Saturday, May 14, 2005

Judy's Reunion

The original David Bean/Jeff Walton/Dane Cessac line-up of the Judy's played their first show in two decades on April 2 at a cancer benefit held in an old elementary school auditorium in their hometown of Pearland, just south of Houston. Staying true to their odd inscrutability, the Judy's didn't publicize the reunion at all. In fact, the Houston Press just wrote about it this week.

Back in the Eighties, the Judy's were rock stars in Houston. Their high-concept minimalist pop irreverence resonated with suburban high school kids from Clear Creek all the way out to FM 1960. The Judy's smartly avoided the disaffected posturing of punk, which gave their irreverent waxings on the Jonestown mass suicide ("Guyana Punch") and the Iranian hostage crisis ("Vacation in Tehran") an added burst of insurrection. They influenced a ton of Texas bands that followed in their footsteps, including mine.

The Judy's catalog has been out of print for years. Vinyl copies of Judy's albums now fetch premium prices on eBay. In 2000, guitarist/vocalist David Bean said there would be a 20-year anniversary CD reissue of Washarama released in 2001 alongside a disc of tribute covers, but this didn't happen.

Following last month's reunion show, bassist Jeff Walton said more shows could be in the works, but as the Press' John Nova Lomax correctly surmises, "could be" is far from a sure thing with the Judy's. In the meantime, check out these great photos from the April 2 show.

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