Preorder “Keep Music Evil – The Brian Jonestown Massacre Story” NOW!

Gorky frontman Jesse Valencia’s book on the Brian Jonestown Massacre is now available for pre-order. The book will be released 16 April 2019 by Jawbone Press.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre are probably best known for their leader Anton Newcombe’s incendiary persona, as captured in the controversial 2004 rockumentary Dig! – which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance  – but what isn’t known is the truth behind the making of the film, or the true story of the band since their formation in early 1990s San Francisco. Until now.

Writer, actor, and musician Jesse Valencia spent ten years uncovering the mystery of the band and the film, during which time he has traveled from San Francisco to Denver, Portland to Tucson, and beyond, gathering pieces of the band’s history and putting them together, clue by clue, until he found it.

Presented as a personal narrative and compiled from hundreds of sources and interviews with key members of The Brian Jonestown Massacre – including Joel Gion, Rick Maymi, Frankie Emerson, Jeff Davies, Dean Taylor, Miranda Lee Richards, and Peter Hayes – as well as members of The Dandy Warhols, Dig!director Ondi Timoner, and countless other figures from both the film and from the band’s greater history, Keep Music Evil is the definitive work on the band and their enigmatic leader.

Keep Music Evil also tells the stories of the creation of every album the band have released during their three-decade career, offering insight in Anton and his collaborators’ working methods, and provides an in-depth look at the making of Dig!, giving deeper context to the events as portrayed, correcting misinformation, and deconstructing the film as a whole. It also features rare, candid, and never-before-seen photographs of the band from throughout their career.

Click the link-out below the cover art image to purchase now!

BJM book cover



Jesse Valencia joins David Lynch Film School, inks deal to publish book on Brian Jonestown Massacre.

34963260_10155345754671566_2339147577196281856_o.jpgGorky (L to R: Tevin Crabdree, Jesse Valencia, Ben Holladay). Photo: Jim Louvau. 


36002791_10211939733877262_2014675519676612608_nValencia, pictured with a portrait of the acclaimed filmmaker, was recently accepted into Lynch’s School of Cinematic Arts for their MFA in Screenwriting Program. Photo: Mike Mahoney

34877848_10155343151366566_2263912300064800768_oActor-Musician Jesse Valencia. Photo: Jim Louvau. 


Fresh off the heels of their epic 18-song debut, ‘The Gork…And How To Get It!’, Arizona-based rock and roll revivalists Gorky have released their latest single, “Action Pants.” With a little help from The Dandy Warhols’ Courtney Taylor-Taylor, the band has crafted a song truly worthy of being called rock and roll.

‘Actions Pants,’ as 32-year old lead singer and chief songwriter Jesse Valencia told The Arizona Republic’s Ed Masley, are “That favorite pair of yours you put on when it’s time to get s–t done, kick some a–, have an adventure, or some combination of the three. At least, that’s what it is to me. They could also just be the pair your butt looks best in.”

The energetic single, released in May, is now hitting airwaves around the world as news spreads of Valencia’s acceptance into the David Lynch School of Cinematic Arts at the Maharishi University of Management for their MFA in Screenwriting Program. Lynch’s recent ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ series on Showtime has earned him praise from critics and fans worldwide, including several Emmy nominations

The series played a huge part in Valencia’s decision to submit to the program. “The cinematic world David created last summer with Twin Peaks inspired me to want to become a filmmaker,” he says, “I do many different things artistically, but most of the time they’re done separately from one another. What’s appealing about cinema is that to make a unified expression of something, you need to be running on all cylinders at once, so that’s a challenge I like. The screenplay is the blueprint, like the skeletal structure, and you decide what you make out of it, just like with writing songs. That appeals to me on many levels.” Valencia is currently at pre-production for his debut feature film, In The Land Of Good Oaks.

As if that weren’t enough, Valencia’s book on psychedelic rock band the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Keep Music Evil – A Brian Jonestown Massacre Story, has been picked up by UK-based publishers Jawbone Press for release in 2019. The book, which Valencia has worked on since 2008, is a comprehensive history of the band, and their controversial leader Anton Newcombe, from their humble beginnings in early 1990’s San Francisco to the present, compiled from interviews with over 120 current and former band members and associates, including Ondi Timoner, the director of the film that catapulted the group to international fame, “Dig!”, which celebrates its 15 year anniversary next year. A reading tour is expected around the time of release. A portion of the profits from the book will be donated to the David Lynch Foundation, which funds the teaching of Transcendental Meditation to schools and at-risk populations.


