Wall of Voodoo

Wall of Voodoo was an American New Wave band from Los Angeles that released a self-titled EP on Index in 1980, followed by four albums on I.R.S. between 1981 and 1987. In 1982, they scored an MTV hit with “Mexican Radio.”

Members: Marc Moreland (guitar), Chas T. Gray (keyboards, bass), Stan Ridgway (vocals, harmonica, keyboards, guitar, 1977-83), Joe Nanini (drums, percussion, 1977-83), Bruce Moreland (bass, keyboards, 1977-81, 1985-88), Bill Noland (keyboards, 1982-83), Andy Prieboy (vocals, guitar, 1983-88), Ned Leukhardt (drums, 1983-88)

Wall of Voodoo formed out of Acme Soundtracks, a film score business operated by musician/composer Stan Ridgway (b. 1954). Acme’s office sat directly across the street from The Masque, the epicenter of Hollywood’s punk/new wave scene.

In late 1977, guitarist Marc Moreland (then of Angelino punks The Skulls) frequented Acme and started jamming with Ridgway. Two fellow Skulls, bassist Bruce Moreland (Marc’s brother) and keyboardist Chas T. Gray, joined in along with Joe Nanini, erstwhile drummer of The Bags and Black Randy and the Metrosquad.

The name Wall of Voodoo stemmed from a sound that Ridgway created with overdubs of the Kalamazoo Rhythm Ace drum machine. He remarked that it sounded like Phil Spector’s “wall of sound.” His friend, musician Joe Berardi (later of The Fibonaccis), quipped that it sounded more like a “wall of voodoo.”

In 1980, Wall of Voodoo debuted with a self-titled EP on Calif. small-press Index. It clocks at 19:46 with five proper songs: the band originals “Longarm,” “The Passenger,” “Can’t Make Love,” and “Struggle,” plus a cover of the Cash/Kilgore composition “Ring of Fire,” which interpolates the theme of the 1966 spy-fi comedy Our Man Flint. The EP concludes with the 55-second postlude “Granma’s House.”


  • Wall of Voodoo (EP, 1980)
  • Dark Continent (1981)
  • Call of the West (1982)
  • Seven Days in Sammystown (1985)
  • Happy Planet (1987)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *