An Athens classic by Pylon gets TV exposure

Pylon (2005) -- Randy Bewley, Michael Lachowski, Vanessa Hay, Curtis Crowe. Photo Jason Thrasher

Pylon  in 2005 — Randy Bewley, Michael Lachowski, Vanessa Hay, Curtis Crowe. Photo Jason Thrasher

BY SHANE HARRISON

It was the band’s debut single in 1979, and more than 35 years later, Pylon’s “Cool” is in homes nationwide. It still sounds as fresh as it did back then.

The new exposure comes thanks to a commercial for the 2016 Lexus RX. The insistent thump of Michael Lachowski’s bass and Curtis Crowe’s bass drum are immediately recognizable, causing Pylon fans around the country to do double takes in the direction of their TVs. By the time the crisp clatter of the late Randy Bewley’s guitar enters the picture, many of them have fired off questioning Facebook posts, just to make sure they’re not hearing things wrong.

“We didn’t formally announce it, but our friends and fans figured it out,” says Pylon vocalist Vanessa Briscoe Hay. “They have mostly been very happy and surprised to hear our music in a national commercial. This is not something we actively sought out.”

Pylon is currently working on a live album with Henry Owings which will be released on vinyl later this year. It documents the band’s “first final show” at the Mad Hatter in Athens in late 1983 and comes from a four-track recording found by Owings and Swimming Pool Q’s main man Jeff Calder.

While Pylon is no longer active following the 2009 death of guitarist Bewley, you can still hear the band’s influential classics live. Hay will be playing some dates with Dressy Bessy next month, fronting the Pylon Reenactment Society.

“I sang a little backup at their request on a song on [Dressy Bessy’s] new album. PRS had so much fun when we performed at Art Rocks Athens in the fall, that when Dressy Bessy asked us we said ‘heck yeah’,” Hay says.


For more on Art Rocks Athens, check out our earlier stories here: 

When art made Athens rock

Turning up the volume on Athens art

Athens music boom spotlighted in photo exhibit


Pylon Reenactment Society with Dressy Bessy. 9 p.m. Feb. 19. $15; $12 in advance. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E., Atlanta.

and 9 p.m. Feb. 20. $10. 40 Watt Club, 285 W. Washington St., Athens. 

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