About Blood On The Saddle
Blood on the Saddle began as a musical idea in 1981 while Greg Davis was playing guitar in a Hollywood punk rock band called Dead Hippie. He saw Gun Club play with the Cramps and X and was inspired by their violent fusion of the Delta Blues with Punk Rock. He wanted to do the same with Country and Western. His girlfriend, Annette Zilinskas, was playing bass in a 60's band called the Bangles and they used to sing Johnny Cash-June Carter duets together and listen to DJ Rodney Bingenheimer play their respective bands on his KROQ radio show. In 1982 they tried to form a band with bassist, David Harrington (Lone Justice) and drummer/vocalist Herman Senac (later Groovy Rednecks, Guilty Hearts). It didn't work so Greg dropped out of UCLA and moved to New Orleans to play Dobro in a Bluegrass duo on Bourbon Street. After spending the summer in Nashville absorbing traditional Country music in Nashville's lower Broad district, he went back to Hollywood in the fall to see Annette, find Herman and form a band that would fuse traditional American music with punk rock fury.
In early 1983, Greg and Herman started playing with upright bass player Ron Botelho (later Bobbi Brat, Groovy Rednecks). It was Herman's idea to name the band after the traditional cowboy song that an animatronic bear named Big Al sang at the Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland. They started playing shows as a trio while Annette was on tour in the renamed Bangles. When she came back she started singing in the band when in July of '83 the Bangles were offered a record deal by CBS. They came to her house with an ultimatum. She chose to leave the Bangles to sing and play rhythm guitar and harmonica in Blood on the Saddle. They began to play more and more shows in Southern California and KROQ began playing their music on the radio. In early 1984 Blood on the Saddle contributed two songs to the Enigma records compilation album "Hell Comes to Your House Vol. II," This was followed by their debut album on the Minutemen's new Alliance label and was produced by Chris D of the Flesheaters. At this time, Greg and Annette signed a publishing deal with the prestigious old country music publishing company, Peer/Southern, and filmed some videos for American TV. The band spent the rest of the year touring in America and Canada. In 1985, the band's management team got them a provisional record deal with MCA Records but after six months their demo was rejected. They filmed some more videos for American and French TV and continued playing shows in and around California.
In early 1986, their second album "Poison Love" was released in North American by Chameleon Records, in the U.K. on Stiff Records, and in Europe on New Rose. They then toured American, Europe, America again and then Canada as well as making another video for French TV. In January of 1987 they recorded what was to be the original line-up's last record in Los Angeles. They contributed a song to a New Rose compilation double LP and a Ryko disc world music compilation. After the original line-up played their last show in the spring, Greg Davis continued playing Blood on the Saddle songs in his new band, The Drivers. The line-up of Greg Davis on guitar and vocal, Frank Woodbury on bass and vocal, former Blood on the Saddle roadie Michael Ray on rhythm guitar, and Phil Hines on drums played shows in Southern California and made a video for French TV. In the fall, SST records released the "Fresh Blood" album in North America and New Rose released it in Europe.
In 1988, Greg reconstituted the band with Caeser Viscarra ( the Stains, DC3) on bass and Dave Shollenbarger (Sex Pistol Steve Jones, later Agent Orange) on drums. This line-up played shows in Los Angeles and recorded new songs but disbanded at the end of the year. In the Spring of 1989, Greg joined the Vandals to do a brief tour of America and an extensive summer tour of Europe. After coming back to Los Angeles from Iceland in August, he joined Country Swing singer, Candye Kane's band for shows in Southern California. After spending 1989 as a hired guitar player, in 1990 Greg continued recording with new bassist/vocalist Chris Engel (Dischords). In early 1991, they were joined by drummer, Danny Richard (Hellbound Hayride) and played around town until Chris Engel OD'd in July. Danny's friend, John Stephenson (Nip Drivers, Hellbound Hayride) then took over on bass for more shows and recordings.
The band spent 1992 playing around Los Angeles, first with new bassist/back-up singer Michael Hately, and then with former bass player Caesar Viscarra. In 1992, bassist/back-up vocalist Billy Koepke (Tex and the Horseheads) came back from touring Europe with Legal Weapon and joined the band. With new drummer, Eric Davis (Blue Cheer), they played shows in Hollywood all summer. In September, the band's accumulated recordings were released in Europe by the Dutch label Semaphore under the title "More Blood." Semaphore also re-issued the band's first three albums on CD. The band then spent the rest of the year touring Europe. Back in Los Angeles in 1994, Greg re-constituted the band with former bassist John Stephenson and new drummer Dave Frappier (Manhole, later Strapt). This line-up recorded on EP for the Olympia Washington label Kill Rock Stars called "Quit Calling Me from Jail." They played shows in Los Angles in the spring, then spent the whole summer touring Europe again supporting the "More Blood" CD. In October they recorded a new CD in Holland. Back in Hollywood they played around town until April when they went back to Europe to tour in support of their fifth CD titled "New Blood." This CD was released by Last Call in France and SPV in Germany. Greg stayed in Germany when this tour was over and did a publishing deal with NiWo Publishing of Germany.
The band was on hiatus in 1996 until 1997 when Greg and Dave were joined by new bassist/back-up vocalist Ed Marshall (PIL). They contributed a song to the Kill Rock Stars compilation CD entitled "Some Songs" as well as recording four new songs for the German label One Million Dollar Records compilation entitled "It Came from the Barn Vol II." This line-up played around town until 1998 when new bass player Jose Levato joined the band. This line-up played shows in Hollywood and finished recording a new CD in 1999. In 2000, the band was on hiatus. In 2001, new bass player/singer Kevin Keller (Junior Juggernaut, Pat Todd and the Rank Outsiders) joined the band. They played shows in Los Angeles until the fall when One Million Dollar Records released their sixth CD titled "Flesh and Blood" in Europe and Japan. The band spent the rest of the year touring Europe to promote it.
Back in Hollywood in 2002, they were joined by original singer Annette Zilinskas for several shows but this reunion was short-lived. They continued playing around Southern California in 2003 and in 2004 recorded a new CD in Hollywood called "Blood Alcohol." Radio Station Indie 103.1 played songs off of it and one song was released on a Kung Fu Records compilation CD titled "Say it, Don't Spray it." They continued doing shows in Los Angeles in 2005 until Annette Zilinskas rejoined the band in 2006 for more shows. In 2007, the band was back to the core of Greg and Dave until new bass player Al Garcia (Algesia) joined the band. This line-up played shows around Los Angeles until 2008 when they did a West Coast tour to Canada and back. The band recorded a new CD called "The Mud, the Blood and the Beer." and played the annual Orange County Psychobilly festival "The Hootenany" on July 4th. The band was on hiatus in 2009 until 2010 when Greg re-constituted the band in Encinitas, California with new bass player/back-up singer Robby Tavares (the Donner Party, the Reducers) and new drummer/back-up singer Eddie Rojas. This line-up played shows in Southern California and looks forward to touring Europe again in the fall of 2011.
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- Dave Frappier
- Greg Davis
- John Stephenson
- Annette Zilinskas