The Santa Barbara, CA, band Dishwalla made a big splash in 1996 with their catchy pop single "Counting Blue Cars." With the gritty heart and soul of those who came before them, Dishwalla's hard rock sound was enough for fans to make "Counting Blue Cars" one of the most-requested songs of that year. The song also garnered the band a Billboard award for Rock Song of the Year and allowed their debut album, Pet Your Friends, to sell more than a million copies.
Dishwalla, which emerged out of the early stages of post-grunge, is composed of J.R. Richards (vocals), Scot Alexander (bass), Rodney Browning (guitar), Jim Wood (keyboards), and George Pendergast (drums). They spent the mid-'90s touring with the likes of Sheryl Crow, Blind Melon, and the Goo Goo Dolls in support of Pet Your Friends. Prior to making a second album, the band was caught in the middle of the Polygram/Universal merger and such a move left Dishwalla pondering what to do next. Their second album And You Think You Know What Life's About was released in 1998; promotion and sales were lackluster due to label downsizing. Dishwalla's time with A&M was shortlived and exhausting because of such corporate behavior, but they stuck it out to contribute their cover version of "Policy of Truth" for the Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses. By the new millennium, Dishwalla left behind major-market America for a third album. They signed with Immergent while Pendergrast left the band. Pete Maloney, a drummer picked up on the 1998 tour, resumed percussion duties. In 2002, Dishwalla appeared sound and sane, issuing the experimental third album Opaline. A self-titled album followed in 2005. ~ MacKenzie Wilson