I moved to Austin from El Paso to go to college in 1986. I think it must have been about a year later that I heard the Reivers’ rendition of “Blue Eyes” on the Radio while driving. It REALLY caught my ear! When the song was over, Jody Denberg’s voice told me that the band I’d just heard was called “The Reivers” and that they were playing that very night at Liberty Lunch. I hadn’t yet been to a show in Austin at that time, and it sounded like fun. I called up a good friend of mine and made plans to go.
Not knowing what to expect, we got to Liberty Lunch about an hour early! We paid our $5 or so and got to watch The Wannabes (they were opening) do a little warming up before the small crowd started arriving. Man, what a show the Reivers put on! I became a Reivers fanatic after that. I must have seen them dozens of times (at least). I only missed their shows in Ausin when I was out of town.
I met John Croslin about 2 years ago at an Old 97’s show. I think that’s the last time I went to Liberty Lunch before it’s demise. I introduced myself and told him how great I thought the Reivers were. He said thanks and that he was now producing (which I already knew), and that the reason he was at the Old 97’s show was that he was interested in producing their next album.
-Wes Bemont (Oct. 12, 2000)
I’m from Canada and in 1986 went to the University of Alabama to run track. One day my friends and I were smoking some weed in my house when I heard the song In Your Eyes. I instantly fell in love with the Reivers. I purchased all their albums as they were released (on vinyl). I still play their albums at least three or four times a week and have worn my vinyl to shit. Since then, I’ve been sodomized when buying their albums on CD ($100+) through eBay–but it has been worth it. I have always wanted to see them live but I don’t think they ever made it to Tuscaloosa when I was there. I regret this more than anything in my life now that I’m 34. I fantasize that one day if I’m independently wealthy maybe they’d be up for coming to Canada if the price was right and perform together again! Until then, I pray that they might re-unite one day soon.
-Peter from Canada (Oct. 4, 2000)
I woke up the morning of my graduation from Northern Illinois University and immediately showered and put some clothes on. I wanted to go to JCPenny and buy a white shirt to wear under my graduation robe. I was driving to a nearby town and had WXRT out of Chicago on the radio.
That’s when I heard “Breathin’ Easy” for the first time. I thought it was incredible. A couple of songs followed it and I sat in my car in the parking lot of JCPenny waiting and hoping that the disc jockey would give the name of the band. When he announced that it was The Reivers, I kept repeating the name as I went through my car looking for a pen. I couldn’t find one, though. I thought for sure I would forget the name of the band within an hour.
I looked at the clock in my car and saw that it was getting close to graduation time. I sat their for a minute, then remembered a record store that was a mile away. I pulled out of the parking lot of JCPenny, went to the record store and bought Pop Beloved.
I never heard that song or any other song by The Reivers on the radio again, and to this day, I consider Pop Beloved as my favorite CD. Every time I play it for a friend, they love it too and ask me the name of the band.
I was graduated from NIU wearing a white t-shirt under my robe.
Thanks for reading.
-Dave (Sep. 1, 2000)
My first exposure to the Reivers was through Don Dixon, as I was a huge fan of anything he produced, such as The Woods, In Tua Nua, Smithereens, Marti Jones and more. I bought “Saturday” based on that, and it became my favorite album for many years (and is again now thanks to MP36!). Shortly after buying the album, I visited my then-girlfriend’s hometown of Dover, Delaware (we were attending Concord College in Southern WV), and as we were reading the newspaper trying to decide what to do for the weekend, we spotted an ad for The Reivers live at a bar called TapWorks. Needless to say, we were dumbfounded! If you are familiar with Delaware, you’ll understand why – if not, suffice to say it was a small state back then (’89 I believe).
So, we went to the show, and sure enough, it was the real thing. The show was great, albeit played to a sparse crowd. We sang/screamed to all the songs, and talked to John after the show. Sorry to say we were absolutely penniless after the cover charge, so we were unable to buy the Reivers t-shirt, which was a baseball-type style. It still haunts me today that I couldn’t get that t-shirt!!
