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The Plimsouls in the 1980s
|The Tone Dogs|
|Origin||Paramount, California, United States|
|Genres||Power pop, alternative rock, Paisley Underground, post-punk|
|1978-1983, 1995-1998, 2005, 2007|
|Labels||Geffen, Beat Records, Alive Naturalsound Records, Planet, New Rose Records, Varese|
|The Nerves, The Beat, Blondie, The Breakaways, The Skunks|
The Plimsouls are an American rock band formed in Paramount, California in 1978. The band recorded two full-length LPs and an EP before splitting up in 1983. Different configurations of the original members have reunited intermittently since.
Some of their early performances include opening for Tom Petty at Irvine Meadows in Irvine, CA as well as headlining their own concert at Pepperdine University.
Formed by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Peter Case (who had previously fronted power pop band The Nerves), the Plimsouls began as a trio in 1978, initially named the Tone Dogs, which included Case, bassist Dave Pahoa, and drummer Louie Ramírez. From inception, the band quickly became a crowd favourite in the Los Angeles club scene. Long Beach promoter Stephen Zepeda signed the group to his Beat Records label for a five-song EP called Zero Hour. Guitarist Eddie Muñoz joined the group during the recording of the EP.
Danny Holloway produced the Zero Hour EP and managed the group. The song "Zero Hour" received heavy airplay on KROQ-FM, and the Plimsouls grew to be one of the top club draws in the city. Case received critical praise for his songwriting. In 1981, Planet Records (with distribution through Elektra) signed the group and released their self-titled debut album which Holloway also produced. The single "Now" received strong local airplay in LA and was also covered by Phil Seymour, appearing on the 2011 CD edition of his second album. Seymour also appeared live with the Plimsouls during the late 1970s, both as a guest vocalist and as an artist on the same bill.
The band achieved national popularity in 1983 when the single release "A Million Miles Away" was included on Valley Girls motion picture soundtrack and became a minor hit. The band, which also appeared on camera in the film performing the song and parts of two others, quickly re-recorded the song for inclusion on a second album, Everywhere at Once, produced by Jeff Eyrich, but broke up shortly after. Several years later, in 1990, a then up-and-coming band named the Goo Goo Dolls covered "A Million Miles Away" on their Hold Me Up album. The song is also included on the Speed motion picture soundtrack.
Case has continued with a solo career since the band's mid-1980s breakup. In 1996, The Plimsouls, without Ramirez, reunited for a few shows and some recording sessions, resulting in a little-heard reunion album called Kool Trash. This album featured drumming by new band member Clem Burke, who was also simultaneously a member of Blondie . The Plimsouls have continued to reunite occasionally since that time, with Burke being replaced by Bryan Head.