Camper Van Beethoven is an American alternative rock group formed in Redlands, California in 1983 and later located in Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Their style mixes elements of pop, ska, punk rock, folk, alternative country, and world music. The band initially polarized audiences within the hardcore punk scene of California's Inland Empire before finding wider acceptance and, eventually, an international audience. Their strong iconoclasm and emphasis on do-it-yourself values proved influential to the burgeoning indie rock movement.
The band's first three independent records were released within an 18 month period. Their debut single was "Take the Skinheads Bowling". The group signed to Virgin Records in 1987, released two albums and enjoyed chart success with their 1989 cover of Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men", a number one hit on Billboard Magazine's Modern Rock Tracks. They disbanded the following year due to internal tensions.
Lead singer David Lowery formed Cracker, David Immerglück joined the Counting Crows, and several other members played in Monks of Doom. Beginning in 1999, the former members reunited and made several new records.