Anyway, as a side note, the band that opened for them was a then little-known band called Beat Clinic. They played a rather unremarkable set, filled with R.E.M. covers and the like. That band, however, got their act together – so to speak – and became The Caulfields! Hope you all enjoy my little trip back through time. I certainly enjoy recounting the story….
-Rod Whisner (Aug. 7, 2000)
I can’t tell you how happy I was to see someone had finally put the time and effort into a site for one of my favorite bands. I lived in Omaha, Nebraska when I first saw them, couldn’t tell you the date but apparently it was the first national tour after changing their name. They were the “critic’s pick” for that night’s music scene, and it included a brief desciption of their sound. Intrigued, I went and in a room with about 80 people I was very impressed. I loved all their records and turned many friends onto them. I also began booking indie bands of the Reivers size in Omaha, Downey Mildew, Madder Rose, Hypnolovewheel, King Missle, and ironically 311 before they moved to LA and made it big.
I went to Lincoln, Nebraska to see the Reivers play on the Pop Beloved tour. I was outside in the back beer garden with some friends, and Kim & Cindy were the only other people there before the show. But not knowing what to say without sounding like a love struck fool, I waited too long and the girls went in. The place was packed when they played, the new material was beautiful. Kim told the crowd it was the last show of the tour and it was the best. They might have known they would be calling it quits, but they never hinted, and seemed to really be having fun. After the show I bought the CD and had a chance to talk to John for a few minutes, asked him why they didn’t make it back to Omaha, a bigger market where they had played before. He said they couln’t find a place to get in. So I told him I booked bands like them and I would love to have them, gave him my little booking company’s card(me and one other friend), and told him to let me know when they might be in the area again. He took the card and said thanks, he would call. Sure enough it was not too long after I read somewhere they had called it quits. Along with the Reivers I also count Miracle Legion, Sidewinders, and Downey Mildew as my favorite bands of that era that sadly got missed by a larger audience. But they gave me some beautiful music that I will always love and enjoy. Thanks for your efforts!
-John Boyce (May 4, 2000)
I don’t remember how I got the tape or even which one it was. It was about 1988 and I was so hooked on this tape. Went to visit a cousin in Little Rock Ark, I kept raving about this band and he asked what the name was. “The Reivers” answered I. Turns out they were playing in Little Rock the next night. I waited in line for the bathroom with the girls. I was all of 19. They were the coolest chicks I had ever met. It was also one of the best shows I ever saw. I once drove to Electra, Texas because of that song. My favorite song is Star Telegram.
-Heather English (March 16, 2000)
I was close to the group, specifically John. I used to work with him. If you’ll read the “thanks” credits on Saturday, you’ll see my name! The “Brandy” session was a lot of fun, and I was honoured to be invited. The chorus is me, Garrett, Cindy and Kim. A definite high point in my life–Reiver for a day (night, actually–it was recorded at like 2 in the morning)! Here’s a tidbit for you–when the name change was imminent, one of the contenders for the band’s new name was APB–which stood for Anus Pus Bubble. at least that’s what john always told us!
-Jim Trawicki (February 24, 2000)
I was going to Kansas City to see a little bit of the city in the Summer of 1990. I was on a business trip. I picked up the local underground paper to see what was going on. I saw the Reivers were playing a club in Lawerence, KS. I decided to try to go see them. I drove to Lawerence and found the club. Unfortunately, there were some unusually laws/rules that you could only come to the club if were a member or knew a member. You had to be a resident to be a member. I was at the door trying to get in without much luck and the band walked in. They heard my problem and said to the guy at the door something to the effect” he’s cool, let him in”. It was a great show. I had my guitar with me and I got Kim and John to sign it. John’s signature is smudged, but Kim’s still looks good. I really miss the Reivers. I lamented to my friend who turned me on to the Reivers how much I miss them. They were a truly great band. It is amazing, the awful country/pop-rock that people gobble up and no one ever knows about the Reivers. I keep hoping that someday they will be rediscovered and get the credit they deserved.
-Phil Rogofsky (February 18, 2000)