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David Lovering (born December 6, 1961) is an American musician and magician. He is known, mainly, for being the battery of the alternative rock band Pixies since 1986. After their separation in 1993, Lovering collaborated playing the drums with several bands and artists, including The Martinis, Cracker, Nitzer Ebb and Tanya Donelly. Later, he started a career as The Scientific Phenomenalist , performing physics-based experiments before the public, and occasionally opening for Frank Black (singer of Pixies) or The Breeders, Kim Deal’s band ( bassist of Pixies). When Pixies met in 2004, Lovering returned as a drummer.
As a drummer, Lovering was inspired by bands of various genres, including Rush and Steely Dan. His musical style during his stage with Pixies was acclaimed by critics. The writer Ben Sisario described him as “the great unrecognized anchor” of the band, and stated that his influences gave him “an accuracy and versatility essential to follow the peculiar compositions of Frank Black”.
David Lovering, was born in Burlington, Massachusetts on December 6, 1961. He learned to play drums as a teenager by joining the music band at his high school, and according to his friend John Murphy, Lovering’s musical tastes were always very “influenced by the battery.” In his high school yearbook, Lovering commented that his three ambitions were: to be part of a rock band, to be an electronic engineer and to go on tour with Rush, his favorite band. , Lovering studied electronic engineering at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He got a job at a Radio Shack store with Murphy, where both of them often made pranks. One of these jokes was to wire the bathroom of the store to the fire alarm.After graduating from Wentworth in 1982, he got a job making lasers while still playing drums in local bands like Iz Wizard and Riff Raff. a large number of bands of different genres as influences, including Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin or Devo.
In 1985 Lovering attended the wedding of Murphy and Kim Deal. In January 1986 Deal started playing bass in the new alternative rock band Pixies, formed by Charles “Black Francis” Thompson and Joey Santiago. Murphy suggested that Lovering do a test for the band, which still did not have a battery. Lovering, at this point, had stopped playing and at the beginning he was not very impressed by the songs played by the trio. Anyway, after playing with them he decided to join the project, Lovering and the band composed and rehearsed during 1985 and in 1986 they started playing in small theaters in Boston. The band decided to record eighteen songs for a demo, The Purple Tape, in 1987. Lovering co-wrote one of these songs, “Levitate Me” (his only contribution as a composer worth mentioning for Pixies) and appeared on the cover of the cassette running naked from Back to the camera. “Levitate Me” also appears in Come On Pilgrim, which includes seven more songs from this demo.
Pixies went back to the recording studio in 1988 to record their second album Surfer Rosa. Lovering’s contribution to songs such as “Bone Machine”, which begins with a ten-second drum solo, “Break My Body” and “River Euphrates” established his stable and precise style Doolittle, the debut on a major label, It continued in 1989. During the recording sessions of the album, Thompson convinced Lovering to sing in “La La Love You”, which had been written as a “tagline towards the idea of a love song.” The producer of the album, Gil Norton would later say that during these sessions Lovering “went from not wanting to sing a note” to “I can not take him away from the microphone, he was a real showman”. In addition to the drums and his vocal contributions, Lovering played the bass in the penultimate song of the album, “Silver”.
After the release of Doolittle, the relationship between the band members worsened due to the constant touring and the pressure of having released three albums in two years. After the last concert of the “Fuck or Fight” tour supporting Doolittle, in November 1989, the band was too tired even to attend the end of the tour party and shortly afterwards they would announce a break. After When the band returned to work in the mid-1990s, Lovering moved to Los Angeles with the rest of the band. Pixies released two more albums, Bossanova (1990) and Trompe le Monde (1991). Lovering put the lead vocals to the B side of the song “Velouria”, “Make Believe”, a song about his admitted “obsession” with the American singer and composer Debbie Gibson. Pixies made sporadic concerts between 1991 and 1992 They separated definitively in 1992, mainly due to tensions between Thompson and Deal, although it was not made public until the beginning of 1993.
The Scientific Phenomenalist and other projects
Following the breakup of Pixies, Lovering played drums for several artists, including Nitzer Ebb, but declined an offer to join the Foo Fighters. Lovering later joined the band of Santiago The Martinis, playing in the song “Free” from the soundtrack of the movie Empire Records. Soon he would leave the band to begin a tour as drummer for the band Cracker. Lovering later played with Tanya Donelly on their 1997 album, Lovesongs for Underdogs and with a Boston band called Eeenie Meenie. After passing certain difficulties to find work, Lovering left the battery.
At the end of the 1990s, Lovering’s friend Grant-Lee Phillips took him to a magicians’ convention. Lovering was impressed with some of the tricks of illusionism, and then said “I have to learn to do that.” Carl Grasso, a mutual friend, invited them to a show at The Magic Castle, a Los Angeles club with magic shows There he met the leader of the band Possum Dixon, Rob Zabrecky, with whom he established a quick friendship. Zabrecky convinced Lovering to get a pass to perform there. After succeeding, Lovering became “The Scientific Phenomenalist.” His performance combined his knowledge of electronics with his tables on a stage. His decision to start a career as an illusionist was influenced by the fact that as a musician, “he could not beat Pixies.”
Like The Scientific Phenomentalist, Lovering does science and physics experiments with a lab coat. He is shying away from traditional magic tricks, and prefers “things that are more mental, using mental powers.” He then explained:
Everything is very optimistic, strange experiments in physics that you will never see. […] I prefer to have the audience thinking ‘if it’s magic or not’, rather than ‘it’s all science’ or it’s ‘all magic’. So I do weird things that other magicians do not do.
Lovering cites the skilled wizard Ricky Jay, the mentalist Max Maven and Eugene Burger as influences. Their performances often contain self-built machines.
Lovering became part of The Unholy Three, a trio of Magic Castle resident magicians, making a show “a new-wave, alternative, avant-garde magic.” He took his magic performance along United States as support act for Frank Black (the new stage name of the Pixies leader), Grant-Lee Phillips, The Breeders and Camper Van Beethoven. He also performed at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in 2002. He later commented that his performance at the festival was perhaps his greatest achievement.Lovering resumed drums, appearing in some Frank Black and the Catholics concerts. It also appears in one of the songs on The Martinis’ 2004 album, The Smitten Sessions.
Meeting of Pixies
By the summer of 2003, Lovering was feeling depressed, and in a 2004 interview he said:
I remember I was on my way to the bank, and I was disillusioned with everything, financially I was in a big mess. I was involved in a relationship that was terrible. I was hitting bottom. And I’m on my way to the bank and my mobile phone rings. It’s Joe [Santiago]; says, guess?
Santiago had just received a call from Thompson expressing his desire to reunite the Pixies. Lovering was delighted with the news, adding that “the saddest thing is that when I sat down to rehearse with Pixies, I could not believe I had left something that I loved so much.” In 2004 Lovering and the band recorded their reunion single, ” Bam Thwok “.
Lovering appears in the 2006 documentary loudQUIETloud, which covers the Pixies reunion tour of 2004. His father died in the middle of the tour, and Lovering began to drink heavily as a result. According to Thompson, Lovering “spoiled a couple of songs” at some of the concerts. “Everything was seen in the movie,” Thompson said, “but they reissued it to look like it happened in the middle of the tour, looking like the whole tour was heading towards this alcoholic stupor of David, it really was not like that. ” He toured with Pixies between 2005 and 2006, while performing at Magic Castle on Friday nights with The Unholy Three. In 2007, Lovering played a charity concert for Wally Ingram as a member of The Martinis. This year, he formed a band called The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, with Los Angeles musicians, Amit Itelman and Oscar Rey .
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