’, was an attempt to emulate ‘Mother of Earth’. The song is a beautiful example of Pierce’s impeccable ability to mix rockabilly with Americana, and reverb-soaked cowpunk. It sounds like Johnny Cash on acid.

Pierce died at the age of 37 in Salt Lake City from a brain hemorrhage attributed to alcohol and drug abuse.  But his influence on rock music far exceeds the popularity of the Gun Club whose fans include Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the White Stripes, and the Black Keys.

Enjoy… until next week.