Click on the playback buttons
to hear music from The Lines
The Lines started in 1979 in Hauppauge, NY. A group of friends who were also musicians decided they wanted to form a New Wave band, a style then just bursting onto the musical landscape.
Beginning as a New Wave cover band with an affinity for the Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Blondie, Television and others, the Lines soon began to incorporate original material into their live shows. The late Seventies were a time where audiences were eager to hear original music, and the band developed a following for their energetic, dance-oriented yet thoughtful music, playing local clubs and especially Stony Brook University.
A pivotal gig at the now-defunct, legendary Long Island club My Father's Place kicked the Lines' career into overdrive. A writer for The New York Times happened to be in the audience and was impressed by the band's music that night. He wrote an article about the Lines in the Times that garnered greater attention for the band, which was soon also covered in the pages of other publications. This coverage and impressive word-of-mouth got the Lines into bigger and better venues, such as The Ritz, Max's Kansas City, Malibu, and clubs and colleges too numerous to list—most now a part of rock and roll history.
On the strength of songs such as the jauntily optimistic "Better Things," the adrenaline-fueled lust-song "The Itch," and "Thought Projection," "a song of terror and isolation in a singles bar" as Newsday's Wayne Robins succinctly declared it, the Lines continued to play gigs both as a headliner and as a backing act. The band shared the stage with such artists as the Ramones (at a landmark New Year's Eve show), the Jam, the Go-Gos, the Delta Five, Our Daughter's Wedding, The Millionaires (featuring a not-yet-mega-star Madonna), Defunkt, The Bush Tetras, The Blasters and many more, including Duran Duran's first-ever appearance in the United States. (The only remaining proof of this gig aside from the memories is an almost completely ruined backstage pass, pictured below).
Early in their career, the Lines released a single featuring "Let's Be Modern" backed with "Who Is Number One," which gained club and local/college radio play. Later, the Lines went back into the studio for a more ambitious four-song EP titled "Statues" for the song of the same name, an ode to suburban alienation that became a favorite among audiences.
Inevitably, the bubble burst and as musical tastes changed and the individual members went in different directions, the Lines disbanded in the early Eighties. A one-off reunion show occurred in 2005, and who knows what the future might bring, or what songs the individual band members might play at upcoming gigs (it's happened before and will probably happen again). Enjoy this collection of photos, original ads, record covers, original song lyrics and more. If any of the other band members can unearth more, we'll post it here.