The Refractory Road Band

In many ways, our travelogue is dedicated to the Refractory Road band and its members.

You might have heard of them. They originally got their start in the San Francisco punk scene in the 80’s. Some folks thought they’d make it big, but they were hampered by a refusal to do anything that even had a hint of commercialism, so they never played a big venue or had a major recording release. In fact, there were only a handful of recordings made by the band, and those were kept close hold — but we managed to dig up some bootleg copies.

The band was known for sarcastic lyrics based upon contemporary social themes.

The band’s lead singer was known for her unique, declarative style; although some critics said she talked more than she sang. Once, when asked about that during a Rolling Stones interview, she simply replied “F**k you,” and walked out of the interview. As the critics might have guessed, she wasn’t exactly singing the words.

Other critics felt the band was hampered by its drummer, who never did fills, pretty much stuck to a basic 4/4 rock beat, and was considered by many to be simplistic. When asked about this, he usually just replied with a “yup,” and grabbed another beer.

As far as we can tell, no one really knows what happened to the band. Some say they started playing small venues in Europe under different names, but this has never been confirmed. A popular urban legend had the guitarist teaching viola in an African village.

Well…for now…enjoy some of the bootleg recordings of the Refractory Road band.

The embedded audio player might take a few seconds to load, so please be a little patient.

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