Named the wealthiest city in the US in 2008 and a consistent top 10 contender for “Best Quality of Life,” Plano, Texas didn’t always have such a sterling reputation. Luxury cars and nose jobs have always been fodder for high school lunch room talk in this Dallas suburb, but so have suicide, steroids and heroin overdoses.
Way before anyone uttered the phrase “McMansion,” executives flocked to Plano and it’s sprawling corporate campuses to build tasteless castles in so-called golf course communities. Does this sound a little like hell? It must have felt that way to the nine high school students who offed themselves in the early eighties, a tragedy that produced articles in the national media that were as much rubber-necking as they were hand-wringing. (Seemingly blind to their problems, the 90’s found Plano with an epidemic of heroin overdose deaths and less then ten years later, a string of hospitalizations related to steroid abuse.)
Guitarist Andy Thompson and singer Chris Savage met as Plano high school students in 1984. Together they formed the Buck Pets, a band that traded coked out for fuzzed out preppy for punk rock. In just a few years they were a staple of the Deep Ellum scene, appearing on this 1987 Island Records compilation “The Sound of Seep Ellum.” They have the distinction of being the only band on the comp to get picked up by the label, later releasing two full-length albums.
If these guys has been born in Westchester County they might have been the first Vampire Weekend. Thankfully they opted for good old fashioned Texas rock instead. Frequent openers for the Ramones, Flaming Lips and Janes Addiction, the band broke up in 1993.