The Long Ryders were formed Thanksgiving 1981 in west Los Angeles, California. Kentucky born guitarist Sid Griffin left his sixties punk band The Unclaimed after having bonded musically with former Boxboys drummer Greg Sowders at a jam session in the notorious ON Klub in Silverlake. The other guitar player was
Steve Wynn but he left to form the Dream Syndicate whereupon Virginia’s Stephen McCarthy, a country music lover new to L.A., stepped in after answering a “Musician’s Wanted” ad in a local Korean free newspaper.
The original bass player was Barry Shank but he quit to return to graduate school and was replaced by ex-pat Englishman Des Brewer who owned two budgies. This lineup recorded and released an EP in 1983 produced by ex-Sparks guitarist/former Beach Boys engineer Earle Mankey called 10-5-60 and it was so well received they decided to tour the USA. Des Brewer dropped out at this point to continue his career as a longshoreman in San Pedro and was replaced by Indiana’s Tom Stevens, a former candidate in the NASA “Right Stuff” space program in Houston.
Signed to (then) hip indie label Frontier the band recorded their debut LP Native Sons with the late, great Henry Lewy producing. Lewy had worked with the Flying Burrito Brothers on their classic Gilded Palace Of Sin LP as well as with the Association, Barbara Streisand and Van Morrison. Lewy had enjoyed a long, fruitful studio partnership with Joni Mitchell. Together the Long Ryders and Lewy came up with an album called “a modern American classic” by Melody Maker and soon found themselves on the cover of the New Musical Express as well as playing live on the BBC’s Whistle Test TV show. - official website
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