The Go is a rock & roll band from Detroit, Michigan, who released 8 albums, 9 singles, and one rarities box set between 1996 and 2013.
Formed in Detroit in 1996, their unique and ever-evolving sound showcases the songwriting talents of Bobby Harlow and John Krautner, as well as the lyrical drumming of Marc Fellis. Mentored by legendary Los Angeles record producer Kim Fowley and with influences ranging from Coltrane to the Beatles and 1950s/’60s bubblegum pop, The Go stood out from their post-grunge contemporaries, signing a record deal with Sub Pop in 1998. Their first album, 1999’s Whatcha Doin’ featured Dave Buick on bass and Jack White on guitar. Produced by Outrageous Cherry frontman Matthew Smith and supported with three national tours, Whatcha Doin’ became a pillar for the rock ‘n’ roll revival at the turn of the millennium. After Whatcha Doin’ the band parted ways with White, returning to the studio in 2000 to record their sophomore album Free Electricity with Dion Fischer on lead guitar, John Olsen of celebrated Detroit noise band Wolf Eyes on saxophone, and Cary Loren of Destroy All Monsters on tamboura . The sound of Free Electricity significantly differed from its predecessor and the album was ultimately shelved by Sub Pop. Never officially released, Free Electricity has maintained a cult following rooted in bootlegs and the blistering live performances of its songs around the time of its recording.
Another round of personnel changes saw the departure of Buick and Fischer along with the addition of guitarist Kenny Tudrick. Under the management of Howard Hertz the band signed with UK label Lizard King, which was later to popularize The Killers. The Go’s self-titled third album was recorded in the UK, released in 2003 and bolstered with an opening slot on the White Stripes’ UK Elephant tour. With little promotion for The Go on American soil, the band parted ways with Lizard King and returned to Detroit with new guitarist James McConnell in tow.
While in Detroit The Go received word that Welsh singer Adele Nozedar had taken an interest in the band, securing funding for a new album. With Harlow doing double-duty as producer, The Go recorded their psychedelic pop masterpiece Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride, which was released in 2007 to critical acclaim including a stunning BBC review which concluded with “they may just have created an ageless classic.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/9rmq. It won Album Of The Year at the Detroit Music Awards and received the approval of the Allen Ginsberg Foundation for Harlow’s musical interpretation of the poem “Refrain”. The Go promoted HOTHBYR with extensive American tours supporting Guided By Voices and were invited to perform at the Peace Jam Foundation Conference in Denver, Colorado in 2008. The conference earned the band a private audience with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. After further performances (including one at Fortune Magazine’s Brainstorm Tech Conference in Half Moon, CA, with Neil Young in attendance) a follow-up double LP was released jointly on Italy and Bellyache Records. Tracking The Trail Of The Haunted Beat featured outtakes and alternate versions from the HOTHBYR sessions. At this time The Go went into the studio with legendary producer Don Was, recording a song produced by Was and engineered by longtime friend Steve King.
By 2007 The Go had begun working with then-fledgling label Burger Records, whose owners Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard had long been fans of the band. In 2010 Burger released an LP by the Go’s alternate project, Conspiracy Of Owls, which featured songwriters Harlow, Krautner, and Fellis, along with a live lineup of fellow Detroit musicians (Steve Nawara, Johnny Lzr, and “Magic” Jake Culkowski). Singer Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices provided artwork for the LP as well as inspiration for the name of the band. After supporting the Conspiracy of Owls record with shows at SXSW, Harlow and Culkowski formed a new band, Magic Jake & The Power Crystals, in which they shared songwriting duties.
In 2012 Burger Records released a 5-cassette box set of previously unheard and alternate Go tracks spanning 1996-2007. The Go followed this up with a critically acclaimed double LP, Fiesta, which is widely regarded as the band’s final album. Delivered on the first day of the new Mayan age (December 21, 2012), Fiesta was released on limited edition colored vinyl on Burger Records (USA) and on black vinyl with alternate artwork by Mauvaise Foi Records (France).
