They never got quite as famous as they deserved to, in fact they never got very famous at all, but if you want to know what the early Gilman Street scene was all about, Sacramento’s Sewer Trout are as good a place as any to start. Sloppy and chaotic, yet incredibly catchy and poppy, with lyrics that more than lived up to song titles like “Wally and the Beaver Go To Nicaragua” and “President of the Anarchist Club,” they were the one of the first and perhaps the greatest in a long line of brilliantly demented bands to come blazing out of California’s superheated but strangely wonderful capital city.
Their driving force, at least in my opinion, was always singer and bassist, Jim MacLean, who also went on to form a crazy and great country-punk outfit called Elmer. Sadly, Jim has now passed away under tragic circumstances. You can read some tributes from his many friends and admirers here.