(born on June 7
) is the lead singer and guitarist from the band Violent Femmes
Gano was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
. His father played guitar, and exposed his son to a wide array of musical genres, including country and western
, show tunes
, and gospel
. The liner notes to the band's compilation album Permanent Record
describe Gano as "a devout Baptist."
After graduating from high school, Gano worked briefly as an encyclopedia salesman.
Gano formed the Violent Femmes in Milwaukee in 1980, along with bassist Brian Ritchie
and drummer Victor DeLorenzo
. They soon developed a cult following
thanks to songs such as "Blister in the Sun", "Kiss Off" and "Add It Up" (all from their self-titled debut album
). The band experimented with a variety of sounds over the course of their career, such as country and western (Hallowed Ground
) and pop-rock
(The Blind Leading the Naked
). The group briefly disbanded in 1987, but reformed, and performed together through 2007.
During a Violent Femmes hiatus in the late 1980s, Gano formed a gospel group called The Mercy Seat with vocalist Zena Von Heppinstall, bassist Patrice Moran, and drummer Fernando Menendez. The group released one album in 1987 on Slash Records
Gano released his first solo album in 2002, titled Hitting the Ground.
He shared vocal duties (singing in Portuguese) with Manuel Cruz, the lead singer of the famous Portuguese rock band Ornatos Violeta in the song Capitão Romance for the last album released before their break-up, O Monstro precisa de Amigos in 1999. Gano also played violin on Ben Vaughn's 1990 album Dressed in Black.
Currently, Gano is writing, recording and performing with ex-members of The Bogmen, Billy and Brendan Ryan, under the name GanoRyan.
Gano played Mr. Zank, the first of many substitute math
teachers, in an episode of The Adventures of Pete & Pete
, entitled "X=Why?"
In popular culture
Gano is mentioned in the novel The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger.