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Discography

Chimeras / The Pistoleros

Tempe,Arizona, United States (August 1992 - April 1993)
Chimeras / The Pistoleros
Doug Hopkins, Mark Riggs, Lawrence Zubia, Scott Andrews, Mark Zubia
Members
  • Doug Hopkins (Guitar), Lawrence Zubia (Vocals), Scott Andrews (Bass), Mark Riggs, Mark Zubia (Guitar)
Recordings
Recordings


After the he was fired from the Gin Blossoms, Doug went on to form what would be his last band, after 12 years of being part of the Tempe music scene. Or at least the last band with documented Hopkins material.

He approached friend Lawrence Zubia, of Nudes Live, with the proposition to start a band. At this stage, despite being outed from the Gin Blossoms, Doug Hopkins was the biggest thing in Tempe, and Lawrence knew right away that he wanted to work with Hopkins. Lawrence left Live Nudes to work with Hopkins, leaving his brother Mark without a band. Before long the pair convinced Mark to join the them, also adding drummer Mark Riggs and bassist Scott Andrews (both of blues rock band Chuck Hall and the Brick Wall) forming the Chimeras in August 1992.

The Chimeras were a musical contrast to Doug's former band, the Gin Blossoms. Musically more blues-ish, no doubt in part due to the history of the new members and Lawrence's throaty vocals. The large contrast in vocal style between Zubia and Wilson challenged Doug to write songs for catering to Zubia's voice, which soon came together and spawned yet another style of music explored by Hopkins. The Chimeras also showcased a more soulful sounding Hopkins on the lead guitar. Despite the quite obvious blues sound of the band, compared to the alternative pop sound of the Gin Blossoms, Doug's pop influence and signature guitar style of octaves and high end arpeggios was not lost, producing tracks that were a growth from his previous musical styles, yet still undeniably Doug Hopkins sounding. His lyrics also began to take a third person approach, compared to his usual writings of events around him.

A solid lineup combined with Doug being a local celebrity in light of the Gin Blossoms, the Chimeras were virtually an instant success, filling Edcels Attic for their first gig in November 1992. With a strong local following, and no problem booking gigs, the band traveled to Austin, Texas to perform at South By Southwest in March 1993, and recorded an independent cassette, Songs Of Innocence, featuring Hopkins on guitar. It was the prediction of many that the Chimeras would be next band signed out of Tempe.

However, in April 1993, after fumbling a solo at a local music festival, Doug declared that he was quitting the band. The next day, the Chimeras got together to discuss the future of the band, where Doug asked to rejoin. The band, hesitant about Doug's behavior and inner turmoil, now fueled by the Gin Blossoms' growing success, declined to allow him to rejoin the band.

Like the Gin Blossoms and unlike all of the other Hopkins projects, the Chimeras continued after Doug. However, there was no bitterness between the two parties. Doug remained friends with the band, particularly Lawrence, and both parties were happy for the Chimeras to continue playing the songs that Hopkins had written in the band. Shortly after Doug quit the band, Mark Riggs also quit. Rather than calling it a day, the Chimeras continued playing with significantly smaller line up, finally settling on Pete Milner as to replace Hopkins and current Pistoleros drummer Gary Smith to replace Riggs.

Throughout the latter part of 1993, the Chimeras continued to be a local staple, and up to which point, continued to play songs Doug had written in the band, along with songs they'd written in Live Nudes. After Doug's death, the Zubia brothers began to replace old Hopkins tunes with new songs they'd written, both to establish the band in it's current form, and due of the memories that playing a set full of Hopkins tracks would raise, though still held onto a few of the previous Hopkins songs.

During 1994, the band recorded their locally released album Mistaken For Granted which was released in 1995 (and an out of print collectors item). The album has a notably more rootsy, and less pop feel than the previous tracks with Hopkins.

Fast forwarding a few years, the Chimeras were signed to Hollywood Records in 1997. A few changes for the band took place. Pete Milner, Doug's replacement, left the group and was replaced with Thomas Laufenberg, their current day guitarist. Being signed to a major label, the band also changed their name, due to avoid any issue with an Irish band also called the Chimeras. The band settled on the name The Pistoleros and recorded their first, and to date only major label record for Hollywood Records, Hang On To Nothing. In addition to a slew of new songs, and a few old songs from the Zubia brother's Live Nudes days, Hang On To Nothing included My Guardian Angel which was written by Doug in the days of the Chimeras.

