Friday, March 01, 2024

Lyres: Garage Nightmares 1979 - 1993


The Lyres were and are a band basically comprised of Jeff Conolly and anybody else he felt like

playing music with for a while and then firing. He started out in Boston singing with punk/60's band DMZ in the mid-to-late '70's while working at local rib house Buzzy's Bar-B-Q.  

The band got signed to Sire Records during the initial post-punk/new wave upheavel, but their first and

only release was horribly produced by Flo and Eddie of the Turtles(!) ("it sounded like their bellys were pushing up the bass drum faders and nothing else") and the band disintegrated shortly afterward. Jeff recruited a couple of the guys from DMZ and recorded a break-out single on Ace of Hearts Records, a local label founded by Richard W. Harte." 


The LYRES is a Boston-based band, lead by Jeff Conolly. DMZ was the pre-Lyres line-up, with some

musicians playing in Lyres. As plenty of Boston bands, the story is quite complicated, and going to side-bands and linked bands drive more to a real web than a tree.

One source was Pete Frame's band tree as reprinted in A Promise Is A Promise (scanned hereafter), the other from Joe Harvard's Rock in Boston : "Luckily, Lyres veteran Dan McCormack took pity on my

pathetically inadequate archival efforts, and sent me the following list of Lyres line-ups. It contradicts the family tree in the A Promise Is A Promise LP, compiled by Rock Family Tree guy Pete Frame, which Danny figures "may be approx 70% correct". Former band members have pointed out that Frame garnered 100% of his data straight from Jeff'- and they cite this as the primary reason that it's not quite all there.

Their most popular songs included "Don't Give It Up Now," 'She Pays The Rent' and "Help You Ann".

The original lineup of the band featured Conolly, Rick Coraccio (bass), Ricky Carmel (guitar), and Paul Murphy (drums).

Former DMZ members Coraccio, Murphy, Peter Greenberg, and Mike Lewis all rejoined Conolly in

Lyres at some point from 1979 to the early 2000s. The A-Bones drummer Miriam Linna, (a former drummer for The Cramps) and then A-Bones, Yo La Tengo and former Lyres bass player Mike Lewis filled-in with Lyres for a show in 1986. Stiv Bators of The Dead Boys and Lords of the New Church, and Wally Tax of The Outsiders also recorded with Lyres in the late 1980s.

Lyres were less active in 1989, due to Conolly living in California for a brief period. After a renewed

period of activity in the early 1990s, the band went through a dormant period until 1999. Conolly is the one member who has been in every lineup during the large number of Lyres personnel changes. In 2009, Lyres played at the Go Sinner So festival in Madrid and an additional date in Porto Nuovo. This line-up included a fill-in Peter Greenberg on guitar.

Led by garage rock obsessive record collector, Farfisa organ king, and world-class megalomaniac Jeff

“Monoman” Conolly, Lyres rose from the ashes of Conolly’s first band, DMZ. Sporting a similar high-energy trash-rock sound indebted to the Seeds, ? & the Mysterians, the Stooges, and the early British Invasion (especially early Kinks), Lyres, for a brief, shining moment, were the kingpins of Boston’s punk rock scene.

Resembling venerable British blues-rockers Savoy Brown because of a constantly changing lineup

(something like 40 musicians have passed through the ranks), Lyres (or more specifically, Monoman) gleefully party on oblivious of trends. A dinosaur in his own right? Perhaps, but as long as Jeff Conolly has his organ, a few guys behind him, and a place to play, the simple joy that can only be had through rock & roll will exist in this world — hipness be damned!


Jeff Conolly (organ, vocals)
Steve Aquino (guitar)
Paul Murphy (drums)
Dave Szczepaniak (bass)



Lyres – The Early Years - 1979 To 1983 (Live At Cantones And WERS-FM)
Label: Crypt Records – CRYPT CD 057, Crypt Records – CR-057
Format: CD, Compilation
Country: US
Released: Apr 15, 1994
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock, Punk, Rock & Roll




01. Never Met A Girl Like You Before
02. Soapy
03. Gonna Find A New Love
04. I Really Want You Right Now
05. Swing Shift
06. Take A Look At Me
07. Buried Alive
08. Tryin' Just To Please You
09. The Way I Feel About You
10. Nobody But Me
11. Busy Body
12. What A Girl Can Do
13. Let's Have A Party

