A Very Timely Chronology Of The Posies – 1999

by Ken Stringfellow, From ‘Dream All Day: The Best Of The Posies’, November 1999

1968: Ken Stringfellow born in Hollywood, CA. (October 30th.)

1969: Jon Auer born in Tacoma, WA. (September 29th.)

1983 or thereabouts: Jon and Ken meet in Bellingham, WA. Jon joins Ken’s band; subsequently Ken is moved from guitarist to lead vocalist. Band practices for several months, plays no gigs.

1986: Ken graduates high school and heads for Seattle. Jon and Ken lose touch for a couple of months, then get together to compare notes, and subsequently rekindle their writing partnership and think of forming a band.

1987: Unable to find like-minded musicians in either Bellingham or Seattle, Jon and Ken record a song for what will become Failure in Jon’s home studio in Seattle, in July; Later that year Posies songs debut live at a Jon and Ken acoustic show in Bellingham. Recording of Failure resumes in December.

1988: Recording and mixing of Failure completed; with the exception of a few drum tracks, all is recorded and mixed at Jon’s studio. Released in April on 23 Records-cassette only. Favorable review in Seattle paper The Rocket and subsequent airplay on local radio lead to offers for live gigs which are booked despite the lack of band members. With two weeks to go, Jon and Ken meet Mike Musburger and Rick Roberts. Band debuts as the Posies, May 6 at the Attic Tavern in Seattle, with Auer and Stringfellow on guitars and vocals, Musburger on drums, and Roberts on bass. Band develops strong local following. Failure picked up by Seattle indie label PopLlama Products, and released on vinyl and cassette in December (CD released in 1990).

1989: Failure starts to get national reviews (including a key rave by Joe Williams in Cashbox) and airplay. Band heads to California in April-has LA debut at the Palace, April 28, opening for Mary’s Danish and the Dead Milkmen. Posies open for Replacements in Seattle (May 15) and Vancouver (May 16). In August, after several visits from major label A&R men, band meets Gary Gersh, from Geffen Records. Band signed to Geffen shortly thereafter. Another California visit in October seals the deal.

1990: Geffen forms DGC imprint, for the rlease intially of Geffen’s alternative artists, i.e., Sonic Youth, John Doe, the Sundays, and the Posies. During the spring Posies’ DGC debt Dear 23 recorded in Seattle, and mixed in LA, with producer John Leckie. Album released in September. Band opens for Soundgarden at home (September 3), hits the road with Red Kross for their first complete US tour. NYC debut October 26 at Woody’s for CMJ. Touring continues until year’s end. Band nearly perishes in Iowa when van skids off road during a blizzard. Radio stations play “Golden Blunders.” Video debuts on MTV. LA Times compares album favorably to Abbey Road.

1991: Posies open for the Replacements for several weeks in the West and Midwest in January/February. “Suddenly Mary” released as a single. Tours west coast (support: The Dharma Bums) in April. Continue touring until spring. After a summer break, band begins recording in Seattle in October. Recordings are scrapped. Roberts leaves the band in December.

1992: Posies start again with producer Don Fleming in February, in Seattle with great results. Posies play live in spring with Joe Bass on bass. Continue recording (as a three piece) in NY with Fleming in late spring. Tracks mixed in LA in June by Dave Hanlon. Dave Fox joins on bass in July. More recording done with Fleming in Seattle in the fall. Dave Bianco mixes/remixes tracks in LA in December. Ringo Starr releases album which includes a cover of “Golden Blunders.”

1993: Frosting On The Beater album released on DGC in April. Single/video “Dream All Day” released, and successful, especially in France. Jon and Ken travel to Columbia, MO, to join reunion of legendary Memphis pop band Big Star, on guitar/vocals and bass/vocals, respectively (April 25). Posies tour US in May; play radio festivals in June; tour US all summer long (support: Hypnolovewheel and Love Battery). In August, Posies and Big Star head to Europe. Posies make European debut at the Holland Lowlands Festival in Dronten, Netherlands (August 26). Big Star headlines NME stage at the Reading Festival, Reading UK, with Posies not too far down the bill (August 29). Posies make London debut at the Camden Underworld (September 2). “Solar Sister” released (promotional only). Posies tour US in September (support: Dig). “Flavor Of The Month” released in Europe, in time for the Posies to support Teenage Fanclub on massive European tour October-December. Superchunk and Juliana Hatfield also on UK dates. Tour ends with packed headlining show at the Garage in London (December 4).

1994: Posies head to Japan four tour in late January. Glorious sold-out homecoming show at the 1500-seat Mt. Baker Theatre in Bellingham on February 12. “Definite Door” single and video released. Posies tour Europe to packed houses in February-March (support: Flop and Magnapop), including sold-out shows at the 1000-capacity Paris Bataclan (February 28) and the 1500-capacity London Astoria 2 (March 2). Fox leaves in April. Band heads to Europe for festivals in May with Mick Vee filling in on bass. Joe Bass joins in June. Posies head to Europe again for summer tour of clubs and festivals. Tour ends in July, Musburger quits when band gets home. Brian Young joins as drummer in September. Band opens for/meets with President Bill Clinton in Seattle, November 6.

1995: Recording/mixing of Amazing Disgrace in Seattle with producer Nick Launay February-April. Band supports Cheap Trick in Seattle, February 22. Posies tour Canada in April/May (support: Treble Charger). Play 500th show at RCKNDY, Seattle, on May 26 (support: Fitz of Depression and Pop Sickle). Further recording/mixing with producer Keith Cleversley in Seattle in June. Jon and engineer Adam Kaspar mix more tracks that summer in Seattle. Posies play European festivals in July/August. Tour France and Spain in September. More recording/mixing with producer Steve Fisk in Seattle in December.

1996: Last two tracks mixed by engineer Brett Elaison in Seattle in January. Amazing Disgrace released in Europe in April. First single “Please Return It” begins to push album into the charts in various territories; subsequent singles “Ontario,” “Everybody Is A Fucking Liar,” and “Precious Moments” keep it there. Band tours Europe April-May. Album released in US in May. Posies tour US May/June (support: Velocity Girl, Fuzzy, and Lucky Me). Support Hoodoo Gurus for Australian tour in July. Back to Europe for clubs and festivals, August-September, including Reading Festival mainstage August 25. After tour ends, Brian begins touring/recording with Fountains of Wayne, and later, Ivy.

1997: Band leaves DGC. Tours Holland and Belgium in April. Ken joins LagWagon in April for the recording of Double Plaidinum album, leaves in July after European tour. Posies record Success for PopLlama in August.

1998: Success album and “Start A Life” single/video released in February. Tour Holland and Belgium in May/June. Full European tour in July/August. Posies support Sonic Youth in Stockholm, August 10. Final European show, Marktrock Festival, Leuven, Belgium, August 15. Seattle farewell at Bumbershoot festival September 4. Posies’ final show at Bottom Of The Hill, San Francisco, September 19. Ken begins touring/recording with REM and Saltine. Joe Bass joins Sunny Day Real Estate. Jon begins to record/perform as a solo artist.

1999: Joe, Ken, Joe and Mike Musburger play as the Posies at ARO.Space in Seattle, September 22. Live album Alive Before The Iceberg released in Europe.