In addition to My Guardian Angel, the Pistoleros also held onto two other Chimeras songs that Doug wrote, Long Last Lonely Mile and Southbound Train, both of which were expected to be dusted off for the Pistoleros set at the Scotti Stock charity concert in 2001. Both songs had resurfaced on a lot of Pistoleros set lists from 2002 through until the band's hiatus around 2006.

In May 2002, the band celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the formation of The Chimeras with a pair of gigs in Tempe. Southbound Train was also present on the setlists of these gigs, which was released as a live CD on December 14, 2002. The live CD contains the live performance of the Hopkins penned Southbound Train, Long Last Lonely Mile and My Guardian Angel from the gigs.

Songs Of Innocence

Recorded:
Unknown

Format:
Cassette

Track Listing
  1. Cathedral City
  2. Ponyboy & Johnny

Songs Of Innocence has always been somewhat of a complete mystery, however it turns out this recording was made, but never released.

Two songs that were definitely part of Songs Of Innocence were Ponyboy & Johnny and Cathedral City. Both of these Hopkins classics from the cassette were aired on the Local 98 Rock Doug Hopkins tribute radio broadcast. When Brian Blush suggested to have a tape rolling, because a lot of rare stuff would be played, it rang true for these Chimeras tracks, as the recording will probably never be heard, and the broadcast is the only place you'll find some songs from it.

Furthermore, we have no idea what else was recorded for Songs Of Innocence. The following lists songs Doug wrote while in the Chimeras, but it's unknown whether they were recorded for Songs Of Innocence. A few of them have been re-recorded (both in studio, and live) for releases post Hopkins, which are the only available versions of the songs.

Ponyboy And Johnny

Written By:
Doug Hopkins

Performed by:
Chimeras

Recorded by:
Chimeras

Appears on
Songs Of Innocence


"The song we're going to play is called Ponyboy And Johnny. It's a song Doug wrote, and I think it has a lot of significance...to Doug and his personality and the Doug we knew and Doug we loved very very much."
-- Lawrence Zubia

"Ponyboy And Johnny is a song that Doug wrote, both lyrically and musically and bears a lot of significance....in relation now, in hindsight to what has gone on. And I think that you will be able to relate to lyrically. It was a song that was very dear and special to Doug."
-- Lawrence Zubia

"...that song is filled with, like you said, a lot of quintessential Doug, the lead, the lyrics, everything about it, the melody, is really everything the guy's all about."
-- Robin Wilson
Source: Doug Hopkins Tribute - 98 Local Rock.

Cathedral City

Written By:
Doug Hopkins

Performed by:
Chimeras

Recorded by:
Chimeras

Appears on
Songs Of Innocence


"...what's this song we're going to play now Lawrence? Are we going to play Cathedral City? Yeah, this is a song...he wrote this originally when we was in the Gin Blossoms, but it's the only song of his that we ever never really liked playing very much for some reason. It was the one song that...the Gin Blossoms have a pretty rigorous process when a song gets introduced and Jesse and I have always had...we have to go through this big screening thing. But hardly ever did we hear a Doug song that we didn't want to play almost right away and this is the only one that didn't seem to work for us. But the Chimera's started do this song, and how did it work with you guys?"
-- Robin Wilson

"It worked good...but...Doug insisted that we did it y'know? And so it grew and it grew and it [Doug used to do a lot of insisting. -- Robin]...and it grew into something that we...one of our favorite songs as the Chimeras."
-- Lawrence Zubia

"That guitar solo is everything he bases himself on, y'know? He's always had the strength of not knowing exactly a whole bunch of riffs, but he milks what he knows, he always did. He took the little he knew about the guitar and made it work...which is fine for pop music."
"Well, he was such a popster, everything he did. He digested everything the Beatles ever did. He ate pop music and top 40 radio whole. And there were parts of that song that really reminded me of...what's it? Just Like Heaven, by the Cure. That was a song that Doug, he just used to love that because it's one of those 3 chord pop songs."
-- Robin Wilson
Source: Doug Hopkins Tribute - 98 Local Rock.

Angel De Mi Guardia

Written By:
Doug Hopkins

Performed by:
Chimeras

Recorded by:
Chimeras

Appears on
N/A

Lyrics:
Unavailable

Angel De Mi Guardia is the original spanish title of My Guardian Angel. Presumably the english title was prefered over the spanish title when the Pistoleros were signed to a major label, despite the chorus being sung in Spanish. This original title however was maintained on the spanish language version of the song recorded years later. (See My Guardian Angel for more on this song).

