Lance Loud Forms the Mumps

Lance Loud Forms the Mumps

After An American Family became a hit in 1973, The Dick Cavett Show flew singer Lance Loud, keyboardist Kristian Hoffman, and the rest of the band out to New York to perform on the show. The two best friends had already made one attempt at living in the city and returned to Santa Barbara in defeat—“We had our New York experiment,” Hoffman recalled, “and we didn’t meet the Velvet Underground”—but this time they stayed. After their television debut, various managers and record companies encouraged the band to change their name to Loud in order to cash in on their fleeting fame. “We hated that idea,” Kristian recalled, “and Neil Bogart, who ran Casablanca Records, also wanted us to call the band An American Family.” (They eventually settled on the Mumps.) By this point, Lance Loud and Hoffman had fully immersed themselves in the downtown underground and become regulars at the New York Dolls’ gigs at Mercer’s. “We went there every single show,” he said, “so we quickly met all these wonderful people like Paul Zone, who introduced us to everybody in the Lower East Side rock scene. Everyone happened to live in a one-mile-square neighborhood, and you would just see them every day. So we did everything together—the Mumps, the Fast, Blondie. All of these things intersected, and all of these crazy people hung out together.” Because of the hype surrounding An American Family, Loud was probably the best-known person in the nascent punk scene. “Lance was a larger-than-life figure,” Blondie drummer Clem Burke recalled. “He was probably the first bona fide celebrity I ever met.” He was a magnetic frontman, though not necessarily the greatest singer (but this was punk rock, so it didn’t really matter). “Lance loved performing, and he would sweat gallons,” said Persky, who became a good friend. “He was just so blissed out when he was onstage.”

From Chapter 32 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore


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