Steve Wynn (songwriter)

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Steve Wynn, 2011

Steven Lawrence "Steve" Wynn (born February 21, 1960) is an American songwriter. He led the band the Dream Syndicate from 1981 to 1989 in Los Angeles, and afterward began a solo career.[1]

Career[edit]

Origins in Davis, California[edit]

Before forming the Dream Syndicate, Wynn played guitar in the Davis-based band The Suspects, whose members included vocalist Kendra Smith (with whom he later founded The Dream Syndicate), and Russ Tolman and Gavin Blair (who would form True West). In 1979, the Suspects released a single, "It's Up to You" b/w "Talking Loud."

Two years later, Wynn formed the trio 15 Minutes with two members of Alternate Learning, bass player Carolyn O'Rourke and drummer Eric Landers.[2] With 15 Minutes, Wynn wrote and produced the 1981 single "That's What You Always Say," b/w "Last Chance For You," which he engineered with Alternate Learning's frontman, Scott Miller.[2] The A-side, "That's What You Always Say," was later performed by the Dream Syndicate.

The Dream Syndicate (1981–1989)[edit]

Main article: The Dream Syndicate

The Dream Syndicate's eponymous EP was released on Wynn's own label, Down There (which folded by the end of the band's career).[3] Though they were popular with critics, an influence on other musicians, and signed briefly to a major label, the Dream Syndicate were not commercially successful. They did establish, however, the fan base on which Wynn built his solo career. Dream Syndicate reunited in 2013 for a series of gigs in Europe and USA.

After The Dream Syndicate[edit]

Wynn broke up The Dream Syndicate in 1989 to redefine (or "undefine") himself,[4] and has since released a number of solo albums exploring various musical styles. His first solo album, Kerosene Man (on which Dream Syndicate bassist Mark Walton played also) included a duet with Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, backing work by bassist Fernando Saunders, drummer D. J. Bonebrake from the L.A. punk band X, Howe Gelb of Giant Sand and saxophonist Steve Berlin from Los Lobos. Peter Buck, from R.E.M., played on its follow-up, Dazzling Display, and co-wrote the title song. After 1994's Fluorescent, he left Los Angeles for New York.[5] Backing on Melting in the Dark (1996) was provided by the Boston band Come.

Here Come the Miracles (2001) was his best-selling solo album to date, and the best-reviewed, appearing at year's end on numerous critical Top Ten lists.

In 1985, Wynn wrote a collection of songs with Dan Stuart of Green on Red, and recorded and released them as Danny and Dusty. In the 1990s, he was a part of the indie supergroup Gutterball along with Stephen McCarthy of The Long Ryders, Bob Rupe of The Silos and Cracker, and Bryan Harvey and Johnny Hott of House of Freaks.

In 1993, Wynn worked with singer-songwriter Sam Lapides producing Dream Syndicate song "Burn" for Lapides' band Ghosthouse. They later recorded a live version of the song. He wrote the song "Black Magic" for Ghosthouse's album "Thing Called Life". Then in 2001 he worked with Lapides again, providing vocals and guitar work on another Dream Syndicate song "Merittville" which was released by Inbetweens Records.

The double CD From a Man of Mysteries: A Steve Wynn Tribute was released by the German label Blue Rose in 2004 and features Wynn's songs performed by the likes of Concrete Blonde, the Silos, Chuck Prophet, The Minus 5, Russ Tolman of True West and others.

On August 26, 2007, Wynn debuted a new band, Hazel Motes (the same name as the protagonist of Flannery O'Connor's novel Wise Blood), at Magnetic Fields in Brooklyn, New York. In 2008, he formed The Baseball Project with Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and his wife, drummer Linda Pitmon.

