Raybeats Reunion


The Raybeats recently reunited to back Adele Bertei at a couple of gigs in New York City. They played at Joe’s Pub on Saturday, August 21st, and at Bowery Electric on Wednesday, August 25th. Although this is not a Raybeats’ reunion in the traditional sense, it does mark the first time that Pat Irwin, Jody Harris and Don Christensen have shared the same stage in twenty years. Gail Ann Dorsey (who has worked with David Bowie) played bass. 

Pat Irwin answered a few questions about the “reunion”:

How did the idea for a Raybeats’ reunion come about? We didn’t really see it as a reunion. It was more of an opportunity to play some music with one another again. It wouldn’t have happened without our old friend Adele Bertei who was the keyboard player in the original No New York version of the Contortions. Adele is an amazing singer and this is the first time the Raybeats actually backed up a singer.

How long did the band rehearse? We got together two or three times to rehearse.

How many gigs did you play with this line-up? We played two shows, one at Joe’s Pub and the other at The Bowery Electric.

How did Gail Ann Dorsey get chosen to handle bass duties? How did you like working with her? I love playing with Gail. Gail played bass a couple of times with the B-52s and one quite memorable time she performed in place of Cindy Wilson when we did some shows in South America. Gail is awesome. I met her through Zachary Alford and Sara Lee. I first saw her perform with David Bowie and was completely transported by her playing.

This obviously wasn’t a traditional reunion in the sense that you, Jody & Don weren’t performing Raybeats’ standards like “Tone Zone” and “Searching.” Instead, you were backing Adele Bertei. Still, you were billed as the Raybeats, and it did mark the first time in approximately twenty years that you, Don and Jody were on the same stage together. How did it feel to work with your old band mates again? It was fantastic to play music with Don and Jody again. To be honest with you, it was very low key and very cool.

When you first started working with Jody and Don, you were young men, in your twenties and early thirties. How would you compare/contrast the Raybeats of 2010 to the Raybeats of 1980? I think we’re grown ups now. 

Is there any likelihood that the Raybeats will perform together again? And, if so, would it be in a traditional sense, performing classic Raybeats’ numbers? I would love to play with the Raybeats again and would love to do it with Gail. I can imagine doing it again if Adele wants to do another show. I’d look forward to it. 


On June 29th, 2011, the Raybeats performed at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey, at one of Danny Amis’s benefit shows. This marked the first time in a year that Jody, Pat and Don had shared the stage, and the first time in over twenty years that they reunited to perform original Raybeats’ material. They were joined by veteran Steve Almaas (Suicide Commandos, Beat Rodeo, Crackers) on bass. (For information about Danny’s recent health struggles, click here.) Other acts scheduled for that evening were the Individuals, Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley (of Yo La Tengo), the Schramms, and Tall Lonesome Pines. 


One Response to “Raybeats Reunion”

  1. Jody Harris Says:

    Hi, this is Jody Harris. The Adele show was pure joy and went over like ringin’ a bell. Can’t provide superlatives enough for Adele and Gail and Bitty. Raybeats socks rolling up and down during “Shakin’ All Over.”

    I originally elected not to cooperate with this site because the Raybeats period was a miserable one for me (my fault) and I couldn’t bear going thru it all again. I’m over it.

    Donnie Bill and Pat and I got together again with Steve Almaas on bass (the best!) for the Danny Amis benefit. It turned out to be, imhop, the best gig we ever did, and the most fun I’ve had with my pants on in years.

    We will do more shows in the future if the good lord’s willin, etc.

    yr pal, Jody Harris

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