The Wallflowers

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This article is about the American band. For the British band, see The Wallflowers (British band).
The Wallflowers
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Alternative rock, roots rock[1]
Years active 1989–present
Labels Columbia
Members Jakob Dylan
Stuart Mathis
Past members Fred Eltringham
Jack Irons
Rami Jaffee
Barrie Maguire
Tobi Miller
Greg Richling
Michael Ward
Peter Yanowitz
Mario Calire

The Wallflowers are a rock band from Los Angeles, California, fronted by Jakob Dylan. Formed in 1989[2] and originally known as The Apples, the ensemble has gone through numerous personnel changes but focuses on Dylan.

They have released six studio albums, one compilation album and have had various songs on television and movie soundtracks. They have won two Grammy awards for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Rock Song for their song "One Headlight" in 1998.


(1989–1994) The Wallflowers[edit]

The band started in 1989, playing in Los Angeles clubs. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1992 on the Virgin Records label. It sold 40,000 copies initially, and has sold an estimated 1,000,000 to date.

The original members of the Wallflowers include Jakob Dylan (vocals and guitar), Barrie Maguire (bass guitar and vocals), Peter "Pedro" Yanowitz (drums and percussion) and Rami Jaffee (keyboards and vocals). Peter Yanowitz left the band shortly after the album's release to join Natalie Merchant's band. In May 1993, an old friend and schoolmate of Dylan, Greg Richling joined the group, replacing Maguire on bass. Though Richling wasn't on the first record, he played on the first tour, making him a member of the original lineup.[3][4]

(1995–1998) Bringing Down the Horse[edit]

The band seemed quiet for a few years but stormed back on the scene with their 4× platinum 1996 release, Bringing Down the Horse, which comprised such hits as "6th Avenue Heartache" (with Adam Duritz of Counting Crows), "One Headlight", "The Difference," and "Three Marlenas." The band switched record labels, from Virgin to Interscope. For this album, Dylan was joined by Rami Jaffee and Greg Richling from the original lineup. Michael Ward (guitar), Mario Calire (drums and percussion) were called in to form the new band. Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) played slide guitar on "6th Avenue Heartache". "One Headlight" peaked at No. 2 and "6th Avenue Heartache" peaked at No. 33 on the Billboard American Hot 100 Airplay charts. At the Grammy Awards of 1998, The Wallflowers walked away with two Grammys; one for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "One Headlight," and Jakob Dylan was awarded Best Rock Song for writing "One Headlight." Bruce Springsteen joined the Wallflowers for a live performance of their song "One Headlight," at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. "One Headlight" was the No. 1 video of the year for 1997 on VH1 and No. 5 on MTV. They also recorded a cover of David Bowie's "'Heroes'" for the American Godzilla film in 1998.

(1999–2001) (Breach)[edit]

After almost four years, the Wallflowers completed work on their next album, (Breach), released October 10, 2000; the first single was "Sleepwalker," the video of which poked fun at Dylan's "rock star" status following the success of Bringing Down the Horse. The band also played Saturday Night Live, featuring the songs "Sleepwalker" and "Hand Me Down".

Guests on (Breach) included Elvis Costello, who lent vocals on "Murder 101". (Breach) peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard 200. The album was certified gold on September 21, 2001.[5]

The band supported this album through tours with Tom Petty and John Mellencamp, as well as an extensive headlining tour.[citation needed] Guitarist Michael Ward left the band following the tour, citing creative differences.[citation needed]

(2002–2004) Red Letter Days[edit]

On November 5, 2002, The Wallflowers released their fourth studio album, Red Letter Days. Red Letter Days peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard 200. This was the first Wallflowers record that featured Jakob Dylan playing a majority of the lead guitar parts. During their tour opening for John Mellencamp, the band began collaborating with Moe Z M.D., John Mellencamp's keyboardist at that time. Moe Z eventually joined them on tour in support of Red Letter Days. The album had a much more aggressive sound than any of their previous releases, especially the song "Everybody Out of the Water," which they performed on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. The first single and only music video shot was for "When You're On Top." The single was a smash hit on AAA radio stations, but received little mainstream attention. Subsequent singles from the album include "Closer to You," and "How Good It Can Get" which received radio airplay across multiple formats. Some versions of the album featured an in-studio cover of "(What's So Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding."

The band was a part of many exclusive performances during promotion of the record, including a Live at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame concert for MTV, and a special televised concert for VH1, Live at Alcatraz, being the first band to ever play a concert on the infamous island. They also played "When You're on Top" on Last Call with Carson Daly, and "How Good It Can Get" on the Late Show with David Letterman.

(2005–2006) Rebel, Sweetheart[edit]

The band's fifth studio release, Rebel, Sweetheart was released on May 24, 2005. This is the first Wallflowers record available as a DualDisc. The DVD, directed by American video director Jason B. Bergh, included interviews and exclusive performances and arrangements of many of the band's songs, including reworked versions of "One Headlight" and "6th Avenue Heartache" as well as an amusing band interview with comedian Jon Lovitz. Brendan O'Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Train) was called in to produce the record and played guitar as well. Fred Eltringham, the newest Wallflowers member, played drums. A video was filmed for their first single "The Beautiful Side of Somewhere" which hit No. 5 on AAA radio.

The second single released was "God Says Nothing Back."

