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The Tycoons


Chris Ballew - Vocals, Bass, Drums, Keyboard
Gavin Guss - Vocals, Piano, Drums
Phil Hurley - Vocals, Guitar, Drums, Tambourine

The Tycoons, a 3 piece "super group" featuring Phil Hurley, Gavin Guss and Chris Ballew. All three musicians took turns playing each of the instruments. Released an official CD EP "Is It Christmas Yet?", which is now out of print.

Official Tycoons Promo Letter - BIO: 

The Tycoons Bio

"When one first hears about this new Seattle band called The Tycoons, one may picture a group of wealthy, powerful and famous personages. One would not be wrong. The Tycoons are indeed three musicians whose riches lie in their tuneful songs; their power eviden in reucoues performances; and they also happen to get along famously. In fact, The Tycoons are equal parts aristocrasy and democracy, all three singing and playing guitar, piano, bass and drums in ever-revolving combinations.

To paint a sound-portrait of The Tycoons is to imagine the wit and infectious rhythm of Chris Ballew, fresh from a four-year term of office with sensational Presidents of the United States of America (and zoo-keeper of The Giraffes). Now add the smooth musicality and sly charm of Phil Hurley, late of the lively pop-rock outfit known as Gigolo Aunts. Finally, blend these elents with the swirling melodic grooves Of Gavin Guss, formerly linked to the bouncy popsters of TubeTop.

When these three tycoons aren't sipping a cool martini, smoking a long cigar, or lounging by pool, one can bet one's last dollar they are rocking out with style, class, and just a hint of amusement visible above their silken white ascots.

Indeed, The Tycoons have arrived."


From the Official Tycoons Website:

"So once again it's time to jot down a few words about recent comings and goings here in Tycoon-land. There has been a veritable flurry of activity this season, as we saw the completion of our first recorded effort, "Is It Christmas Yet?". It's a lovely little package, featuring the artistic handiwork of our own Mr. Ballew. The Christmas e.p. should be available in finer stores any time now, and we plan to play some very festive holiday shows in support thereof.

In addition to the new e.p., we managed to sneak back into the studio to record our debut collection of non-holiday material, "as yet untitled". We completed seven songs, and these may well come out together as a mini-album, although we have yet to determine how or when. Look for such titles as "Good Morning Tycoon", "X", "When I Come Home", "Lady Elaine", "Lifeboat", "Good Times", and "Do I Love You?" to be gracing the silvery cd format in coming months.

Meanwhile, we wish everyone the most joyous of seasonal tidings, and hope one can catch the occasional breath as we gallop toward year's end. Our own method for coping requires the use of an oxygen tank and a double Cosmopolitan.

Your obedient, humble,


List of all known Tycoons songs:

Track: Source: Year: Details:
Cloudy Cloud Is It Christmas Yet (EP) 1998 Chris Ballew: Vocals, Bass, Acoustic
Gavin Guss: Electric Piano, Drums, Backup Vocals
Phil Hurley: Guitar Backup Vocals

Recorded at Avast, Seattle, WA
Every Other December Is It Christmas Yet (EP) 1998 Gavin Guss: Vocals, Piano, Guitar
Chris Ballew: Drums, Backup Vocals
Phil Hurley: Guitar Backup Vocals

Recorded at Avast, Seattle, WA
To Be There At Christmas With You Is It Christmas Yet (EP) 1998 Phil Hurley: Vocals Acoustic & Electric Guitar
Chris Ballew: Bass
Gavin Guss: Drums

Recorded at Avast, Seattle, WA
Frozen Christmas Is It Christmas Yet (EP) 1998 Gavin Guss: Piano, Vocals
Phil Hurley: Slide Solo, Drums, Tambourine
Chris Ballew: Bass

Recorded at Avast, Seattle, WA
Do I Love You? Unreleased studio track 1998 After recording the Is It Christmas Yet (EP), Another recording session took place, and total of 7 songs was confirmed to be completed, including this one. Studio version uncirculating.
Everything's Turning Out Great Unreleased studio track 1998 2 of 8 Studio version uncirculating. Watch the live version on YouTube.
Good Morning Tycoon Unreleased studio track 1998 3 of 8 Studio version uncirculating.
Good Times Unreleased studio track 1998 4 of 8 Studio version uncirculating.
Lady Elaine Unreleased studio track 1998 5 of 8 Lady Elaine was ”released” as MP3 in early 00's, by Gavin Guss (The Tycoons) on

Listen on YouTube
Lifeboat Gavin Guss - Mercury Mine CD 1998
6 of 8 Studio version.
When I Come Home Unreleased studio track 1998 7 of 8 Studio version uncirculating.Watch the live version on YouTube
X Gavin Guss - Mercury Mine CD 1998
8 of 8 Studio version appeared on Gavin Guss's MySpace page in 2009. You can watch the live version on YouTube.

Also available on Gavin Guss - Mercury Mine CD