Naked Raygun

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Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun in Chicago, 2012
Naked Raygun in Chicago, 2012
Background information
OriginChicago, Illinois, United States
GenresPunk rock, post-hardcore, post-punk
Years active1980–1992, 2006–present
LabelsRuthless Records, Homestead, Quarterstick Records, Caroline, Riot Fest Records, Wax Trax! Records
MembersJeff Pezzati
Bill Stephens
Eric Spicer
Fritz Doreza
Past membersSantiago Durango
John Haggerty
Pierre Kezdy (deceased)
Bobby Strange
Jim Colao
Marko Pezzati
Camilo Gonzalez
John Lundin
Websitewww.nakedraygun.org

Naked Raygun was one of the first, one of the longest running, and one of the most recognized Chicago punk bands. They are considered by many to be the most important band in the history of Chicago punk rock and credited with creating “the Chicago Sound.” Raygun was active (in various lineups) from 1980 to 1992, along with reunion shows in 1997. In late 2006 Raygun reformed to play Riot Fest and is still active today. Over the years Naked Raygun has 5 studio full length releases, multiple EPs, singles and a DVD What Poor Gods We Do Make (2007). After the passing of Pierre Kezdy in 2020, the current lineup consists of original member Jeff Pezzati, Eric Spicer, Bill Stephens, and Fritz Doreza.

History[edit]

Initial run[edit]

The band was formed in 1980 by Santiago Durango, Marko Pezzati and later Jeff Pezzati. Singer Jeff Pezzati was the sole constant member through multiple personnel changes. Members over time include drummers Bobby Strange, Jim Colao, and Eric Spicer; bassists Marko Pezzati, Pierre Kezdy, Camilo Gonzalez, Pete Mittler and Fritz Doreza; guitarists Santiago Durango, John Haggerty, and Bill Stephens; and keyboardist John Lundin.[1]

Durango and Jeff Pezzati were also members of Big Black.[2]

Naked Raygun in 1987. L-R: John Haggerty, Jeff Pezzati, Eric Spicer, Pierre Kezdy

Post-Naked Raygun[edit]

In 1989, John Haggerty left Naked Raygun to form Pegboy with his younger brother Joe (formerly of Bloodsport and The Effigies) and Steve Saylors and Larry Damore of the Bhopal Stiffs (Pierre Kezdy would later replace Steve Saylors).[3]

Jeff Pezzati is also the lead singer of The Bomb, which is a different and later band than the San Francisco group, known as "Bomb".[4]

Reunions[edit]

A two-show reunion in 1997 produced the live album Free Shit!.[5][6]

In 1999, the independent record label Quarterstick Records re-issued the band's back catalog on CD.[1][7]

In 2006 Naked Raygun reunited for Riot Fest, an annual punk rock festival held in Chicago. Following their 2006 reunion, Naked Raygun announced that the band was "back for good."[8][9] The reunited lineup consists of its "Raygun...Naked Raygun" members: Pezzati, Stephens, Kezdy, and Spicer.[10] In 2009 Naked Raygun returned to the studio for the first time since 1997 for a series of 7" singles released on Riot Fest Records and announced plans to record an LP, the first since 1990's Raygun... Naked Raygun.[11]

In 2011, Pete Mittler of The Methadones joined the line-up so that longtime bassist Pierre Kezdy could convalesce from a stroke.[12]

In August 2014, Naked Raygun opened for Bad Religion, The Offspring and Stiff Little Fingers on the last two shows of the Summer Nationals tour at The Rave in Milwaukee[13] and Harrah's Stir Cove in Council Bluffs, Iowa.[14]

Naked Raygun (along with Urge Overkill and Cheap Trick) opened for the Foo Fighters at Wrigley Field, Chicago, on August 29, 2015.[15]

Although the band announced plans to release a new album in 2016,[16] no recordings were released until 2021's Over The Overlords.

Pierre Kezdy died of cancer on October 9, 2020.[17]

Legacy[edit]

Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has frequently discussed seeing Naked Raygun as his first concert in 1982 (when he was 13) at Chicago's Cubby Bear. During their October 17, 2014 show at the Cubby Bear, Jeff Pezatti joined the band for a Naked Raygun cover. Naked Raygun themselves later opened for Foo Fighters on select dates during the Sonic Highways World Tour.

