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"To me, Pylon was the best band to ever come out of Athens. It still is."
February 26, 2009 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Pylon guitarist and co-founder Randall Bewley died yesterday of a heart attack at age 53.

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"I'm in complete shock," B-52's frontman Fred Schneider told the AJC Wednesday night from Seattle, where his band is touring. "To me, Pylon was the best band to ever come out of Athens. It still is."

The Athens-Banner Herald writes:

"Pylon's music was distinct - a punk aesthetic that couldn't be categorized. It earned members the respect of their peers and many Athens bands that followed them and, according to the All-Music Guide, repeated plugs from R.E.M. that Pylon was a major influence on its alternative pop music."

Via Athens Music Junkie's post, Randy Bewley:

"This hurts so much to write. It has been a very hard day for us all in Athens. We have lost one of our dearest friends. A critical part of our community has been taken from us and he will be missed sorely."

Crazy, which was covered by R.E.M. on Dead Letter Office
From 2007: Danger, Feast on my Heart
Pylon footage from the 1987 documentary Athens, Ga.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
There are many more clips at YouTube, some of which date from Pylon's recent reunion around 2005, when they started performing again.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:43 PM on February 26, 2009


I loved Pylon back in the day. Didn't even know they'd reunited. Oh man.
posted by ardgedee at 6:52 PM on February 26, 2009


Speaking as a native Athenian, thanks for posting this. It was a sad thing to see on the ABH's site as the news broke that day.
posted by Floach at 6:52 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, that sucks.

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posted by NoMich at 7:07 PM on February 26, 2009


The original Pylon recording of Crazy is one terrific song. And it's here.
posted by grounded at 7:28 PM on February 26, 2009


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posted by spilon at 7:28 PM on February 26, 2009


Ok -- here's the correct Crazy link.
posted by grounded at 7:29 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]



posted by Smart Dalek at 7:33 PM on February 26, 2009


Oh god damn it.

The recent Pylon reunions have been one of the huge perks of living in Atlanta lately.

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posted by intermod at 7:41 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pylon is the best band to ever come out of Athens. This is so sad. I remember dragging a bunch of my high school friends to see them back in like 1989. I think I was the only one who loved it. I learned to play bass by playing along to those songs. Damn.
posted by vibrotronica at 7:43 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, this band was the first band that mattered to me.

When the B-52's, circa Mesopotamia, and R.E.M., circa Murmur, both directed me to this band, I knew something was up.

And I was lucky enough to have found out the hard way: By being there and hearing.

Thanks, Pylon. Good work, Randall Bewley. Sorry for everything. Thanks again!

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posted by humannaire at 7:56 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw them at the 40 Watt during one of their reunion gigs around 1990, but first heard their records around 1985 or so.

Like the Feelies or Antietam, Pylon will always be pegged as an early eighties "also-ran," while their local friends and contemporaries REM and the B-52s got all the attention. But in truth they were arguably as good as the other two, and I will always think of the three of them as a kind of unit.
posted by ornate insect at 8:32 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. I just downloaded Athens, GA Inside/Out from Netflix the other day, which is totally worth watching. In a lot of ways, Athens in the early 80s was the birth of what we now call Indie music. And if that's true, Pylon was the band that kicked it all off. I always thought it was so impressive that all these wildly successful bands like R.E.M. and U2 kept citing them as a major inspiration, and in interviews Pylon just sort of shrugged and were like "Yeah, it stopped being fun so we called it quits. I'm working in a bike shop now."

.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:41 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


'Crazy' and 'No Clocks' are still up as working links here. You owe it to yourself to give them both a listen or three.

That said: damn damn damn.

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posted by Kinbote at 8:53 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Great band.
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posted by about_time at 9:06 PM on February 26, 2009


This is sad news indeed.

I broke up with a girlfriend at a Pylon show around 1990 because she didn't get it and wanted to leave while I thought they were perhaps the best live band I'd ever seen. So good.
posted by General Zubon at 9:45 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


:(

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posted by susanbeeswax at 10:48 PM on February 26, 2009


He died? Oh no!

WE MUST CONSTRUCT AN ADDITIONAL PYLON
posted by 5imian at 11:32 PM on February 26, 2009


.

Time to get out Gyrate and crank it up...
posted by El Brendano at 4:05 AM on February 27, 2009


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posted by cobra libre at 4:32 AM on February 27, 2009


It was a real thrill seeing the band when they reformed in '04. They were still really terrific live. Athens is a pretty small, tight knit place. So sad.

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posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 5:13 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was first exposed to Pylon on MetaChat. Crazy instantly became one of my favorite songs of all time.
posted by Eideteker at 6:23 AM on February 27, 2009


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He was a fantastic guitar player. May he rest in peace.
posted by elmono at 6:45 AM on February 27, 2009


Thank you so much for this! I remember a very sad time in my life when somehow playing "Crazy" over and over again made me feel better.
posted by Evangeline at 7:12 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


NONONONONONONONO!

i LOVE this band!! i did what evangeline did with "Crazy," until i wore out the tape i had it on . . .

and driving school?? driving school??!!

damndamndamndamndamndamndamndamn

i'm about to cry, thinking on how close i FINALLY came to seeing them last october. but i had a cold. so gave my ticket to someone who may not have even used it. i've been dreaming of a chance to see them for more than 20 years.

what a wuss i was . . . letting a stupid cold keep me from a band that meant so much to so many of us . . . while bewley rocked it on out, in the face of a heart about to give way . . .

don't rock it on out. don't rock it on out!
don't rock it out now NONONONONONONONO!

hey . . . kids?!




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posted by deejay jaydee at 7:45 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just discovered Pylon a couple of months ago ... It was like finding the Missing Link in music.

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posted by swift at 8:12 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by whuppy at 8:24 AM on February 27, 2009


I listened to Pylon a lot in the 80s, and I have nothing to do with Athens, GA. I really can't explain why, but "Weather Radio" made me feel like I was on the moon.
posted by whuppy at 8:32 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Athens is a pretty small, tight knit place. So sad.

A number of people I work with here in Athens are pretty shook up about it. Pylon might not have had the limelight to the extent of the many other more famous bands out of here, but there are few that are as influential. And few people so as much as Randall Bewley.
posted by ewagoner at 1:19 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember in middle school one night my "Hits" cd got stuck on a song as I was going to sleep. Listened to it all night, and for many minutes the next morning and it still sounded like music to me.
I'm so, so glad I got to see them outside at the foot of Washington Street after decades of being too young and missing shows.

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posted by Dr. Grue at 9:11 PM on February 27, 2009


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posted by klausness at 12:09 PM on February 28, 2009


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