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BIOGRAPHY

1981-1982 Early rehearsals by nascent band and occasional gigs in clubs in Athens.

27/12/83 First official gig at Rodeo (Cult). Line-up: Alex K (vocals, bass), Chris B. I. (drums), Nick ‘Pop Mind’ (guitar) and P.E.P. (guitar).

24/02/84 First gig in Salonica (Now! at Basement Club). P.E.P. has already left the band.

March ’84 The Last Drive record first demo. Includes originals ‘Race to Hell’, ‘Train of Pain’ and ‘Graveyard Cat’ and a version of ‘Lonesome Train’ by Johnny Burnette.

December ’84 George, a.k.a. ‘Be George Bop’, Be Bop Jungle guitarist, joins the band. The Last Drive become a quartet again and at December 30 play at the legendary club Pegasus, in Exarchia, in the midst of the Greek underground mid-80’s explosion.

14/02/85 The Last Drive record first EP. Includes ‘Poison’, ‘Midnite Hop’ and ‘Right by My Side’, all originals.

26/02/85 Live at Kyttaro Club. ‘Calhoun Surf’ and ‘Blue Girl’ included in cassette-compilation by Di-Di Music.

Spring ’85 Gigs in Giannena (Chevrolet Club) and Salonica (Berlin Club).

June ’85 ‘Midnite Hop’ released on independent Art Nouveau, distributed by Polygram.

Winter ’86-’86 After explosive gigs, the band signs with new independent label Hitch-Hyke.

February ’86 The Last Drive enter the studio to record first LP, ‘Underworld Shakedown’. Sessions completed in just under two months, resulting in eight originals – ‘Me ’n’ my Wings’, ‘Valley of Death’, ‘Poison’, ‘This Fire Inside’, ‘Sidewalk Stroll’, ‘The Shade of Fever’, ‘Repulsion’ – and four representative covers: ‘Misirlou’ (by Roubanis), ‘Every Night’ (Human Expression), ‘Night of the Phantom’ (Larry and the Blue Notes) and the classic ‘Blue Moon’.

April ’86 The band plays with The Watermelon Men from Sweden at Kyttaro. Mick Blood (lead singer with The Lime Spiders from Australia) joins them on stage for ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’, ‘Five Years Ahead of My Time’, ‘Have Love Will Travel’, and an attempt at ‘Creature of My Dreams’ – Mick’s version of ‘Sidewalk Stroll’. The audience takes over the stage and the Swedes appear reluctant to follow!

June ’86 First LP ‘Underworld Shakedown’ released on Hitch-Hyke Records. Dedicated to James Cagney (‘Top of the world, ma!’).

Summer-Fall ’86 The album causes a stir, receiving rave reviews in Greece and abroad.

Winter ’86-’87 The Drive shows in Athens continue to be a unique experience, while more and more provincial towns witness their live power. Touring abroad comes next.

24/02/87 The Last Drive begin their first European ‘Outer Limits’ tour in Hamburg, appearing alongside The Fuzztones, The Stingrays, The Vietnam Veterans a.o. Gigs in Berlin, Bochum, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, and in France and Italy. Tour ends with a dynamite show in a packed Asphalt Jungle club, in Rome.

March ’87 The band returns to Athens, appears at Kyttaro club.

Spring ’87 The Last Drive put Greece on the international rock’n’roll map for the first time after twenty years. Increased press coverage and airplay are followed by contributions to US compilation albums ‘Battle of the Garages vol. 4’ (Voxx) and ‘Sounds of Now’ (Dionysus). Voxx releases 7-inch single ‘Blue Moon’/’Sidewalk Stroll’/’Every Night’.

June ’87 They open for the Wipers in Salonica. Last show with Nick ‘Pop Mind’. P.E.P. (a.k.a. P.E.P.P. or P.PEP) rejoins the band two months later.

December ’87 Appear in Rodon Club alongside Swedes The Creeps, with new line-up and new material.

February ’88 They re-enter the studio after two years to record ‘Heatwave’, with co-producer and special guest Mr. Peter Zaremba, lead singer with New York soul bohemians The Fleshtones.

April ’88 ‘Heatwave’ is completed. The Last Drive play at Rodon Club with Finns Deja Voodoo, with Peter Zaremba on lead vocals.

May ’88 ‘Heatwave’ is released, featuring some of their best songs – ‘I Love Cindy’, ‘Baby It’s Real’, ‘Gone Gone Gone’, ‘Blue City Shores’, ‘Joe Espositoe’s Gun’, ‘Heatwave ’88’, ‘Devil May Care’, ‘Whisper Her Name’ – and a great cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’. The following summer, the band re-ignites its stage terrorism in Athens and the provinces.