2nd GIG EVER, JAN 1979        


14. 100 CC
15. Little Sally Tease
16. Let's Talk About Girls

LIVE IN WBCN STUDIO, 1979        

17. How Do You Know

PORTLAND, MAINE MAY 1980        


18. Ain't That Lovin' You Baby
19. Geraldine
20. Love Man

BOSTON, JULY 1981        
21. Lily
22. Skinny Minnie
23. Since You've Been Gone
24. Long Gone



Bass – Rick Coraccio
Drums – Paul Murphy
Guitar – Danny McCormick (tracks: 1 to 13),
Peter Greenberg (tracks: 21 to 24),
Little Man (tracks: 14 to 20)
Jeff Conolly - organ, vocals

Flac Size: 525 MB


Lyres – On Fyre
Label: Matador – OLE 302-2
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Repress 1998
Country: US
Released: 1984
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock, Rock & Roll




01. Don't Give It Up Now
02. Help You Ann
03. I Confess  (Written-By – J. Kollenberg, R. Graffia)
04. I'm Tellin' You Girl
05. Love Me Till The Sun Shines  (Written-By – D. Davies)
06. I Really Want You Right Now
07. Tired Of Waiting  (Written-By – R. Davies)
08. Dolly
09. Soapy  (Written-By – M. Ward)
10. The Way I Feel About You  (Written-By – T. Waddington)
11. Not Like The Other One


12. Never Met A Girl Like You  (Written-By – R. Davies)
13. How Could Have I Done All Of These Things
14. Swing Shift  (Written-By – J.L. Greek, R. Dangle)
15. Trying Just To Please You
16. Busy Body  (Written-By – L. P. Johnson)

SHE PAYS THE RENT 12"        

17. Someone Who'll Treat You Right Now
18. She Pays The Rent
19. You've Been Wrong


20. I'll Try Anyway  (Written-By – Gallo, Waddington)



Bass – Rick Coraccio
Drums – Paul Murphy
Guitar – Danny McCormack
Vocals, Organ – Jeff Conolly
Written-By – Jeff Conolly (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 17 to 19)


The Original album, released on Ace of Hearts 1984. Track #6, I Really Want You Right Now, was only released on the New Rose version of the album, and the US promo version.
Previously unreleased tracks recorded at the same time as the album. Mixed in 1997.
Originally released as the She Pays The Rent 12", Ace oh Hearts 1985.
Only released on the She Pays The Rent promo 12"
Glass Mastered At – EMI MFG.

Flac Size: 484 MB


Unknown place, unknown locale
somewhere, in 1985
“Live" vinyl LP bootleg (orange cover)


01. Stacy
02. Stop and Take a Look at Me
03. Help You Ann
04. Soapy
05. Nobody But Me
06. Cinderella
07. Swing Shift
08. What a Girl Can't Do

Flac Size: 196 MB


Lyres – Lyres Lyres
Label: New Rose Records – ROSE 103 CD
Format: CD, Album
Country: France
Released: 1986
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock



01. Not Looking Back    4:18
02. She Pays The Rent    4:45
03. You'll Never Do It Baby    3:20
04. I Love Her Still, I Always Will    3:27
05. No Reasons To Complain    3:17
06. The Only Thing    3:10
07. Stacey    2:34
08. How Do You Know?    3:12
09. You Won't Be Sad Anymore    2:47
10. If You Want My Love    3:28
11. Busy Men    4:40
12. Teach Me To Forget You    3:10
13. Stormy    3:18



Bass – Rick Coraccio
Cymbal, Organ [Farfisa, Vox Continental], Tambourine, Vocals – Jeff Conolly
Drums – John Bernardo
Guitar – Danny McCormack

Flac Size: 344 MB


Lyres – A Promise Is A Promise
Label: New Rose Records – ROSE 153 CD
Format: CD, Album
Country: France
Released: 1988
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock



