Pussy Galore, Exile on Main St

Mon, 09 May 2011 10:44:07
from East Village Radio
Download at:

Have you heard Pussy Galore’s version of the Rolling Stones classic Exile On Main Street?

Do you even know who Pussy Galore are? I’ll give you a brief overview…Pussy Galore were a scummy rock band formed in Washington DC in the mid-80s by guitarist/vocalists Jon Spencer and Julie Cafritz with John Hammill on drums. After a seven-inch and a move to NYC, they kicked Hammill to the curb and replaced him with former Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert and added futureRoyal Trux-er Neil Hagerty on guitar. Apparently they didn’t care for Ian Mackaye and the scene surrounding his Dischord record label.  I’m sure the band’s exodus from D.C didn’t cause too many tears among the hardcore scene that PG were tangentially related to.  At some point, future Boss Hog lady Cristina Martinez joined the group at the age of 16 (she’d eventually marry Spencer and stay that way) and the band thought it would be a good idea to cover Exile On Main Street in it’s entirety and release it on the band’s own Shove label.

Released in a hand numbered edition of 550 cassettes and inexplicably selling out within a few months, Pussy Galore’s take on the Stones’ classic double LP is either absolutely genius or a flaming pile of shit depending on your perspective on fidelity and general disposition on life. If you are drawn to Exile for it’s soothing, gospel inflected countryisms than Galore’s version would likely make you as dopesick as Keith Richards on a 12-hour flight without a needle. If shoddily recorded, blown out freak rock, unprotected sex with hookers, and snuff films is your idea of a good time then this tenement junkie blues interpretation is worth seeking out. “Warts and all” doesn’t begin to describe Galore’s reading of the 1972 classic as tape flips, inter-band bitchfests and every other sound that could be captured in whatever shithole the recording took place is left in the mix.  It all sounds vaguely familiar underneath the squalor but one gets the sense Pussy Galore were aiming for a different vein than the Glimmer twins; jabbing at the rockists and transposing those stolen blues to apply to the wretched bohemia that was downtown NYC in the 80’s.

– Jeff Conklin

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2 Responses to Pussy Galore, Exile on Main St

  1. BP says:

    Hey, just wanted to say thanks for linking to my upload of Exile. I really enjoy knowing that people actually listen to the stuff I put up there. 🙂

    I’ll have to e-mail Jeff and see if I can use those album art scans as they’re better than the ones I have.

    Thanks again. Later!

    -BP

  2. Luiz Blues says:

    Well, to me (and a lot of guys) Pussy Galore’s version is just crap. The worst thing I’ve have ever listened to in my life. Barbage!!!!

    Luiz Blues

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