Lost Bands: Gunbunnies

Like so many disaffected teens with a jones for new music, I spent some time working in music retail…and one of the many bands I discovered during this era (1989 – 1994, with some time off to attend college) was the Gunbunnies. Signed to Virgin Records back in the days when the label was flooding stores with promotional copies of albums by their new artists, we scored both cassette and CD promos of their debut album, Paw Paw Patch, and it’s clear Virgin had high hopes for these guys.

Their single, “Stranded,” was picking up quite a bit of college radio airplay, and the critics were loving the fact that the album was produced by the legendary Jim Dickinson (Big Star, the Rolling Stones, the Replacements). Plus, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, Chris Maxwell, had put together 10 songs that could hold their own with bands like Guadalcanal Diary, House of Freaks, and the like…and although he had a highly competent band behind him, Maxwell was practically a one-man band; he played guitar, harmonica, trumpet, and electric sitar on the album!

Poised for success…? Yeah, not so much.

The Gunbunnies disappeared after Paw Paw Patch…and I mean really disappeared. Not only was there no follow-up album on Virgin, there was no follow-up, period. Maxwell didn’t even go solo; he just vanished.

Well, okay, he didn’t vanish vanish; if AllMusic.com can be trusted (and they usually can), he left music altogether for about five years, then returned to play bass for They Might Be Giants and to do some production work for artists like the Lunachicks…but, of course, that’s if this is the same Chris Maxwell. Can anyone confirm or deny…?

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