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10,000 Maniacs is a U.S. Jangle pop band, formed in 1981 and active with various line-ups since that time. The most well-known member has been Natalie Merchant, who left the band in 1993 to pursue a solo career.
The band was formed as Still Life, in Jamestown, New York, by Steven Gustafson (then 23 years old and a bass player), Dennis Drew (23; keyboards) and Robert Buck (22; guitar), Terry Newhouse (Buck's ex-wife and a vocalist) and Chet Cardinale (drums). Gustafson invited Natalie Merchant, then age 17, to do some vocals. John Lombardo (28; guitar) who was in a band called The Mills, used to play with Still Life occasionally and was invited to join permanently. Newhouse and Cardinale left the band in July, and Merchant became the main singer. Various drummers came and left. The band changed its name to Burn Victims and then to 10,000 Maniacs, after the low-budget horror movie Two Thousand Maniacs.
They performed as 10,000 Maniacs for the first time on September 7, 1981 (Labor Day), with a line-up of Merchant, Lombardo, Buck, Gustafson, Drew, and Tim Edborg (drums). Edborg left and Bob "Bob O Matic" Wachter was on drums for most of the ...