In 1988 a shoegaze group was founded in San Francisco. The group named their band The Brian Jonestown Massacre as a portmanteau of Brian Jones, the founder and guitarist of The Rolling Stones and the mass cult suicide in Jonestown, Guyana in the 60s. As the name suggests BJM often references 60s culture.
During only six months in 1996 BJM released three complete albums; ‘Take It from the Man!’, ‘Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request’ and finally ‘Thank God for Mental Illness’. Especially the second release during this intense period has influenced the later work of the band, with the psychedelic sound that pulled them away from their previous more shoegaze-inspired sound.
The band gained public attention because of the somewhat crazy outbursts from frontman, Anton Newcombe, who at shows got into fights with not only his own band but also the audience (this might have something to do with his drug addiction, but who knows).
During the course of seven years, film director Ondi Timoner documented the internal feuds of the band and their love-hate relationship between their rival The Dandy Warhols. The documentary called ‘Dig!’ especially focuses on Anton Newcombes descent into drug abuse. The documentary was released in 2004 and won the Grand Jury Price at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. It is definitely worth watching as it gives a unique inside to the intensity of Anton Newcombe’s mind, but also the documentary is packed with some of BJM’s greatest songs.
Since the 90’s the band has undergone many changes in regards to band members. Anton Newcombe is the only persistent member, but it seems that we at Northside will be lucky enough to experience one of the more charismatic band members, the tambourine playing Joel Gion, who was one of the original members of the band.
Saturday, 3 pm on the Green Stage is where the magic is going to happen, if you’re into psychedelic/experimental rock with a 60s feel. There really is no reason not to be there.