The Bangles are an American all-female band that originated in the
early 1980s, scoring several hit singles during the decade. In 1983
the Bangles signed to Columbia. Veteran power-pop producer David
Kahne produced All Over the Place, which featured such classic
Bangles songs as “Hero Takes a Fall” and Kimberley Rew’s “Going
Down to Liverpool.” After seeing the video for ”Hero Takes a Fall,”
Prince became a fan, and gave them the song “Manic Monday,” which
went to #2 in 1986. The parent album, Different Light, which
reached #2 on the album chart, featured other hits as well: “Walk
Like an Egyptian” (which went to #1), Jules Shear’s “If She Knew
What She Wants,” “Walking Down Your Street” and a cover of Alex
Chilton’s “September Gurls.” In 1987 the Bangles’ version of Paul
Simon’s “Hazy Shade of Winter” from the Less Than Zero soundtrack
became their second #1 track. Everything followed in 1988, yielding
the hits “In Your Room” and “Eternal Flame.” Susanna Hoffs, lead
guitarist Vicki Peterson and drummer Debbi Peterson form the
ongoing nucleus of the band. They released Sweetheart of the Sun,
in 2011, followed by 2014’s Ladies and Gentlemen…The Bangles! a
compilation of their rarest, early recordings.
After fronting the Sex Pistols, John Lydon formed post-punk originators Public Image Ltd (PiL). Widely regarded as one of the most innovative bands of all time, their music and vision earned them 5 UK Top 20 Singles and 5 UK Top 20 Albums.
With a shifting line-up and unique sound – fusing rock, dance, folk, pop and dub – Lydon guided the band from their debut album ‘First Issue’ in 1978 through to 1992’s ‘That What Is Not’, before a 17 year hiatus.
Lydon reactivated PiL in 2009, touring extensively and releasing two critically acclaimed albums ‘This is PiL’ in 2012 followed by ‘What The World Needs Now…’ in 2015.
John Lydon, Lu Edmonds, Scott Firth and Bruce Smith continue as PiL. They are the longest stable line-up in the band’s history and continue to challenge and thrive.
See timeline below for further information…
John Lydon forms Public Image with Keith Levene (guitar), Jah Wobble (bass), and Jim Walker (drums).
The band sign to Virgin Records and release their debut single ‘Public Image’ in October, followed by the album ‘Public Image – First Issue’ in December. Barely six months after forming.
PiL (Public Image Limited) play their first UK shows on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Jim Walker leaves to be replaced by a succession of drummers, most notably Richard Dudanski then Martin Atkins.
Release of the second single ‘Death Disco’. Written by John Lydon to his dying mother.
‘Metal Box’ is released: 12 tracks on three separate 12″ records – playing at 45 rpm – housed in a limited edition metal canister.
PiL play their first US shows and also appear on ‘American Bandstand’. John Lydon brings the audience on stage to dance and mime to ‘Poptones’ and ‘Careering’.
Jah Wobble leaves. Jeannette Lee – who had worked behind the scenes – takes a more prominent, but still non-musical, role.
Release of live album ‘Paris Au Printemps’. Recorded live in Paris, January 17th and 18th, 1980. ‘Metal Box’ is re-released as ‘Second Edition’ in a cardboard sleeve.
Release of third studio album ‘Flowers of Romance’. Preceded by the single of same name.
PiL play a special show at New York, The Ritz. They perform behind a huge video screen. The audience riots.
PiL decide to relocate to New York from London due to logistics and Police harassment.
Drummer Martin Atkins rejoins, followed by bassist Pete Jones.
Recording begins in New York on what will be the 4th PiL studio album.
US and Canadian live shows.
Pete Jones leaves. Keith Levene leaves.
PiL play a short Japanese tour. John Lydon is the only founder member still in the band. With the exception of Martin Atkins, the line-up is largely unknown local New Jersey musicians hired for the shows. A live album from the tour is released.
Release of ‘This Is Not A Love Song’. PiL’s biggest UK hit single; peaking at Number 5. Followed by the first real UK and European tours.
