Monday, January 31, 2005

True West and The Dream Syndicate

Out of the ashes of the Suspects, which consisted of Russ Tolman, Gavin Blair, Steve Wynn and Kendra Smith came two notable bands. Tolman and Blair formed True West while Wynn and Smith formed the Dream Syndicate. Both bands played driving, feedback-laden, psychedelic, guitar-drenched rock and were lumped into what was dubbed the "Paisley Underground" and "Big Guitar Band" movements.

True West debuted with the single "Lucifer Sam" which was a cover of an early Pink Floyd song. The b-side was the record played backwards and called "Mas Reficul". Steve Wynn helped produce. While True West conjured up Syd Barret, Wynn's Dream Syndicate were being called the new Velvet Underground. They debuted with the EP "Down There" which contained the VU influenced "Sure Thing". Both bands released several EP's and LPs throughout the 80's with the Dream Syndicate garnering the most attention.

The bands had many line-ups that went on to play in many other bands so rather than list them all I'll just stick with the original Suspects. Steve Wynn went on to a solo career as did Kendra Smith who also played with Opal. Gavin Blair played with the Fool Killers and Russ Tolman continues to record.

Buy True West CD's here and Dream Syndicate CD's here

Go to the download page to get True West - "Lucifer Sam" here

Go to the download page to get the Dream Syndicate - "Sure Thing" here


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dream Syndicate was one of the greatest bands ever.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heya, Eric! How to download old songs like Soul Attack's song?
Great blog, by the way !

10:48 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I'd be happy to email a past track or 2 to you. Just don't tell anybody. email at the address in the right column.

3:25 PM  
Blogger merrick said...

Wow, I'd forgotten about True West! The title track of their Hollywood Holiday album is absolutely superb, sparkling chiming guitars and a gorgeous languid vocal that sounds very like Steve Kilbey from the criminally underrated The Church.

You've made me go and dig out a load of Paisley Underground stuff. Thanks!

From that scene The Three O'Clock were great too (especially the first 2 records, 'Baroque Hoedown' and 'Sixteen Tamborines'), and there's a noteworthy but little known peculiar amalgamation of Paisley Undergound artists doing 60s covers on a one-off album called 'Rainy Day'.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice intro to the band. Thanks.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been meaning to write for years that I love your very informative site.

Just wanted to pass along the word that singer Gavin Blair, guitarist Richard McGrath, and myself -- AKA True West -- will be on stage together for the first time in 21 years when we play at the International Pop Overthrow festival (IPO) in Seattle on 26 August at The Crocodile.

Would appreciate anything you can to spread the word.

All the best,

Russ Tolman

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True West will be playing for the first time in 21 years on KBOO Radio, Portland on Wed, Aug 26 at 9:30pm. Streaming is available at

True West also plays Friday, 25 Aug in Portland at The Jasmine Tree, and also Sat, 26 Aug in Seattle at The Crocodile.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Eric,

Just a quick note to let you know that TRUE WEST plays their first European show in 20-some years on August 7th, 2009 at the Down On The Farm Festival in Halden, Norway.

Cheers, Russ

7:19 PM  

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