Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 98

PIXIES
REPURPOSE
J. Santiago: Simon Foster.

BY WA R D M E E K E R

W

hen Charles Thompson adopted the stage name
Black Francis to play the Pixies' first gig - at a
bar in the suburbs on a Wednesday night in 1986
- guitarist Joey Santiago was right there, the two
of them unfazed by the tiny crowd and chilly reception.
Former students at UMass Amherst,
Thompson had convinced dorm mate
Santiago to quit the books and get serious with his guitar. The two spent 1984
working warehouse jobs while Thompson
wrote lyrics on his subway commute and

at night grabbed a guitar to add backing
chords. In late '85, they placed an ad in
a music newspaper seeking a bassist who
was "...into Hüsker Dü and Peter, Paul and
Mary." The only response came from a
folk-rocker named Kim Deal. Though she

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October 2017

had never played bass or been in a band
that made it out of the garage, she had
a willing drummer friend named Dave
Lovering. The four gathered and after
just a few months of the bar grind scored
an opening slot when Throwing Muses
rolled through Boston. In the audience
that night was producer Gary Smith, who
in March of '87 took the Pixies to his
studio to cut a demo. Eight of the 18 songs
became the band's EP Come On Pilgrim.
Behind Thompson's songwriting, the
band developed a style that would prove
supremely inf luential in the coming
years, delivering lyrical messages that
were harsh, humorous, or soul-searching


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 3
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