Dharma Bums (band)

Dharma Bums (band)

The Dharma Bums is a U.S. garage band in the best traditions of the MC5 and early 80s college-rock bands such as Rain Parade and R.E.M.. The band's members were Jim, John, Jeremy, and Eric. They named themselves after the Jack Kerouac book The Dharma Bums.

They formed in 1987 in Portland, Oregon, by members of two local bands, the The Watchmen and Perfect Circle (no connection with the later bands The Watchmen or A Perfect Circle). Their first album, Haywire, was produced by Scott McCaughey (lead singer of the Young Fresh Fellows) and recorded for the PopLlama label in 1989. McCaughey later played their debut to Frontier Records boss Lisa Fancher, who was impressed enough to re-release the album. One of the tracks, "Boots of Leather", proved to be an enduring college radio hit.

In 1990 the more polished album Bliss was released on Frontier Records. Featuring greatly improved songwriting, this release covered subjects from rape and adolescence to suicide, in a mature fashion built on ragged rock textures. The Dharma Bums recorded their third and final album Welcome for the Tim/Kerr label in 1991, and disbanded in 1992. Wilson went on to form the alt-rock band Pilot.

Many in the local Portland scene had expected the Dharma Bums to be a big breakthrough "alternative" act of the Northwest music scene, but Nirvana, a frequent opening act for the Dharma Bums, was to become the symbol of the genre instead. Some biographers, such as Melissa Rossi, author of Courtney Love: Queen of Noise (ISBN 0-671-00038-1), and Poppy Z Brite, author of Courtney Love: The Real Story, write that Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain first met each other at a Dharma Bums concert in Portland—where Nirvana served as the opening act. However, Everett True argues in his book "Nirvana: The Biography" that while Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love did not meet for the first time at a Dharma Bums concert, it is possible that Courtney Love first saw Nirvana perform when they were the opening act for Dharma Bums at a performance at the Portland, Oregon, club Satyricon. In an interview with Fuse TV posted on YouTube on March 11, 2012, Courtney Love herself says, "I met (Kurt) in 1988 at a Dharma Bums show."

Read more about Dharma Bums (band):  Discography

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