Members: Jim Lindberg, Fletcher Dragge, Randy Bradbury, Byron McMackin
Active: 1988 - Present
In 1989, in the band\'s original incarnation, the band consisted of Jim Lindberg (vocals), Fletcher Dragge (guitar), Byron McMackin (drums) and Jason Thirsk (bass). They released two EPs, Wildcard (1988) and A Word From the Wise (1989)
Each of the band members had played in other bands in the Hermosa Beach, California area and attended the same high school. The group signed to Epitaph Records in 1990 and released Pennywise in 1991; the album quickly spread throughout the punk community, earning the band some nation-wide recognition. Lyrics in the album endorsed a positive mental attitude, helping promote progressive ideals for Generation X. Lindberg left the band soon after the debut and Thirsk took his place on vocals, with Randy Bradbury taking Thirsk\'s place on bass. Lead singer of The Vandals, Dave Quackenbush also took over on vocals for a brief stint in 1992 while Thirsk remained on bass. Lindberg married but returned to the group in 1992.
With Lindberg back, Pennywise released Unknown Road (1993), which was an underground hit and established the band as a force in punk music. By 1995, punk bands like the Offspring, Green Day and Rancid had hit the mainstream and Pennywise was invited to join several major labels. The band refused and stuck with Epitaph Records, releasing About Time in 1995; the album was another indie hit.
AFTERMATH OF THIRSK\'S DEATH 1996-2003
In 1996, Pennywise began recording their fourth album; Thirsk left to try to quit drinking; he was successful but then committed suicide after a relapse on July 29, 1996.
After Jason Thirsk\'s death, Full Circle (1997) and Straight Ahead (1999) were somewhat less popular than the last few albums. This was followed by a live LP, Live at the Key Club (2000) and Land of the Free? (2001). After that came From the Ashes (2003).
RECENT HISTORY 2004 - PRESENT
2004 saw the re-release of their only video called Home Movies in 2004 for a DVD version. The video was originally released in 1995 and has been out of print since 1997.
The band\'s eighth album, The Fuse, was released in Europe on June 27 and in North America on August 9, 2005. Also during that year, they released digitally-remastered versions of their older albums: Pennywise, Unknown Road, About Time and Full Circle on March 8.
After the release of The Fuse, there were some rumors of a break up after their Australian tour was cancelled. However, frontman Jim Lindberg has later denied that statement and decided to keep the band active.
As of May 2006, Pennywise is currently taking a break and will start/continue writing their ninth studio album, which is likely to be released in 2007. However, at the moment, no details about the album are known and plans to record it have been announced.
1988 - Wildcard Self-released EP
1989 - A Word from the Wise Self-released EP
1990 - Wildcard/A Word From the Wise Compilation, contains material of their self-released EPs
1991 - Pennywise Epitaph First release on Epitaph Records.
1993 - Unknown Road
1995 - About Time (Last release to feature bassist Jason Thirsk, due to his death on July 29, 1996.)
1997 - Full Circle (Dedicated to fallen bassist Jason Thirsk.)
1999 - Straight Ahead
2000 - Live @ the Key Club
2001 - Land of the Free
2003 - From the Ashes
2005 - The Fuse