Suburban Lawns

The brainchild of CalArts students William "Vex Billingsgate" Ranson and (Minneapolis born) Sue "Su Tissue" McLane, Suburban Lawns formed in Long Beach, California in 1978 out of the ashes of previous incarnations Art Attack and The Fabulons, recruiting Huntington Beach natives Richard "Frankie Ennui" Whitney and Charles "Chuck Roast" Rodriguez, as well as John McBurney (aka "John Gleur").

The 1979 debut single "Gidget Goes to Hell" (released on their own Suburban Industrial label) gained the band notoriety when its Jonathan Demme-directed music video was shown on Saturday Night Live.

Their sole album, Suburban Lawns, produced by EJ Emmons, was released in 1981 on I.R.S. Records, featuring New Wave radio favorite "Janitor." Gleur departed during the recording of the Richard Mazda-produced 5-song EP Baby, released in 1983, and the band folded shortly afterward.

The lyrics of "Janitor" were derived from a real-life conversation between Sue McLane and friend Brian Smith. According to Brian, the two were conversing in a loud room when they first met: "She asked me what I did for a living. I said 'I'm a janitor,' and she thought I said 'Oh my genitals.' Frankie [Richard Whitney] overheard this and wrote the song."

After Suburban Lawns folded, Whitney and Ranson formed a new, short-lived band called The Lawns, while McLane attended Berklee College of Music, where she studied piano. In 1982 McLane recorded a solo album, Salon de Musique. She also played the role of Peggy Dillman in Demme's 1986 comedy movie Something Wild.


SP-70024 Suburban Lawns - Suburban Lawns album art Suburban Lawns Suburban Lawns (Album) I.R.S. Records SP-70024 US 1981 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

6379 Suburban Lawns - Gidget Goes To Hell album art Suburban Lawns Gidget Goes To Hell(7") Suburban Industrial 6379 US 1979 Sell This Version
91680 Suburban Lawns - Janitor album art Suburban Lawns Janitor(7") Suburban Industrial 91680 US 1980 Sell This Version
none Suburban Lawns - Baby album art Suburban Lawns Baby (EP) I.R.S. Records, I.R.S. Records none US 1983 Sell This Version