Blink-182’s Matt Skiba references Naked Raygun in the song “Parking Lot” from their California album.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Throb Throb LP, with cover art by Macintosh comic book artist Mike Saenz, Homestead Records (1985), Quarterstick Records, (1999 – CD only), Haunted Town Records, (2008 – LP only)
  • All Rise LP, Homestead (1986), Quarterstick Records (1999 – CD only), Haunted Town Records, (2008 – LP only)
  • Jettison LP, Caroline Records (1988), Quarterstick Records, (1999 – CD only)
  • Understand? LP, Caroline Records (1989), Quarterstick Records, (1999 – CD only)
  • Raygun...Naked Raygun LP, Caroline Records (1990), Quarterstick Records (1999 – CD only)
  • Last of the Demohicans CD, Dyslexic Records, (1997)
  • Free Shit live LP/CD, Haunted Town Records, (2001)
  • What Poor Gods We Do Make DVD, Riot Fest Records (2007)
  • Over the Overlords LP, Wax Trax! Records (2021)

EPs[edit]

  • Basement Screams 12", Ruthless Records (1983), Quarterstick Records, (1999 – CD only), Haunted Town Records, (2007 – LP only)
  • Treason 12", 3 songs, on pink vinyl limited to 2,500 numbered records (although unnumbered versions, stamped "Promo only" exist), Caroline Records (1989)

Singles[edit]

  • Flammable Solid 7", Ruthless Records, (1983)
  • Vanilla Blue 7", on white/light blue marbled vinyl, Sandpounder Records (1987)
  • Home 7" on green vinyl, Caroline Records, (1990)
  • Series 1 7" on red & on cream vinyl, Riot Fest Records, (2009)
  • Series 2 7" on violet & on black vinyl, Riot Fest Records, (2010)
  • Series 3 7" on clear orange vinyl, Riot Fest Records, (2011)

Video

  • What Poor Gods We Do Make DVD, Riot Fest Records, (2007)

Compilation album appearances[edit]

  • Busted At Oz LP, "Bomb Shelter", "When The Screaming Stops", "Paranoia", "Libido" (Autumn Records, 1981)
  • Flipside Vinyl Fanzine #2, “Metastasis” (Flipside Records, 1985)
  • Rat Music for Rat People Vol. 3, "Rocks Of Sweden" (CD Presents, 1987)
  • Somethings's Gone Wrong Again: The Buzzcocks Covers Compilation, "Love Battery" (CD, LP, Comp, C/Z Records, 1992)
  • ... On The Rawks Compilation, "Broken Things" (ProRawk Records, 2020)

Members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Jeff Pezzati - Vocals (1980–1992, 2006–present)
  • Bill Stephens - Guitar (1989–1992, 2006–present)
  • Eric Spicer - Drums (1984–1992, 2006–present)
  • Fritz Doreza - Bass (2013–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Santiago Durango - Guitar (1980–1983)
  • Marko Pezzati - Bass (1980–1981)
  • Bobby Strange - Drums (1980)
  • Jim Colao - Drums (1980–1984)
  • John Lundin - Drums, Keyboards (1980–1981)
  • Camilo Gonzalez - Bass (1981–1985)
  • John Haggerty - Guitar (1983–1989)
  • Sensitive Pete Mittler - Bass (2011-2013)
  • Pierre Kezdy - Bass (1985–1992, 2006–2020); died 2020

Timeline[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Naked Raygun Biography by Greg Prato at AllMusic
  2. ^ Big Black Biography by Mark Deming at AllMusic
  3. ^ Pegboy Biography by Steve Huey at AllMusic
  4. ^ The Bomb Biography by Andy Kellman at AllMusic
  5. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (December 1, 1997). "Naked Raygun". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 32.
  6. ^ Kot, Greg (December 1, 1997). "LASER-SHARP RAYGUN FIRES BACK POST-NIRVANA, POSTPUNK SCENE CLAIMS ITS DUE IN HIGH-OCTANE METRO SHOW". Chicago Tribune. p. 2.
  7. ^ Kot, Greg (September 5, 1999). "PUNK LEGACY A DECADE LATER, NAKED RAYGUN FIRES VOLLEYS FROM THE UNDERGROUND". Chicago Tribune. p. 10.
  8. ^ "Naked Raygun reunite permanently, plan live CD/DVD". AP Alt Press. January 4, 2007.
  9. ^ "Naked Raygun – Official Site". Naked Raygun.
  10. ^ "Official Site – History". Archived from the original on June 7, 2007.
  11. ^ "Riot Fest – Naked Raygun entering the studio soon for 7" series, LP coming later". Archived from the original on July 27, 2011.
  12. ^ "Interview With Neutron Bombs/Naked Raygun/The Bomb Bass Player Sensitive Pete". Critical Mass. 2011-08-12. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  13. ^ "The Rave/Eagles Club Concert Photo Gallery - THE OFFSPRING In Concert 9/9/2014". Therave.com.
  14. ^ "Summer Nationals 2014 Tour Announcement". Offspring.com. 2014-05-12. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  15. ^ Chicago Tribune (29 August 2015). "Review: Foo Fighters at Wrigley Field – Chicago Tribune". Chicagotribune.com.
  16. ^ "Music: Naked Raygun: "Broken Things"". Punknews.org.
  17. ^ O'Donnell, Maureen (9 October 2020). "Pierre Kezdy, bass player for influential punk rockers Naked Raygun, other Chicago bands, dead at 58". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 9 October 2020.

External links[edit]