Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Miracle Workers

The Miracle Workers, besides being good friends of mine, have got to be one of my all-time favorite bands! While still living in Portland, OR., they were one of the premier 80’s garage bands and recorded their debut LP, Inside Out, for Bomp Records. As they recorded and played shows in LA, they decided to relocate there in their search for fame and fortune! Shortly after moving, both Joel, the bassist, and Danny, second guitarist and keyboardist both left the band. Robert Butler, of the Untold Fables, came in on bass and thus the best line-up of the MW’s was created!

During this time the group moved away from its strict garage roots and simply became a great rock’n’roll band! They covered the Stooges and MC5 (and no, this wasn’t an original idea even then, but this was years and years before every band in the world covered these groups!) and wrote amazing songs ranging from the intensely rockin’ (Rock’n’Roll Revolution in the Streets, Part 2, Lights, Camera, Action, 69 Ways, etc) to the moving (Your Brown Eyes, Tick Tock, etc). Gerry Mohr’s lyrics were much deeper and intelligent than most of his peers and Matt Roger’s riffs and hooks and the melodies were all super memorable! Almost every song from this period is a classic!

Their live shows were excellent, as well! They took over LA – no easy feat! – and tore through Europe numerous times, leaving in their wake fans of all types and young musicians copying their every move and song! I even played a couple of shows with them on second guitar!
Unfortunately, as with all bands, personal problems first caused Gene Troutman to depart as their drummer, bringing in Aaron Sperske, another great drummer and nice guy – for an album and numerous shows until the band finally fell apart.

After their official breakup, the MW’s did record a final record – Anatomy of a Creep – to fulfill their obligations to XXX Records, but, although still good, it sounds as if it was an obligation. They even left the studio fights on the CD!

Gene had a stint in the Queens of the Stone Age, among other bands, Joel still plays in Portland, I believe, Matt has retired from music, and Rob & Gerry have (or had) a great, fun garage band in Switzerland (where they both live now) called the Get Lost. I’m afraid I have no idea what happened to Danny or Aaron.

Luckily, they left behind an incredible wealth of material! All of the records are highly recommended!

See my crappy Miracle Workers Fansite here


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