‘This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get’ album is released, preceded by ‘Bad Life’ single. The album contains re-recorded material from the 1982 & 1983 New York sessions; including ‘This Is Not A Love Song’.
New live line-up is recruited for North American, Japanese and Australian tours.
John Lydon – now the only original PiL member – releases his first single outside the band. Time Zone: ‘World Destruction’ with Africa Bambaataa.
Release of ‘Album’ album. Recorded with producer Bill Laswell and various session musicians; including Ginger Baker, Steve Vai, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. ‘Rise’ from the album peaks at Number 11 in the UK charts.
A new PiL band is recruited: John McGeoch (guitar), Allan Dias (bass), Lu Edmonds (keyboards / guitar) and Bruce Smith (drums).
UK, European and North American tours.
The “new” PiL release their first album together ‘Happy?’.
Release of the single’s ‘Seattle’ and ‘The Body’.
UK, European and North American Tours, plus first ever South American shows.
PiL headline the first day of the ‘Rock Summer Festival’ in Tallinn, Estonia (USSR) playing to over 120,000 people. The biggest rock festival to be played behind the Iron Curtain.
Lu Edmonds is forced to quit the band due to health problems.
Release of ‘9’. The 7th PiL studio album. And the 9th album including the two live albums.
PiL – along with New Order and The Sugarcubes (featuring Bjork) – tour North America.The three band package tour – known as ‘Monsters of Alternative Rock’ – is a forerunner to the now famous Lollapalooza tours of the early nineties.
Australian Tour. And one-off UK show at London, Hammersmith.
Bruce Smith leaves.
‘The Greatest Hits So Far’ compilation album is released; including several 12″ mixes and remixes, plus the new track ‘Don’t Ask Me’.
‘Don’t Ask Me’ becomes PiL’s biggest UK hit single since ‘Rise’.
PiL – Lydon, McGeoch and Dias – release ‘That What Is Not’. The band are complemented by sessions players.
EMI Records take over Virgin Records. PiL leave the label.
North American package tour with BAD, Live and Blind Melon. Followed by UK, European and South American Tours, plus more US shows. Allan Dias leaves during European shows.
John Lydon announces he has put PiL on hiatus to concentrate on recording a solo album; and to complete his autobiography ‘Rotten No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’. He also releases ‘Open Up’ a collaboration single with Leftfield.
John Lydon releases the solo album ‘Psycho’s Path’. His first album outside PiL since the band was formed.
Release of limited edition 4 CD PiL box set ‘Plastic Box’. 64 tracks in total. Including sleevenotes from John Lydon: “This collection represents a comma not a full stop, I fully intend to carry on with PiL,and there will be more in the future…”
PiL guitarist John McGeoch dies aged just 48. RiP.
Release of John Lydon compilation CD ‘Best of British £1 Notes’ covering his whole career from the Sex Pistols, through PiL, to solo records and collaborations.
The DVD release features several PiL promo videos and also includes 3 previously unreleased extended audio mixes from ‘Metal Box’.
A vinyl replica of ‘Metal Box’ – 3x45rpm, housed in a metal can – is released in the USA by the 4 Men With Beards re-issue label. This is the first time the album had been released in its original form in the US.
Public Image Limited return to play their first live shows in 17 years. John Lydon is joined by former PiL members Lu Edmonds (Guitar & Misc), Bruce Smith (Drums), and new recruit Scott Firth (Bass).
First North American show in 18 years; including a headlining appearance at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in California. Further UK / European live dates and Festival appearances.
First ever live appearance in Israel. John Lydon declares “I hate all religion. I play for the people of Israel and not the Government”. John Lydon later describes playing material such as ‘Warrior’, ‘Four Enclosed Walls’ and ‘Religion’ as one of the highlights of his career. Particularly when the crowd of Israel joined him on the “Allah’ chorus of ‘Four Enclosed Walls’.
PiL continue into 2011, playing more UK / European live dates and Festival appearances; including the Isle of Wight Festival and Summer Sonic Festival in Japan.
