From the shifting fault lines of Hollywood fantasies
and the economic and racial tensions of Reagan s
America, Fishbone rose to become one of the
most original bands of the last 25 years. With
a blistering combination of punk and funk, they
demolished genre walls and challenged the racial
stereotypes and political order of the music
industry and the nation.
Formed in 1979 in South Central Los Angeles,
Fishbone landed a major label record deal soon
after the members graduated from high school.
However, after this early success the band
struggled for acceptance in a racially stratified
music industry while their unabashedly hybrid
style kept them proudly out of fashion. When the
group emerged in the 80s, America s melting pot
was being stirred by a mosh pit of disenfranchised
youth confronted with lingering racial and economic
issues left unresolved by previous generations.
Today, the band members are increasingly
recognized as pioneers, and younger musicians
often cite them as big influences in creating new
musical possibilities in a blooming multicultural
world. As Gwen Stefani of No Doubt remembers,
Fishbone was the band that gave us the inspiration
to be a band. They are just so unique and that is
what I love ... that they were super underground.