Indie University: The band Pylon - Indie Vinyl Den

Indie University: The band Pylon


Pylon, the avant-garde post-punk pioneers from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1978 with a fearless foursome lineup of Vanessa Briscoe Hay (vocals), Randy Bewley (guitar), Michael Lachowski (bass), and Curtis Crowe (drums). Their jagged, danceable sound, anchored by Hay's idiosyncratic monotone delivery, left an indelible mark on the American underground music landscape.

This musical collective was closely associated with the Athens music scene, spawning acts such as R.E.M. and the B-52s. Pylon unleashed their debut, the 7-inch "Cool" b/w "Dub," in 1979, with their full-length bow "Gyrate" following in 1980, garnering critical acclaim and solidifying their position as one of the most electrifying live acts of the era.

"Chomp," their second album in 1983, was another triumph, yet internal conflicts eventually brought about their premature demise that same year. The band reunited sporadically during the late '80s and early '90s, but it wasn't until 2004 that Pylon reignited their flame and set the stage ablaze once again. The live album "Extra" hit shelves in 2007, and 2009's "Gravity" EP marked their first new material in over two decades.

Despite the untimely passing of Randy Bewley in 2009, Pylon's influence on the post-punk canon remains undeniable. Their groundbreaking sound and high-octane live performances continue to inspire a new generation of musicians, and their musical legacy persists as a highly cherished gem amongst critics and fans alike.


Here is a timeline of the major events and releases in the history of the band Pylon:

  • 1978: Pylon is formed in Athens, Georgia, by guitarist Randy Bewley, bassist Michael Lachowski, drummer Curtis Crowe, and vocalist Vanessa Briscoe Hay.
  • 1980: Pylon releases their debut album, Gyrate, on DB Records. The album succeeded critically and became a cult favorite in the post-punk scene.
  • 1981: Pylon releases their second album, Chomp, on DB Records. The album received positive reviews and was named one of the year's best albums by Rolling Stone magazine.
  • 1983: Pylon disbands after Bewley and Lachowski decide to focus on other musical projects.
  • 1987: Pylon briefly reunites for a performance at a friend's wedding.
  • 1989: Pylon reunites to record a new album, Chain, for Sky Records. The album is less well-received than their earlier work, and the band disbands again soon after its release.
  • 1990s-2000s: Pylon's influence continues to grow, with bands like REM, Sonic Youth, and Sleater-Kinney citing them as an influence. Several compilation albums of their earlier work have been released, including the 1990 album Hits and 2007's Pylon Box.
  • 2004: Pylon reunites again for a performance at the UK All Tomorrow's Parties festival.
  • 2009: Pylon's Randy Bewley dies at age 53.
  • 2016: Pylon releases a live album, Live on Chunklet Industries.
  • 2020: Pylon releases a limited edition box set, Pylon Box 2, featuring previously unreleased recordings and other rarities.
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