This USA-based hardcore band comprised Mike Magrann (vocals, guitar), Kimm Gardner (guitar), Larry Kelly (bass) and Mike Burton (the most permanent of their first four drummers).
Residents of the suburban community of Cerritos in south Los Angeles, they originally formed in 1980. Their first release was an EP on Californian label Posh Boy in 1981. One track from this, ‘Manzanar’, was played heavily by UK disc jockey John Peel, which resulted in Posh Boy’s Robbie Fields licensing a three-track EP to No Future Records. This was headed by the title track ‘I’ve Got A Gun’. ‘Manzanar’ was again present, and concerned Magrann’s mother (he is partially of Japanese origin) being sent to a work camp in World War II. In 1982, Jack DeBaun become their new drummer, and Fear Of Life was retitled I’ve Got A Gun in the UK with some differences in the track-listing. After The Lights Go Out was a superior and more consistent effort, although it failed to recapture the spark of interest that accompanied their first UK single. Ex-Stepmother Jay Lansford strengthened Magrann’s songwriting when he joined the band in 1984. Their 1985 collection for Enigma Records (with Dusty Watson on drums) revealed that the band had comfortably navigated the transition to a more straightforward rock format, without losing that early spark. However, it was to be their last recording. Magrann’s summation of their brief existence ran thus: ‘Channel 3 was a band formed around friendships, if we weren’t playing guitars together we’d probably be bowling or robbing Laundromats together.’