The master of a raw and shambolic fusion of rockabilly, blues, and fractured noise, Tav Falco, along with the Cramps, anticipated the fractured but hard-hitting blues wailing of the Gories and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion by close to a decade. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Arkansas, Falco moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1973 and introduced himself to the city's creative community as a filmmaker and performance artist while supporting himself with a variety of odd jobs. While making documentary films on blues artists in Tennessee and Mississippi (including a piece on R.L. Burnside shot at his legendary juke joint in 1974), Falco was inspired to pick up the guitar, though his first on-stage performance with the instrument involved him destroying a six-string with a chain saw. - Mark Deming

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