Friday, April 11, 2008

The Meteors and Psychobilly

I can't remember when I first heard the term psychobilly, but reading through rock history archives it seems to have first been used on Cramps gig posters along with rockabilly voodoo during the mid-'70s. The idea stems from mixing rockabilly, punk and garage rock with themes of outer space and horror movies. The Cramps didn't exactly love the term, although it did aptly fit what they were doing. Probably the first band to fully embrace the label and really make it their own was UK band The Meteors, pictured above. During the early '80s they released the highly influential (and great!) albums "In Heaven" and "Wreckin' Crew." There have been many waves of psychobilly bands to follow in the UK, US and really worldwide since The Meteors began, but the band has kept going strong (they are still touring, they played Seattle in February). And locally for a while there was a great band called The Spectres. I shot this photo at a Meteors show in the mid-'90s at The Breakroom on Seattle's Capitol Hill. It was a fairly ill-attended show, which was a bummer for the band, but fun none-the-less. Even though at the time bands like Tiger Army, Horrorpops, Devil's Brigade and Nekromantix were around, the third wave resurgence in popularity of psychobilly was just starting and did not have near the fan-base that it does today.

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