How the Pixies where formed (the short version)

Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson (AKA Black Francis) was faced with the decision of either going to New Zealand to see Haley’s Comet or to start a rock band. He chose to start a band. He flew back his hometown of Boston and convinced his ex-roommate, guitarist Joey Santiago, to drop out of college and start a band. It took two weeks of convincing.

They put a want ad, looking for a bassist, in a local music rag. They got just one reply, from Kim Deal (aka Mrs. John Murphy). Kim relocated from Dayton, Ohio to Boston, her husband’s hometown. Kim came to the audition with out a bass of all things! She told Joey and Charles that her sister in Ohio had one but she did not have the money to have it sent. Charles lent her $50 to have the bass sent to Boston.

The Pixies’ original drummer was fired and they ask David Lovering to join the band per Kim Deal’s request. Kim met David during her wedding reception.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Pixies discography
This *should* be pretty complete, but /msg me if you have any additions/corrections/comments. Sources: kzsu.stanford.edu/eklein, freedb.org for track times.

Come On Pilgrim 12" (4AD 1987) Total time: 20:31
  1. Caribou [03:11]
  2. Vamos [02:50]
  3. Isla de Encanta [01:38]
  4. Ed is Dead [02:27]
  5. The Holiday Song [02:11]
  6. Nimrod's Son [02:14]
  7. I've Been Tired [02:57]
  8. Levitate Me [02:36]

Surfer Rosa LP/CD (4AD 1988) Total time: 33:35
  1. Bone Machine [02:59]
  2. Break My Body [02:02]
  3. Something Against You [01:44]
  4. Broken Face [01:27]
  5. Gigantic [03:51]
  6. River Euphrates [02:30]
  7. Where Is My Mind? [03:50]
  8. Cactus [02:13]
  9. Tony's Theme [01:49]
  10. Oh My Golly! [01:44]
  11. You Fuckin' DIE! I said.. [00:44]
  12. Vamos [04:15]
  13. I'm Amazed [01:39]
  14. Brick is Red [02:00]

Gigantic EP/CDEP (4AD 1988) Total time: 11:58
  1. Gigantic [03:12]
  2. River Euphrates [03:21]
  3. Vamos [03:27]
  4. Heaven (Lady in the radiator song) [01:49]

Here Comes Your Man EP/CDEP (4AD 1989) Total time: 13:35
  1. Here Comes Your Man [03:21]
  2. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) [02:59]
  3. Into the White [04:40]
  4. Bailey's Walk [02:22]

Doolittle LP/CD (4AD 1989) Total time: 38:47
  1. Debaser [02:50]
  2. Tame [01:52]
  3. Wave Of Mutilation [02:01]
  4. I Bleed [02:31]
  5. Here Comes Your Man [03:18]
  6. Dead [02:18]
  7. Monkey Gone TO Heaven [02:54]
  8. Mr. Grieves [02:02]
  9. Crackity Jones [01:21]
  10. La La Love You [02:40]
  11. No 13. Baby [03:48]
  12. There Goes My Gun [01:46]
  13. Hey [03:28]
  14. Silver [02:22]
  15. Gouge Away [02:44]

Monkey Gone To Heaven EP/CDEP (4AD 1989) (thanks salo for correcting me on this one)
  1. Monkey Gone To Heaven
  2. Manta Ray
  3. Weird At My School
  4. Dancing The Manta Ray

Velouria EP/CDEP (4AD 1990) Total time: 10:29
  1. Velouria [03:42]
  2. Make Believe [01:53]
  3. I've Been Waiting For You [02:45]
  4. The Thing [01:59]

Bossanova LP/CD (4AD 1990) Total time: 39:48
  1. Cecilia Ann [02:02]
  2. Rock Music [01:49]
  3. Velouria [03:37]
  4. Allison [01:14]
  5. Is She Weird [02:58]
  6. Ana [02:06]
  7. All Over The World [05:24]
  8. Dig For Fire [02:59]
  9. Down To The Well [02:26]
  10. The Happening [04:16]
  11. Blown Away [02:17]
  12. Hang Wire [01:58]
  13. Stormy Weather [03:23]
  14. Havalina [02:33]

Dig For Fire EP/CDEP (4AD 1990) Total time: 10:24
  1. Dig For Fire [02:46]
  2. Velvety Instrumental Version [02:03]
  3. Winterlong [02:08]
  4. Santo [02:14]

Planet of Sound EP/CDEP (4AD 1991) Total time: 8:20
  1. Planet of Sound [02:06]
  2. Theme from Narc [01:44]
  3. Build High [01:39]
  4. Evil Hearted [02:38]

Trompe Le Monde LP/CD (4AD 1991) Total time: 39:06
  1. Trompe le Monde [01:44]
  2. Planet of Sound [02:03]
  3. Alec Eiffel [02:47]
  4. The Sad Punk [02:56]
  5. Head On [02:11]
  6. U-Mass [02:57]
  7. Palace of the Brine [01:31]
  8. Letter to Memphis [02:37]
  9. Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons [02:46]
  10. Space (I Believe In) [04:16]
  11. Subbacultcha [02:07]
  12. Distance Equals Rate Times Time [01:22]
  13. Lovely Day [02:03]
  14. Motorway to Roswell [04:41]
  15. The Navajo Know [02:19]