Gorky has been a staple of the American garage rock underground since 2002 as the music project of actor, writer, and multi-instrumentalist Jesse Valencia, who made his big-screen debut in the 2016 indie crime drama ‘Durant’s Never Closes,’ opposite Tom Sizemore. The band have lit up the stage as support for acts like Joel Gion and the Primary Colours, Matt Hollywood and the Bad Feelings, and The Myrrors. A retrospective of songs selected from past releases, recorded from 2007 to 2016, was compiled into the band’s official debut full-length, “The Gork…And How To Get It!”, available now on all digital retailers.

“Action Pants,” the first single from the group’s forthcoming record ‘Mathemagician,’ was made available May 4, 2018 wherever music is sold.  

“…[Jesse Valencia] is insane. Or an insane genius.” – Phoenix New Times

“If you haven’t heard Gorky before…they strike me as just a great indie rock band that has no pretension whatsoever.” – Phoenix New Times

“What I love most about Gorky is that bright, summertime sound that glazes over every song…[at a time when it] feels like [ ]indie is coming straight from the bedroom with its stripped down sound and sedate energy, Gorky turns the energy back up…” –YabYum


Please contact for interviews with Jesse Valencia, Gorky, or to solicit further info.

“Action Pants” is out now.
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“Action Pants” – Now Playing On A Radio Station Near You!

Hi Gorkheads,

We were featured last night on “Homegrown With Mo”! To vote for the track, click HERE to vote for the song to be played again this Friday!

Here is a list of stations that have begun to play the new single. If they’re in your town, please support them! More will be added in the future as the single finds its way to the airwaves.
99.1 FM Tucson  The Arizona 411

93.3 FM Phoenix Homegrown With Mo

Action Pants_Final Art


Gorky Goes To Twin Peaks To Announce New Record ‘Live At Phoenix Comicon!’ Out 7-7-17!

GORKY COMICS #1! “Gorky Goes To Twin Peaks”
Hi Gorkheadz!
Here is page one of the first-ever Gorky webcomic! As we follow Gorky, the band through a series of fantastic adventures, we will be publishing their comics on! In this issue, during their most recent tour they got lost somehow on the way to Twin Peaks, Washington…
Gorky Goes To Twin Peaks, Page 1

Stay tuned for page 2! Coming soon!

Gorky’s 3rd full length record, ‘Live At Phoenix Comicon,’ will be released on July 7, 2017! The record was tracked live in concert at Last Exit Live on June 3, 2016, shortly after their Travis Mills-directed video for ‘Super Drunk’ premiered at Phoenix Comicon’s 2016 Film Festival, where the film was nominated for Best Music Video. Songs appearing on the record are live versions of songs from Gorky’s two previous releases, 2010’s ‘High In The Low’ and 2015’s ‘The Deuces,’ as well as the band’s 2015 self-titled EP, and a couple of previously unreleased songs from forthcoming records. For music and more, please visit, and visit us on Facebook and Twitter @gorkytheband

Gorky To Perform July 7 In Phoenix As Part Of Stir It Up Records’ First Friday Event Series!

We are happy to announce that we will be playing Stir It Up Records’ First Friday Event on July 7 in downtown Phoenix! Details, link, and event flyer below:

DETAILS (from the Facebook event page):
Stir It Up Records is a proud partner of Roosevelt Row in the expansion of the First Friday Downtown Phoenix Art Walk! The expansion is hosted on Moreland Street (two blocks north of Roosevelt Street near Hance Park) and begins at the cross streets of 2nd Street and Moreladnd Street including Phoenix Center for The Arts (Facebook event map location)


-#MusicOnMoreland Stage hosted by Stir It Up, Restore Arts & AZ Event Support
-Food Trucks (previously on 6th St & Roosevelt)
-Beer Garden hosted by Phoenix Center for The Arts
-Visual performers
-Artists and additional vendors
8-9Pm – St8-48 (Punk)
9-10pm – Gorky! (Rock)

Artists: If you would like to be considered for the upcoming First Friday #MusicOnMoreland event please email

Media/Sponsorships: Please email

To RSVP to the Facebook event, click HERE


An Introduction To Gorky TV.



