Vanessa Briscoe Hay

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Vanessa Briscoe Hay
Background information
Birth name Vanessa Briscoe
Also known as Vanessa Ellison
Born (1955-10-18) October 18, 1955 (age 59)
Genres New wave, post-punk, folk rock, experimental, rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter
Years active 1979–present
Labels Caution
Db Recs
Sky Records
Cloud Recordings
Studio Mouse Productions
Associated acts Pylon
Supercluster, New Sound Of Numbers

Vanessa Briscoe Hay (born October 18, 1955 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American singer for the Athens, Georgia bands Pylon and Supercluster.


Born to a textile worker and a housewife in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended elementary and high school in Dacula, Georgia prior to moving to Athens to attend college. Vanessa graduated from the University of Georgia art school in Athens, Georgia in 1978. She became the singer for Pylon after being auditioned by Michael Lachowski, Randy Bewley, and Curtis Crowe. A few short months later Pylon were the opening band for the U.K. group the Gang of Four in New York City at the club Hurrah after being brought to the club's attention by Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider of the B-52's.

Danny Beard, from Atlanta, GA helped Pylon to record their first single "Cool/Dub" in 1979 at Stone Mountain Studios in Atlanta and Pylon began to tour the U.S. The album Gyrate followed and was released in late 1980. Early career highlights included a performance at Central Park opening for the B-52's, a tour of the U.K., opening a few dates for U2 on their first major U.S. tour and the release of the album Chomp.

Pylon decided to quit while they were still having fun.They broke up for the first time in 1983 after playing a "final" show, which was taped for The Athens Show. This was never formally released. In 1986, she was filmed for the movie Athens, GA: Inside Out and spoke about her experiences with Pylon. She and Bob Hay were married in 1986. In 1987 they had their first daughter, Hana Hay.

In 1989, Pylon reformed. Career highlights the second time around included tours with both R.E.M. and the B-52's, performances at SXSW and CMJ. Hits, a compilation of their early material was reissued by DB Records in 1989. Pylon recorded their third album Chain for the Atlanta label Sky Records in 1991. Pylon broke up a second time in 1992.

Vanessa became an RN in 1994. In 1993, she and Bob Hay had their second daughter, Victoria Hay. In 1997, Victoria was diagnosed with a brain tumor (ependymoma) and underwent successful surgery and radiation treatment.

Randy Bewley approached the other band members about reforming Pylon, just for fun, in 2004. In August, 2004 Pylon played an unannounced show at Little Kings in Athens, Georgia. In 2005, they played a series of dates in Athens and Atlanta, Georgia including Athfest and at the Atlanta Heroes awards by the invitation of the B-52's. Jason Gross, Perfect Sound Forever encouraged them to look into reissuing their first album, Gyrate, on CD. Jeff Calder (The Swimming Pool Q's) restored the tapes at Southern Tracks Studios in Atlanta and Rodney Mills remastered them at Rodney Mills Masterhouse in Duluth, Georgia. DFA records in New York approached Pylon about reissuing this material, unaware that Pylon were already working toward this. James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, had been including Pylon's song "Danger" in his DJ sets for several years and was interested in re-issung Pylon's first album Gyrate on his label DFA. Gyrate Plus was reissued on October 16, 2007. A remastered Chomp More was reissued on October 20, 2009.

Vanessa is also a member of the music project Supercluster (band) who record in Athens, Georgia with Jason NeSmith. Other members of this project include Hannah M. Jones, Kay Stanton, Bob Hay, Bill David, John Fernandes, Heather McIntosh, Bryan Poole and Randy Bewley (deceased). Waves, their first full length project, was released on October 6, 2009.








  • Beep (1990), Pylon, from CD: Hits, a compilation, Db recs
  • Look Alive (1992), Pylon, from album :Chain, Sky Records
  • Too Many Eights (2007), Supercluster, from CDR EP: Special 5
  • I Got the Answer (2009), Supercluster, from: CD Waves, Studio Mouse Productions/Cloud Recordings
  • Neat In The Street (2011), Supercluster, from: single Paris Effect/Neat In The Street, Studio Mouse Productions/Cloud Recordings. Written by The Side Effects (Butchart/Ellison/Swartz), 1980.
  • Memory Of The Future (2012), Supercluster, from: single Things We Used To Drink/Memory Of The Future, Studio Mouse Productions. Directed by Hana Hay and Hannah Jones from artwork by Hannah Jones.


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