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$20.00 – General Admission
*plus applicable service fees
Tickets available at The Independent box office (628 Divisadero, SF) with no service charge
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The Dream Syndicate
Like a lot of bands and other incendiary devices, the Dream Syndicate began in a basement.
In the final days of 1981, Dennis Duck, known in the LA scene as the drummer of post-punk stalwarts Human Hands, met up in Los Angeles for a subterranean rehearsal with Steve Wynn (guitar, vocals), Karl Precoda (guitar) and Kendra Smith (bass), three scruffy and noisy kids of no particular renown. Despite mostly consisting of long jams on CCR’s version of “Susie Q” and a few embryonic Wynn compositions, the rehearsal left the quartet feeling they were on to something that, if nothing else, was the sound they had been seeking and most certainly not finding on the local scene.
That debut record, “The Days of Wine and Roses” was recorded in three consecutive midnight-to-8am sessions-“because the rates were cheaper during the graveyard shift,” Wynn states. “We would finish in the morning and go straight to our day jobs and then go right back to the studio.” Fueled by adrenaline, junk food and the knowledge that they were making the record they’d always wanted to make, The Dream Syndicate made an album that continues to make all-time Best Album lists and influence bands to this day.
Despite playing more shows to larger and larger audiences, the band split up at the end of 1988. “It just felt like we had done everything we had set out to do. In the years that followed, Wynn made many well-received solo albums and also performed as part of Gutterball and the aforementioned Baseball Project while Walton founded the Continental Drifters, a band that built quite the groundswell of love and cult following of their own over a ten-year career. Duck reformed Human Hands and also kept active on the Los Angeles avant-garde Los Angeles Free Music Association scene which he had been part of before the Dream Syndicate. In the meantime, the three remained friends, occasionally joining each other on stage.
In 2012, Wynn was asked to perform at the prominent Walk On Project Festival in Bilbao, Spain by a good friend who annually organizes the charity event. “I tried to get my band or the Baseball Project to do it but they were both busy. I really wanted to play the festival so I said, ‘hey, how about the Dream Syndicate?’ He thought I was joking but I wasn’t. It felt like time to give see what the Dream Syndicate meant and would sound like in a whole new era and setting.” The reunited band took everything in baby steps.
Real life that began in a basement in 1981 and now feels very much above ground and ready to continue the tale in 2017. And the circle never ends.