NOTE: This biographical sketch gives an overall history of The dB’s with some inside scoops included. It was dictated by former dB’s drummer Will Rigby to himself under duress and, though he attempted to be objective and inexplicably insisted on using a third-person perspective, is to be read with that in mind. This is a work in progress and has been and will occasionally be added to, corrected and rewritten (with assistance by other members of the band and various inside sources of pertinent and amusing info) until it’s done.

A version of the story by Peter Holsapple appeared in the book Alt-Rock-a-Rama, Scott Schinder ed., published 1996 by Rolling Stone Press, copies of which can still be found. The history before 1977 and of individual work by band members will be added as time permits.

Familiarity with the music is presumed here; and since this is meant solely as an accurate chronological history, critical analysis of the music will be left to others.


Next
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Chris Stamey moved from North Carolina to New York in 1977 to attend NYU, and was immediately hired to play bass with Alex Chilton, a position that lasted most of that memorable year in the history of New York rock. Chilton produced Chris’s Ork Records 45 "The Summer Sun"/"Where the Fun Is." When Chilton moved back to Memphis at the end of that year, Chris was working on his next single, "(I Thought) You Wanted to Know," written by and recorded with Television’s Richard Lloyd.

In the spring of 1978 Chris invited Will Rigby and Gene Holder to New York to be his rhythm section for some shows. All three had grown up in Winston-Salem, NC, playing in the small but lively music scene there. (The same is true of Peter Holsapple, Mitch Easter, and Don Dixon.)

Chris chose the name dB’s as reference to "drums and bass" as well as it being the abbreviation for deciBels, the scientific measurement of loudness.

It was quickly decided to make the band an ongoing project. An almost immediate four-track recording session yielded "If and When," which became the B-side of "(I Thought) You Wanted to Know." Chris released this 45 on his Car Records label in the fall of ’78 under the name Chris Stamey and the dB’s, although the band appears only on one side.

Chris Stamey and the dB’s played their first show in June 1978 at Max’s Kansas City in New York; other shows around town and in Philadelphia followed that summer. On many of these shows Gene’s cousin Bo Calanna joined in on sax on a song or two; Fran Kowalski, another member of Chilton’s ’77 band, joined in on organ at least once. Songs played during this period included all the previously mentioned plus "We Should Be in Bed," "Baby You’re OK," "I’m Only Sleeping," songs from Sneakers records (Chris and Will’s last North Carolina band – an eponymous 1976 7" six-song EP and 1978 LP In the Red), "She’s Green I’m Blue," and others.

Chilton paid a visit to town for a two-night stand at Max’s over Labor Day weekend, backed by Chris and Will.

Next
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11



Biography | Discography | Scrapbook | Multimedia
Message Board | Links | Store | Home

© 2001 The dB's
ThedBs@ThedBsOnline.net
Site Design by Exploded View