JACK Seattle salutes new wave-folk rock icon David Lowery on his 52nd birthday today.

You know Lowery from a couple things: Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven.

Though Cracker was more of a commercial success, CVB has been chugging along the longest. Lowery formed the band in Santa Cruz in the mid 1980s and the band’s debut LP Telephone Free Landslide Victory was a huge hit among college radio stations across the U.S — the band’s “Take The Skinheads Bowling” eventually started popping up on commercial FM stations.

After a few years, Lowery formed Cracker with guitarist and long-time friend Johnny Hickman and bassist Davey Faragher.

Cracker, a more traditional roots rock, folk and blues-based ensemble was an instant hit. The band exploded into alternative rock radio in 1992 with “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now).”

A year later, the band would be basking in the success of arguably their most-recognizable hit, “Low.”

Nowadays, Lowery still tours with both projects but spends a good amount of time lecturing at the University of Georgia. He frequently gives presentations to the school’s music business program.

On a personal note, when I was working for an alternative rock station in San Diego, I was once assigned to go pick up Lowery and Hickman from a venue they would be performing at that evening and bring them to the radio station for an interview. As we were driving, Weezer came on the radio sparking Lowery to burst out, “Oh, Rivers Cuomo, you will never be Frank Black…just stop.”

That line alone made Lowery one of my favorite people in music.

-Chris Coyle, JACK Seattle


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