03/09/88 They play big outdoor festival in Rome.

04/09/88 The band returns to Athens for a show with The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Gun Club, which was cancelled eventually.

October ’88 They play at Chalon Sur Saone outside Lyon, after an invitation from The Vietnam Veterans. German label Music Maniac releases ‘Heatwave’ in Europe.

Winter ’88-’89 Two Last Drive recordings (‘Night of the Phantom’ and ‘Every Night’) are featured in the film «Landscape in the Mist» by Theo Angelopoulos. Excited by the warm reception to ‘Heatwave’, Music Maniac releases the CD ‘Their Story So Far’, a special repackaging of their two albums aimed at the European market.
The Pleasure Hustlers, a joint venture by The Last Drive and The Fleshtones, appear on the Greek release of the Fleshtones party-compilation album ‘Time Bomb’ with ‘I Was a Teenage Zombie’.

Summer ’89 The band takes a temporary break from touring to work on new material.

October ’89 The Last Drive launch their most eventful and subversive series of shows of their career, appearing at the opening night of Berlin Independence Days, a festival/conference for independent labels and promoters, with American Music Club, Deja Voodoo, and St. Vitus. The band records ‘Time’ EP in Berlin, shortly before the fall of the Wall.

November ’89 Sold-out gigs in Athens, with a wilder show. Things get louder…

December ’89 ‘Time’ EP is released, featuring two originals (‘Black Limo’ and ‘Have Mercy’) and a cover of the Chambers Brothers’ ‘Time Has Come Today’. Christmas gig at Rodon Club, one of the best for that year. ‘Time’ confounds critics but is embraced by fans.

Winter ’89-’90 The band plays at the Elispontos cinema in Salonica to a large number of fans. Touring continues – bringing the band into contact with the more restless portion of Greek youth.

Spring ’90 ‘Black Limo’ (Methedrine Mix) appears in Spanish compilation album ‘Munster Dance Hall Favorites vol. 3’. The Last Drive lay low, working on material for new LP.

May ’90 They appear at the School of Agronomics festival, with Villa 21 and the Chills.

June-July ’90 Sessions for ‘Blood Nirvana’ in 111 Studios, with producer Paul B. Cutler (The Dream Syndicate, Green On Red, Naked Prey, etc.) The album features all original material (‘Bite’, ‘Overloaded’, ‘Chain Train’, ‘Desert Rose’, ‘The Bad Roads’, ‘Cool Spine’, ‘Holy War’, ‘Sweet Thing’, ‘Slave to the Wave’, and ‘Fleshdiver’). Alan Vega’s ‘Outlaw’ was also recorded, but remained an out-take.

December ’90 ‘Blood Nirvana’ is released in Greece to tentative reviews. Perceiving a turn towards a heavier sound, fans seem divided. The Last Drive appear on the cover of OZ music paper and renew their relationship with their audience through gigs.

Winter ’90-’91 Music Maniac releases ‘Blood Nirvana’ in Germany with distribution in Europe, apart from Spain, where it is released on Romilar D Records. Screening of the band’s first video for ‘Overloaded’ in Greece and all over Europe. «Apocalyptic» symbols on the record cover and the video cause stir in reactionary circles eager to find ‘satanic’ references in ‘Blood Nirvana’.
Undeterred, The Last Drive play benefits for squats and social solidarity groups and continue to monopolize the top spots in Pop & Rock readers’ poll for one more year.

Spring ’91 American label Restless proposes US distribution deal for ‘Blood Nirvana’, with an option for the band’s next four releases.

August ’91 German tour with Portland legends Dead Moon: twenty-four dates in twenty cities, in clubs and squats, including shows with the Lemonheads and All. Many nights end with members of both bands (Dead Moon, The Last Drive) onstage.

September ’91 Tour ends at Lycabettus Theater in Athens, with the Cosmic Teds. The Skate Pirates were responsible for the non-musical part of the ‘Blood Nirvana Freakshow’.

October ’91 Restless releases ‘Blood Nirvana’ in the US.

November ’91 Line-up changes, as P.E.P. leaves to pursue a career in graphic design and is replaced by ‘new blood’ Thanos Amorginos.

Spring ’92 The band is working on material for a new album, testing songs in gigs all over Greece, with a high-point of two explosive nights at Rodon club in Athens (April 5 & 6). Once again, The Last Drive are in the midst of another explosion in the Greek underground scene, with bands like Deus Ex Machina, Honeydive, Make Believe, a.o.