01. Here's A Heart   3:30
Vocals [Uncredited] – Stiv Bators
Written-By – L. Regal, P. Tubbs
02. On Fyre    2:20
03. Everyman For Himself    3:14
04. Feel Good    3:49
05. I'll Try You Anyway    4:01
06. Worried About Nothing    3:04
07. Running Through The Night   2:28
Written-By – Joe Docko
08. She's Got Eyes That Tell Lies   3:17
Written-By – Mealey & Costello
09. Jagged Time Lapse   4:27
Written-By – McCleland, Hewlett
10. Knock My Socks Off    3:43
11. Sick And Tired   3:12
Written-By – C. Kenner, D. Bartholomew
12. Trying Just To Please You    4:36
13. She Pays The Rent    4:12
14. She's Got Eyes That Tell Lies (Live)   3:02
Written-By – Mealey & Costello
15. Touch   3:41
Vocals [Uncredited] – Wally Tax
Written-By – R. Spinter, W. Tax
16. Witch (Live/Rennes)   2:54
Written-By – G. Roslie
17. Jezebel   2:57
Written-By – W. Shanklin
18. Go-Go-Girl   1:55
Written-By – Bolan
19. Help You Ann    2:12
20. Don't Give It Up Now    4:19
21. Cinderella   2:58
Written-By – G. Roslie

Total Time: 69'55



Bass – Matt Miklos
Drums – John Smith
Guitar – Jack Hickey
Vocals, Organ – Jeff Conolly
Written-By – J. Conolly (tracks: 2 to 6, 10, 12, 13, 19, 20)



CD version contains 9 bonus live tracks.
Tracks 13 to 15 recorded Live at VPRO radio
Tracks 16 to 21 recorded live in Rennes, France

Flac Size: 474 MB



Lyres – Nobody But Lyres
Label: Taang! Records – T-58, Taang! Records – TAANG! 58
Format: CD, EP
Country: US
Released: 1992
Genre: Rock
Style: Rock & Roll, Garage Rock



01. Nobody But Me
Written-By – R. Isley
02. How Can I Make Her Mine
Written-By – Stedman
03. Happy Now
Written-By – Johann
04. Here's A Heart
Featuring – Stiv Bators
Written-By – L. Regal, P. Tubbs
05. Baby
Written-By – S. Welkon
06. We Sell Soul
Written-By – E. Schwartze, Roky Erikson



Bass, Backing Vocals – Rick Coraccio
Drums – Paul Murphy
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Richard Carmel Jr.
Harmonica – Jack Hickey
Vocals, Keyboards, Tambourine – Jeff Conolly


CD label reads "ATTENTION: THERE ARE SOME TEXT CORRECTIONS WE'D LIKE TO MAKE YOU AWARE OF - Mr. Harte's first name is Rick (not Ric)
"How Can I Make Her Mine, "We Sell Soul" and "Here's a Heart" are licensed from Ace of Hearts
The proper title of the third track is "But if Your Happy" (not Happy Now)

Flac Size: 131 MB


Lyres – Happy Now...
Label: Taang! Records – TAANG! 66
Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 1993
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock



01. Baby (I Still Need Your Lovin)  (Written-By – S. Welkom)   3:15
02. But If You're Happy  (Written-By – Johann)   2:35
03. Never Be Free  (Written-By – D. Malloy)   2:07
04. I'll Make It Up To You  (Written-By – Randy Hall)    2:32
05. Pain  (Written-By – Musil, Kelsey)   4:10
06. Now I've Got A Witness  (Written-By – Nanker-Phelge)   3:33
07. Nobody But Me  (Written-By – R. Isley)   3:12
08. Stoned  (Written-By – Nanker-Phelge)   2:59
09. I Ain't Going Nowhere  (Written-By – Jeff Conolly)   3:28
10. 100 cc's (Bootleg Version)  (Written-By – Jeff Conolly)   2:17
11. Take A Look At Me  (Written-By – Robert Holden, Jr.)   2:55
12. I Can Tell  (Written-By – McDaniel, Smith)   2:54



Bass – Rick Coraccio
Drums – Paul Murphy
Guitar – Richard Carmel Jr.
Harmonica – Jack Hickey
Vocals, Keyboards, Tambourine – Jeff Conolly


  1. I have almost everything here. For me the Boston scene was one of the most interesting phenomena of " new" music at the end of the 70s.
    I was enthusiaste about groups like
    Robin Lane and the Chartbusters, Real Kids, Mission of Burma, Human Sexual Response etc...

  2. What a great post and a great work Mr Kostas. My oppinion is that URBAN ASPIRINES is the best music blog. All my respect!!!
    Carlo (Italy)

  3. New to your blog. Happy to see this kinda material. Thanks so much.