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December 2, 2021 20 min

It’s New Year’s Eve, 1986. Deirdre is talking with the LA Times’ music critic, Robert Hilburn, about the musical trends of 1985.

Deirdre O’Donoghue: I don't think that the big, quote-unquote, "rock" stations can very much longer ignore the growing numbers of people who are listening to alternative radio stations all around the country ... with which you're seeing album sales, at least on a smaller level, but it's making a bump. 

Among the acts Deirdre discovered that year was a crew of self-described “pot-smoking hippies from Santa Cruz.” Camper Van Beethoven lit up the college circuit in 1985 with their breakout single, “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” And they quickly became one of Deirdre’s firm favorites.

David Lowery is Camper Van Beethoven’s guitarist and de facto frontman. He explains that Deirdre’s show was just one taproot for a larger movement which was spreading across the country in the mid-’80s. In this episode of “Bent By Nature,” he shares how the band navigated their own transition from indie darlings to major-label recording artists.

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