who were they then?
The Judybats first caught my eye with a weird song called "Don't Drop The Baby" that I caught on MTV's 120 Minutes, with my dear friend Becky, back in the early 90's. And then I caught a mini-bio about them on Night Flight (...dear GAWD! Does anyone else besides me and my husband remember that show?!?!...). The quintet hailed from Knoxville, and boasted a quirky sound somewhere between R.E.M. and the B-52's. I quickly fell in love, speeding to the mall to special order their debut album "Native Son".
The band released a few more albums, lost some members, added some members, and were quite critically hailed. And we all know what that means. The 'Bats fell apart after uncomfortable relations with their record label Sire, and ensuing pressures. Rumour has it that delightful keyboardist/violinist Peggy Hambright quit the band after a Sire Rep asked her to lose some weight. Lead vocalist/songwriter Jeff Heiskell fell into a horrible depression. While this hasn't been confirmed, recent interviews seem to indicate that some of the 'Bats are not on good terms. (In an interview with Pop Palace, Jeff scathes over bassist Paul Noe and drummer Dave Jenkins' post-Judybats band...)
and where are they now?
After overcoming his depression, Jeff returned with the unfortunately named Judybats '00. Initially, the band consisted of entirely new members, but in 2001, original Judybats guitarist Johnny Sughrue returned to the fold. They have one self-released album, and a track on a Paul McCartney tribute compilation CD (also featuring Matthew Sweet and They Might Be Giants).
According to Jeff's Pop Palace interview, Paul Noe and Dave Jenkins' follow-up project, the Nevers, has never been heard from. We don't know anything further about their current whereabouts.
After the break-up in 1994, Ed Winters, their guitarist since 1988, went back to school. We don't know what he did after that.
And, sadly, we have no news about the gorgeous Ms. Peggy Hambright either. But we here at copacetic hope that wherever she is, she's lovin' herself no matter what some stupid Sire rep said! ; )
UPDATE 02/03: Yay! A super-cool reader named Rick sent us an e-mail with the whereabouts of the super-talented Ms. Hambright! : D She has a successful dessert shop in Knoxville, TN now! Visit her website here! How cool! THANKS, Rick!!! : )
UPDATE 03/03: How rad! Another Judybats Update!!! : ) In 1999, Paul and Dave started up their own indie label, Disgraceland Records, home to artists Stateside, the Have Nots, and many more. And back in the mid-90's, Dave produced tracks for bands like Superdrag, The V-Roys, 30 Amp Fuse, to name a few! Plus, Paul and Dave have been playing in several bands, like The Opposable Thumbs and Doubters Club. Cool! (Oh, and I had it wrong! The band started out in Knoxville, not Nashville --- my bad!!!)
The Official Judybats '00 Website Not much there on their humble beginnings, but informative nonetheless.
Magpie's Cakes Peggy Hambright makes beautiful cakes!
Tribute Click here for more info on the Paul McCartney tribute CD.