In promoting the record, The Wallflowers performed special televised concerts for the Oxygen Custom Concert Series on the Oxygen channel and were also featured on the PBS series Soundstage. Singer/songwriter Carole King was the special guest performer for the Oxygen concert.

In conjunction with the release of Rebel, Sweetheart the band released an exclusive iTunes Originals album for the iTunes music store. The album featured exclusive performances and interviews with Jakob Dylan. The band also volunteered to perform for sailors on the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis as the troops were returning to California.[6]

Much to the dismay of longtime fans, The Wallflowers did not tour in 2006, although keyboardist Rami Jaffee toured with the Foo Fighters for their acoustic tour, drummer Fred Eltringham worked with the Dixie Chicks, and bassist Greg Richling continued producing records in Los Angeles, including the platinum selling album Edendale by Norway's most popular rock band BIGBANG. Jakob Dylan toured with T-Bone Burnett during Burnett's first tour in 20 years. Dylan played 40-minute solo opening sets for the tour. The two share a long history that extends further than just Burnett's impactful production work on Bringing Down the Horse. Burnett played with Dylan's father in the mid-1970s.

The Wallflowers parted ways with record company Interscope in 2006. Jakob Dylan recorded a couple of solo songs in 2006, including "Here Comes Now," which was featured prominently in the television show Six Degrees.

(2007–2010) Greatest hits album[edit]

Jakob Dylan performed John Lennon's song "Gimme Some Truth" with Dhani Harrison for the Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur CD.

On August 31, 2007, The Wallflowers announced that they would be touring for the first time in two years. The band played shows at clubs in the Northeast and Midwest United States in October and November 2007. In a late 2007 post on the band's website it was revealed that keyboardist Rami Jaffee left the band. Singer-songwriter Stuart Mathis joined the band as the lead guitarist for those shows.

Jakob Dylan released his first solo album Seeing Things on June 10, 2008.

On June 16, 2009, The Wallflowers released a greatest-hits album, Collected: 1996–2005, which included two unreleased tracks. They embarked on a nationwide tour in the summer of 2009 in support of the album. Bill Appleberry and Stuart Mathis accompanied the band on the tour, playing keyboards and lead guitar, respectively.

(2011–present) Reunion and Glad All Over[edit]

On November 1, 2011, Jakob Dylan told Rolling Stone magazine that The Wallflowers have ended their hiatus, stating: "I always wanted to. I never suggested we were breaking up. We all felt we were losing the plot a little bit and we needed a break. And that year break becomes two years, then becomes three years, and before you know it five or six years go by pretty quickly. I can't do what I do in the Wallflowers without them. I miss it. I'm happy to put the acoustic guitar down. That was something I wanted to do, but I never planned on hitting the road and just being the guy with a guitar out there. That never has been exciting to me. I came up loving bands and I want to be in one." He also revealed that a new album is in the works.[7]

In an interview with St. Joseph News Press, Jakob revealed the lineup for the reunion, "Rami Jaffee and Greg Richling and Fred Eltringham. It would be the same lineup as the last record, and two of those guys have been with me since ’92."[8]

On January 31, 2012 the band posted on their official Facebook page that they were in the studio with the following line-up: Jakob Dylan, Rami Jaffee, Greg Richling, Stuart Mathis, and drummer Jack Irons.

On April 19, 2012, following a private performance in New York City, Jakob Dylan announced that The Wallflowers will be releasing their sixth studio album in September 2012.[9]

On July 12, 2012, The Wallflowers announced the title of their new studio album, Glad All Over, to be released October 9, 2012. The first single from Glad All Over, "Reboot the Mission" was released for free on July 24, 2012.[10] The single ended up reaching the number 2 position on the American Triple A charts, the band's biggest hit in a decade.

In 2013 The Wallflowers went through a number of personnel changes. On May 12, 2013 organ player Rami Jaffee performed his last show to date with The Wallflowers. Organ player Jimmy Wallace has since toured with the band playing keys. On September 3, 2013 former Wallflowers drummer Mario Calire announced that he would be touring with the Wallflowers in the fall. On September 8, 2013, bassist Greg Richling announced that after 20 years in The Wallflowers, he was leaving the band. Jack Irons also officially announced on September 15, 2013 that he would no longer be playing with The Wallflowers. No announcement has been made as to whether or not there are new, official members in the band. Irons and Richling, along with singer-songwriter Jon Greene and guitarist Alain Johannes, released their debut album with their band Arthur Channel on October 15, 2013.

In early 2014, "One Headlight" began appearing in Geico insurance television advertisements.


Studio albums


  1. ^ "The Wallflowers - Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  2. ^ "The Wallflowers Reveal Details for 2012 Album, Tour". May 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-24. 
  3. ^ "Jakob Dylan returns to rock with the Wallflowers". Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Wallflowers first album". 
  5. ^
  6. ^ This story was written by Journalist 3rd Class Cheryl Wilson, Naval Media Center Fleet Support Detachment San Diego. "Wallflowers Rock USS John C. Stennis". Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  7. ^ "Jakob Dylan Planning Wallflowers Reunion". Rolling Stone. November 1, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  8. ^ "Jakob Dylan talks Wallflowers reunion". St. Joseph News Press. November 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  9. ^ "Backbeat: Jakob Dylan Plays Farm Aid Event, Says New Wallflowers Album On The Way". Billboard. April 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  10. ^ "Return With Highly Anticipated New Album ‘Glad All Over’ set for Release on October 2nd via Columbia Records". July 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 

External links[edit]