July ’92 ‘Blood Nirvana’ producer Paul B. Cutler returns to Greece to produce the band’s next album. Pre-production takes place at a small studio in downtown Athens, with frequent visits to an abandoned monastery in the island of Milos. The sessions last six weeks and the result is ‘F*head Entropy’. Shot with Crystal Balls in my Hands.

October ’92 The Last Drive welcome old friends Dead Moon with an unforgettable show at An Club. Exarchia is on fire.

January ’93 At the special show for the release of ‘F*head Entropy’ in Rodon club, The Last Drive and Deus Ex Machina give their all, turning the gig into a strong statement for rock in Greece..

March ’93 Spanish tour to promote ‘F*head Entropy’. The band plays five dates from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, captivating Spanish audiences with powerful performances.

October ’93 The Last Drive sign with major label BMG, which also takes on the distribution of ‘F*head Entropy’.

Winter ’93-’94 The band tours Greece, shaping the material of their next album.

February ’94 Pre-production for the album begins at an abandoned recording studio in Pireos Str, together with preparations for the shooting of ‘Killhead Therapy’ video.

April-June ’94 Sessions for the new album co-produced by the band and Jim Spliff, the band’s live soundman.

October ’94 The new Last Drive album, ‘Subliminal’, is released, with artwork by Beat artist Panos Koutroumbousis.

February ’95 The Last Drive play at Rodon club in Athens.

Fall ’95 The Last Drive suspend action.

December 2006 ‘Midnite Hop’, Last Drive’s first EP, is re-released by Blind Bastards Records, an underground rock-n-roll label based in Athens.

January ‘07 Rumors spread among rock circles concerning a possible reunion of the Last Drive. They are confirmed when the band announces through the web two live dates in May, concluding ‘Brothers and Sisters, keep your dreams burnin’ forever’.

May ‘07 The Last Drive are back in action after 12 years. They play three explosive sold out concerts at Gagarin Club, Athens, launching their new era. Two more gigs in Thessalonica on the 19th and Larissa on June 2nd  follow. They also play at ‘Open Air Festival’ in Athens on July 6th and headline the first day of the ‘Indie Rocket Festival 2007’ (along with the Devastations, Acid Cobra and The Cesarians) in Pescara, Italy on June 22nd. The reunion concerts are filmed for the purpose of a documentary on the band.  At the same time, Dimitris Milonas, the band’s long standing friend and photographer launches his photo exhibition with Last Drive material.  

September ’07 Sony BMG releases ‘The Bad Roads/The Best Of The Last Drive’ a compilation including classics like ‘I Love Cindy’, ‘The Bad Roads’, ‘Gone Gone Gone’ and ‘Blue Moon’.

February ‘08 The band participates in the concert in memory of maverick Greek film director-writer Nikos Nikolaidis.

May ‘08 The Last Drive play two more sold-out gigs at Gagarin Club. ‘Time is not Important’, a limited edition live CD-DVD covering their reunion shows in Athens is released by Blind Bastard Records.

December ‘08March ‘09 Amidst a city electrified by the December riots, the Last Drive start pre-producing their  sixth album, entitled ‘Heavy Liquid’. The final recordings take place at Sierra Studios in Ampelokipi, Athens -turf of the Last Drive gang during its nascent days. Heavy Liquid is produced by the band itself, long time companion Jim Spliff and the band’s live engineer, Akis Paschalakis.

May ‘09 ‘Heavy Liquid’ cd is released on ‘Happy Crasher’, the new band’s own label. It contains eleven original songs and one cover, J.B. Lenoir’s ‘Alabama Blues’. The Last Drive celebrate the release with another explosive gig at Gagarin club.

 July ‘09 The Last Drive perform at 14th Anti-Racist Athens festival.

 September ‘09 ‘2000 Miles Ahead: Α Last Drive Story’, the rockumentary of director Dimitris Kotselis about the Last Drive is premiered at 15th International Film Festival of Athens. The film participates in various international film festivals and independent screenings.

December ’09 Inner Ear Records releases Ηeavy Liquid as a limited edition LP (500 copies in black vinyl and 500 in red).

March ‘10 ‘At the Drive Ink’, the comic album containing works of leading greek graphic artists inspired by ‘Heavy  Liquid’ and The Last Drive appears in print by Tilt Comics, George’s publishing label.

 May ’10 Starting from Athens on May 8th, The Last Drive tours in eleven cities and festivals.

September ’10 The band participates in the big solidarity concert at Petra Theater, Athens.

October ’10 The band contributes the track "Love & Terror" to the CD/booklet ‘Horror & Romance in Another Planet’, a compilation of songs and music inspired by Stefanos Rokos' art exhibition under the same title.