Since January of this year when I put together a reward mixtape about Paisley Underground to send to PCP supporters in Catarse (don’t you know? click here and help us move forward) I find myself thinking about writing about some albums from this scene of so many wonderful bands.
Well, today I’m starting to shape – albeit timidly and very briefly – this rather fixed idea, with the first single from one of Paisley’s mainstays, Rain Parade by the great and late David Roback, perhaps better known by most as the creative partner of muse Hope Sandoval at Mazzy Star. Yes, well before “Fade into you” and so on, Roback was guitarist for Opal, which he founded with Kendra Smith (ex-Dream Syndicate, another Paisley cornerstone) when he left Rain Parade. As young mystics say, everything is connected (laughs).
Anyway, back to the thread, David formed PR with his friend Matt Piucci sometime in the early 1980s in Minnesota, when they studied together, shared a room and a love for music, more specifically for the sixties rock of Byrds/Love and the young punk, whose ‘do it yourself’ attitude inspired them more than the aggressive sound aesthetic.
It didn’t take long for them to drop out of their studies, leave for California and put together a band that they named Sidewalks, with garage verve, but in a short time they got involved in psychedelic influences and thus Rain Parade was born, which would also be quickly encapsulated in that Paisley scene (which like grunge, a decade later, had bands of different styles), of which they were the most lysergic exponent.
As things happened quickly for Roback, Piucci and co., already in 1983 they would debut with the sensational Emergency Third Rail Power Trip; but we go back a chapter in this story and share not his full album debut, but his first record, the single What She’s Done To Your Mind / Kaleidoscopereleased a year earlier.
Here are the seeds that would germinate in Emergency…(which I’ll talk about here one of these days) and, for those who are used to David Roback’s magic guitar, the discreet beginning of this psychedelic magic, albeit (very) under the Byrds’ hat.