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Indeed, it's been a long strange trip for Warlocks leader Bobby Hecksher since his band played their first gig on July 4th, 1998. Hecksher, who moved to California from Florida in the late '80s, formed his first group shortly after arriving. Charles Brown Superstar issued two singles and two full-length albums before calling it a day. Hecksher was later invited to play on Beck's Stereo Pathetic Soul Manure (Flipside), then -- along with James Ambrose -- formed Magic Pacer, who waxed two albums for Win Records before Hecksher splintered off to do his own thing. Over the course of several years and many personnel changes, Hecksher eventually formed his eight-piece band, calling them the Warlocks, a moniker that had been previously used by early incarnations of both the Velvet Underground and the Grateful Dead. While no one will mistake them for a Deadhead band, the Warlocks' earliest recordings do often sound like they're channeling a fever-soaked Velvet Underground (circa White Light, White Heat), while drawing further influence from space rock, prog, and Krautrock bands (including Neu! and Hawkwind). The Warlocks subsequently emerged as leading lights on the Los Angeles music scene in 1999-2000, and in October 2000 Hecksher signed a two-album production deal with America's oldest indie label, the Burbank-based Bomp!, who issued their self-titled debut EP in early 2001. Hecksher has also produced a 16mm short for "Cocaine Blues," which features cameo appearances by Hecksher and friends (including Rivers Cuomo of Weezer)


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