Say It's Your Birthday: Screaming Tree's Gary Lee Conner

That's Lee on the right.

Today is the birthday of Screaming Trees guitarist Gary

Lee Conner. Putting their post-punk guitar noise within traditional hard-rock

structure, the Screaming Trees crafted a new form of psychedelia. Instead of

the long, spacey trips of the late '60s, the band took the sonic explorations

of indie guitar band and used it for a mind-altering journey instead of

expressions of aggression. Their late '80s releases on SST are raw, brilliant

works that show the influence of the Stooges (among others). When the band

signed to a major label in the early '90s, some of the rough edges in their

sound were smoothed out, yet they continued to produce some fine hard rock,

incorporating more traditional rock style (like the country-tinged "Double

Bill") that kept the band's sound from growing stale. The group was on the Main

Stage at Lollapalooza '96, and their latest album, Dust, is considered

by some to be one of the year's best. It is also the birthday of Everlast

(House Of Pain), Dennis Elliot (Foreigner), Juice Newton, Carl Wayne (Move).