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The Band That Played California Lady


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The Band That Played California Lady began as a duo featuring The Fish-Lipped Guy and The Eskimo. They developed their sound playing in hard-scrabble bars before a growing circle of fans. It wasn’t until they added The Friendly-Looking Backup Singer the The Band That Played California Lady finally hit it big with ‘California Lady’.

The pressures of success were huge and The Fish-Lipped Guy, who took on the public role of creative genius, began to take refuge in drinking and a new circle of fast friends, as he and The Eskimo drifted apart. That summer, The Band That Played ‘California Lady’ played before nearly 300,000 fans at Watkins Glen, New York, sharing a bill with Wet Willy and Toots and the Maytals. Backstage, though, The Fish-Lipped Guy’s drinking was beginning to get out of hand. Creative tensions mounted and a haze of alcohol served only to cover up The Eskimo’s increasing drug use. It was a hopeful sign when The Friendly-Looking Backup Singer checked into a rehab clinic to have her blood replaced, but The Fish-Lipped Guy’s out-of-control womanizing led The Eskimo into an ever-more-deadly spiral of drug use and drink.

Drug-addled recording sessions produced The Band That Played California Lady’s follow-up album, the more-melodic ‘Rhode Island Lady’, but it failed to crack the charts as The Band That Played California Lady’s audience did not follow them into this new territory. By this time, the drugs, booze, and womanizing had begun to replace the music. Friends were troubled as an opportunity to open for Brewer and Shipley on a world tour went by the boards when The Eskimo slipped into a long-term alcoholic coma.

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  • terryfunk4life

    The Band That Played California Lady made it big with their first hit California lady

    20 Sep 2011 Reply
  • EdwardJH


    12 Oct 2009 Reply
  • pillfeast

    I'm losing my edge. But I was there. I was there in the hard-scrabble bars when the Band That Played California Lady first played California Lady.

    12 Oct 2009 Reply
  • Cox_of_Seagulls

    Best band ever.

    11 Oct 2009 Reply