The Three O’Clock
Today we’re listening to “Jet Fighter” by The Three O’Clock
In the early 80s, The Three O’Clock were part of California's “Paisley Underground” sub-scene, along with bands like Game Theory, Dream Syndicate, and The Bangles.
Originally called The Salvation Army, the band signed with Frontier and released a self-titled LP in 1982. It took a few months, but they eventually ran into legal/copyright trouble with their name. You’d think they’d have seen that coming, even with the smog in LA, but here we are.
They then changed their name to Befour Three O’Clock (heh) and re-released the first record as an s/t under the new name.
Common sense prevailed, and a 3rd name change- this time to just The Three O’Clock- stuck. The second record released under this name was 1983’s Sixteen Tambourines. Lead-off single “Jet Fighter” was hot on college radio. Singer Michael Quercio’s near-falsetto soars, carried aloft on some light guitar and synth sounds and, of course, a rousing chorus.
This record didn’t land with everyone at the time, with some finding the sound genius and others only tolerating the band in limited doses. But to my ear, it sounds as good now as it did then.
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Sixteen Tambourines is even better — an incredible full-length collection of chiming, memorable power pop tunes played and sung as if each track were likely to get played on every radio station coast-to-coast. Slick and inventive production by Earle Mankey delivers the songs (most co-written by guitarist Louis Gutierrez and bassist Michael Quercio) in utterly engaging style.
Read the rest of what the Trouser Press had to say about the band here.
“Jet Fighter” by The Three O’Clock| Sixteen Tambourines, 1983
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In real life, I’ve worked in aviation for almost 30 years. Working in some flying terms was only a matter of time. It won’t become a habit.