Pezz, the Memphis punk legends, have been spreading their hardcore gospel for thirty years. Marvin Stockwell, Ceylon Mooney, Scott Bomar, and Nic Cupples played their first show as Pezz on June 11th, 1990 at the Singleton Community Center in Bartlett. That September, they made their debut at the Antenna, where their all-ages free-for-alls would become iconic moments in Memphis music history.
Bomar left the band after recording two EPs to become the bassist for surf-rockers Impala. He is now a producer and Emmy-winning soundtrack composer, and was instrumental in founding Memphis soul revivalists The Bo-Keys. But Bomar was just the first of dozens of Memphis rockers who cut their teeth on stage with Stockwell and Mooney.
“Pezz was one of the bands that made me want to play music,” says Christian Walker, longtime Pezz bassist and music video director. “Back then it was still a revelation to me that normal people could play music, and not only that, that they could play music and say something important. They promoted the idea that if you had a platform, it was your obligation to say something important. All these years later, we still feel that way.”
Pezz's discography includes 14 full lengths, EPs, and singles. The group toured relentlessly in the 1990s and early 2000s, playing thousands of shows all over America.
“We really wanted to play a show to commemorate 30 years of Pezz, but when COVID made that impossible, I thought, ‘What better way to celebrate this milestone than by finally digitizing old tour footage and sifting through all of these moments in the 30-year history of the band?” Walker says. “Honestly, I could have used more time to gather long-forgotten VHS tapes from people, but I believe I found plenty of material that represents different eras of the band, and the people who have played with us and friends we've made along the way.”
Currently at work on their sixth full-length album, the punk ethos that has animated the band for three decades has not faded.
“For this video, we had in mind a sickness of the heart and a condition of isolation and disconnection, but here we are with the disease of police violence as well, and, as always, it’s more deadly to people of color than the rest of us,” says Ceylon Mooney. “Don’t wait any longer. Do what your conscience demands and what your resources allow,” he said. “You can give your time to the struggle, your body to an action, your support to the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, and your money to the Black Lives Matter bail fund.”
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