The Dandy Warhols formed in 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Gigs involving heavy drinking, fighting, and striptease by various band members (with Ms McCabe’s most eagerly awaited) created a big buzz around their hometown.
Local label Tim Kerr Records snapped them up for their debut single, Little Drummer Boy in 1994, followed by a debut album, Dandys Rule OK the following year.
The bright and catchy first single, TV Theme Song, got them onto MTV and got a naked Courtney Taylor into Rolling Stone with ‘Kings of Pop’ emblazoned across his chest in lipstick.
The major labels quickly hit the Oregon trail and the band signed eventually to Capitol with a big cash advance.
48-hours and four large hangovers later, they found themselves still with a major deal but without the advance: “Everyone wrote about us saying that we were going to be the next big thing. Of course, we fucked it up”.
When they finally delivered the album, Capitol delivered it right back with the unexpected stipulation that the album should contain some ‘songs’. The album eventually surfaced as The Dandy Warhols Come Down in 1997. It was a corker.
First into the charts was Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth, driven by its insistent drum track and wry hook line “heroin is so passé”.
Next up was Every Day Should Be A Holiday, with one of the most infectious riffs of the year – an almost inevitable hit. Then came Boys Better, with its heavy Neil Young-style guitar and vocal.
Hedford and Taylor never quite patched up their differences, with the drummer departing in March 1998 to pursue his solo ambitions as DJ Aquaman. He was replaced by Taylor’s cousin Brent de Boer.
Meanwhile, the group spent three years creating a follow-up to Come Down.
Taylor curiously doubled his name to Taylor-Taylor and promised a new album “somewhere between All Things Must Pass (George Harrison) and Workingman’s Dead (Grateful Dead)”.
Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia (2000) certainly packed a few punches, not least on the huge hit single Bohemian Like You, which went Top 10 in the UK charts – the fact that it was used in an advertising campaign for Vodafone helped more than a little.
The single proceeded to roll out across Europe, picking up Dandys converts in its wake.
Courtney Taylor (Taylor-Taylor)
Bass, keyboards, vocals, stripping
Brent de Boer