Míja Veda

Written By:
Doug Hopkins

Performed by:
Chimeras

Recorded by:
Chimeras

Appears on
N/A


Míja Veda is another unreleased song of the handful Doug wrote while in the Chimeras.

Absolutely Right And Wrong

Written By:
Doug Hopkins

Performed by:
Chimeras, Zubia+DeGuvera

Recorded by:
Chimeras

Appears on
N/A, Places And Situations Like This


Absolutely Right And Wrong is another Chimeras era song written by Hopkins.

This is a song Mark Zubia occassionally plays acoustic. In 2007, he included an acoustic rendition of the song with Emmett DeGuvera on their CD Places And Situations Like This.

Scared To Death

Written By:
Doug Hopkins

Performed by:
Chimeras

Recorded by:
Chimeras

Appears on
N/A


Scared To Death is a song Doug wrote in the last year of his life, while in the Chimeras. The lyrics are an autobiographical look, through the eyes of his girlfriend.

Long Last Lonely Mile

Written By:
Doug Hopkins

Performed by:
Chimeras, The Pistoleros

Recorded by:
Chimeras, The Pistoleros

Appears on
Bars & Guitars


Long Last Lonely Mile was one of three songs written by Doug Hopkins while in the Chimeras, which the band held onto after his passing, and is well known by people attending their shows (often referring to it as 'Drinkin' & Stinkin'). The Pistoleros were expected to dust off this old classic for the 'Scotti-Stock' benefit concert of 1998. This live performance appears on the Scotti-Stock CD, released in 2004 (titled as "Drinkin' N' Stinkin'").

The song was released for the first time in 2002, appearing on the Pistoleros live album Bars & Guitars. A little over a year later, the aforementioned 1998 benefit concert performance appeared on Scotti-Stock CD, (titled as "Drinkin' N' Stinkin'")

Southbound Train

Written By:
Doug Hopkins / Mark Zubia / Lawrence Zubia

Performed by:
Chimeras, The Pistoleros

Recorded by:
Chimeras, The Pistoleros

Appears on
Bars & Guitars


"There's a particular song called 'Southbound Train,' which was one of the last songs he wrote and had a lot of himself in it. It's classic Doug, it's like he was writing one of his last songs and knowing it."
-- Lawrence Zubia

Source: "Friends Prefer To Remember Doug Hopkins Life Rather Than His Death", Get Out Magazine, Dec 7, 2003

Southbound Train is the second song written by Doug that the Chimeras held onto. Like Long Last Lonely Mile, it was expected to be in the 'Scottistock' set, and was part of setlists in the late 90's and early 2000's. It appears on the Pistoleros live album Bars & Guitars.

Mistaken For Granted

Label:
Imaginary Music

Cat:
MFG1995

Recorded:
The Saltmine, Mesa, AZ

Released:
January 01, 1995

Format:
CD

Origin:
Arizona, USA
Track Listing
  1. Crooked Mile
  2. Planets
  3. She Was A Woman
  4. Somewhere In Between (Just)
  5. Another Time Another Place
  6. Gasoline
  7. Violins And Guitars
  8. Home
  9. Funeral For A Friend
  10. Tears Fall

Mistaken For Granted was The Chimeras final release, before changing their name to The Pistoleros, recorded after Doug's departure from the band. The original limited pressing of the album is long out of print, and is a collectors item.

In honor of the band's 20th anniversary, the CD was re-issued in November 2012. The inserts of the re-issued CD give a nod to both eras of the band, containing the lineups and photos of the '92 Chimeras, with Hopkins & Riggs, and the current day Pistoleros.

Note that while it's appropriate to list this album, all songs on this record are Zubia compositions.

Hang On To Nothing

Label:
Hollywood Records

Cat:
HR-62083-2

Recorded:
A&M Studios, Hollywood, CA

Released:
October 07, 1997

Format:
CD

Origin:
USA
Track Listing
  1. Somehow, Someway
  2. Hang Onto Nothing
  3. My Guardian Angel
  4. Wasting My Time
  5. The Hardest Part
  6. Wild Love Coast
  7. Funeral
  8. Jackie
  9. Just To Hold Onto You
  10. Nothing Lasts Forever
  11. The Game
  12. Lie To Me

A few years after the Doug left The Chimeras, the band was signed to Hollywood Records and recorded their first major label album Hang On To Nothing as The Pistoleros.

For the album the band recorded My Guardian Angel written by Doug, which was also released as a radio single from the album.

