Pavlov’s Dog is a 1970s progressiverock/AOR band formed in St. Louis, Missouri in 1972. Pavlov’s Dog originally comprised David Surkamp, Steve Levin on lead guitar, Mike Safron, Rick Stockton, David Hamilton, Doug Rayburn, and Siegfried Carver (born Richard Nadler). Mark Gahr left the band and was replaced by Steve Scorfina. On their second album At the Sound of the Bell (1976), Tom Nickeson was added to the line-up on guitar and he took over Hamilton’s keyboard position after the album had been recorded as Hamilton left the band. Safron was still a member of the band but did not appear on the second album; former Yes drummer Bill Brufordplayed as a guest musician. Safron left in the aftermath of this, partially due to his failure to receive a promised credit on the album sleeve and the band’s third album featured Kirk Sarkisian on drums.
The band’s debut Pampered Menial was briefly released in 1975 on ABC Records but then quickly re-issued by Columbia Records. The result was that both versions appeared in stores at nearly the same time, which may have confused the public. The album was produced by Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman who had found success earlier in the decade producing Blue Öyster Cult. Carver left the band after the release of Pampered Menial.
Their second album At the Sound of the Bell followed on Columbia in 1976. In addition to the personnel changes noted above, a raft of guest artists contributed to the album including jazz saxophonist Michael Brecker and Roxy Music‘s Andy MacKay.
The band recorded a third album in 1977, but due to poor sales of the first two albums, Columbia refused to release it, hastening the band’s split. The third album finally appeared as a bootleg in the 1980s, a limited edition pressed from stolen master tapes. It was released under the name The St. Louis Hounds, without Pavlov’s Dog’s name on the sleeve. The third album finally was released legally in 2007 by German label Rockville Music, titled Has Anyone Here Seen Siegfried?, remastered and including additional 10 bonus tracks of unreleased material from the 1970s. The German label TRC illegally bootlegged the album, with title Third, but this version does not include the bonus tracks.
David Surkamp’s high-pitched and quickly wavering vibrato has been compared to that of Geddy Lee of Rush. When the band split up in the late 1970s, Surkamp was rumored to be dead, although in fact he was working with former Fairport Convention member Ian Matthewson a band named Hi-Fi. While living in Seattle the group was successful on the club scene and recorded a 5-track live 12″ EP in 1981 entitled Hi-Fi Demonstration Record and a studio album in 1983 entitled Moods for Mallards. Both Hi-Fi records were released on First American Records and distribution was mostly limited to the Pacific Northwest region. The small label self-destructed not long after when investors ran into tax trouble with the Internal Revenue Service.
In 1990, a reformed version of the band, with only Surkamp and Rayburn from the original line-up along with some contribution from Scorfina, recorded Lost in America for US label Telectro Records, which was re-released worldwide by Rockville Music in 2007, after TRC also having illegally bootlegged it in the late 1990s.
On June 26, 2004, a reunion concert with the original lineup, except for Siegfried Carver, took place in St. Louis. A version of the band has since toured annually in Europe since 2005. Among other venues, they played the Arrow Rock Festival in Holland 2006 in front of 54,000 people, as well as headlining both the Burg Herzberg Festival in 2007 (25,000 people) and the Woodstock Festival in 2008 (5,000 people).
In 2007 the solo album Dancing on the Edge of a Teacup by Pavlov’s Dog’s lead singer David Surkamp, was released by Rockville Music.
The band toured again late 2010 and released a new studio album (Echo & Boo).
Richard Nadler, the band’s violinist (under the stage name Siegfried Carver), died on May 30, 2009. He was 60 years old.
Doug Rayburn died on 21st September 2012.