One of the lesser-known guitar pop bands to emerge from the fertile Athens, GA, music scene of the 1980s, the Squalls formed in 1981 following singer/guitarist Bob Hay and guitarist Ken Starratt's relocation from Maine. Regular jam sessions eventually yielded a lineup that additionally included bassist Al Walsh and drummer Mig Little, and on Halloween the Squalls made their public debut at the local restaurant the Bluebird, quickly followed by an appearance at the now-legendary 40 Watt Club. In 1982 Mark Cooper Smith replaced Little on drums, and a few months later the Squalls added vocalist Diana Torell; in 1984, the group issued its self-titled debut EP on the Mbrella label, followed a year later by a single, "Crickets." Walsh left the lineup in 1986, and was replaced by bassist Juan Molina. Saxophonist Paul Hammond also signed on in time for their first full-length record, Rebel Shoes. Also in 1986 the Squalls made a featured appearance in the documentary Athens, Ga. Inside/Out, adding two songs to its acclaimed soundtrack LP. While the film helped propel several other local acts to major-label deals, the Squalls remained with tiny indie Doggone for 1988's No Time, which proved their swan song. The group split the following year, with Hay, Starratt, and Torell later reuniting in the folk revival combo Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars.
Share this page