Cuban-born Victor Garcia-Rivera founded The Edge in 1982, combining varied influences like Motown, 50’s rock, rockabilly and Hendrix into an energetic but melodic garage punk style reminiscent of UK bands such as The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers and The Tom Robinson Band.
The Edge's first single, released in 1983, was an EP recorded in their basement on a 4 track. The self-titled EP contained the classic Dinosaur Rock putdown "Death To AOR", along with the band's signature tune, the stop-and-go Cincinnati punk anthem "Newport Gestapo", and the prophetic, thrashing “Leave Home”. The band used "Newport Gestapo" as an alternate name, since most clubs in Cincinnati banned them from playing during their first 2 years. The "Newport Gestapo" moniker, along with other names such as "Pontius Pilate And The Naildrivers", allowed them to play in clubs that did not want to be associated with the controversy The Edge generated in its early years. Feeling stifled in Cincinnati, the group spent a week gigging in Boston in the summer of 1983, not long before the release of their first single. The warm reception they received convinced them to relocate.
In July of 1984, The Edge (without a drummer) moved from Cincinnati to Boston. They recorded a ripping EP and a track for the "Let's Breed" comp LP for Throbbing Lobster Records shortly afterward. Throbbing Lobster agreed to release an album, and 15 tracks were recorded. Three of those tracks were released on the “Alternative Allston” EP. The label ran into financial difficulties and never ended up releasing the album. Following those releases, the band did 2 extensive tours of the USA and Canada, and then returned to Ohio with a bit of a folk bent and "The Banjo Single." One track off the "Banjo Single", "Just An Illusion", was shot as a video
, which MTV aired (a rarity for a track that was only available at the time as a self-released single).
The band dissolved at the end of 1987 after MTV aired the video, as several members left town to pursue college degrees.
A posthumous album titled "Johnny Cuba and The Edge" followed in 1989. This album consisted of tracks recorded at Euphoria Studios in Revere, Massachusetts. The LP documents their progress from loud, fast, and furious, to a subtler, yet still powerful approach. One side consisted of tracks recorded for a never-released LP for Throbbing Lobster. The other side contained "The Banjo Single" lineup.
Garcia-Rivera later played in pioneering Cuban rock band Arranca and Miami-based punk band Last Gang In Town. He has played shows in such far-flung places as Leticia, Colombia in the Amazon Jungle [becoming the first foreigner to perform in that region] and in Paraguay, where he has a cult following.
On November 12, 2011, The Edge will perform live for the first time in over two decades. Victor Garcia-Rivera and Karl Meyer will be joined by veteran Cincinnati drummer Eric Moreton (The Ready Stance, Sluggo, Middlemarch, BuBu Klan, Black Magic Rhythm) at the Jockey Club Reunion
held at the Southgate House in Newport, Kentucky
. Don't miss it!