Bobby Harlow has produced albums for Burger Records, Lizard King, Sub Pop, Cass Records, Italy Records, and Bellyache Records since 2003. He is currently a freelance producer for labels such as Sire Records. Harlow’s production work includes:
- The Go – The Go (Lizard King, 2003)
- The Go- Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride (Cass, 2007)
- The Go – Tracking The Trail Of The Haunted Beat (Italy, Bellyache Records, 2008)
- Conspiracy of Owls – Conspiracy of Owls (Burger Records, 2010)
- Neil Nathan – When The Distance Calls (Pirate Vinyl, 2010)
- The Pizazz – Get Out Of My House (Burger Records, 2010)
- King Tuff – King Tuff (Sub Pop, 2012)
- The Go – Fiesta (Burger Records, 2012)
- John Krautner – Fun With Gum Volume 1 (Burger Records, 2013)
- King Tuff – Black Moon Spell (Sup Pop, 2014)
- White Fang – Chunks (Burger Records, 2015)
- Jessie Jones – Jessie Jones (Burger Records, 2015)
John Krautner currently writes, records, and performs with Detroit group the John Krautner Band.
In addition to The Go Marc Fellis has toured and recorded with Karen Elson, appearing on David Letterman in 2010.
In 2016 The Go were included in Third Man Records’ Live At The Gold Dollar Vault package, which released a live LP from the band’s 1999 lineup featuring Jack White. The Go were also featured on Iggy Pop’s satellite radio show, where Pop stated,
“They did some great music before they were on Burger. They did some great music on Burger. They did some great music when Jack White was a member of their band, playing lead guitar. They did some great music after. I like The Go, and I’m going to investigate The Go.”
The Go’s music has been included in commercials, television, and films, most notably on My Name Is Earl, Entourage, and in The Hills Have Eyes. Their music has been most notably used for commercials by Mercedes of Australia, Subaru of Canada and for a worldwide Peugeot campaign. A complete list of their television and film placements can be found on IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3165020/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
- Bobby Harlow (vocals, guitar, bass, keys) 1996-2013
- John Krautner (vocals, guitar, bass) 1996-2013
- Marc Fellis (drums, flute, vocals) 1996-2013
- Dave Buick (bass) 1998-2000, 2004-2006
- Jack White (guitar, vocals) 1998-1999
- Dion Fischer (guitar) 1999-2001
- Steve Nawara (bass) 1999-2001, 2004-2006, 2009-2013
- Kenny Tudrick (guitar) 2001
- James McConnell (guitar, vocals) 2002-2008
- Johnny Lzr (keys) 2009-2011
- “Magic” Jake Culkowski (bass) 2009-2011
- Justin Walker (guitar) 2012-2013
- Ben Luckett (drums) 2013
- Whatcha Doin’ (Sub Pop, 1999)
- The Go (Lizard King, 2003)
- Supercuts (Not on label, 2003)
- Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride (Cass Records, 2007)
- Tracking The Trail Of The Haunted Beat (Italy Records, Bellyache Records, 2008)
- Conspiracy Of Owls (Burger Records, 2010)
- Free Electricity (Not on label, 2011)
- Fiesta (Burger Records, Mauvaise Foi 2012)
- Live At The Gold Dollar (Third Man Records, 2016)
- “Capricorn” (Lizard King, 2002)
- “American Pig” (Lizard King, 2003)
- “Invisible Friends” (Cass Records, 2006)
- “You Go Bangin’ On” (Italy Records, 2007)
- “Christmas On The Moon” (Italy Records, 2007)
- “Knock Knock Banana” (Bellyache Records, 2008)
- “Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride” (April77 Records, 2009)
- “Ancient Robots” (Chatham Records, 2010)
- “The Lesson” (Burger Records, Philthy Phonographic Records, 2013)
- “Puzzle People”/”Ancient Robots” (Burger Records, Philthy Phonographic Records, 2014)
- Unreleased 1996-2007 (Burger Records, 2012)