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Golden Smog

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Minneapolis, United States (1989 – present)

Golden Smog are a loosely connected group of musicians (arguably a ) comprising, at various times, members of Soul Asylum, The Replacements, Wilco, The Jayhawks, Run Westy Run, The Honeydogs and Big Star.

The group took their name from the name of a Flintstones character, which, in turn, was a parody of singer Mel Torme’s nickname; the Velvet Fog. The group first came together in the Minneapolis area in 1989 as a reaction to the and music that dominated the Twin Cities’ musical scene at the time; eventually Golden Smog became something of a fixture at local clubs, where they would play a handful of shows annually. Golden Smog’s lineup has often changed, though Run Westy Run guitarist Kraig Jarret Johnson as well as guitarists Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum) and Gary Louris (The Jayhawks) were relative constants.

The definitive beginning of Golden Smog is hard to pinpoint given the mercurial nature of the band’s lineup. Some point back to a show in January of 1987 when a band billed as ‘The Take It To The Limit Band’ played an all Eagles cover show at the Uptown Bar in Minneapolis. This band consisted of Dan Murphy and Dave Pirner (both of Soul Asylum), Jim Boquist (later of Son Volt), and Martin Zellar (Gear Daddies). The show ended with a cover of then Bangles hit song Walk Like An Egyptian. This same band later played a The Rolling Stones themed show in 1989 under the name “Her Satanic Majesty’s Paycheck.”

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