If you accept the premise put forth by Keith Richards that the title of "greatest rock and roll band in the world" is determined on a nightly basis, then we want to tell you about some guys that owned it on quite a few nights in the 80's. They were a band that, for a variety of reasons, couldn't catch a break, fell through the cracks and never got the recognition they deserved.
Rising out of the fertile and groundbreaking underground music scene of the Southeast in the early 80's, Charlie Pickett and the Eggs (and later the MC3) were all motorcycle boots and sneers, and rode a squall of throat-grabbing feedback and Stonesy musical middle fingers. They were as much Thunders and Reed as anything country and their tales of scoring in Miami projects ("Overtown'), cowboy dreams ("A On Horseback") and laconic survivors' humor were unlike anything being heard on the nascent college rock circuit. For proof, check out 'Liked It A Lot,' the love song that didn't just hurt, but had a streak of existential horror in it that STILL raises the hair on our battered souls.
Like a handful of other bands of that era, whose underappreciated and under-known work continues to resonate in strange and unprecedented ways today, these musicians flew under the radar, worked without a net, without a blueprint, without direct forebears and with little regard for the musical bones they picked over.
Charlie Pickett and his boys took the understanding of roots and rock and morphed and molested it and came up with something utterly original. Their fearless dismissal of stylistic straitjackets was pure punk and emblematic of a time when the rulebook had been tossed out and the possibilities seemed as endless as the horizon Charlie wrote about riding towards.
- Samuel Fogarino (Interpol) covers Charlie's "Liked It A Lot" on While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records