My Guardian Angel

Written By:
Doug Hopkins / Mark Zubia

Performed by:
The Chimeras, The Pistoleros

Recorded by:
The Pistoleros,

Appears on
Hang On To Nothing


At the time, My Guardian Angel was the only song, written by Doug which had been recorded and released post his passing. The Pistoleros (formally the Chimeras) recorded this Hopkins penned song for their first major label release, Hang On To Nothing. In addition to this, this My Guardian Angel was released as a single in 1998, it also still being the only single released that been written by Doug since the Gin Blossoms released Found Out About You in 1993.

From the inner sleeve of the My Guardian Angel promotional CD single:
The translation of the chorus to "My Guardian Angel" sung in Spanish is: "My guardian angel / My sweetest companion / Don't ever leave me / In the nighttime or the daylight". "My Guardian Angel" was written by Douglas Hopkins, a former band mate of the Pistoleros and ex-member of the Gin Blossoms, who also wrote "Hey Jealousy" and "Found Out About You".

The above CD single contains Radio Version, Album Version (both English verses, Spanish choruses), Spanish Version (Spanish verses, English choruses) and Angel de Mi Guardia (all Spanish).

Just as a note, although the sleeves of Hang Onto Nothing and the My Guardian Angel single list song writing to credit to Doug Hopkins, Bars and Guitars lists Doug Hopkins / Mark Zubia, which corresponds with interviews about writing the song. (See articles.)

See the Pistoleros' press page more on the writing of My Guardian Angel.

Bars & Guitars

Label:
Bakman Records

Cat:
N/A

Recorded:
Nita's Hideaway, Tempe, AZ - May 10 & 11. 2002

Released:
December 14, 2002

Format:
CD

Origin:
Arizona, USA
Track Listing
  1. Hang Onto Nothing
  2. Same Old Girl
  3. Nothing Lasts Forever
  4. By Now
  5. Gasoline
  6. Shooting Star
  7. Running Underground
  8. Afternoon Tea
  9. Everybody Sometimes
  10. Long Last Lonely Mile
  11. Echo Park
  12. Stop For A Beer
  13. Wild Love Coast
  14. Southbound Train
  15. Don't Say You Love Me
  16. My Guardian Angel

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of forming the Chimeras, the Pistoleros played a duo of shows on May 10th and 11th 2002, which were recorded for a live CD. The shows showcased the full range of Chimeras/Pistoleros songs, from early Hopkins songs through to their latest cuts. The live CD was released in Dec 2002, and is available for purchase through their website - http://www.thepistoleros.com/music.htm.

The CD contains live cuts of the old Hopkins songs Long Last Lonely Mile, Southbound Train and My Guardian Angel. (See the Chimeras section for details on the songs).

Scotti-Stock - A Benefit For Scott Moore

Label:
Stem Records

Cat:
N/A

Recorded:
Nita's Hideaway - January 2001

Released:
February 00, 2004

Format:
CD

Origin:
Arizona, USA
Track Listing
  1. Gas Giants - Quiter
  2. Jamal Ruhe - No Such Thing
  3. Gas Giants w/Brent Babb - American Girl
  4. Zen Lunatics - Alright
  5. Satelitte - Rock and Roll
  6. Gloritone - Halfway
  7. Gloritone w/Damon Dorion - Pyscho Killer
  8. Truckers On Speed - Cindy Crawford
  9. Grave Danger - Gone
  10. Grave Danger - Cadiliac
  11. Peacemakers - Honky Tonk Union
  12. Beat Angels - Terminal Love
  13. Dead Hot Workshop w/Roger Clyne - A
  14. Dead Hot Workshop - G-Daddy
  15. The Pistoleros - Drinkin' N' Stinkin'
  16. The Getaways - Molly's Lips

Scotti-Stock was a benefit concert, held in 1998 to aid Scott Moore (Pierson's bassist), who was hit by a drunk driver and required intense expensive medial treatment.

6 years after the fact (and after Scotti-Stock II - for Satelitte bassist P.C), the long awaited CD containing selections from the night has been released. It includes The Pistoleros performing Doug's Long Last Lonely Mile. Lawerence introduces the song as "These are some songs we did with a good friend of ours, named Mr. Douglas Hopkins. This song is called Drinkin' n' Stinking - Long Last Lonely Mile". He closes with "Those are Doug's songs".

The disc also contains Algebra Ranch's front man, Damon Doiron, joining Gloritone on the cover of Psycho Killer.

The disc is a limited pressing of 1000 copies, and is available at Long Wongs.