Formed 1975, Cleveland Ohio. David Thomas (b.1953), voc; Tom Herman (b.1949), gtr; Peter Laughner (d. 1977), gtr; Mayo Thompson (b. 1944), gtr; Jim Jones (d.2008), gtr; Allen Ravenstine (b.1950), synth; Dave Taylor, synth; Eric Drew Feldman, synth; Tim Wright (d.2013), bass; Tony Maimone (b.1952), bass; Scott Krauss (b.1950), drums; Anton Fier, drums; Chris Cutler (b. 1947), drums; Garo Yellin, cello; Michele Temple (b. 1959), bass; Robert Wheeler (b.1957), EML synthesizers & theremin; Scott Benedict, drums; Steve Mehlman (b.1971), drums; Wayne Kramer, gtr; Andy Diagram (b. 1959), trumpet.
Evolving from Cleveland's Teutonic protopunks, Rocket From the Tomb, Pere Ubu was formed late in 1975 by Thomas (aka Crocus Behemoth) and guitarist Peter Laughner (who died in 1977). Ubu's classic early singles, "Heart Of Darkness" and "Final Solution," oozed restless angst way before it became the domain of spoiled mallrats. By 1978's aggressive The Modern Dance and the wilder Dub Housing, Pere Ubu's subversions of rock were guided by superior musicianship and fallout from Thomas's Jehovah's Witness upbringing. Personality quirks split the band, and Thomas regrouped for three more self-indulgent albums through 1982, including the abstract stare-down of The Art Of Walking, all with some difficult sonic perversion to recommend them.
After several Ubus found themselves onstage in Thomas's Wooden Birds, the band was revived for 1988's The Tenement Year. With newfound focus, Pere Ubu unleashed the ravishing funhouse pop experiment of 1989's Cloudland, which treated mainstream textures like found sounds. The sparkling pop, dented by Thomas's unique warble, continued with the gently peculiar Worlds In Collision. But Ubu tired of the total pop concept and returned to quirkier pursuits for Story Of My Life. Tim Kerr Records picked up the ball with 1995's full-bodied Ray Gun Suitcase--a mix of Ubu's vicious rock, luscious pop and art-damaged identities--and a series of multimedia-enhanced EPs, for which Thomas programmed the codes.