Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hailing from Angers, France and existing from 1983 to 1999, Les Thugs are easily one of my 25 favorite bands of all time. Despite being French, they were truly the kings of the “great American riff.” With powerful vocals added by diminutive front man Eric Sourice (and amazing harmony vocals provided by his brother, Thugs drummer Christophe, that would give any Southern California band –from the Mama & Papas to Bad Religion– a run for their money) I was lucky enough to catch them many times in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Although we never actually spoke, I’m sure they would remember me, as I was the guy screaming “Tres bien, music fantastique!” after every song, much to the bemusement of Tim Yohannan and anyone else standing near me.

Speaking of the dearly departed Tim Yo, he was a bigger fan of these guys than I was, if that’s possible. I remember one time at the Covered Wagon Saloon we were watching them and a huge smile came over his face as the Thugs tore into one particularly driving song. He leaned over to me and said very matter-of-factly “There it is, the Velvet Underground New York subway rhythm.” Since Tim was the only person I’ve ever known who actually saw The Velvet Underground, I was happy to take his word for it.

For this post I chose the video for the track “Never Get Older” from 1986, but honestly I could have just as easily picked any of about 150 remarkable songs from the bands rather large (but still possible to acquire) discography. If you don’t know about these guys do yourself a favor and look them up, you won’t be sorry.


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