The Gun Club were a rock band from Los Angeles in the 1980s led by the flamboyant singer, ex-rock critic Jeffrey Lee Pierce. They were one of the first bands to blend punk with blues, country, and other American roots musics.
Initially called Creeping Ritual, they went through several lineup changes before settling on "The Gun Club," a name suggested by Black Flag singer Keith Morris.
Their first album, 1981's Fire of Love, is sometimes regarded as a classic. One critic has written that the "album's lyrical imagery is plundered from voodoo, '50's EC comics and the blues," 1 while another notes that "Nobody has heard music like this before or since." (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:s85gtq4ztu46~T1) Fire of Love sold well, and received rave reviews
Along with The Cramps, X and other bands, they set much of the tone for the Hollywood rock scene in the 1980s. (Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe is rumored to have borrowed some of Pierce's distinctive look for his own early career.)
Pierce continued leading various incarnations of the Gun Club up to his death.
They helped influence the cowpunk scene that developed in their wake and a wide variety of bands ranging from Social Distortion in the 1980s to The White Stripes today.
Note 1: Olende, Stevo (Jan. 2002). Preachin' the Blues: The Gun Club Story (http://www.furious.com/perfect/gunclub.html). Perfect Sound Forever.
- Band history at The Gun Club and Jeffrey Lee Pierce website (http://www.thegunclub.net/history.html)
- Various members' articles about the band (http://www.thegunclub.net/theband.htm)
- The Gun Club and Jeffrey Lee Pierce general website with lyrics, photos, interviews (http://www.thegunclub.net/)