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Rachael Gordon

Sound description

Swinging mod sounds of the sixties.

RIYL

Fairport Convention, the Bangles, Heart, the Sleazybeats, Groove Kitties, the Rosalyns, Roni Lee, Cathryn Beeks

Influences

Bette Midler, Janis Joplin, Blondie, Sandy Denny, Diana Ross, Suzy Quatro, Marianne Faithful, the Bangles, Bananarama, Frank Zappa, Savoy Brown, Phoebe Snow, Buckingham Nicks, Linda Ronstadt

Discography

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Rachael Gordon’s sound, style, and her very life play like something out of the late ’70s. Musically, she says, “I’m into all sorts of things. There’s some garage rock, some power pop, and some folk. I grew up in the ’70s, so there’s all those influences from AM radio.”

Since having had a moderate hit record in Germany and coverage in the German Rolling Stone mag, Gordon has been mining that groovy decade for girl-group gold. “I started doing shows with a group called the Sleazybeats,” she says. “We played covers and originals, and we did a birthday song to Phil Spector on a tribute album.” That track, "Phil Spector's Birthday," was co-written by Gordon's local Sleazybeats bandmate Sandra Castillo (who also shot the photos on many of Gordon's records) and produced by San Diegan Gar Wood (Hot Snakes, Night Marchers).

“I’m known as a pop singer, and my first records were very bubblegum, with a ’60s and late-’70s sound. I guess I could describe those as a mixture of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy and Blondie, though I kind of went into more of a country pop thing, much like Buckingham Nicks or early Linda Ronstadt...seventies music had a big impact on me, especially stuff like Heart, which can go from acoustic to Zeppelin in no time. The Runaways were a great one, and Joan Jett’s solo stuff. AJ Croce is my brother-in-law, so definitely him, and my dad was a musician too. He played with a few San Diego bands in the ’60s and ’70s.” Her dad's local '70s groups included O.D. Corral and the David Bradley Band.

Gordon released a vinyl EP on the Spanish Snap! Label and appeared on a few compilation albums before Sounds of Subterrania released her debut album, produced by San Diego's Richard "Blitz" Livoni of Comanche Moon, who has also written music for her. Her other songwriters have included the aforementioned AJ Croce, as well as Frank Barajas of JuJu Eyeball. Gordon's sophomore album was released in Japan, collecting all of her pre-debut album recordings along with three new tracks. She has also recorded tracks with classic-rock survivors Foreigner.

Gordon has been backed by a rotating roster of notable locals, including Bart Mendoza (the Shambles), Hector Penalosa (the Zeros), Joel Kmak (the Beat Farmers), Mike Kamoo (Static Halo), Ray Brandes (the Tell-Tale Hearts), and Ron Silva (the Hitmakers).

Despite the all-star accompaniment, she says gender can still be a problem with promoters. “It’s very hard to get someone to stop looking at your ass and listen to what you’re saying…believe it or not, it’s still considered pretty wild to be a girl fronting a rock band. Occasionally you’ll see a girl fronting a punk band, but that doesn’t count.”

Asked about her worst gig, Rachael says, “It wasn’t great being called a ‘Nancy Sinatra wannabe’ in a San Diego Union-Tribune review — I think the worst was when I was forced to sing the Mary Tyler Moore theme at a coffeehouse.” Alas, when you’re living out an episode of That ’70s Show, that’s the kind of kneesock nostalgia people are going to expect.

She's maintained a low musical profile since the turn of the 20th century, although she did appear at San Diego Poptopia in 2000 with Jason Falkner, Beachwood Sparks, and others. For awhile, she was doing duo shows around town with partners like Bart Mendoza and Ron Silva, as well as occasional full band performances. "It depends on who's in my backing band. I've played Java Joe's and the Casbah and the Adams Avenue Street Fair. I also did the KUSI morning show, and a bunch of shows in LA."

In 2013, it was reported that Gordon was living in north San Diego with former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, for whom she wrote lyrics for his 2014 solo album Space Invader. They later married.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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