Fifteen years after he scratched a lifelong itch and moved to New York City, Steve Wynn has settled in nicely to life on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The relocation also breathed fire into a music career that already had notched landmark albums by his first band, the Dream Syndicate, collaborations with Gutterball and a slew of excellent early solo releases. Once he turned 40, Wynn rolled up his sleeves and really went to work, cranking out masterpieces like 2001’s Here Come The Miracles and 2003’s Static Transmission. Wynn, wife/drummer Linda Pitmon, Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (Minus 5) are set to begin a U.S. tour. Read our Q&A with Wynn. (Also read our 2001 Q&A with Wynn, conducted by novelist George Pelecanos, as well as our overview of the Dream Syndicate and its fellow Paisley Underground bands.)
Steve Wynn: It might not be fair to say that the Move is underrated. I know lots of people who love the Move. Lots and lots of people. Maybe you love the Move. Me, I wore a hole in the grooves of “Brontosaurus” on the double LP I had as a college student. (It had a great spine, I remember, and looked good in the rack of records from across the room, a lesson I took when designing the early packages on my Down There label.) But I do think it’s a crime that the Move is not mentioned in the same breath as, for example, the Who or the Kinks. One of the reasons might be that it’s hard to quantify the band’s achievements since there were two versions of the band: the songs sung early on by Carl Wayne and then the later, heavier stompers sung by Roy Wood. As much as I love the giddy, flower-power, psychedelic-speed rushes of the former, I gotta say that I prefer the monolithic heaviosity of the latter. I just picked up the new, highly recommended four-CD boxed set Anthology 1966-1972, and it’s all I’ve been playing for the last few weeks. (Just ask my bandmates.) Incredible. Especially noteworthy is the eight-minute version of “Feel Too Good,” which sounds like a blueprint for a few of the songs of the first Roxy Music record. I could also talk about the time that the Dream Syndicate covered “Do Ya” at a Halloween party in 1982 in full drag (Kendra Smith in double drag, as some kind of garish male transvestite). But I’ll save that for another time. Video after the jump.