Spotlight: Hoodoo Gurus

11:40pm, Blender Bar @ the Ritz

Spotlight: Hoodoo Gurus

The short list of essential Eighties albums, below U2's Unforgettable Fire but above Graham Parker's The Mona Lisa's Sister, contains 1.5 Hoodoo Gurus albums. The Aussie fourpiece's punk-to-pop guitar-mangling gets full credit for Stoneage Romeos and half a point for bits of Mars Needs Guitars! and Blow Your Cool! After seven albums, the band reached a creative impasse and called it quits in 1998. This wasn't just any breakup, though.

"We promised ourselves we'd never play together again," says guitarist Brad Shepherd. "For a couple of years we would get requests and offers, and a couple of the band members in particular were like, 'What are you talking to us for? We don't exist.'"

As with Jesus, death was a temporary phenomenon, and the Gurus re-emerged with 2004's Mach Schau. It took six years instead of three days, but they hit upon two curious realizations. First, they genuinely liked one another as people.

"Stupidly enough, or perhaps more telling than ever, the band broke up, and we ended up hanging out as friends and music enthusiasts more than we ever did as a band," admits Shepherd. "There's no getting around we're actually like-minded souls."

Equally important, after two decades in a band, the Gurus realized they had almost no marketable real-world skills.

"I think that's why you become a musician in the first place," insists Shepherd. "The allure of that lifestyle is so appealing, and you don't have any desire to participate in the real world. It's also a cynical way of looking at it, but I honestly believe that playing music is what I do best."

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Hoodoo Gurus, Stoneage, Mars Needs Guitars!, Blow Your Cool, Brad Shephard

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