Lucky Pierre (band)

Last updated
Lucky Pierre
Origin Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Genres New wave, alternative rock, post-punk
Years active1974 (1974)–1984 (1984), 1988–1990, 2004–present
LabelsLucky Pierre Music, Banana, Unadulterated
Associated acts Prick, Nine Inch Nails
Members Kevin McMahon
Past members
  • John Guardico
  • Brian Dempsey
  • Denis DeVito
  • Gary Shay
  • Tom Lash
  • Dave Zima
  • Tom Miller
  • Trent Reznor
  • Rick Christyson

Lucky Pierre is a new wave band, founded in Cleveland in 1974 by singer-songwriter, guitarist and the only constant member, Kevin McMahon. The initial line-up of the band included McMahon on vocals, John Guardico on guitar, Dennis DeVito on bass and Brian Dempsey on drums. The band has released a string of singles in between the late 1970s and early 1980s, before entering to a hiatus and reforming in 1988, with guitarist Rick Christyson and keyboardist Trent Reznor, the founder of the industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails.

New wave is a genre encompassing numerous pop/rock-oriented music styles popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from traditional blues and rock and roll sounds to create pop and rock music that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

Cleveland City in Ohio

Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and the county seat of Cuyahoga County. The city proper has a population of 383,793, making it the 52nd-largest city in the United States and the second-largest city in Ohio. Greater Cleveland is ranked as the 33rd-largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with 2,057,009 people in 2018. A Gamma + city, Cleveland anchors the Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 3,515,646 in 2010 and is ranked 15th in the United States.

Kevin McMahon is a musician, singer, and songwriter for the long-standing bands Lucky Pierre and Prick.


In 2004, McMahon reformed Lucky Pierre as a solo project to release its debut album, ThinKing.


The band started as Lakewood native Kevin McMahon's solo project. He started recording demos in 1974, [1] while his brother, Brian McMahon, was a member of the protopunk band Electric Eels. [2] The first line-up of the band as an act included John Guciardo on guitar, Denis DeVito on bass and Brian Dempsey on drums. [3]

Lakewood, Ohio City in Ohio

Lakewood is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States, on the southern coast of Lake Erie. Established in 1889, it is one of Cleveland's historical streetcar suburbs and part of the Greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area. The population was 52,131 at the 2010 United States Census, making it the third largest city in Cuyahoga County, behind Cleveland and Parma. Lakewood is home to a young and diverse population, including significant numbers of immigrants. Its population density is the highest of any city in Ohio and is roughly comparable to that of Washington, D.C.

Electric Eels (band)

The electric eels were an American protopunk band active between 1972 and 1975, formed by John D Morton in Cleveland, Ohio.

The band started performing in 1976 during the early new wave scene, which included the likes of Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Hammer Damage, Chi-Pig, and Devo. The band was also associated with Pere Ubu, a band which they performed with. [2] Nevertheless, the band struggled to find venues for most of the time, as the band played McMahon's own compositions. [3]

Elvis Costello English singer-songwriter

Declan Patrick MacManus, OBE, better known by his stage name Elvis Costello, is an English pop/rock musician, singer, songwriter, composer, record producer, author, television presenter, and occasional actor.

Squeeze (band) British New Wave band

Squeeze are a British rock band that came to prominence in the United Kingdom during the new wave period of the late 1970s, and continued recording successfully in the 1980s and 1990s. They are known in the UK for their hit songs "Cool for Cats", "Up the Junction", "Slap and Tickle", "Another Nail in My Heart", "Pulling Mussels ", "Tempted", "Labelled with Love", "Black Coffee in Bed" and "Hourglass". Though not as commercially successful in the United States, Squeeze had American hits with "Tempted", "Hourglass" and "853-5937", and were considered a part of the Second British Invasion.

Hammer Damage was an American punk rock band from Akron, Ohio, that performed from 1978 until 1984.

After three years, Dempsey left the band to pursue other interests. Gary Shay briefly joined the band as a drummer and the band released "Fans & Cameras"/"Idlewood" single, on their own record label Unadultered Records, which sold more than a thousand copies. Shay left the band soon after and Dempsey was asked to return. The band now consisted of McMahon, Dempsey, Guciardo, DeVito and Tom Lash who was brought in on bass plus Tom Miller on Keyboards. DeVito switched to rhythm guitar after the addition of bassist Tom Lash, who was a music director at WCSB, the college radio station of Cleveland State University. He played the band's demo on the station, which helped their music to be exposed to a receptive audience. This version of the band played out for about a year mostly at The Coach House in Cleveland Hts and its old stomping grounds, The Pirate's Cove. It disbanded after McMahon came into a rehearsal stating he was moving to California and that the band could either stay together and rehearse in case something happened (a contract) or do whatever they wanted but that he could no longer live in a city where no one appreciated his music. McMahon left town and the band members decided to go their separate ways. Some time passed and McMahon returned to Cleveland. By this time John Guciardo was living in California and Dempsey was playing in several projects, The band reformed with DeVito on lead guitar, Lash on bass, McMahon and newcomer Dave Zima on drums. This was followed by "Into My Arms", which featured a b-side "Match", which was recorded live on July 16, 1980 at the band's only WMMS Coffee Break Concert. [3] The group then added the keyboardist Tom Miller to its line-up. [3]

WMMS commercial rock radio station in Cleveland, Ohio

WMMS – branded 100.7 WMMS: The Buzzard – is a commercial radio station licensed to Cleveland, Ohio, serving Greater Cleveland and much of surrounding Northeast Ohio. Widely regarded as one of the most influential rock stations in America throughout its history, the station has also drawn controversy for unusually aggressive tactics both on and off the air.

