Jody Harris

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Jody Harris
Born United States
Genres Surf rock, rock, no wave
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Electric guitar
Years active 1973–1990
Labels ZE
Don't Fall Off the Mountain
Associated acts The Contortions
Golden Palominos
Robert Quine
The Voidoids

Jody Harris is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer who was born in Kansas[1] and became a central figure in the seminal no wave scene in New York City in the 1970s.

Career history[edit]

Harris was lead guitarist in the Contortions, perhaps the most influential of the No Wave bands. He was also a key member of a number of bands that emerged from the no wave scene, including the Raybeats and the Golden Palominos.

Harris has also recorded as a solo artist and with guitarist Robert Quine. In 1977, he joined Quine in a band backing rock critic Lester Bangs on Bangs' album, Let It Blurt, produced by John Cale.[2] He was also briefly a member of the Voidoids and played on many recordings by a wide range of artists, including Matthew Sweet, Syd Straw, Kip Hanrahan and John Zorn.

With Quine, he composed all the music on their collaborative album, Escape, as well as co-writing virtually all the Raybeats' material. He also composed all the songs and instrumentals on his one solo album, except for one song co-written with Don Christensen. As part of Anton Fier's supergroup the Golden Palominos, he co-wrote the majority of the songs on the band's acclaimed second album, Visions of Excess.

Critical appraisals[edit]

One esteemed critic described Harris as a "seasoned campaigner from the late-1970s flowering of American postpunk",[3] while another called him "one of the most underrated guitarists" on the New York scene.[4]

Robert Palmer, writing in the New York Times in 1987, praised "the luminous clarity" of Harris's lead guitar work for the Golden Palominos,[5] while the Village Voice's Robert Christgau obliquely criticized what he called a "weakness for the genre exercise".[6] Quine himself, however, declared Harris's work "tragically underrated -- he's so far advanced, way past me and people can't hear it".[7]


The Contortions[edit]

  • No New York (Antilles 1978)
  • Buy (1979)
  • Paris 1980 Live Aux Bains Douches (1980)
  • Live in New York (1981)
  • NY No Wave (ZE 2003)

The Raybeats[edit]


  • It Happened One Night (Press 1982)

Jody Harris & Robert Quine[edit]

  • Escape (Infidelity \ Lust/Unlust Music 1981)
  • Come Together: Guitar Tribute to the Beatles, Vol. 2 (NYC 1995) (compilation)

The Golden Palominos[edit]

Richard Hell and the Voidoids[edit]

  • Funhunt (ROIR / Important 1989)

Other artists[edit]


External links[edit]