Naked PreyRANDY McREYNOLDS IS the perfect person to assess the almost 15 year career of Naked Prey. "I ran the P.A. sound for their first show, at the lower level of the Fine Line, with Rainer on bass, around 1981," McReynolds says.
Since that fateful night he has served at various times with Naked Prey as their roadie, bassist, guitarist and drummer. He's topped off the decade-and-a-half by producing Naked Prey's new album, due out by the end of the summer on Phoenix's Epiphany Records.
McReynolds, one of Tucson's most accomplished musicians and producers, says Naked Prey has survived because band founder Van Christian "has never fallen for the trappings of the music business, nor has he joined up with any kind of fad. He's always stuck with his two guitar, loud hard rock sound. There's no other definition for their sound, that's what they are."
Christian's Tucson pedigree comes from years of passion for music. In the late 1970s he served as drummer for The Serfers--the proto-punk misfits that later spawned Green On Red--before coming out from behind the drum kit as the leader of Naked Prey.
The band has since released countless records on various labels. The latest recording features long-time Naked Prey drummer Tom Larkins, guitarist John Venet and David Herbert on bass.
The new album is also one of McReynolds favorite Naked Prey efforts.
"What I liked is that half of it is 'good old Naked Prey,' but the other half tries different things--introspective material, acoustic ballads with accordion and upright bass--and also has some good guest musicians," McReynolds says.
Some of the guests on the upcoming album include Joey Burns and John Convertino of Giant Sand, as well as Bruce Halper and Chuck Prophet--who sang on a song he co-authored with Christian.
Says McReynolds simply, "I see Naked Prey as an honest band because they do what they do because they like it."
Al Perry & The Cattle
AFTER 11 YEARS with his band The Cattle, guitarist and vocalist Al Perry is almost a local musical landmark. "Ten years ago I never thought I'd be making records, touring Europe, all because of my music," the native Tucsonan said in a 1994 interview.
A blend of blues, jazz, surf, '60s fuzz instrumentals--and most importantly, country--accounts for Perry's unique sensibility.
"We play old music with modern energy, and we walk that line between country and rock."
The country elements have snowballed over the past few years, to a point where it is the dominant influence on his work.
"Country music is something you come to as you get older," he said with his patented smirk. "There's a chance for longevity in country."
Bassist Dave Roads has been the band's solid rhythm anchor since day one, and 1993's addition of long-time Tucson scenemaker and drummer Pete Catalnotte makes the trio formidably talented.
"Now we're a twisted, high-energy punk version of Buck Owens and The Buckaroos," says Perry with a smile.
© 1995 Tucson Weekly