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The Spectators

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They didn’t do more than 20 gigs. They only played about 15 songs live. But their reputation has grown so much over the past three decades that musicians who were just kids when the band played have heard of them. Their first gig was December 8th 1980.the same day John Lennon was gunned down in New York City. It was just like most other night at Seattle’s legendary Gorilla Room on Second Ave. Just a handful of people showed up, and more free beer was drunk up by the bar staff and their buddies than was ever sold. Just like a lot of other nights at The Gorilla Room, one of the finest bands of the era played to a near empty house. Over the next few months the band would be regulars at the Gorilla Room. By Summer, Bob Mould, having heard them on with Husker Du‘s first national tour, called them “the greatest unsigned band in America“. A year later they were gone.

Byron Duff, Jeff Farrand and Stan Filarca made their dent on the Seattle music scene of the 1980’s as The Spectators. Their combination of surf, metal, jazz and punk predates bands with similar influences…like Primus… by a full decade. They were a power-trio, but one that dealt their deadly blows with intricate and subtle precision rather than blind swings. This was a band that had brains as well as brawn. By using a limited amount of effects, guitarist Byron Duff and bass player Stan Filarca created a sound so tightly woven that it was hard to tell who was playing lead, where the rhythm was coming from and how they could possibly sound so big.

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