Today is the 31st birthday of Gerard Love of Teenage Fanclub, the pop/rock band formed
in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1989 by former members of Boy Hairdressers and the BMX
Bandits. Love is the bassist and one of the vocalists (the band's sound relies heavily on
the harmonies by its three singers, including guitarists Raymond McGinley and Norman
Blake). The band's Beatles-meets-Dinosaur-Jr sound also featured the drumming of
Brendan O'Hare, who later was replaced by Paul Quinn.
Teenage Fanclub made an auspicious indie debut with 1989's A Catholic
Education on Matador Records. The guitar-laden album included songs such as
"Everything Flows" (RealAudio excerpt), "Critical Mass" and "Everybody's Fool."
Their Everything Flows EP (1991) included a cover of Neil Young's "Don't Cry No
Teenage Fanclub's second album, 1991's The King, which included a cover of
Madonna's hit "Like a Virgin," was reportedly deleted from the Creation label's catalog
one day after its release. The acclaimed Bandwagonesque, issued on DGC
Records in 1991, showcased Beach Boys-like harmonies and Big Star-like guitars on
tracks such as "Star Sign," "Guiding Star" and "Pet Rock." It was named Spin
magazine's Album of the Year and was included in many other critics' "best of" lists.
Teenage Fanclub's love for the music of Big Star continued to be evident on
Thirteen (1993) and Grand Prix (1995). In 1992, another Teenage Fanclub
EP, What You Do To Me, featured a cover of T. Rex's "Life's a Gas." A compilation
of Teenage Fanclub singles and B-sides, Deep Fried Fanclub, was issued in the
U.K. in 1995.
Songs From Northern Britain (1997) was more country-flavored and featured the
U.K. singles "Ain't That Enough" and "I Don't Want Control Of You." Later in 1997,
Teenage Fanclub postponed a scheduled headlining tour of the U.S. to continue
opening for Radiohead on their European road trip. Also that year, the group added
keyboardist Finlay Macdonald, another former member of BMX Bandits, who
accompanied Teenage Fanclub on dates supporting Songs From Northern
"I'm sure [Macdonald] will play on the next record and on the next
tour," Love said at the time. He explained that he wanted to
try recording in a few different places, saying, "Sometimes the songs or
the styles within a record could be diverse but the actual sounds are
recorded in the same time-frame and using the same equipment, so sometimes it can
homogenize a record."
Other birthdays: Van Morrison, 53; Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions), 50; Gina Schock
(Go-Go's), 41; Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze), 41; Tony DeFranco (DeFranco Family), 39;
and Debbie Gibson, 28.