PiL awarded “Outstanding Contribution To Music” at Mojo Honours List.
Band enter the studio to record their first studio album since 1992.
PiL release the studio album ‘This is PiL’ preceded by the Record Store Day EP ‘One Drop’. The album is self-funded and released on their own PiL Official Ltd label.
Danny Boyle includes ‘Under The House’ in the London Olympics Opening Ceremony.
First live UK TV appearance in 20 years on BBC, Later With Jools Holland.
First ever shows in China, along with tours of Japan and Australia.
UK / European Tour including Glastonbury Festival.
First ever North American release of PiL’s debut album ‘First Issue’ via Light in the Attic Records.
John Lydon is honoured with the BMI icon award for songwriting.
Career spanning PiL documentary in production (originally started 2010).
Publication of John Lydon’s first full autobiography ‘Anger is an Energy – My Life Uncensored’ covering his full life including PiL.
One-off sold out show at London’s 02 at the Indigo.
Release of 10th studio album ‘What The World Needs Now…’ preceded by single ‘Double Trouble’ both via PiL Official.
UK, European and North American tours.
Release of ‘The One’ (UK) & ‘Bettie Page’ (US) 7” singles.
Further UK & European tour dates.
First Latin America tour for 24 years.
Super-deluxe box set editions of ‘Album’ and ‘Metal Box’.
John Lydon releases ‘Mr Rotten’s Songbook’, celebrating 40 years of songwriting across PiL, solo & Sex Pistols.
Film Festival screenings of PiL documentary ‘The Public Image is Rotten’.
‘The Public Image is Rotten’ 40th Anniversary UK/Europe & Japanese Tour.
‘The Public Image is Rotten – Songs From The Heart ’ career spanning box set released.
‘The Public Image is Rotten’ documentary set for general release.
If I were to say to you, can you keep a secret? A mere 34 years since the release of one of the landmark albums of the 80s, ABC return to the scene of their most resounding triumph with the May 27th release of ‘The Lexicon Of Love II’ on the Virgin EMI label. Sonically doffing its cap to the original, it features 10 brand new songs from the pen of ABC kingpin Martin Fry abetted by various musical cohorts. It might take a less innocent, more experienced view on affairs of the heart than its million selling predecessor, but it still concludes that all you need is love.
Foremost among Fry’s collaborators on the new album is Academy Award winning musician and composer Anne Dudley, who arranged the strings on the original Lexicon; she has provided orchestral arrangements that give ‘The Lexicon Of Love II’ its signature sound, and has co written two of the key songs on the album: ‘The Love Inside The Love’ and ‘Brighter Than The Sun’. Other songwriting partners include Grammy award winner Rob Fusari (Beyonce, Lady Gaga), film composer Charlie Mole and Marcus Vere. Production is by Gary Stevenson and Martin Fry.
The video for the first single ‘Viva Love’ has been filmed by director Julien Temple in the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, the same venue where they shot the promo for ‘Poison Arrow’ in ’82. Julien Temple went on to make a feature length movie starring ABC entitled ‘Mantrap’, released in ’83.
Says Martin Fry: “We performed a show at the Albert Hall a couple of years ago to mark the 30th anniversary of The Lexicon of Love. It struck me there and then that it was time to make a sequel. To explore those themes once again and to look at love through the eyes of a man in later life. Now the years have passed, my perspective on life and love has changed. I wanted to make an album that reflected that.”
The full track listing of ‘The Lexicon Of Love II’ is:
• The Flames Of Desire
• Viva Love
• Ten Below Zero
• Confessions Of A Fool
• Singer Not The Song
• The Ship Of The Seasick Sailor
• Kiss Me Goodbye
• I Believe In Love
• The Love Inside The Love
• Brighter Than The Sun
• Viva Love Reprise
ABC were formed in Sheffield in the early 1980’s when they decided they wanted fuse the world of disco funk with their own unique post punk vision. ABC’s debut album ‘The Lexicon Of Love’ (‘82) went to No 1 and sold over a million records.
