The answer to our trivia question from last week? None other than Doug Hopkins, the late guitarist of the Gin Blossoms, who called Portland home for a brief period in the eighties. According to James Gerard Swafford, who knows everything about this kind of stuff, Doug moved to the City of Roses in 1986 to escape the Phoenix summer and to start a band with fellow Phoenicians Swaff; Bill Leen, who would later be the bass player in the the Gin Blossoms; Dave McKay and Randy Sanders. They were all there for about six months, hung out too much at the Hung Far Low in Chinatown (Swaff still has a coaster from the place), and came back to Tempe in the fall once things had cooled down.
So, there you have it, the biggest Tempe/PDX musical connection there is!
All this, of course, prompts another trivia question: what was the name of this short-lived Portland band, which Swaff calls the first draft of the band that would become the Gin Blossoms? If you know, post it in the comments section. If you don’t, I’ll post it next week.