SVT LOGOSVT LOGOSVT LOGO

 

San Francisco based outfit fronted by ex- Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna bassist Jack Casady. Casady brought with him Nick Buck from Hot Tuna and added Brian Marnell and Bill Gibson from Airplay (ex Sound Hole). The band was formed early in 1978 as Jack Casady Band but evolved rapidly into SVT.

While the band became live favourites in the Bay Area they never managed to crack into the big money markets. Apart from their EP & LP, SVT had two 45s on 415 Records and a cut on the Ambition Records compilation "Declaration of Independence" (AMB 1) in 1980. Their debut single "Heart of Stone", became a hit on local FM station KSAN.

Bill Gibson, who had been a founding member of SVT, did not play on any of SVT's albums - only on the singles. Although, he is playing drums and singing backing vocals on two tracks that were added to the re-released and extended "No Regrets" album (see discography). Bill left SVT in 1979 to form what was to become Huey Lewis and the News. He was replaced by local drummer Paul Zahl.

With Zahl on drums, SVT recorded "Extended Play" in 1979 and after Nick Buck left SVT early in 1981, the remaining trio recorded "No Regrets". The later album dissappeard very soon after its release because the band had difficulties to find a bigger audience - mostly due to the fact that the SF audience had problems with SVT's 'punk/new wave style'. They expected different things from Casady. Eventually the lack of success and changing lifestyles led to SVT's end in 1982. Marnell's death on August 19, 1983 would also end any reunion ideas - if they ever existed.

So what does SVT stand for? Long time fans thought it to be Supra Ventricular Tachycardia - excessive heart beat and pulse rate. That's a cool idea because SVT's music could cause that. In reality the name SVT was simply taken from Jack's bass amp rig - what a bummer :)

 SVT
SVT in 1979:
Brian Marnell, Nick Buck, Bill Gibson, Jack Casady

In 2005 SVT's music became available on CD for the first time ever. Rykodisc released SVT's second album "No Regrets" with four bonus tracks. The re-release was produced by Johnny Colla and Brian Marnell's brother Randy Marnell. The CD includes liner notes by Johnny Colla who had been a good friend of Brian Marnell since 1973 and played with Brian in Sound Hole/Airplay before he joined Huey Lewis and the News and Brian would join SVT.

Anyhow, try to check out SVT's music now that it is finally available. Their mix of hard rock and new wave (wouldn't call it punk) is worth more than one listen - not only because of Bay Area legend Jack Casady! Plus, Johnny Colla's interesting liner notes give more insight into SVT's history. Enjoy!!!

Press:

article - Dark Star, 1979.
article - Media publication from 1979.

 

SVT's Discography:

  • 1979 Single: New Year/Wanna See You Cry
  • 1979 Single: Heart Of Stone/The Last Word
  • 1980 EP: Extended Play (415 Records)
  • 1981 LP: No Regrets (MSI Records)
  • 2005 CD: No Regrets - Expanded Version (Rykodisc)
  •  SVT
    SVT in 1981: Paul Zahl, Brian Marnell, Jack Casady

     

    New Year/...New Year/
    Wanna See You Cry

    (415 Records 1979)
    New Year (Live 1/79)
    Wanna See You Cry (Live 1/79)

    Musicians: Jack Casady, Brian Marnell, Nick Buck, Bill Gibson

    Out of print!
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    eBay
    GEMM
    ...
    Heart Of StoneHeart Of Stone/
    The Last Word

    (415 Records 1979)
    Heart Of Stone (12/78)
    The Last Word (6/79)

    Musicians: Jack Casady, Brian Marnell, Nick Buck, Bill Gibson

    Out of print!
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    eBay
    GEMM
    ...
    Extended PlayExtended Play
    (415 Records, 1980)
    Price Of Sex -- I Can See -- Red Blue Jeans -- Always Come Back -- I Walk The Line -- Modern Living -- Down At The Beach

    Musicians: Brian Marnell, Jack Casady, Nick Buck, Paul Zahl

    Out of print!
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    eBay
    GEMM
    ...
    No RegretsNo Regrets
    (MSI Records 1981)
    Bleeding Hearts -- Waiting For You -- Heart Of Stone -- No Regrets -- Money Street -- Love Blind -- North Beach -- What I Don't Like -- Secret -- Too Late -- You Don't Rock

    Musicians: Brian Marnell, Jack Casady, Paul Zahl

    Out of print!
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    eBay
    GEMM
    ...
    No RegretsNo Regrets
    Extended Version

    (Rykodisc 2005)
    Bleeding Hearts -- Waiting For You -- Heart Of Stone -- No Regrets -- Money Street -- Love Blind -- North Beach -- What I Don't Like -- Secret -- Too Late -- You Don't Rock

    Musicians: Brian Marnell, Jack Casady, Paul Zahl

    Bonus Tracks: All I Want -- Phone Calls* -- Outside/Inside* -- Girls**

    Additional Musicians: *Bill Gibson, */**Nick Buck

     

    PersonnelInstrumentExTo
    Jack CasadyBassJefferson Airplane, Hot TunaHot Tuna
    Nick BuckKeyboards, VocalsHot TunaRon Loney & Phantom Movers
    Bill GibsonDrums, VocalsSound Hole/Airplay, MNLHuey Lewis & The News
    Brian MarnellVocals, GuitarSound Hole/AirplayJim Carroll Band; died August 19, 1983
    Paul ZahlDrums, VocalsTuxedo MoonFlamin' Groovies

     

    Further Links:

  • Brian Marnell
        Article on Brian Marnell's death.

  • Jack Casady
        Jack's official website!

  • Pat Johnson Studios
        Supplied the cover artwork for the CD release.

  • Punk Globe
        The Punk Globe's past photos page features cool SVT pics (Brian Marnell & Paul Zahl).

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