Best Bands You Never Heard of: The Four Horseman

fourhorsemen

The Four Horsemen

The Four Horseman were a hard blues/hard rock ensemble active in the late 80’s and early 90’s. A combination of outstanding musicianship, Frontman Frank Starr’s one-of-a-kind swagger, and tragedy made them a “must have” for me and their first major release, “Nobody Said it Was Easy”, in still in my regular rotation.

I once read a story where Lizmi, who had recruited all the members of the band save a lead singer, was having a few with producer Rick Rubin and had stepped outside for fresh air or to fire up a spliff or just for conversation when a barroom brawl spilled out into the parking lot. Two gentlemen had agreed to “come to scratch” and settle their difference by fisticuffs and at the conclusion of said match the winner – in a pair of corduroy bell-bottoms no less – and heavily out of breath, was staggering back into the bar when Rubin stopped him

“Can you sing?” Rubin asked.

The victor nodded. “Yeah, I can sing.”

“What’s your name?”

At that the still panting champion turned around and pulled his shirt down to expose his shoulders and upper back across which was tattooed – in letters writ large – “S-T-A-R-R”

That’s pretty goddamn Rock and Roll.

The band never really got into the groove they could have. Frank Starr did multiple prison stints on a variety of offenses, missing a lot of time, and was in a serious motorcycle accident in 1995. He remained in a coma until he passed away in 1999. Ken “Dimwit” Montgomery – one of Canada’s three famous Montgomery Brothers (Brother Chuck Biscuits played in DOA, Danzig, Social Distortion and other bands you have heard of), died of a heroin overdose in 1994. (As an aside there is an excellent documentary out there called ‘Bloodied but Unbowed” about the early Vancouver punk rock scene that has the excellent section on the Montgomery brothers – watch it at YouTube Here.

At any rate – that’s the Four Horsemen. You can find ‘Nobody Said it Was Easy (release date was in 1991) on Ebay – and depending on the condition it can be an expensive proposition.

At any rate – if you ever run into Dave Lizmi shake his hand. They made great music.

I’m going to leave with “I Need a Thrill/Something Good” because I have lived it, and loved it.

Rock on Compadres. I’ll be back soon with links to more of my own published stuff as it appears.

Steve

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