(from Sonicnet Music News Of The World)

BIRTHDAY: Dave Pirner Of Soul Asylum
Today is the 34th birthday of Dave Pirner, lead singer and songwriter
of Minneapolis-based Soul Asylum, the post-punk indie band that had its
15 minutes of rock superstardom in the early '90s when it scored a #1
hit with "Runaway Train."
Pirner's first band was the Minnesota punk-band the Shitz. When this
band split, he formed Loud Fast Rules, Soul Asylum's original name. The
original lineup circa 1981 featured Dan Murphy on guitars, Karl Mueller
on bass and Pat Morley on drums. Soul Asylum's 1984 EP, Say What You
Will ... Everything Can Happen on Twin Tone, was an intriguing mixture
of punk-rock and country. It was eventually re-released as a full-length
album in 1986, Say What You Will, Clarence ... Karl Sold The Truck. In
1985, Morley was replaced by Grant Young, who participated in the band's
next album, Made To Be Broken (1986). Though the music remained thrashy
rock, Pirner was developing as a sensitive, talented lyricist. Still,
these records were overshadowed by early releases of fellow Minnesotans
Husker Du and the Replacements, who condescendingly dubbed Soul Asylum
as "the B-teamers."
A&M Records took notice of the band, however, and signed Soul Asylum
in 1987; their major-label debut was 1988's Hangtime, which featured the
fan-favorite "Cartoon." With 1990's Soul Asylum and The Horse They Rode
In On, the band lost its indie cachet and A&M lost interest. Band
members revisited their day jobs and a depressed Pirner spent time as an
outpatient in a psychiatric hospital. He also began writing acoustic
material and gigged for a short time in the Midwest with Murphy as
Murphy and Pirfinkle. Columbia Records signed a regrouped Soul Asylum in
1992, and the group released Grave Dancers Union. Initially, the album
sold slowly. But the third single, "Runaway Train," went to #1 and
garnered the band international acclaim and fame, eventually sending the
album into the multi-platinum zone. Pirner became a rock poster-boy and
began making the Hollywood scene, dating actress Winona Ryder. He also
participated in the soundtrack to "Backbeat," the 1994 film chronicling
the Beatles' years with bassist Stuart Sutcliffe. Young was replaced by
Sterling Campbell for Soul Asylum's follow-up album, 1995's Let Your Dim
Light Shine. Though it hit the U.S. top 10 and the single, "Misery",
made the top 20, the album quickly faded. Pirner contributed vocals in
1996 to On Golden Smog, an album by Murphy's side group, Golden Smog.
Soul Asylum's next album, Candy From A Stranger, is due in May. While he
played on the new disc, Campbell subsequently left the band after the
album's recording. Ex-Cruzados skinsman Charlie Quintana played a few
shows with them early in the year, but a definitive replacement hasn't
been announced.
Other birthdays: Bobby Vinton, 63; Dusty Springfield, 59; Gerry
Rafferty (Stealers Wheel), 51; Paul Buchanan (Blue Nile), 42; Jimmy
Osmond, 35 ... Roy Hamilton, 1929-1969.
-- Frank Tortorici:
[ Wed., Apr 15, 10:21 PM PDT ]

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