Camper Van Beethoven
- 🇺🇸 Redlands, CA
- Years Active
1983 - Now
Camper Van Beethoven dominated college radio airwaves during the latter half of 1980s, gaining a fervent cult following thanks to a series of irreverent, genre-bending albums incorporating elements of punk rock, folk, ska, world music and much more.
Camper Van Beethoven formed in Redlands, Calif. in 1983, and for much of its existence comprised vocalist David Lowery, bassist Victor Krummenacher, guitarist Greg Lisher, multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Segel and drummer Chris Pederson. Their debut album Telephone Free Landslide Victory was released on tiny Independent Project Records in June 1985, highlighted by the underground hit "Take the Skinheads Bowling." CVB graduated to tastemaking indie Rough Trade for 1986's II & III, followed a year later by a self-titled outing featuring the lead single "Good Guys and Bad Guys."
Camper Van Beethoven signed to Virgin Records after its 1987 EP Vampire Can Mating Oven incited a major label bidding war; their Virgin debut, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart, picked up where the EP left off, featuring a more streamlined and accessible sound propelled by Lisher's lead guitar. Segel left CVB ahead of the release of 1989's Key Lime Pie, which featured the band's cover of Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men," a showcase for Segel's replacement, violinist Morgan Fichter. Camper Van Beethoven splintered after an April 1990 show in Örebro, Sweden; Lowery soon resurfaced in the band Cracker. CVB reunited in 1999, and continued touring and recording in various capacities for years to come.
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