New Releases

Pearl Harbour Releases New Single ‘Wish I Was You’

Paul Simonon’s ex-wife Pearl E. Gates a.k.a Pearl Harbour wishes she was you.

US. punk alternative act Pearl Harbour has released her new single ‘I Wish I Were You’ via Die Laughing Records. ‘I Wish I Were You’ brings us some catchy female-fronted punk ‘n roll.

So what is the story behind ‘I Wish I Were You’?

“Oh yeah, she’s driving to lovers lane in her cool pink caddy and missing out on some fun while waiting on your man. Again he’s missing in action so I put on the radio, turning the dial and listen. This song makes me fuzzy all inside, I’m in control… ‘I wish I were you, so I can make love to me.’’’ – Pearl

Listen To I Wish I Was You here.

Vocalist Pearl E. Gates, more commonly known as Pearl Harbour, formed this band in 1988 with Buck Naked from Buck Naked and the Bare Bottom Boys. 

Pearl had been a part of Leila and the Snakes and formed the band Pearl Harbour and the Explosions, in 1979 and became known for their ’80s hit ‘Drivin’.

Pearl and Paul Simonon Circa 1983
Pearl and Paul Simonon Circa 1983

When Pearl Gates moved back to San Francisco from London in 1988, she was determined to put together the “best rock n roll band in town.” After searching through SF clubs, she approached one of her favourite musicians: Buck Naked. Buck gathered musicians and a band was formed.

On lead guitar was the amazing East Bay Ray, as well as Frank Novicki on rhythm guitar. Frank was around for two years and then Stinky Le Pew from Buck’s band stepped in and replaced him.  On bass guitar was Buck himself and Mike Hunter, one of the best drummers in town, finished the lineup for Pearl Harbour.

The band was flourishing until 1992, when a gunman shot and killed Buck in Golden Gate Park. The band was devastated and took some time off to decide how to proceed without their founding member.

A stroke of good luck happened when Pearl ventured out one night after Buck’s passing.

She was at the same bar as Van Morrison and introduced by a mutual friend. Van was a sympathetic ear and made the generous proposal that Pearl and her band join the bill at his SF show as support. 

Pearl Harbour supporting The Clash in Japan 1982

Van never used a supporting act, so Pearl realised what an honour this was. They hired Lee Vilensky to honour Buck on bass and went on to play the Van Morrison gig. That show turned out to be just what they needed to make them feel good about going forward and continuing to make music together. Pearl is forever grateful to Van for that.

The band played for the next few years and saved up to record the album Here Come Trouble which is dedicated to Buck. The members of Pearl Harbour will always be grateful to Buck for bringing them together as the “Best Rock n Roll band ever”, and he will always be missed.

pearl Harbour

“Die Laughing Records is excited to have signed Pearl to our pedigreed roster of OG punk and pop veterans. We look forward to re-releasing music from Here Comes Trouble and introducing Pearl Harbour to a brand new audience, as well as nostalgic fans of the band,” a record label statement says.

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