A Tribute to the Sun City Girls
In case you’ve never heard, here’s some words on an indefinable band that’s worth knowing, Sun City Girls.
Born out of the wilds of Phoenix, Arizona and named after one of the O.G. planned retirement communities sometime after the beginning of disco, Sun City Girls occupied a place under the underground for some twenty-five years. The band deeply defied any simple understanding, nevermind genre. Obviously out to please audiences from the get-go by performing a mix of free jazz, hardcore, Middle Eastern, beat poetry and another dozen styles, what they were all about… well it doesn’t really matter. Are known quantities what you prefer to occupy your time with, or do you get that otherworldly chill with the decidedly unknown? Sun City Girls went a long way towards making those unknowns the most comfortable place to be. In any case, it’s not a bunch of bullshit. Astounding musicians, they were prolific in their recording output, and never ones to ditch politics just because they become unspeakably terrible.
When words don’t seem to mean anything, a look at their discography alone can restore one’s faith in their power, pointless as they may be: Folk Songs of the Rich and Evil / Exotica on $5 a Day (1986)? Dante’s Disneyland Inferno (1996)?? Midnight Cowboys From Ipanema ??? Take a look here for their entire righteous discography. Stunning, really.
Sadly, Charles Gocher, the band’s drummer and collaborator who was known for his enormous heart and truly free spirit passed away last February. Making good on a promise to pay tribute to his memory, as well as to the legacy of the band itself, brothers Richard and Alan Bishop are playing across the country with The Brothers Unconnected: A tribute to Sun City Girls and Charles Gocher. Opening with a 40 minute film of Charlie’s video works, The Handsome Stranger, the surviving duo will play two acoustic sets of Sun City Girls music.
An inspiration to the very core of experimental, borderless music. All hail Sun City Girls.