I should blog about Black Cactus Stampede. They had quite a pedigree, with ex-members from L.A.'s The Plimsouls and S.F.'s The Sea Hags, two quality bands. They had a unique sound for the era, an actual good songwriter in the band (who wrote for other bands as well) and absolutely zilch, nada, rien, zero trace of them left whatsoever online or anywhere else.
Their look was young blue collar guys next door in an era of Hair Metal black leather uniformity, with each band member an individual as such. (I've always thought the best bands were composed of recognizable individuals, both in appearance and contributions strengthening the whole. You could even tell the original Guns'n'Roses guys apart.) Friendly bad boys. I almost had a crush on one of them.
Their sound was double lead guitar with one of them a bottleneck slide guitar, a la the Mick Taylor Rolling Stones in the early 1970's. Their singer proffered a gruff baritone, in direct contrast to most of the era's gonad-squeezed falsetto shrieking. They had one song that I saw transform every audience live, wherein all these hardened, anally cool metal types would start unconsciously swaying to its trance-y beat (chorus: "...where's that little sister, where's that little thang?"). You can see the intensity of an instrumental break in my live photo above.
For my studio session and other interaction with them, they actually tried to be gentlemen around me, despite my protests that no one had to censor their words or hide things. I loved the conversations I overheard, like debating what cherubim were, why it was unusual for "a nice Jewish boy" to be so tattooed (it's against dogma orthodoxy bigtime to "defile" the body) or for example:
BCS1: I wish we had used Heather for our first promo photo. We used "-----."
BCS2: Who's "-----"?
BCS1: He's a putz!
For the trivia-minded, Black Cactus Stampede were (L-R in my group photo below): Isaac Baruch (singer-songwriter-guitarist,) David Pahoa (bassist, ex-Plimsouls,) Adam Maples (drummer, ex-Sea Hags and almost replacement for the first Guns'n'Roses drummer, probably not decadent enough,) and James "Jimmy" Gambone (slide guitar.) They all had Biblical first names.
They were alone with the nascent Black Crowes and Little Caesar in performing bluesy hard rock with slide guitar (as opposed to slide/bluesy metal like Cinderella) in the Hair Metal era before the Nirvana sea change, and without having been told to. If you missed seeing them live in the late 1980's/early 1990's, you missed seeing one of L.A.'s best unsung bands, for there's nary a cd or download left to tell the tale...nothing online at all, until this blog.
2011 annotation: Still nada, rien, zilch about this band when you keep on Googlin' but this LINK will give you a 2008 photo of Jimmy Gambone in a reunion of his pre-BCS bands in Florida inclusive of one with Johnny Depp, and "friend" Isaac on FB to see his genuinely Fine Art: he earned a Bachelor's Degree in painting from Cal State in 2010!