To date ABC have released 8 studio albums: ‘The Lexicon Of Love’ (’82), ‘Beauty Stab’ (’83), ‘How To Be A Zillionaire’ (’85), ‘Alphabet City’ (’87), ‘Up’ (’89), ‘Abracadabra’ (’91), ‘Skyscraping’ (’97) and ‘Traffic’ (’08). The Lexicon Of Love II (2016)
• Wally Palmar – vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica, Original member
. Mike Skill – lead guitar, vocals, Original member
• Rich Cole – bass guitar, vocals, Original member
. Brad Elvis – drums, percussion (2004–present)
The Romantics is a power pop and new wave band from Detroit, Michigan, United States, formed in 1976. The band’s first show was on Valentine’s Day at My Fair Lady Club, in Detroit, opening for the New MC5 in 1977. For three years the band was on the road, playing Boston’s Rathskeller, CBGB in NYC’s Bowery, Philadelphia, Pa., Hot Club, Cleveland’s Agora… signed to Nat Weiss’ Nemperor independent Epic/ Portrait record label. The Romantics achieved popularity in the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, parts of Asia, Australia, Europe, and Hispanic America on the strength of the band’s well-crafted pop songs and high energy shows as well as noted for their look; black vinyl to red leather suits in their music videos. They were influenced by 1950s American rock and roll, Detroit’s MC5, Stooges, early Bob Seger, Motown R&B, 1960s North American garage rock as well as the British Invasion rockers. music.
The Romantics are still touring with 3 original band members, front line Rich Cole, Wally Palmar and Mike Skill. Drummer Brad Elvis joined the band in 2004 and is considered the band’s 2nd original drummer. Rich Cole rejoined the band in 2010 bringing back the band’s 3-part harmony allowing The Romantics to performed songs from their first 2 albums.
The Romantics have been touring the last few years with a package that consist of The Smithereens, Berlin, Marshall Crenshaw, Tommy Tutone and The Romantics. Other shows consist of Joan Jett, The Motels, Cheap Trick, Eddie Money, Sweet, Naked Eyes, Def Leopard, Missing Persons and Blondie.
This past summer of touring was packed with an 80’s theme with Loverboy, Rick Springfield and The Romantics. With tour dates coming in 2016.
The Romantics have been busy in the studio with new music.
A first time recording and release of a Holiday Song ‘Deck The Halls’ and a Original by The Romantics released Nov. 23rd, 2015,
Followed by two covers released 2016: ‘Gotta Get Out of This Place’ & ‘DayDream Believer’.
2017: A new long awaited album with originals, rockin’ covers and re-recorded hits of The Romantics. These will be available on all digital downloads, Cds and Vinyl versions will also be available.
The Romantics will continue to tour and also be part of the concerts with Rick Springfield & Loverboy and with the ‘Rock Of The 80’s’ tour (www.rockofthe80stour.com)
B-Movie formed in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in 1978 from the ashes of local punk band TheAborted. Originally calling themselves Studio 10 after a local hairdressing salon, the inaugural line-up of Steve Hovington (vocals/bass), Paul Statham (guitar) & Graham Boffey (drums) quickly changed their name to B-Movie following Steve’s discovery in an art book of the Andy Warhol painting of the same name.The band played their first gig on a rock against racism bill at Sutton in Ashfield swimming baths which was organised by their soon to be manager – John “Yank” Fritchley. A local miner with a penchant for American cars, Fritchley was essentially a sixties mod who saw B-Movie as his meal ticket in the mod revival that was just around the corner. However the band were into Tubeway Army and not Quadrophenia and refused to wear the parkas he bought them! Despite his obsession Fritchley did have some plus points – a car with a trailer and some money. Obviously this meant the band were now mobile and could also afford to record a demo tape.They recorded 4 songs at Chris Cook’s 4 track studio in Mansfield – Blue Lady, Drowning Man and In The Halflight and the ska-ish sounding I to keep Fritchley happy! Armed with a demo the gigs started to come in – particularly memorable are support slots at The Sandpiper in Nottingham with the Angelic Upstarts & The Smirks. After the less than popular reaction they received from the punk crowds it was a relief when Fritchley told them he had secured them a gig in a nice cathedral town.B-Movie played The Cornhill Vaults in Lincoln several times over the next few months and it enabled them to develop their sound. At one of these gigs they supported