The consummate forerunners of folk-punk, Violent Femmes began with the formation of their rhythm section consisting of Brian Ritchie on bass and Victor DeLorenzo on percussion. Gordon Gano (singer/guitarist) would join later, completing the trio that would eventually be discovered by the Pretenders who, back in 1981, were playing the Oriental Theatre in the Femmes home town of Milwaukee, WS.
As the story goes, the Femmes were playing out on the street (which they did a lot) in front of the theater and were invited by Chrissy Hynde to play an acoustic set after the opening band. They did just that and the rest is history. Soon after they recorded their break through, debut album that included songs that would clearly define the bands early years, ‘Blister in the Sun’, ‘Add it Up’, ‘Kiss Off’ and ‘Gone Daddy Gone’. Almost ten (10) years and one brief break up later, they released their album 3 which produced what would be their next hit, albeit a minor, ‘American Music’ featured in the video above.
The Femmes enjoyed quite a long run on the alternative music scene but, alas, all things must come to an end and for them the end was 2009. After disputes over song rights and a desire to pursue other musical interests, Gano announced that they were done as band. However, for this week, Flashback celebrates the simplistic genius that was and is the Violent Femmes.