The Vault: Traveling Through Time With The Three O’Clock

Dec 13th, 2006 // 7 Comments

Lord knows how history will judge the “Paisley Underground” movement of the mid-to-late ’80s, during which Los Angeles was overrun by charmingly anachronistic psych-pop outfits like the Dream Syndicate and Green On Red, and everybody seemed to be dating a Bangle. The Three O’Clock were one of the forerunners of this scene–they toured with R.E.M. and even got some late-night MTV play–and even though some of their later material sounds wayyy too synth-loaded today, these two singles still have as much punch as they did in the Reagan era:

The Three O’Clock – Jet Fighter [MP3, link expired]
The Three O’Clock – Her Heads Revolving [MP3, link expired]

  1. Dickdogfood

    Wasn’t Prince a fan? I seem to remember one of their albums being released on Paisley Park.

  2. mackro

    “Neon Telephone” was penned by Prince, actually! Big ups to Michael Quercio. Permanent Green Light (post 3 O’Clock) were also a great, short-lived band.

    I think all this L.A. paisley rock can somehow be all traced back to the Byrds.. god bless/damn em’.

  3. ecoboy_wmc

    Saw the band open for R.E.M. in Boston, which brings that Byrds/12 string Rickenbacker sound full circle.

    That lead singer sure was a pretty man.

  4. The Riffage

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned late-period T O’C member Jason Falkner. His solo stuff is great (go find “Author Unknown” off “Can You Still Feel?”), and he’s an FOBB — Friend of Brendan Benson.

  5. brainchild

    they butchered “Neon Telephone” Prince shoulda kept that one for himself.

  6. etienne07

    Thanks for the nice piece on the band,there will be a reissue of unreleased year. More info will follow at
    Danny Benair

  7. jonfromcali

    Loved, loved, loved the Three O’Clock–unfortunately, they are one of the multitudes of bands who peaked before they got signed to a major. But Sixteen Tambourines is still one of my fave albums. I was a college rock crit in the mid-80s, and interviewed Michael Quercio upon release of their first IRS album. Unfortunately, he was a prick–worst interview I’ve ever done in a long career. He wouldn’t answer questions at all, and his attitude was so bad I finally hung up on him.

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