Gordon Gano

Gordon Gano Biography

The textbook American cult band of the 1980s, the Violent Femmes captured the essence of teen angst with remarkable precision; raw and jittery, the trio's music found little commercial success but nonetheless emerged as the soundtrack for the lives of troubled adolescents the world over. The group formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the early '80s, and comprised singer/guitarist Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo; Ritchie originated the band's oxymoronic name, adopting the word "femme" from the Milwaukee area's slang for wimps.

We always wondered what the godfather of quirky alt-rock would choose to listen to when he’s not making his own idiosyncratic ditties. So we asked Gordon Gano to take some time out of his busy schedule to make ARTISTdirect a mixtape.

He did... and wouldn’t you know it... we’ve never heard of a couple of them. Here it is:

1. “Requiem Pour Un C..." – Serge Gainsbourg
Rap music before rap (1968!). Listen the the drum; ahead of his times...Serge surged!

2. “Ballade de Melody Nelson” – Serge Gainsbourg
Encore Serge – best rock album ever?

3. “Baba Hanuman” – Krishna Das

4. “Like a Possum” – Lou Reed
As good as anything he did with Velvet Underground. The only person who agrees with me...first name is Lou.

5. “Run With It” – Spencer P. Jones
Aussie mate. Should be a classic rock song, but probably least known on this list.

6. “Dhen Tha Dhiakriso Pia Yia Sena” – Pyx Lax
Huge in Greece. Combines traditional and modern. Great lyrics (trust me) and music.

7. “My Uncle Used to Love Me, But She Died” – Roger Miller
I don’t know this song (what?!). But I boldly list it there because Roger is one the cleverest songsmiths ever and this title gives a taste of Mr. “King of the Road.”

8. “Sexual Healing” – Marvin Gaye
I thought I’d put one mass worldwide pop hit on my list that I love.

9. “Mississippi” – Bob Dylan
A young promising songwriter from his newest release. Could be the next Dylan.

10. “My Mother Is a Fish” – Vardaman
Picked this up in France in 1992. It blew my mind and stayed there. Only last month did I re-visit it (13 years it lay buried in my stuff). Also currently one of Oprah Winfrey’s favorites!! (Popular American television star).

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