Frank Black, also known by the stage name Black Francis real name Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV, born April 6, 1965 in Boston, Massachusetts, is an American musician. He was one of the founding members of the alternative rock band Pixies. Thompson was raised in Harbor City, California. He studied in the University of Massachusetts, before taking off to Puerto Rico as part of an exchange program. It was there where he reportedly spent six months in an apartment with a “weird, psycho, roommate,”Timeline 1 who inspired the song “Crackity Jones.” Many of the Pixies” early songs refer to Thompson”s experiences in Puerto Rico, most notably “Isla De Encanta,” incorrectly named after the island”s motto, “Isla Del Encanto” Island of Charm. Thompson finally left his studies after thinking whether he would go to New Zealand to view Halley”s Comet or to start a rock band with his former roommate from Massachusetts, Joey Santiago.
The Pixies were active from 1986 to 1992. They found success primarily on college radioTimeslines 2 in America and became very popular in Britain and throughout Europe. They have kept a following, and have since been seen as one of the best and most influential rock groups of that style.
His lyrics are noted for their sometimes weird references to unusual topics like outer space, unexplained phenomena such as UFOs, and even The Three Stooges. He has also used the Bible as a source for his stories, most known in the tale of “Nimrod”s Son” and the stories of Uriah and Bathsheba in “Dead” and Samson in “Gouge Away”. Lyrics with a focus on science fiction were mostly used on his three solo albums of the mid-1990s which were Frank Black, Teenager of the Year, and The Cult of Ray.All Music 3 With the Catholics, his lyrics have more often tended towards historical topics; for example, on Dog in the Sand, there is a song called “St. Francis Dam Disaster”, which is about the catastrophic collapse of the St. Francis Dam near Los Angeles in March, 1928 and the All My Ghosts ep featured an account of the “Humboldt County Massacre” of Wiyot Indians on February 26, 1860 near Eureka, California. This shows in in Thompson”s songcraft, one left in two murder victim tributes: “The Last Stand of Shazeb Andleeb”, eulogizing a Pakistani student at Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California who was beaten to death on May 18, 1995; and “I Gotta Move”, a copy for Eraserhead actor Jack Nance, who died from head trauma apparently sustained during an alteraction in the parking lot of Winchell”s Doughnut House in Pasadena on December 29, 1996.
Other lyrics celebrate film, music and literature like directors Luis Bunuel in “Debaser” and Jacques Tati in “The Jacques Tati”; rockers Jonathan Richman “The Man Who Was Too Loud”, the Ramones “I Heard Ramona Sing” and singer Johnny Horton “If It Takes All Night” and writers Ray Bradbury “The Cult of Ray” and Madeleine L”Engle “Headache”.