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Gary Wilson

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  • Born: Endicott, NY
  • Years Active: 1970s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

The brain-damaged electro-funk of Gary Wilson was new wave when the label was still mainly used to categorize punk acts with a sweet tooth for pop. Completely ahead of his time, Wilson used chilly synthesizers and bizarre sound effects and samples to tell his odd tales of love and sex. In 1977, Wilson recorded his debut LP You Think You Really Know Me in the basement of his parents' house in Endicott, NY. Home tapings started becoming prevalent in the '90s, but in the late '70s, Wilson was an indie pioneer, releasing a strange lo-fi record that eventually influenced Beck. Moreover, the LP inspired Olympia, WA, college radio station KAOS to spin underground artists, helping to cultivate a taste for non-commercial music that later gave birth to K Records and Sub Pop. Legendary Seattle DJ Stephen Rabow even presented one of Wilson's gigs in the early '80s. Wilson toured with his group, the Blind Dates, at times covering their bodies on-stage with flour. But the masses were not ready for Wilson's eccentricities. Wilson did not release a follow-up to You Think You Really Know Me; nevertheless, the album's cult status grew as years passed. Finally, in 2003, Motel Records released Forgetten Lovers, a follow-up album of sorts assembled from Wilson's previously unreleased material, rarities, and vinyl-only pressings from 1973 to 1982, further solidifying Wilson's stance as the unsung hero of indie rock. The new record Mary Had Brown Hair was released in 2004 on Stones Throw. Back in the public eye, Wilson continued to put out new material, releasing Lisa Wants to Talk to You in 2008 and Electric Endicott in 2010.