Monday, October 08, 2007

Lamestain Answers the Age-Old Question "Who the Fuck Were My Eye?"

If you were sitting on my lap right now, you would probably notice that I am wearing a Columbo-style yellow raincoat and sporting a massive smile, because I have just solved the mystery of long-lost Seattle grunge pioneers, My Eye. The mystery of My Eye’s origin and demise was so mysterious that most people didn't even know that the mystery existed. Since I fancy myself as a semi-professional sleuth, a Philip Marlowe for the grunge era, if you will, I decided to take the job and uncover the truth about My Eye. What I found was both eye-opening and shocking! Or, at least, it was interesting to me. While the band didn’t last very long and didn’t leave much of a recorded history, they did feature members from several prominent bands, and most of them are still performing music regularly.

Now with the job accepted, I donned my deerstalker hat, lit up my bubble pipe, and started looking for clues. The first and most obvious pointers come from the band's appearance on the 1989 C/Z Another Pyrrhic Victory: The Only Compilation of Dead Seattle God Bands LP (CZ012). Perusing the back sleeve with a magnifying glass, I learned that band members were vocalist Steven Van Liew, guitarist Kurtiss (spelled Curtis) Lofstrom, bassist Max Godsil, and drummer Duffy Drew. The record also offers the below information:

“Not much is known about this short-lived band. They were rumored to have lived in the underground Seattle only to come out at night to prey on young teenage girls. Previous single on C/Z is out of print.”

Perhaps sensing that a future detective might someday want to unlock My Eye’s secrets, the record’s clues are purposely misleading. Their single was out of print by 1989, but several investigations into Underground Seattle provided no evidence that the band ever resided there, and there is no proven link between the band and any missing teenage girls. While those bits have proved to be false, the band did contribute the songs "Harder Trust" and "Gets that Way" to the 3000-pressed and Jack Endino-engineered LP. The record also featured unreleased songs by Green River, 64 Spiders, Malfunksun, and H-Hour and never made it to compact disc.

Trying to prove that there was a correlation between My Eye, the Another Pyrrhic Victory LP, and the 1985 Pyrrhic Victory: A Goal Attained At Too Great a Cost cassette tape was also a dead end. The Daniel House-released tape featured early songs by Soundgarden, Skin Yard, Vexed (featuring Milton Garrison from the Drills – stay tuned for an exclusive Lamestain Drills feature!), Feedback (featuring Daniel House and Matt Cameron), the fantastic 10 Minute Warning, and many others, but no My Eye. While it was fruitful to learn about the tape, it did not help me with the My Eye investigation.

The next clue came from their lone 1987 “Empty Box” b/w “So Much Going On” single on C/Z (CZ005). This clue initially threw me off, because the band sounds like post-punkers gone grunge. This assumption ultimately turned out to be wrong. While the songs are gloomy and dark, the band members did not come from the post-punk or Goth scene. Instead, they came out of Seattle’s largely written-out-of-the-history-book hard rock scene. Most notably, Steve and Kurtiss played in early metal titans Overlord, who you can learn more about here. Steve also sang in Shadow, which featured future Rockfords guitarist Mike McCready and later members of Goodness. Duff Drew played in the glam rock band the Trids, which featured feature Zipgun/RC5 singer Rob Clarke, and shared the stage with Culprit, Shadow, and Overlord.

Next, I needed the final answer to the riddle - what happened to the band members? Following My Eye’s split up, a little birdie told me that Steve then sang in Bible Stud and currently plays in the One and Only True Messiah. I was also reliably informed that Max and Duff joined up with ex-Thrown Up John Leighton Beezer, formed Stomach Pump, and released a record on Penultimate records. This has been verified with exhaustive research. Duff has also since played in Toothpaste 2000 and Manray. Kurtiss did some time in Portland’s Crack City Rockers and his current musical whereabouts are unknown.


"So Much Going On"
"Gets That Way"

And the .zip file is here.

-- MC Tom, Private Dick for Hire

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

well...what a slew of information. And I suppose living in Seattle really helps,because I only know a coupla of those bands,at best.And it's also only through those glorious compilations,that came out, pre Nirvana,and pre everyone else. How come no one tackles the other sounds or music from Seattle in a book? I love the U-Men,and no one talks much about those bands.
What about the Derelicts.Oh, I liked them too. Those old flyers are cool aren't they-little histories of bands...Did anyone film thses bands,like The U-Men or The Derelicts or any of the C/Z bands? Their were bands also on Empty Records that were good too.

shirilla said...

Actually the APV comp WAS released on CD also. I used to have a copy until some shithead borrowed it and a Mother Love Bone concert video and then disappeared off the face of the earth. Damn.

Fred said...

UNRELATED:
Awhile back you guys mentioned the "With Yo' Heart Not Yo' Hands" Melvins 7" that was released in 1990. I managed to track down and buy a copy of it for 8 bucks; I'm not sure whether or not you folks have a digital copy of it, so I can certainly send it to you if you want.

Anonymous said...

Kurtiss Lofstrom of Overlord & My Eye currently records under the name Thistleblossom. www.thistleblossom.com

Lamestain HQ said...

Shirilla,

oops, you are right. that's shoddy detective work on my part!

Anonymous said...

Stomach Pump's Penultimate single was "Log Clench" b/w "Cakehole".

I understand copies go for $1000 on eBay if you can find them. I'm keeping all mine.

incessantmace said...

alright, another thing you just gotta help me out with. i need that damned tracklist of the first (that is 1985) pyrrhic victory tape, and especially the name of the song feedback contributed to it. please contact me at jan (at) hol (dot) st, you're my only hope!

Anonymous said...

I think that one or more members later had a band called Crawl (1991 or so).

Anonymous said...

My Eye also had a great tape out in 1985.
Overlord should also be a band that get's credited as precursors of grunge,despite the cheesy metal name. And Steve Van Liew was never in Shadow, he was in a pre-Shadow band called Warrior. Overlord played a reunion show in 1997 at the Seattle Center. Ohter related bands were Bible Stud and Crawl. But My Eye were great. Was a fan since the break-up of Overlord. I actually have the '85 tape and some Overlord stuff if you need.

Ariel said...

wow...do you have that tape...

i just have an ep called empty box



the links for the songs and the .zip file are dead... can you re upload

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JB said...

My first high school boyfriend was the bass player for Overlord. Seattle was such a hotbed of coolness back in the day.