Monday, July 07, 2008

Von Bulows - 23 Years Later

The Pedaljets and Lori Wray, known collectively in 1985 as The Von Bulows, played the Replay bar last Saturday night in Lawrence, KS as part of the Monsters of Rock Chalk reunion. The Von Bulows recorded four songs back in the day and resurrected all of them for their brief set. Saturday's lineup included Steve Dahlberg filling in on guitar for Pedaljet Scott Mize. I stood near the front but the little flash on my camera didn't carry very far. I ramped up the gamma in this shot and it appears grainy. Lori Wray surprised me halfway through their set by dedicating "Linda For a Day" to me on behalf of the group. What a thrill to be singled out by the band I looked forward to seeing the most that night. Lori's vocals in The Von Bulows lent a distinctive torch song quality, not unlike the original singer (Lulu) of their last offering, To Sir With Love. I read today where Rolling Stone once called Lori Wray "the Debby Harry of the heartland".

Their single "Summer Song" was included on the Fresh Sounds From Middle America #3 compilation, released by Bill Rich and Fresh Sounds records, along with KJHK in the Spring of 1986 and it boosted the band's reputation. There was a rumor that the song aired on one of John Peel's broadcasts on the BBC, though I don't know if that's true.

The Von Bulows life span lasted less than two years. Lori moved to Minneapolis and began a successful solo career. I never saw them play live during our college days. I saw them last Saturday and it was a personal highlight for me.

Set list: Silent Film, Summer Song, Linda For a Day, To Sir With Love.

Hear Summer Song, courtesy of

1 comment:

Agnieszka said...

Von Bulows and Pedaljets still on the ipod all these years later. Recently located and acquired a still plastic wrapped Fresh Sounds 3. Now I have to round up a turntable. Thanks for the report from Ltown. Greetings from Poland.
A vagrant from KU 88.