Case met drummer Lou Ramirez in San Diego and when Ramirez’ longtime friend Dave Pahoa joined on bass, The Plimsouls were formed.
During the summer of 1979, the Plimsouls added guitarist Eddie Munoz (who had been a roadie for Elvis Costello and Rockpile) and put 20,000 miles on Case’s car playing nothing but Southern California shows.
The cheap-sounding independent Zero Hour 12-inch EP (1980) contained enough cutting harmonies and nifty guitar licks to recall The Beatles, although their spirit was totally fresh and beyond nostalgia, the aggression modern.
The band’s major-label LP, The Plimsouls (1981), trimmed only the raggedest edges to showcase vibrant, hummable tunes like Now. Meanwhile, they became one of the top club draws in LA.
The quartet’s relationship with their label soured soon after the LP stiffed, and The Plimsouls left the label to release an independent 12-inch of the power pop classic, A Million Miles Away (1983).
The band achieved national popularity in 1983 when the song was included on the Valley Girl motion picture soundtrack and became a minor hit.
The Plimsouls subsequently joined the Geffen roster and produced Everywhere at Once, re-recording the memorable single alongside a batch of similarly strong new ones, all bubbling with undiminished fire and melody.
As awesome as they were, the group never got a break and called it a day in early 1985.
The posthumously released One Night in America (1988) captured a live set from 1981, mixing original tunes with some fine vintage covers.
Recorded during The Plimsouls’ cocky, hard-rocking prime, it’s a fitting epitaph for an underappreciated band.