Death to the Pixies CD (4AD 1997)
Disc 1:
    Total time: 47:43
  1. Cecilia Ann [02:02]
  2. Planet Of Sound [02:03]
  3. Tame [01:53]
  4. Here Comes Your Man [03:18]
  5. Debaser [02:48]
  6. Wave Of Mutilation [02:01]
  7. Dig For Fire [02:59]
  8. Caribou [03:11]
  9. Holiday Song [02:11]
  10. Nimrod's Son [02:14]
  11. U-Mass [02:57]
  12. Bone Machine [02:57]
  13. Gigantic [03:10]
  14. Where Is My Mind? [03:48]
  15. Velouria [03:37]
  16. Gouge Away [02:21]
  17. Monkey Gone To Heaven [02:56]
Disc 2 (only on limited edition):
  1. Debaser - (live) [02:51]
  2. Rock Music - (live) [01:48]
  3. Broken Face - (live) [01:18]
  4. Isla De Encanta - (live) [01:39]
  5. Dead - (live) [02:27]
  6. Into The White - (live) [03:27]
  7. Monkey Gone To Heaven - (live) [02:55]
  8. Gouge Away - (live) [02:50]
  9. Here Comes Your Man - (live) [03:09]
  10. Allison - (live) [01:12]
  11. Hey - (live) [03:51]
  12. Gigantic - (live) [03:23]
  13. Crackity Jones - (live) [01:32]
  14. Something Against You - (live) [01:43]
  15. Tame - (live) [02:02]
  16. Wave Of Mutilation - (live) [03:02]
  17. Where Is My Mind? - (live) [03:33]
  18. Ed Is Dead - (live) [02:49]
  19. Vamos - (live) [04:31]
  20. Tony's Theme - (live) [02:26]

Pixies At The BBC CD (4AD 1998) Total time: 35:25
  1. Wild Honey Pie [01:48]
  2. There Goes My Gun [01:21]
  3. Dead [01:26]
  4. Subbacultcha [02:05]
  5. Manta Ray [02:11]
  6. Is She Wierd [02:49]
  7. Ana [02:11]
  8. Down To The Well [02:28]
  9. Wave Of Mutilation [02:19]
  10. Letter To Memphis [02:30]
  11. Levitate Me [02:15]
  12. Caribou [03:15]
  13. Monkey Gone To Heaven [02:54]
  14. Hey [03:14]
  15. (In Heaven (Lady In The Radiator Song) [01:49]

Complete B-Sides CD (4AD 2001) Total time: 48:39
  1. River Euphrates [03:21]
  2. Vamos (live) [03:26]
  3. In Heaven (Lady In The Radiator Song) (live) [01:44]
  4. Manta Ray [02:37]
  5. Weird At My School [01:57]
  6. Dancing The Manta Ray [02:11]
  7. Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf) [02:58]
  8. Into The White [04:40]
  9. Bailey's Walk [02:21]
  10. Make Believe [01:52]
  11. I've Been Waiting For You [02:43]
  12. The Thing [01:56]
  13. Velvety Instrument Version [02:02]
  14. Winterlong [03:05]
  15. Santo [02:14]
  16. Theme From Narc [01:46]
  17. Build High [01:40]
  18. Evil Hearted You [02:35]
  19. Letter To Memphis (instrumental) [02:43]

Pixies CD (spinART records 2002) Total time: 18:11
  1. Broken Face [01:25]
  2. Build High [01:27]
  3. Rock A My Soul [01:45]
  4. Down To The Well [02:12]
  5. Break My Body [01:52]
  6. I'm Amazed [01:36]
  7. Here Comes Your Man [03:06]
  8. Subbacultcha [03:05]
  9. In Heaven [01:39]
(a.k.a. The Purple Tape - Pixies recorded a seventeen-song demo; about half of it became Come On Pilgrim, the rest of the songs weren't released until now. Thanks to PsionicMan for letting me know about this.)
A curiosity on how the "bassist wanted" ad grabbed the attention of Kim Deal: they were looking for a bassist who liked Peter, Paul and Mary and Hüsker Dü.

After the Pixies split up, it definitely did not mean end of the road in music for some of the band members. Black Francis -- now calling himself Frank Black -- goes on a solo career, and assembled a new band called Frank Black & the Catholics; Kim Deal formed the Breeders, along with her sister Kelley Deal; Joey Santiago formed a band named the Martinis, but its only recorded registry is the song Free, on the Empire Records movie soundtrack.

The statement was long a figure of speech in the indie rock world. Your ex would grow up, your garbage disposal would get fixed, your band would get signed "when the Pixies get back together". In other words, when hell freezes over. Frank Black (Black Francis, Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV) was quoted: The Pixies might reunite "if I were penniless or a family member needed a kidney transplant," (2003, Rolling Stone). The odds of the Pixies getting back together were seen as marginally better than the odds of Lennon and Harrison rising from the dead to play Monkees covers on tour with their (arguably) living bandmates.

As of late 2004, the band that earned the respect of virtually every rock musician in the world but which had through the nineties managed to retain "sub-pop" status is touring. In fact, they've toured much of the United States and Europe, and are (if the example is helpful) selling out D.A.R Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. three nights straight this December.

There's some sketchy talk of a new album. The potential release of a new Pixies album carries many considerable implications, not the least of which would be the simultaneous orgasmic death of thousands of balding, potbellied, shirts-still-too-small early-thirtysomething indie rockers worldwide. The rest of us would probably just be very pleased.

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