Captain’s log…GORK-1

Well, we’ve been a band for fifteen years now, though it’s really only felt like a couple. Me and Ben have been doing this for that long or maybe longer, I just know that our first show was in the fall of 2002 sometime, and it was a fundraiser for our high school Drama Club, back when Show Low High School still had one. More on that later.

There’s going to be a lot to reveal historically, I suppose, but I’d like to get down something of a history of the band thus far, through our songs. Recently I was organizing my stuff at home and found I had written over 200 songs, a bunch I can’t remember but plenty that I do. One could sit around all day waiting for something to happen, or one can put out music, so it appears I have a lot of catching up to do.

The demos I post to Gorky TV are going to be completely out of any kind of chronological order. I still have stuff I found that I’d written when I was 16, so it’s going to be a fun challenge to reinterpret those songs now that I am in my thirties. For many of them, it will be the first time anyone has heard them.

Here’s a newer one, ‘Never Leave It Alone’…

“Won’t stop ’til you curl your toes and shimmy your hips, baby…”

To me, this song sounds like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Prince all sat down and wrote a ballad together. It might not sound like that to you, though. It’s weird when you think of your work one way but people compare you constantly to Fall Out Boy or Pennywise or something. Everybody hears music differently.

Arranging songs into albums has always been difficult for me because I am more of a singles person. I love the format and art that comes with crafting an album, but for me, looking back at all of my work, so many songs can go together on different albums. I’d rather prefer they be arranged into playlists or something, where each song can stand out on its own.

That’s pretty much what I am going to be doing with Gorky TV, and I would like to invite you, dear listener-reader, to join us on what I hope is going to be a joyful and amazing celebration of life, art, and sound.

As a live band, Gorky thrives on the rock and roll spirit. There is no greater feeling than playing rock and roll on stage to people, but I am not one of those guys who feels that records and bands need to sound like each other. When I am recording a demo at home, or when we are in the studio, it’s 50 percent playground and 50 percent laboratory. We’re there to realize a creative vision, and when we perform that vision to a crowd of people, suddenly it becomes something else. It becomes participatory. Sometimes these genius things you conjure in the studio don’t translate as well live, or like ballads are another thing. I have dozens of these slow, emotive songs, but I can’t see Gorky playing them live to people. Sometimes they might work. It really depends on the moment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad songs, or that they don’t fit on the records or aren’t good singles, it’s just that I would prefer to play something else.

It’s a good thing, then, that I’ve got 200+ some odd songs to share with you, like this one, ‘Maybe I Am (And Maybe You Are Too).’ I wrote it in Flagstaff probably June or July 2011 when I was finishing my undergrad there at Northern Arizona University, listening to a lot of Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds, just a lot of 60s folk rock in general, but I was also still heavy into glam rock, by which I mean T. Rex, so you might hear some of that in here too.

maybe i am

“Any which way you choose I’m all about it, ’cause I know it’s gonna be alright…”

Eventually you look back at your songs and forget what your influences were, because it all becomes blended. I am aware it’s different for everyone, but I started out by mimicking all of my favorite artists, and then once you figure out what you’re doing you find your own sound that way, through all the little tricks and things you pick up. Takes a lot of work and time, but it is absolutely imperative you find your own sound. If you just copy someone else’s sound without putting yourself into it, you’re literally accepting that whatever that other artist did, your work will never be as good or original as that, and so you might as well just do what they’re doing to be successful.

Fuck all that.


“So delicious and so boring…”

I can’t say what the timeline is going to be for my recording and releasing these songs through Gorky TV. There are also new records and singles on the way and some potential big changes not far down the road, so mostly these are going to be versions of songs I make myself, playing all of the instruments, and maybe some of them can be formed into albums. Also I am going to keep writing music indefinitely, and we are also doing more as a band. Me and the boys are fixin’ to blow the lid off soon, so sit tight.

Also, since we don’t really belong to any particular scene here in Arizona, one could consider Gorky TV to be a beacon from another world, transmitting you strange music from a far away place, because that’s exactly what it is.

Anyway, I guess I could write forever, so I will leave you with ‘My Big Bad Blues.’ This song is part of the soundtrack to a film I am currently writing the screenplay for. That will be happening and I am very excited for it. In the meantime, please subscribe to Gorky TV and navigate your way through the Gorkweb!

Thanks for reading, Gorkheads. Until next time…

11 June 2017

my big bad blues

For already-officially released stuff, please visit the GORKY Bandcamp Page