SQUALLS ANNOUNCE 24-SONG ALBUM RECORDED LIVE IN THE 80s AT LEGENDARY ATHENS, GA VENUE THE 40 WATT
Squalls Live From The 40 Watt Will Be Out August 19 on Strolling Bones Records — as featured in the iconic 1987 film documentary, Athens, GA: Inside Out
ATHENS, GA: Not all of us had the opportunity to be in Athens in the 80s, but now you can experience it when Squalls release Live From The 40 Watt via Strolling Bones (a subsidiary of New West Records) on August 19th, 2022.
Squalls Live From The 40 Watt will be available via all streaming services, on CD and as a double LP on turquoise vinyl. As part of the iconic Athens, GA musical scene that exploded into national consciousness in the early 1980s, Squalls are a part of a storied musical movement that resonates to this day. The band’s biggest brush with national fame — they were legends in their hometown — came from their live performances in the 1987 film documentary, Athens, GA: Inside Out, which brought the Athens scene to a pre-youtube world. While R.E.M. and The B-52s became household names, Squalls remained local heroes as a vital part of the fertile scene that birthed Pylon, Love Tractor, Oh-OK and many others.
The album was produced, recorded and mixed by T. Patton Biddle (better known as Pat “The Wiz” Biddle), who recorded and mixed shows for R.E.M., Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers and more. As the live sound engineer at the 40 Watt from 1982-1990, he saw and heard it all.
In the 80s, Athens was a party scene whose streets were filled with punk and new wave music and to this day, remains the home of the University of Georgia. Unlike other college towns where students danced to records, in Athens everyone was packed into houses, clubs, cafes and bars to see whatever young, local band was hot at the time. One of those clubs was the legendary 40 Watt Club, which today is one of the most famous and iconic rock clubs in the world who — back in the 80s — hosted the pop-rock band Squalls quite a few times… 64 to be exact. From 1981 to 1989, Squalls rocked Athens and made several tours of the South, the Midwest, and East coast cities including several shows at New York City clubs CBGB, Danceteria, and Peppermint Lounge; they released four recordings and were included in Athens, GA: Inside/Out.
Sound engineer Pat “The Wiz” Biddle recalls, “I met Bob Hay the first day I came to Athens in April of 1980 to make a demo recording for the Turtlebay Band. When we took a lunch break I went and sat on the ledge on the front of the Bluebird Café, and was approached by a hippie-looking character who was wearing wire rim glasses and looking a lot like John Lennon. He told me about a new band that he’d started and mentioned that he thought they might be able to use my services in the not-so-distant future. That was my introduction to the man whom I consider to have been the most prolific songwriter that Athens has produced. That’s a big statement but I stand behind every word. I hope everyone who’s interested in the music of Athens in the 1980s takes the time to give a listen to a band that it was my privilege to interact with dozens of times. And if you do, I think you’ll agree the Squalls are a unique part of Athens music history.”
Squalls have assembled archival material, vintage flyers and reminiscences from their musical peers for this release. Love Tractor’s frontman Mark Cline recalls, “I love the Squalls, and I always had a front row seat when they played — that’s because we rehearsed in the same warehouse, I was one of the lucky few— as I was privileged to hear all their wonderful songs come to life. Then I experienced the sheer joy of hearing those well-crafted songs (which I was quite familiar with) finally come to life onstage.”
Love Tractor’s Armistead Wellford adds, “The Squalls have the irresistible groove that commanded people to the dance floor, like Pylon and the Side Effects and the Bs, LT and R.E.M.”
This record pays homage to the Athens music scene and is sure to take you back to the good ‘ol days in the Classic City. On August 18, there will be a special CD release show at the 40 Watt featuring Bob Hay (Playing the songs of Squalls), The Wild Jordan Tonk Cats and Pylon Reenactment Society.
1-Bride of Frankenstein
3-Prince of Wails
15-Tell Me Now
23-What You Get