The Feelies

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The Feelies
General information
Genre (s) Indie rock
founding 1976, 2008
resolution 1992
Founding members
Glen Mercer (actually Glen Sebesma)
Vocals, guitar
Bill Million (actually Bill Clayton)
Keith Clayton (actually Keith de Nunzio - until 1982)
Vinny de Nunzio (until 1978)
former members
Anton Fier (1978 to 1982)
David Weckerman (from 1983)
Bass, vocals
Brenda Sauter (from 1983)
Stanley Demeski (from 1983)

The Feelies are an American independent rock band from New Jersey from the late 1970s and 1980s . It was founded in Haledon in 1976 ; In 1992 it broke up. Since the Feelies were very shy of the public for a band of their genre (they usually only went on stage for concerts on public holidays), they never achieved the notoriety of their time that they might have been entitled to. Today, however, they are considered a very influential band and still have fans all over the world.

Band history

From New Jersey to New York

The story of the Feelies began in Haledon with the formation The Outkids with Glen Sebesma (later: Glen Mercer), Bill Clayton (later: Bill Million) and Dave Weckerman. A little later, Mercer and Million played music from the punk rockers of the 1960s (especially The Stooges , The Velvet Underground , but also The Who ) with the brothers Keith and Vinny de Nunzio . Almost without exception, Mercer and Million wrote their own songs.

The Feelies played garage rock in the best sense of the word at their first gigs at CBGB 's. By this time the band members had already changed their names because they did not see their own as suitable for the rock business. (An astonishing theory, considering that Keith took Bill's real last name as his stage name.) Unlike their punk rock contemporaries, the four Feelies always looked extremely neat, in neat collared shirts instead of T-shirts and neat pleated trousers instead of ripped jeans ; two of them wore glasses from the Buddy Holly / Elvis Costello style . In 1978 Anton Fier replaced Vinny De Nunzio on drums; he was also the drummer for Lounge Lizards and later for The Golden Palominos .

Crazy Rhythms

They released their first single Fa Ce La (on Rough Trade Records ) in 1980 , which someone heard on Stiff Records . The band was signed and Stiff released their LP Crazy Rhythms in 1980 and a cover version of the Beatles song Everybody's Got Something to Hide as a single .

The critics sang songs of praise and put the Feelies in line with Modern Lovers , Television , The Velvet Underground and Talking Heads . REM later stated that this album had a huge impact on their music. In the Rolling Stone list of the top 100 albums of the 1980s came Crazy Rhythms at No. 78, and # 69 in a similar list of Pitchfork Media . The band had already moved away from their roots in punk rock on their debut and preferred to play melodic, sparingly orchestrated guitar rock, which mainly benefited from the imaginative guitar work of the two front men Mercer and Million.

But since the band refused to support a tour (they came to Great Britain for a single concert , which suffered from the fact that the equipment did not arrive due to a holiday), commercial success failed to materialize. The Feelie's wives had normal jobs to support the families. The band broke up a little later for the first time; For five years you haven't heard from the Feelies.

The time in between

Mercer and Million stayed together and became active in their native New Jersey. They contributed to the success of Maxwell’s Club in Hoboken and the new record label Coyote Records . The duo began a collaboration with percussionist and songwriter David Weckerman; they called themselves first The Willies (without recordings) and then founded with Weckerman and studio musicians The Trypes , who released an EP ( The Explorers Hold ). Million, Mercer and Weckerman provided the atmospheric soundtrack for Susan Seidelman's film Smithereens (New York City Girl) in 1982 .

The new Feelies

From 1985 the three teamed up with bassist Brenda Sauter and drummer Stanley Demeski (who were also part of The Trypes ) - and called themselves The Feelies again . REMs Peter Buck co-produced the new album The Good Earth (1986, on Coyote); a self-produced EP called No One Knows was also released. Now they finally decided to go on tour (they played as opening act for Lou Reed and REM) and were welcomed with open arms, especially in Europe.

In this highly active year they were also happen to be as a band in 1986 The Willies in Jonathan Demme's film Something Wild (dt .: Something Wild ) on. They also found time to record songs by Weckerman under the name Yung Wu ; the LP Shore Leave was released in 1987 on Coyote Records . The only difference between Feelies and Yung Wu was that the songs were now sung by Weckerman and keyboards were included. In 1988 the Feelies signed with A&M Records . Two other albums ( Only Life , 1988, and Time for a Witness , 1990) came out here.

The Feelies officially dissolved in the summer of 1991. Bill Million was the first to leave - he reportedly moved to Florida and later worked at Disneyworld there . Mercer and Weckerman later appeared in the formation Wake Ooloo . In 2001, Yung Wu (without a million) got back together for a concert.


Since the middle of 2008 the band has been giving occasional concerts again. On June 30th and July 1st and 2nd, 2008, they performed for invited guests in Hoboken , New Jersey , and on July 4th, 2008 as the opening act for Sonic Youth at the River to River Festival in New York City . Two more concerts took place on September 20 and 21, 2008 in New York City. In spring 2011 another album was released, Here Before . In 2017 the album In Between was released.



  • Crazy Rhythms (1980)
  • The Good Earth (1986)
  • Shore Leave (1987, as Yung Wu )
  • Only Life (1988)
  • Time for a Witness (1991)
  • Here Before (2011)
  • In Between (2017)

Singles and EPs

  • Fa Ce La (1980)
  • Everybody's Got Something to Hide (1980)
  • The Explorers Hold (EP, 1984, as The Trypes )
  • No One Knows (EP, 1986)
  • Away (1988, No. 6 in the US Modern Rock Charts )
  • Paint It Black (1990)
  • Doin 'It Again (1991)
  • Invitation (1991)
  • Sooner or Later (1991, No. 13 US Modern Rock Charts )


  • Jonathan Buckley / Mark Ellingham (ed.): Rock - The Rough Guide, p. 314f., London 1996, ISBN 1-85828-201-2
  • Bert Muirhead: Stiff - The Story of a Record Label, pp. 22, 62, 87, Poole 1983, ISBN 0-7137-1314-3

Web links

Individual evidence