Formed by drummer Mark Edwards in August 1984 after the breakup of the Cleveland band Riot Architecture, My Dad Is Dead has remained his solo project -- with occasional help from a revolving-door cast. Edwards learned to play guitar during late 1984, and played his first show the following year with a backing band consisting of a drum machine. He recorded his first LP, And He's Not Gonna Take It Anymore, at a friend's home studio, and released it in May 1986 on St. Valentine Records. After a lengthy tour supporting Modern English and then the Butthole Surfers, he released Peace, Love and Murder in May 1987. Edwards signed a contract with Homestead Records early the following year, and released Let's Skip the Details in May 1988. Soon after, he added the first bandmembers to My Dad Is Dead: bassist Jeff Curtis and drummer John McEntire (later to gain fame in Tortoise). The Best Defense, an album of material from the previous album's sessions, was released on Homestead in December 1988.
With McEntire gone on to Bastro and Curtis unwilling to tour, Edwards recruited the Prisonshake rhythm section -- Chris Burgess on bass and Scott Pickering on drums -- for a 1989 tour of Europe. The group's fifth album, a 1989 double LP titled The Taller You Are, the Shorter You Get, was its last for Homestead. With yet another lineup (this time guitarists Tim Gilbride and Doug Gillard plus Burgess on bass), My Dad Is Dead moved to Scat Records in April 1990 for the Shine EP. The band's first album for Scat, Chopping Down the Family Tree, was released in October 1991. Over two years later, Out of Sight, Out of Mind also appeared on Scat, credited to MDID. Edwards and company moved to Trance Syndicate the following year, and released For Richer, for Poorer in 1995. ~ John Bush