John Dettman-Lytle learned a lot of guitar technique from David Freel, and the !Swell” strumming style has been ingrained. As loft mates at 41 Turk Street in San Francisco"s tenderloin neighborhood, he was there while Sean and David worked on the songs that would become the first album. David asked John to join as guitarist for the first live shows and the recording of the 2nd album “... Well?”. John, back then, was assistant art director at Thrasher Magazine and became a pioneer web developer in the dot-com era. Currently residing in Las Vegas, he has been remixing famous 60s hits by Herman’s Hermits as Dj Something Good, and is a consultant in the footwear industry.
For more biography information and discography: https://swell41.com/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swell_(band)#Swell_%2F_Be_My_Weapon
For a little more of the early history of Swell, please read on:
Life is weird, and Swell is weird, and now the band find themselves together again, playing their library of music (well, the first four albums anyways) live again, but now without singer and guitarist David Freel. David, who sadly passed away in 2022, may have cringed at this idea of an “in honor of...” European tour 2023.
Rewind a bit. Late 80’s, drummer Sean Kirkpatrick places an ad in Rough Trade records, San Francisco, where David responded. After back & forth attempts at making music together, Sean leaves for Northern Spain to take up residency for a while. David comes for a visit. The Pixies play at a small Basque village, and during the show, David and Sean know, it’s time to really make music. They return to San Francisco’s tenderloin (slightly dangerous, cheap rent, warehouse space, and an area that would “hear” the music at all times of the day & night and care less). It is here, that Swell was born, making the first LP, eponymously titled “Swell,” LP #2; “Well...?” and closing the door on the tenderloin years with album #3; “41” (the street number of our home above it all). These 3 albums were a mix of street noises below that seeped into the mics, and the songs created, in this place Swell called home. We never thought of using the word “Trilogy.”
Lineup additions starting with “Well...?” saw Monte Vallier join on bass, John Dettman-Lytle, guitar, and Niko Wenner, guitar (for live shows and guest recording), now all a part of the Swell sound. With this lineup, Swell would take to the road, mostly in Europe, playing assorted tours, festivals, and even a John