RICHARD LYONS +MARK HOSLER+ DAVID WILLS
Their inspired stroke of genius was to recruit David Wills, more famously known as the Weatherman in later years, to make up the original trio.
Wills, a cable TV repairman by trade, was just as obsessed with home recording and experimentation as the other two, and his wry, drawling vocals became the core trademark for many of Negativland’s most notorious releases.
Working with a few guests such as Peter Daytonon guitar, the trio released its debut self-titled release in 1980, notable as much for its packaging (each album featured individually wallpapered covers) as for its fragmented songs and textures. Apparently, the still-teenage Hosler wanted it completed in part so he could feel he had accomplished something by the time he graduated from high school, a reasonable enough goal.
Released in 1981, Points featured the same general lineup, with a new notable guest performer being Ian Allen, credited with tape processing on one track. However, an even more important bond was made that year — the recruitment of Don Joyce.
Joyce had started a free-form radio show, Over the Edge, on the Bay Area’s KPFA station that also explored fried humor and social commentary much like Negativland itself. As a result, Hosler and company appeared one day on the show shortly after it began, and since then Joyce has not only been the only constant member of Negativland aside from Hosler, but Over the Edge has become the regular sonic testing ground for most of the band’s releases, still running strong after 20 years.