After releasing the third single, "Stetson's"/"Once A Child", in 1981, the band opened for the Plasmatics at Cleveland Agora. The gig ended harshly, with Plasmatics lead singer Wendy O. Williams being arrested for indecent exposure. The band also opened for Peter Frampton at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland in 1982. Following this performance, DeVito left the band, leaving the guitar duties to McMahon and the new band member Tom Sheridan. The band remained active until 1984; soon McMahon moved to San Francisco, leaving the band inactive for four years. [1] [3]

Plasmatics American Punk/Shock-Rock Band

Plasmatics were an American punk rock and heavy metal band formed by Rod Swenson and Wendy O. Williams in New York City, New York, in 1977. The band was a controversial group known for chaotic, destructive live shows and controversial theatrics. These included chainsawing guitars, blowing up speaker cabinets, sledgehammering television sets, and blowing up automobiles live on stage. Williams was arrested in Milwaukee by the Milwaukee police before being charged with public indecency.

Agora Theatre and Ballroom music venue in Cleveland, Ohio

The Agora Theatre and Ballroom is a music venue located in Cleveland, Ohio, founded by Henry "Hank" LoConti Sr. The Agora name was previously used by two other Cleveland venues in succession, the latter of which was damaged by fire in 1984. The current Agora venue, known as such since 1986, first opened in 1913 as the Metropolitan Theatre.

Wendy O. Williams American Vocalist and Actress

Wendy Orlean Williams was an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Born in Webster, New York, she came to prominence as the lead singer of the punk rock band Plasmatics. Her onstage theatrics included partial nudity, exploding equipment, firing a shotgun, and chainsawing guitars. Dubbed the "Queen of Shock Rock" and the "Metal Priestess", Williams was considered the most controversial and radical female singer of her time. Performing her own stunts in videos, she often sported a mohawk hairstyle. In 1985, during the height of her popularity as a solo artist, she was nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

In 1988, McMahon returned to Cleveland to reform Lucky Pierre. The new line-up featured previous members Lash and Zima, as well as guitarist Rick Christyson and keyboardist Trent Reznor of Exotic Birds and The Innocent, who would be known for his future music act, Nine Inch Nails. The band recorded one EP Comminuque, which featured a guest appearance by the past member John Guciardo, at the same year. Trent Reznor performed with the band for six months, before being immersed in the recording of Nine Inch Nails' debut album, Pretty Hate Machine . He left the band in 1989 to concentrate on it and the band's manager, John Malm Jr. started to manage Nine Inch Nails. [4] [5] In 1990, the band officially disbanded after a final gig. [2] [3] [4]

Trent Reznor American musician

Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, which he founded in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success. He has since released nine Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.

Exotic Birds

The Exotic Birds was a synthpop music group formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1982 by three Cleveland Institute of Music percussion students, Andy Kubiszewski, Tom Freer and Tim Adams. They wrote their own music, and were described as synthpop and dance. They achieved mainly local success, but appeared as an opening band for Culture Club, Eurythmics, and Information Society.

The Innocent was the band Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails played with after leaving Option 30. He then moved on to the Exotic Birds before creating his own band, Nine Inch Nails. The other members were Alan Greenblatt, Kevin Valentine, Rodney Cajka and Albritton McClain. Valentine and McClain were both members of Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, and they had just recently opted to go on their own way from the band. The band's sole album was released on the regional Red Label Records.

After Lucky Pierre, McMahon formed the industrial rock band, Prick, featuring guitarist Chris Schleyer and Stabbing Westward drummer and Exotic Birds frontman Andy Kubiszewski. The band signed to Trent Reznor's own vanity record label, Nothing Records and released a self-titled album, produced by Reznor. The band was then dropped by Nothing's parent label, Interscope Records and released its second album The Wreckard independently in 2002. [4] [5] [6]

In 2004, McMahon reformed Lucky Pierre as a sole member and released its debut album, ThinKing, via his own record label Lucky Pierre Music. [7]


Current members
Past members


Studio albums
Compilation albums
Music videos

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  2. 1 2 3 Wolff, Carlo (2006). Cleveland Rock and Roll Memories: True and Tall Tales of the Glory Days, Told by Musicians, DJs, Promoters, and Fans Who Made the Scene in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. Gray & Company, Publishers. p. 79. ISBN   188622899X.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Adams, Deanne R. (2002). Rock 'n' Roll and the Cleveland Connection. Kent State University Press. pp. 380–381. ISBN   0873386914.
  4. 1 2 3 Lindsay, Cam (April 2013). "Trent Reznor - Further Down the Spiral Pt. 1". Exclaim! . Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  5. 1 2 Cherry, Robert (December 27, 2002). "Regrouping in Cleveland". The Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on April 23, 2003. Retrieved March 1, 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  6. Dillon, Charlotte. "Prick". Allmusic . Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  7. Wolff, Carlo. "Lucky Pierre - ThinKing (Lucky Pierre Music)". Cleveland Scene . Retrieved March 1, 2014.