New wave/punk alternative vocalist Pearl E. Gates, now known as Pearl Harbour, was formerly married to Clash bassist Paul Simonon. She had been a part of Leila and the Snakes and formed the band Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, known for their 80s hit ‘Drivin’. Now, in 2021 she is making a return to the music scene.
Newly signed to Die Laughing Records, she has a new single out called ‘I Wish You Were Here’, on Die Laughing Records. It follows the March single release of ‘Trouble’ and imminent rerelease of the album Here Comes Trouble
When Gates moved back to San Francisco from London back in 1988, she approached one of her favourite musicians, bass player Buck Naked from Buck Naked and the Bare Bottom Boys, and he suggested all the players who would go on onto form the band that would become Pearl Harbor and the Explosions.
The band featured Dead Kennedy’s lead guitarist East Bay Ray and Frank Novicki on rhythm (Replaced two years later by Stinky Le Pew), Naked on bass, drummer Mike Hunter and Pearl E. Gates on vocals.
The band flourished until 1992, when a madman shot and killed Naked in Golden Gate Park. Devastated, the band then took some time off to decide how to proceed.
Fortuitously, a stroke of good luck happened when Gates happened to be in the same bar as Van Morrison and was introduced by a mutual friend. Morrison made the generous proposal that Pearl Harbor and the Explosions join the bill for his San Francisco show.
The band hired Lee Vilensky to play bass and from there on were able to continue, a few years later recording the album Here Come Trouble, that was dedicated to Naked.
Regarding her new single, Harbour said: “Oh yeah she’s driving to lovers lane in her cool pink caddy and missing out on some fun while waiting on your man. Again he’s missing in action so I put on the radio, turning the dial and listen. This song makes me fuzzy all inside, I’m in control… ‘I wish I were you, so I can make love to me.’’’
You can stream/buy ‘I Wish I Were You’ here, and ‘Trouble’ here as well as watch the videos to both here at RAMzine.