The Furys are one of Southern California’s first New Wave/Punk/Power-pop bands. With a new all-star line-up, they continue to record and tour. Continuing and upping The Furys game is founder Jeff Wolfe, Dave Lewty (The Cheaters), Jeff Jourard (The Motels), Cliff Roman (The Weridos), and Ray Herron (The Sloths).
The Furys were formed by Jeff Wolfe and Gregg Embrey in 1976 as a reaction to the content of popular music of the mid-70s.
Realizing the band could not achieve a major record deal with the type of music they were writing, The Furys formed their own label, Double R Records, with manager Michael Compton, raising their flag and blazing a trail in the indie music movement.
Double R Records released the first The Furys single, with A-side “Hey Ma” backed by “Jim Stark Dark,” in June 1977. The first pressing sold out 500 copy initial pressing within the first week, encouraging the band to re-release the single.
The Furys took shape as a live band in 1977 with Chaz Maley on guitar, Gary Embrey on drums, Joe Conti on organ and piano, Gregg Embrey on bass, and Jeff Wolfe as lead singer.
The Furys’ live debut was at the Surf Theatre on November 26, 1977 in Huntington Beach, CA, where the band was sandwiched between two satin-and-long-hair “progressive” rock acts. A mystified surfer yelled from the audience: “Why are you guys wearing ties?” That same audience transformed to become the notorious Huntington punk-rock crowd.
1978 saw the release of The Furys second single, with the A-side “Say Goodbye to the Black Sheep” backed by “Suburbia, Suburbia” on the flip-side. This record took off with substantial airplay on the burgeoning college/underground radio market. KROQ and their DJ’s like Rodney Bingenheimer championed and played “Black Sheep” extensively.
This year also saw The Furys’ first performance at the legendary Whisky a Go Go, appearing with “The Last” and “The Tremors”.
With the growing following from live and Southern California Radio, the floodgates opened for booking The Furys. With a growing network of clubs and a burgeoning Punk and New Wave scene 1978 saw them play extensively in Orange County, Riverside, Long Beach, and San Diego.
The Furys were at the forefront of this live music renaissance, not only playing established venues such as the Whisky, Troubadour, Starwood, and other Hollywood locales but also underground—read quasi-legal—events at the Skeleton Club, Lawn Rehearsal Studio, and other “pop up” gigs. Invariably, these events were packed with The Furys fans.
In October of ’78, The Furys were asked by local promoter Paul Greenstein if the band was willing to play at a new venue he was launching, a restaurant located in the heart of Los Angeles’ Chinatown. The band agreed to the gig and thus was the first rock n roll band to play the legendary Madame Wong’s. That first night was a rousing success, thus ensuring a decade-long entertainment empire for Wong’s. During this year, The Furys appeared with many of the other popular local bands: The Weirdos, The Zeros, The Last, The Alleycats, The Zippers, The Know, and so many more. Popular rock act The Plimsouls saw their first gigs as an opening act for The Furys.
During this time, the band also performed as an opening act for major touring acts, including British bands such as Magazine, 999, and Ultravox, along with dates with New York Dolls singer David Johansen, Iggy Pop, and many many more.
A third Furys single was released by Beat Records in 1979, “Moving Target/We Talk We Dance.”
During this time, the band continued its busy gigging schedule, making numerous appearances at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Orange County, the Nugget a Go Go in Long Beach, and Hollywood venues such as Gazzarris and the Whisky. Packed houses became de rigueur. Press coverage—both mainstream and underground—continued to be extensive.
Jeff Wolfe felt the band needed to change its home base from Orange County and move up to the Los Angeles basin. Some members were unwilling to make the move, so the group relocated and rebooted to LA in 1983. Gregg Embrey continued his role as songwriter, switching to rhythm guitar while other players were brought on board. The live gigs continued to thrive keeping The Furys in front of their fans.
1986 The Furys recorded their mini-LP “Indoor/Outdoor” at EMI-America Studio in Hollywood. Radio play on the record expanded outside the California home base and was far-reaching. The growing college/indie radio networks had picked up on The Furys, and their music’s audience continued to grow.
Interest in The Furys began anew in 2012 with radio play and fan interaction. Wolfe reformed the group and they began gig and playing southern California dates.
With growing fan interaction, live gigs The Furys released a compilation CD, “The Sound of the Furys,” featuring two new tracks recorded with the new band.
The current lineup is Jeff and Dave, Cliff Roman (Weirdos), Jeff Jourard (Motels), and Ray Herron (Sloths) . The group produces a massive sound.
“The Furys New Wave Hit Parade” was released in August 2023, chronicling the group’s three vinyl singles in the 70s, the “Indoor/Outdoor” mini album from 1986, and a bonus track, “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore,” recorded with Brian Wilson’s string section in 2016.