Courtesy of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
CRITIC'S FAVORITE rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club roar through the Bay Area this month. But don’t expect the founding members to spend time reuniting with classmates from their high school days in Lafayette.
The band’s roots go back to 1995, when bassist Robert Levon Been (his father, Michael Been, was in the rock group the Call) and guitarist Peter Hayes (pictured, left) met at Acalanes High. Both felt alienated in Acalanes’s cliquey social scene and bonded over a love of British rock bands, forming a band of their own called The Elements. In 1998, they added drummer Nick Jago (pictured, right) and renamed the band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club—a reference to the Marlon Brando biker gang in the 1953 classic movie, The Wild One. They’ve gone full-throttle ever since.
The group’s first three albums and their intense live shows sparked a following, particularly in the United Kingdom, where they just wrapped an arena tour with The Killers. The band’s sound has drawn comparisons to icons like the Doors and Exile on Main Street–era Rolling Stones, as well as cult favorites like Joy Division and the Jesus and Mary Chain.
This month, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club releases its fourth album, Baby 81, and headlines at the Fillmore in San Francisco on May 9. For information, go to www.blackrebelmotorcycleclub.com .