Discography[edit]

Dream Syndicate[edit]

  • The Dream Syndicate EP (1982)
  • The Days of Wine and Roses (1982)
  • Medicine Show (1984)
  • This Is Not the New Dream Syndicate Album......Live! (1984)
  • Out of the Grey (1986)
  • Ghost Stories (1988)
  • Live at Raji's (1989)
  • Tell Me When It's Over – The Best of Dream Syndicate 1982–1988 (1992)
  • 312: The Lost Tapes 1985–1988 (1993)
  • The Day Before Wine and Roses (1995)
  • Complete Live At Raji's (2004) 2CD

Solo[edit]

Steve Wynn and The Miracle Three[edit]

  • Static Transmission (2003)
  • ...tick...tick...tick (2005 Europe, 2006 USA)
  • Live Tick (2006)
  • Northern Aggression (2010)

Danny and Dusty[edit]

  • The Lost Weekend (1985)
  • Cast Iron Soul (2007)
  • Here's to You Max Morlock (2007)

Gutterball[edit]

  • Gutterball (1993)
  • Weasel (1995)
  • Turnyor Hedinkov (1995)

Smack Dab[edit]

  • Smack Dab (2007)

With Sky Saxon[edit]

  • Destiny's Children (1986)[6]

with Australian Blonde[edit]

  • Momento (2000)

with The Baseball Project[edit]

  • Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails (2008)
  • Broadside Ballads = One song per month for free download in ESPN.com's The Life
    • March: All Future and No Past
    • April: Cubs 2010
    • May: 30 Doc
    • June: Lima Time!
    • July: Phenom
    • August: (Do The) Triple Crown
    • September: DL Blues
    • October: That's The Way It's Gonna Be
    • November: The Giants Win the Pennant
  • Volume 2: High and Inside (2011)
  • 3rd (2014)

with The Dragon Bridge Orchestra[edit]

  • Live In Brussels (2CD + DVD) (2009)

Compilations[edit]

  • Advertisements for Myself (1998) - limited edition compilation
  • The Emusic Singles Collection (2001) - 12 internet singles released each month in 2000.
  • Riding Shotgun (2004) - limited edition compilation
  • What I Did After My Band Broke Up / Visitation Rights (2005)
  • Up There - Home Recordings 2000-2008 (2012) - Limited edition (1,000 copies) compilation of home demos.

Other[edit]

  • Take Your Flunky and Dangle (1994) – Outtakes 1990–1994
  • The Suitcase Sessions (1998) – Sessions from Melting in the Dark Era
  • Pick of the Litter (1999) – Outtakes 1996–1999
  • Wynn Plays Dylan (2009) - Limited edition LP documenting a live performance of Bob Dylan songs.

Tribute[edit]

  • From a Man of Mysteries: A Steve Wynn Tribute (2004)

Singles[edit]

  • Carolyn (1990)
  • Tears Won't Help (1990)
  • Conspiracy Of The Heart (1990)
  • Kerosene Man EP (1991)
  • Drag (1992)
  • Tuesday (1992) – promo
  • Carelessly (1994)
  • Shelley's Blues pt.2 EP (1996) – includes "James River Incident"
  • Why (1996) – promo
  • The Way You Punish Me (1996) – promo
  • How's My Little Girl EP (1997)
  • Nothing But The Shell (1999)
  • There Will Come A Day (2001)
  • Sustain (2001)
  • California Style EP (2003)
  • Cindy It Was Always You (2005)
  • Bruises (2006)

Singles charts[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Album
US Hot 100 US Modern Rock US Mainstream Rock UK
1990 "Tears Won't Help" 10 Kerosene Man
1992 "Drag" 30 Drag

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sullivan, Denise. "Biography: Steve Wynn". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "That's What You Always Say / Last Chance For You" at Discogs
  3. ^ Hochman, Steve (21 May 1989). "The Art of Clubbing Makes a Comeback". Los Angeles Times. p. 76. 
  4. ^ Hochmann, Steve (3 June 1990). "Steve Wynn Breaks Out of the Syndicate". Los Angeles Times. p. 65. 
  5. ^ "Small Faces". Los Angeles. 17 April 1994. p. 65. 
  6. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (22 June 1986). "Pop Eye". Los Angeles Times. p. 102. 

External links[edit]