The news last week that Possum Dixon guitarist Celso Chavez had passed away came as a bit of a shock and got me to reconnect with a band that I really loved when I knew them in the mid-90’s.

Formed in 1989 by high school and college friends singer/songwriter/bassist Rob Zabrecky, guitarist Celso Chavez, and drummer Bryan Kovacs. The group took their name from a suspected murderer mentioned on television show America’s Most Wanted. In 1990 longtime friends and former schoolmates Robert O’Sullivan (guitar/organ/keyboards) and Rich Truel (drums) joined the band.

During the era in which grunge ruled the “alternative” side of radio, Possum Dixon were a welcome breath of neo-new wave-pop-post-punk with a dark, pop rock sensibility. They incorporated influences from the Talking Heads, Wall of Voodoo, Dream Syndicate and Camper Van Beethoven. In their 10 years together they released 3 major label full length albums (Possum Dixon, 1993; Star Maps, 1995; New Sheets, 1998), 3 EPs, and a box set of seven inch singles.

This is the video that MTV played and started the ascent…
Watch The Girl Destroy Me (from Possum Dixon, 1994)

I’ve never seen this video before, it must be from the 1991 Possum Dixon EP.
Watch The Girl Destroy Me (original version?)

And this must’ve been their network television debut…
Watch The Girl Destroy Me (live on Conan O’Brien, 1994)

Nerves (from Possum Dixon, 1994)

Nerves (live on 120 Minutes)

Emergency’s About To End (from Star Maps, 1996)

Radio Comets (from Star Maps, 1996)

Crashing Your Planet (from Star Maps, 1996)

And this is what leader Rob Zabrecky has been doing since the end of the band. (You will notice Pixies drummer Dave Lovering…a phenomenalist performing scientific and physics-based experiments.)
The Unholy Three

Here is something that no one has ever heard before…except for me. In 1994 my friend Glenn Vistica and I tried booking alternative bands into a really great club in northern New Jersey called Rock The House (Wallington NJ). The last show we did was April 27 1994 and it featured Possum Dixon (who were just about to taste that mid-90’s alternative success thanks to the hit single “Watch The Girl Destroy Me”).

Rock The House
Wallington NJ
soundboard recording
27 April 1994

She Drives (partial)
In Buildings
We’re All Happy
Here She Comes
Pharmaceutical Itch
Damn The Rainbow
Watch The Girl Destroy Me
Executive Slacks/Borderline (Madonna)
For Your Love (Yardbirds)
The Days Of Wine And Roses (The Dream Syndicate)


3 responses »

  1. Milo says:

    Dear Jeff,

    I heard N_O_W about the passing of Celso. Heartbreaking. I met him back in August ’92 right before a Possum Dixon gig at the Club Lingerie in Hollywood. I met the whole band and their manager J and became a friend and a fan ever since.

    I’m listening to the soundboard recording you posted. It’s great. Any chance I can get a file out of it?

    Please let me know. thank you.

    Milo from Italy

  2. Paul Carlos says:

    Heya Jeff,

    I know this is a pretty late reply in relation to your post but, have you heard anything about Robert O’ Sullivan? I used be friends with him in like ’91 – ’92 – we worked together in Hollywood. He was great guy. Was wondering what ever happened to him.


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