Friday, August 3, 2018


Chris Stamey and the dB's : (I Thought) You Wanted to Know

In the Summer of 1978, Chris Stamey called upon some North Carolina high school friends to join him in New York City for some gigs to promote a new single on his own Car Records label. He needed drums and bass so he called his band the dB's. Will Rigby was the drummer. Gene Holder played bass.

The single, "(I Thought) You Wanted to Know", was actually written by Richard Lloyd of Television while Lloyd was in the hospital recovering from a heroin overdose. Elektra Records forbid Lloyd from singing lead vocals or promoting the single. 

In his newly published book, A Spy in the House of Loud, Stamey writes about all of his Zelig like encounters in New York City. Music lovers of a certain era will especially love this book. 

About the single with Lloyd, which was recorded for about $400 he says:

It came out great, electric guitars alternately swirling and droning, with a punchy, somewhat Stonesy rhythm part and a lead theme that made a meal out of a simple major scale. The questing lyric was decorated with surprise Jeff Beck–like dive-bombing in the middle; overcompressed low piano octaves, like those of Jimi Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic”; a vibraslap; and one of Lloyd’s trademark ascending-to-the-heavens Stratocaster melodies to close it out. Though it was certainly over the top in places, the fun we had creating it shone through.

Ork Records has managed to finally release the version with Lloyd singing.

Fans of the dB's will note there is just one member missing: Stamey's oldest friend, Peter Holsapple. He would join in the fall, around he same time as the release of his own three song single "Big Black Truck", initially cut with Stamey's on and off again New York City bandmate Alex Chilton. Holsapple would play organ at first before joining Stamey as a songwriter, guitarist and vocalist with the band. 

The dB's would become one of those bands the cool people would know, producing power pop that would bridge the gap between Big Star and R.E.M., with whom Holsapple would later tour. 

1 comment:

  1. I knew of the song but didn't actually hear it until it was released on the Children of Nuggets box in '05. A 7" I have never seen but would certainly never pass up if it popped up on my record store travels. Seems unlikely, but I'll keep searching.