"Prior to forming the Gun Club, Jeffrey Lee Pierce (1958-1996) fronted The Red Lights. While 1980 is viewed as ground zero for Pierce's career-his autobiography Go Tell The Mountain starts with the founding of the Gun Club-Pierce was active as a rock critic for Slash magazine and had started songwriting years earlier. Throughout the late 1970s, Pierce's primary musical interests were power pop and reggae. He was the president of the Blondie fan club and had interviewed Burning Spear. So when the Red Lights, Pierce's first serious attempt at forming a band, started rehearsing it's unsurprising that power pop (with a hint of reggae) was the group's musical direction.
"The Red Lights existed throughout 1978. The lineup for the band's debut show on July 14, 1978-opening for The Germs and The Middle Class at the Whisky-was Jeffrey Lee Pierce (vocals and guitar), Anna Statman (bass), Vitus Matar (keyboards) and Jack Reynolds (drums). Matar and Reynolds were members of The Last; Anna Statman was a contributing writer to Pleasant Gehman's Lobotomy fanzine. This lineup was short-lived. Matar dropped out afterwards; Jack Reynolds stuck around a little longer. Thanks to Flipside's gig reviews, it's known that the Red Lights played at least two more shows: one at The Arena in Culver City and another one at The Rock Corporation in Van Nuys on August 9, 1978, opening up for The Weasels. By the end of 1978, Pierce had moved to New York City, effectively ending the Red Lights