The Electric Eels were formed by John Morton (guitar), Dave “E” McManus (vocals, clarinet), and Brian McMahon (guitar; not to be confused with Slint member), all ex-pupils of Lakewood High School, Lakewood, Ohio, in 1972. The three had been to see a Captain Beefheart gig and been unimpressed enough by the support band (Youngstown’s Left End) to decide that they could do better themselves. Unlike other glam rock groups of the era, Morton had also been influenced by free jazz: “I remember listening to Ornette Coleman, John Cale, Sun Ra and Albert Ayler. That’s what the eels was supposed to be, but we didn’t really understand it.” This had also led to early meetings with Peter Laughner of Rocket from the Tombs at the local record store.
[via Mark Stewart]