Interviewing Jim Basnight (Part 2)

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Other Key Interviews

I first met Jim in the summer of 2009, after interviewing him by phone the previous October.  He picked me up near my hotel in the U-District and we headed to the North End, where Seattle’s punk scene germinated some 35 years ago.  We had lunch at a wonderful Chinese restaurant called the Black Pearl.  Before our meeting, I made sure I listened to: We Rocked & Rolled: 25 Years of Jim Basnight & the Moberlys (check out “Blow Your Life Away,” “Sexteen,” and “Rest Up.”)  The Moberlys became Jim’s band after the Meyce broke up. They were one of the few links between Seattle’s early ’80s punk community and the power pop scene (the Heats, Cowboys, etc.)  Most of the punks despised the power pop/new wave guys.

We talked about the old neighborhood, including Roosevelt High people such as Frank Ferrana (who later became Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx), and Duff McKagan (Guns N Roses), what Jim’s up to (last I heard, he was doing shows with Steve Pearson, formerly of said Heats), and about music in general.  He asked me if I liked anybody in the Philly scene.  Not that I’m an expert since I’m a lowly suburbanite, but I’ve become fond of some bands here like the Defog, the Capitol Years (Jim digs them…they’re totally psychedelic-era Beatles), and 61 North.

Jim has attempted to take his music career beyond Seattle, with mixed results.  Nonetheless, his artistic and communal accomplishments are beyond dispute.  Nirvana, Soundgarden, Sub Pop—none of that would have happened without Jim and his cohorts (Lee Lumsden, Neil Hubbard, Rob Morgan, Rich Riggins, Paul Hood, etc.)  They laid the foundation for future Seattle musicians to build upon.

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