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The Steinbecks

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THE STEINBECKS emerged, blinking, from the still-smouldering ashes of The Sugargliders in 1994.

The Sugargliders (3/2/89-10/6/94) were the creation of Melbourne brothers Josh and Joel Meadows, who were teenagers when they started playing gigs and recording for indie label Summershine Records. The ‘gliders went on to become part of the legendary Sarah Records stable, releasing ten 7” singles and a compilation LP, We’re All Trying To Get There (SARAH619), before self-combusting in June 1994.

But theirs is another story.

Music press interviews from 1994 reveal some of the thinking behind the brothers’ decision to put the torch to The Sugargliders and become The Steinbecks. “The Sugargliders were developing into something which involved a whole lot more people,” Joel told Cameron Adams from Beat Magazine in November 1994. “We had a choice of trying to change The Sugargliders or make a clean break and start something new.” (Beat, 9/11/94)

They chose the something new. The brothers Meadows joined forces with Robert Cooper, who played with the ‘gliders on their last three singles and was also bassist with teen sensations The Earthmen, guitarist and trumpeter Adam ‘AD’ Dennis (Captain Cocoa, The Jordans, long-time Sugargliders collaborator and audio engineer) and drummer Bianca Lew, from young guns Snowblind.

Four-track versions of some of the first Steinbecks songs (such as ‘A Fine Vehicle’ and ‘Smoking and Driving’) were recorded at AD’s home studio, the Drawingroom, in late 1993 and early 1994. The 5-piece Steinbecks started playing together before the final Sugargliders gig.

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