Sister Double Happiness formed in San Francisco in 1986 and immediately became the city's favorite concert draw before even releasing their first album of over-the-top, white blues-rock.
Gary Floyd and Lynn Perko, who'd played together in the punk group the Dicks, joined with Ben Cohen (from Pop-o-Pies and Polkacide) and Mikey Donaldson on bass. The foursome recorded a self-titled album of hard-driving songs for SST in 1988, the bulk penned by Floyd and Cohen. Owing much to Floyd's Texas roots as a blues/punk belter, the band played a fiery mix of blues-inflected hard rock and punk, the likes of which were incomparable. Subject matter was primarily confined to the human condition and spirituality in the face of AIDS and urban decay. The band's promise earned them a contract with Reprise in 1991 for Heart and Mind, but failed to find them a wider audience. That same year the band won a Bammie (Bay Area Music Award) for Outstanding Club Band, and Jeff Palmer replaced Donaldson on bass. A Sub Pop single and two albums for the label's German arm, 1993's Uncut and 1994's Horsey Water, followed. Danny Roman was added as a guitarist, and Miles Montalbano replaced Palmer on bass.The video release, Greetings from Zurich, is a lasting testament to their live prowess.The band also contributed to a number of tribute albums that were popular in the early '90s paying homage to artists diverse as Roky Erickson, Dead Kennedys and Frank Sinatra. The band broke up in 1995 -- none of their recorded work ever quite captured the heat they were capable of live. Floyd immediately formed the Gary Floyd Band and records and tours, mostly in Europe. Perko is in Imperial Teen with Faith No More's Roddy Bottum, and Cohen works as a guitarist, currently with El Destroyo. The posthumous Stone's Throw from Love: Live and Acoustic at the Great American Music Hall appeared in 1999. ~ Denise Sullivan