Name: Brian Baker
What he does: Play lead guitar and does Oozin Aahz
Useful info (Michele A Ceazan) :
It's hard to find anyone more
legendary In U.S. punk history than Brian Baker. His first band, Washington,
DC.'s Minor Threat (198O~1984), for whom he first played bass and then
later guitar, Is revered as one of the finest and most explosive such bands
ever. led by current Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye, Minor Threat's 26 songs
(compiled on one CD) set the standard for all American hardcore that was to
come (along with their mentors, that city's remarkable Bad Brains). Minor
Threat also mosdy launched one of the most famous American independent
labels (along with Bad Religion's old home, Epitaph), the MacKaye and
drummer Jeff Nelson owned Dischord Records.
Yet it was just the beginning of an illustrious career for Baker. After a
stint as guitarist in another seminal Dischord outfit, Government Issue, he
formed the well-loved Dag Nasty, leading them to the top of the Ruts-
inspired punk-pop heap with the IPs Can ISayin 1986, Wig OutatDenkos
in 1987 and Field Dayin 1988. The band's family tree includes members of
The Descendents, D.Y.S., All, and now Down by Law.
Baker then went on to form the respected punk/metal band Junkyard,
releasing two more IPs on major label Geffen Records, 1989's Jun~ard and
1991's Sixes, Sevens & Nines, before he replaced original Bad Religion
guitarist (and Epitaph Records head) Brett Gurewitz in 1995. That he chose
his old friends and faves Bad Religion over R.E.M.'s offer to join them as "fifth
member/touring guitarist" shows not only Baker's good sense, but also his
unique abilities, as further evidenced by his playing on the new solo LP and
tour by former Cars star Ric Ocasek, who met Baker when he produced Bad
Religion's The Giay Race two years ago. Baker still resides in his home base
of Washington, D.C.
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