Like many artists at the time, Tommy Keene burst on the scene in the early 1980s, released a couple of records, and then disappeared. He toured with his band The Razz for a time behind big name artists like Devo and the Ramones in the late 70s. By the early 80’s he was being courted and eventually signed with Geffen records where he released two albums which were both over produced and under supported. By the time the second album Based on Happy Times came out Keene was dropped from Geffen. He later resurfaced in the 90’s with a new band and played as guitar for hire for such notables as Velvet Crush and Paul Westerberg.
Before his major label debut he produced a couple of EPs on the independent Dolphin label out of NC. Those keen to hear his real sound should track these records down. Today’s runner is Places That Are Gone, a fine 6 song EP that includes 5 originals and a tasty cover of Alex Chilton’s Hey! Little Child. The title cut, Places That Are Gone would later appear on the Geffen album Songs From the Film, but this version (and the entire set here) is stripped down, and far superior to the later. It’s too bad, because Keene had the chops and his later efforts could have really benefited from a little less production and a little more support from the record giant.
Places That Are Gone is short and sweet, and holds up well. Enjoy.