October 2, 2011 – 4:26 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

San Francisco 1981 [no label, 1CD]

On Broadway, San Francisco, CA; November 6, 1981. Good to very good KUSF FM broadcast, some radio static?

In the write-up in BigO’s 100 Albums (1975-1995) on The Gun Club’s 1981 debut album, Fire Of Love: “When Gun Club frontman Jeffrey Lee Pierce says ‘You look just like an Elvis from Hell’, he could well be talking about himself. Like a new-wave Howlin’ Wolf, there are times on Fire Of Love where Pierce, kicking and screaming, sounds possessed; or as if he’s made a pact with the devil at the crossroads in a punk-rock update of blues mythology… A punk band playing swamp rock, The Gun Club take the blues and subvert it well away from the dull-ass, white man’s guitar-solo institution it has become. The band keeps the true grit of the early blues and readjust the focus onto its sex and violence, giving a menacing feel to their takes of old blues standards…”

Speaking of swamp rock, it was probably quite inevitable that the band would cover CCR and here they were with Run Through The Jungle, a tune they would include on their next album, Miami (1982); and there’s also a preview of Watermelon Man. While the Howlin’ Wolf comparisons might be obvious, there was certainly more than a shadow of Jim Morrison hovering over Pierce. Some might even say Pierce was channelling the former.

On March 31, 1996, Pierce died from a brain hemorrhage at the age of 37.

Thanks to the person who shared this on the net in 2005.

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Updated: February 13, 2015

In an email to us, Billy Persons wrote:

I replaced [Rob Ritter] in tthe fall of “81 for a bunch of shows in Los Angeles and three in the Bay Area including the On Broadway show with The Cramps and Panther Burns. The band wasn’t doing much in the fall and winter of ‘81. I would have joined permanently but Ward [Dotson] and Terry [Graham] told me they were going to quit once the Miami album was done as they were on salary at the time so Rob was brought back for that album. I also worked with Jeffrey Lee Pierce around this time on what would later become Tex and The Horseheads. Also, I don’t know if you are aware but Target Video taped our set and it may finally be released soon.

I played with the Weirdos on their “Who, What, When, Where Why” EP. I also replaced Rob Ritter in Thelonious Monster in the early ’90s for a while and was in The Joykiller in the mid-’90s (we did three albums for Epitaph). That was a really fun show although my memory of it is pretty foggy. Jeffrey and I spent the whole day drinking in a German restaurant in SF so we were plastered at this show. (Click here to order Joykiller releases).

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Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Watermelon Man (7.1MB)
Track 02. Run Through The Jungle (4.9MB)
Track 03. She Is Like Heroin To Me (4.5MB)
Track 04. John Hardy (4.7MB)
Track 05. Fire Spirit (8.0MB)
Track 06. Black Train (3.9MB)
Track 07. Jack On Fire (8.0MB)
Click here if you reside in North America
Click here if you reside outside North America
Track 08. Sex Beat (4.6MB)
Track 09. For The Love Of Ivy (12.7MB)

Jeffrey Lee Pierce - vocals
Ward Dotson - guitar
Billy Persons Rob Ritter - bass
Terry Graham - drums

Click here to order Fire Of Love and other Gun Club albums.

  1. 18 Responses to “THE GUN CLUB - SAN FRANCISCO 1981”

  2. hey bigo, will get, thanks! keep the punk rock coming. growing up i always loved for the love of ivy, and it’s on here!


    By Ed Saad on Oct 2, 2011

  3. “Due to the uncensored nature of the following program, it is recommended for mature audiences only.” Nice one Big O!
    I echo Ed: keep the punk rock coming! ! cheers!

    By eponymus on Oct 2, 2011

  4. Hi BigO, X and the fabulous and uncomparable Gun Club are great choices - would be fantastic if you could offer more like this, for the beginning maybe The Dream Syndicate, Thin White Rope, Sister Double Happiness, Giant Sand, Green On Red,…

    By Walter on Oct 2, 2011

  5. I saw the Gun Club around the time Fire of Love came out. JLP was trashed and the show stunk. I never really liked the follow up LPs too much, but I sure love Fire of Love. Looking forward to hearing this. Thanks.

    By Dave C on Oct 2, 2011

  6. Even more swamp-haunted and primal than the studio recordings. Love that echolalia on “Watermelon Man!” Thanks.

    By jbull49 on Oct 3, 2011

  7. Thanks Big O, First heard the of the Gun Club through the White Stripes cover of For the Love of Ivy. Jack White once said Sex Beat should be taught in school.

    By JakeC ?,! on Oct 3, 2011

  8. There is also a white stripes version of Jack on Fire out there…

    By JakeC ?,! on Oct 3, 2011

  9. I second the vote for Green on Red if you can find any. I see that you’ve already put up a TWR show and many thanks for that, too!

    Keep it up!


    By golgo hakase on Oct 13, 2011

  10. FCUKING BEAUTIFUL MAN!!!!!!!!!!!

    By piratehatter on Jan 2, 2012

  11. Kick Ass! Thanks!

    By Marsha Bronson on Jan 31, 2012

  12. Here is some news. Gun Club’s Jim Duckworth is in a new group called Buffalo Jack and The Parlor Snakes. His searing hot guitar is the same in this indie underground rockabilly band. Sounds like Swampabilly Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Gun Club. Very cool sound. I’m about to leak a couple songs soon (with permission) before the CD is out. Stay tuned at . -Tamar

    By Tamar Campbell on Oct 23, 2012

  13. I was playing bass at this show. Rob had quit at this time and I played for about five months.

    By Billy on Feb 12, 2015

  14. billy - put your last name. patricia morrison is usually credited with taking over for rob ritter (graves) for the remaining tour dates and any recordings that needed to be done prior to being released at this point. the miami sessions had been completed by the time rob left however but there were some studio sessions still being done for an ep and some singles. are u on those? or just live performances? i saw a couple of performances in the ny / nj area around this time but i cant say who was on bass. i took pics but the only faces i knew were jeffrey and ward. 34 years later id never recognize them if i was sitting at a bar drinking with them. ha!!

    By darth on Feb 12, 2015

  15. Thanks to Billy Persons for helping to set the record straight. Cheers.

    By bigozine2 on Feb 13, 2015

  16. ty bigo. appreciate that.

    By darth on Feb 14, 2015

  17. Something up with Track 2? It only comes down as a 497 byte file… It looks like the link may be fried?

    But this is a great show and many thanks for the re-up, BigO friends!


    By golgo hakase on Feb 20, 2015

  18. Hello golgo hakase

    Kindly refresh the page and try again.

    By bigozine2 on Feb 20, 2015

  19. Links at bad.
    Please update.

    By bigfootchester on Jan 17, 2020

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