The Unclaimed is a name which immediately recalls the honor roll of garage
bands past and is perfect for what the band is doing on the rock scene of today.
Yet some still are not aware of what it is the Unclaimed are doing. Singer Shelley Ganz refers to their music as "traditional Los Angeles rock 'n' roll" and while that phrase rings a responsive bell with many there are still some who prefer to call the Unclaimed's hard-rocking sounds 60's punk, psychedelic or even folk rock.
The Unclaimed are based in Los Angeles and their music reflects many of the rock 'n' roll genres discovered in the city they call the Big Orange. Keeping the focus on very danceable rock 'n' roll the Unclaimed trade in surprises by shifting the emphasis from first generation punk like the Standells to acid rave-ups ala the Chocolate Watch Band to the 12-string jingle jangle of the Byrds.
This psychotic reaction to the more horrific sounds of the day explains the bands' attitude and purpose quite well as the Unclaimed are five distinctly individual musicians who share a love of a common music all but forgotten to the average music fan of today, a fan trapped by insincere AM ballads on one side and equally unrealistic tales of urban terror coming from the underground.
The Unclaimed were launched in April of 1979 by vocalist Ganz when guitarist Sid Griffin and bassist Barry Shank answered an ad placed by Ganz in a local musician's newspaper.
That edition of the Unclaimed splintered under the pressure of too much attention too soon but in 1980 the band found drummer Matt Roberts and in early 1981 the present Unclaimed line-up was complete with the addition of keyboardist/guitarist Rich Coffee (his real name, by the way).
In some ways it is odd the band have such a similar overview of what they want to do in rock 'n' roll since Ganz is from Hollywood, Griffin is from Kentucky, Shank is from Kansas City, Roberts is from Orange County and Coffee hails from Indiana. All learned to play rock in their early teens and their musicianship shows they've learned their lessons well.
The Unclaimed have made quite a name for themselves in a relatively short time, becoming well known as a musician's band and having their first EP (on an independent label) climb to the number one spot on the LA Weekly's New Wave chart.
The Unclaimed plan to spearhead a growing movement of bands toward a more Vox and Beatle-booted attitude and sound, a movement away from pretentiousness and pop snobbery. The band has changed the climate of rock 'n' roll in Los Angeles like no one since the Seeds and now they are set to do the same thing everywhere else.
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