Northwest Underground rock 1980 'til the End of Time

June 2021: James and the Giant Peach

My Gawd.

James & the Giant PeachWe are here yet again. AotM. Wayback machine. The world continues to spin. So what’s IT ALL MEAN?

Today sweet lovers, we have an obscure and forgotten piece of Seattle music history, James and the Giant Peach. You of course recall The Life, brilliant youth of 1988 who when recording the follow up to their ridiculous Alone album EXPL:ODED>! Little bits flying everywhere like the Exploding Whale of Florence Oregon. In the aftermath of Tony Bortko, Jimm and Eric and Casey woke up and thought WTF. They wrote some new tunes and ended up in Conrad Uno’s basement.

Eric: I think the Peach was formed out of taking The Life to the end of the road. We were so elated to write and play music that was spontaneous, goofy and just being ourselves. Not having any agenda was a pretty euphoric experience. I don’t remember the sequence. Maybe the Peach ended to form Ginger? (their next band – td) Ginger was a bit more of a directional band, had a more intentional sound… while the Peach could be anything, very experimental. Then I think the whole thing kind of frayed as I was moving from playing drums to writing songs and getting involved in The Green Pajamas. That’s how I recall it at least.

Casey Allen - The LifeAlso, I recall playing some of my songs live and playing drums at the same time. But I’m not sure if we played live as the Peach or as Ginger? I remember playing at the Offramp one night. I started the drumbeat on the two and Casey was on the one. It stayed that way through the whole song. I was mortified. It might have been an AC/DC tune. 

I was actually really surprised at how much I liked the tunes hearing them 30+ years later. I was surprised how well they held up and how crisp some of them sounded. Brought back all the memories of recording them at Uno‘s. Such fun recordings! Everything was off the cuff and the emphasis was on fun and just sort of celebrating our new found freedom from The Life. I remember doing a lot of weird crazy dancing and Uno laughing a fuck of a lot! We all did.

Jimm McIver - The LifeJimm: Yes, the Peach was definitely about being completely out of fucks. After spending six years trying to get The Life to the next level, we were equal parts heartbroken, exhausted, and relieved that it was over. Rehearsals were so fun, there was no longer that constant drive to slay the dragon. We just played whatever the fuck we wanted. I can really hear that vibe coming out of the speakers. It’s very cathartic listening to this stuff thirty years later. Screaming about nonsense and playing loud sloppy guitar through a Marshall is good therapy as it turns out.

TD: A few cassettes were made, a few gigs were played (Howie booked one) and the Peach composted into Ginger, another band I remember nothing about. Jimm went on to do his great Polaroid Angel, Eric went on to The Green Pajamas and both have done several dandy solo albums since. This was just a quick blast of energetic sunset before the next stop.

So how does it sit thirty-plus years later? It’s pretty damn great. It pretty fucking rocks. Boys make smashing guitar rock noise. It pretty fucking rocks.

That’s it.

Coming soon: New Al Bloch. New Green Pajamas.

Fuck yeah.


June 2021

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