The band playing the Whole Earth Festival circa 1985While not technically a "Davis band," Camper van Beethoven is a significant Davis export because one of the creative forces defining the band's sound, Jonathan Segel, grew up in Davis and retains ties to the town; Jonathan is the son of Dr. Irwin H. Segel, UC Davis professor of molecular & cellular biology.

Self-described as "surrealist absurdist folk," band Camper Van Beethoven was formed in 1983 in Redlands, Calif. by vocalist David Lowery, guitarist Chris Molla, and bassist Victor Krummenacher. When the group moved to Santa Cruz later that year, Camper quickly added drummer Anthony Guess, guitarist Greg Lisher, and Jonathan Segel. Jonathan's violins, keyboards, and mandolin helped provide the band's unique sound. Though the group disbanded during the '90s, they reformed in 2000, released Tusk in 2002, and followed that with a tour and two additional releases in 2004.

Noteworthy is that they played famous Davis houses such as The Pirate Ship and popular Davis events like the Whole Earth Festival.


  • Anthony Guess - drums
  • Chris Molla - vocals, guitar, drums
  • Chris Pedersen - drums
  • David Lowery - vocals, guitar, drums
  • Greg Lisher - guitar
  • Jonathan Segel - vocals, violins, keyboards, mandolin, noise
  • Morgan Fichter - violin 1989-1990
  • Victor Krummenacher - vocals, bass


  • Telephone Free Landslide Victory (1985)
  • II & III (1986)
  • Camper Van Beethoven (1986)
  • Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (1988)
  • Key Lime Pie (1989)
  • The Virgin Years (1993; by Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker)
  • Camper Vantiquities (1993; rarities compilation)
  • Camper Van Beethoven Is Dead. Long Live Camper Van Beethoven (2000; rarities compilation)
  • Cigarettes & Carrot Juice: The Santa Cruz Years (2002; box set; includes Telephone Free Landslide Victory, II & III, Camper Van Beethoven, Camper Vantiquities, and Greatest Hits Played Faster, a bonus live disc.
  • Tusk (2002)
  • In The Mouth of the Crocodile: Live In Seattle (2004)
  • New Roman Times (2004)


  • Cracker
  • Heironymous Firebrain