That origin story is befitting of his eventual legacy. Falco is now named alongside bands like The Cramps and The Gun Club as innovators of a style of music that exploded the Blues and Rockabilly and then revived it by injecting 10,000 CCs of Punk-Rock spirit and avant-garde deconstructionism into its heart. Tav Falco’s Panther Burns was formed (with Big Star’s Alex Chilton, who was fresh off of producing The Cramps’ first singles) in 1979, and Falco’s work would go on to inspire Jack White, Jon Spencer, Primal Scream, Spacemen 3 and an innumerable number of Garage Rock musicians, as well as every performer who has ever had their music described as “Psychobilly.”
The band released its major label debut/swan-song in 1982, but Falco has kept Panther Burns alive with a rotating lineup ever since, releasing music and touring the world while also still working in film and other media. Late last year saw the release of A Tav Falco Christmas, a collection of holiday classics Panther Burned by Tav and a band that included Minutemen/firehose bassist Mike Watt.