As news broke of the Coachella 2013 lineup, so did the news of a few band reunions including the missed Wisconsin alternative rockers, Violent Femmes. But will the performance on a hot day in April be the only one fans will have to look forward to? Read on to find out.
This will be the first performance from the band in six years, with their last stage appearance taking place in Uncasville, CT at The Wolf Den in the Mohegan Sun Casino from October 12-13, 2007. These were the last shows after the group had entered legal trouble with guitarist and credited song writer Gordon Gano, who sold the advertising rights to their classic “Blister in the Sun” to fast-food chain, Wendy’s. Needless to say, founder Brian Ritchie was not very pleased. He released this statement:
For the fans who rightfully are complaining about the Wendy’s burger advertisement featuring Blister in the Sun, Gordon Gano is the publisher of the song and Warners is the record company. When they agree to use it there’s nothing the rest of the band can do about it, because we don’t own the song or the recording. That’s showbiz. Therefore when you see dubious or in this case disgusting uses of our music you can thank the greed, insensitivity and poor taste of Gordon Gano, it is his karma that he lost his songwriting ability many years ago, probably due to his own lack of self-respect as his willingness to prostitute our songs demonstrates. Neither Gordon (vegetarian) nor me (gourmet) eat garbage like Wendy’s burgers. I can’t endorse them because I disagree with corporate food on culinary, political, health, economic and environmental grounds. However I see my life’s work trivialized at the hands of my business partner over and over again, although I have raised my objections numerous times. As disgusted as you are I am more so.
Violent Femmes originally composed of founders Brian Ritchie and Victor DeLorenzo. They teamed up with guitarist Gordon Gano and began their musical career in the early 80s. Their first album, Violent Femmes was released in 1983 and continued to produce seven more albums through 2002. However, within that time, the band underwent change when drummer Victor DeLorenzo announced his split from the band in 1993; enter Guy Hoffman. While the band toured as a three-member-piece, all four did find themselves on the stage together at the same time. They came together to perform at the Orange County Fair Grounds for New Year’s Eve 2005 going into 2006.
Although the four were disbanded, their musical careers did not stay quiet. Gordon Gano is noted for working with indie group Gordon Gano and The Ryans and even a Cajun band, The Lost Bayou Ramblers. There is only one solo album of his noted, Hitting the Ground, which debuted on shelves in 2002.
Since the legal debacle of 2007, Brian Ritchie has produced and toured with the punk/folk band The Zen Circus. Perhaps the more evident role he has is serving as the curator for the Mona Foma Festival held in Tasmania. He put together the first lineup in 2009 and has done a remarkable job annually, including the 2012 festival that featured The Dresden Dolls and PJ Harvey.
Victor DeLorenzo shared his creativity with a number of groups in various opportunities, especially during his nine-year hiatus from Violent Femmes. In 1993, shortly after leaving the band, he hopped on tour with Moe Tucker. He has produced four solo records as well as opened up his own studio, Joe’s Real Recording. Fans can catch this drummer working with a chamber rock trio by the name of Nineteen Thirteen.
Guy Hoffman filled in as drummer while DeLorenzo was vacant. His most remembered contributions to the band include his album cover design for New Times. After DeLorenzo came back, Hoffman went off to make musical cameos on other records and even formed his own LA based rock band, Radio Romeo.
It is unknown at this point which of the four will be traveling to the Coachella Valley in a few months, but stay tuned for any future details. Also at this moment, no future touring dates have been confirmed for the band before or after this renowned festival. Updates will follow as details are announced.