local heroes The Cigarettes who were managed by Martin Patton & Andy Stephenson. These two local entrepreneurs were trying to get their fledgling Dead Good record label off the ground and were looking for bands to appear on a compilation album they were putting together.Their adventures in sound recording would begin here as the band found themselves in Studio Playground in the village of Wragby to record two tracks Refugee & Man on a Threshold for the compilation album that was to be called East.Although generally pleased with the recordings the band felt that the overall sound was a bit thin and decided the only solution would be to recruit a keyboard player.An advert was placed in the Mansfield & Sutton Recorder but they only had one reply! After a successful audition the applicant – Rick Holliday – was asked to join the band. With this new dimension their sound developed naturally and they moved from three minute new wave songs to much more grander motifs. The band were developing an epic approach to songwriting, using classic themes but with modern sounds and attitudes.B-Movie played their first gig as a four-piece at the Red Lion Music Bar in Mansfield on 01st January 1980. They began to attract the interest of the local press and their name started to get around – they were starting to get noticed.Reviews of the B-Movie tracks on the East compilation had been favourable and Dead Good suggested that the band record an EP. The band decided to record The Soldier Stood Alone, Drowning Man & Soundtrack – so back they travelled to Studio Playground.Dead Good was beginning to make a name for itself with its reputation for quirky releases and Andy Stephenson uttered the immortal words “anything is possible in the music business”. He then planted the seeds of doubt in the band’s mind about John Fritchley being the right manager.After another Lincoln gig it all came to a head after Fritchley insisted that he appear in the publicity shots with the band! An argument then ensued and Fritchley drove off leaving the band stranded. They spent the night on the floor of the Dead Good office after agreeing that the best option was for Andy Stephenson to manage them.The Take Three EP was released on 11th July 1980 to positive reviews and even a play on the BBC Radio 1 John Peel Show. To tie in with their appearance at the Nottingham Festival a session was arranged with Radio Trent and the band recorded Spirit of the Age, The Walking Dead, Aeroplanes & Mountains, as well as the first ever recording of Remembrance Day.All the songs were over five minutes long – each epic and grandiose in quality. The band realised that if they were to make a breakthrough they needed a short, sharp pop song that could be their next single.Steve came up with the title Nowhere Girl from an Angela Huth novel of the same name. He played around with some chords and in a few minutes the song was written. He took it to rehearsal where Rick came up with a synth motif to go over the top.They played it live to Dead Good who liked it and agreed to it being the next single. However the band had more ambitious plans, to be precise a six track EP – Nowhere Girl @ 45rpm on one side and five tracks @ 33rpm on the other – a kind of single and an album rolled into one!Dead Good thought it was a great idea and again sent the band back to Wragby where the songs were recorded live in one take! The band were still teenagers led by a desire to have a good time. The new recordings showed a young indisciplined band fired by a passion to create great music. They weren’t cool calculated careerists and they really needed someone representing them who had the same zany, fun-loving attitude.It was at a The The / Cabaret Voltaire gig at Retford Porterhouse where they first met their future mentor. Stevo was a DJ at the Chelsea Drug Store in London where he hosted a futurist night. Steve took a along a copy of the Radio Trent session to the Porterhouse gig and handed it to Stevo asking him to give it a listen.Steve didn’t expect anything to come from and was amazed the next day when Stevo called saying he liked the tape and wanted to put the band on at a London gig he was arranging.In the next weeks issue of Sounds magazine B-Movie found themselves in the Futurist Chart with The Walking Dead along with Vice Versa (soon to be ABC), The Human League and Clock DVA!!Everything seemed to be going to plan but then suddenly there was a spanner in the works. The “Nowhere Girl EP” was scheduled for release in November 1980 but due to an error at the pressing plant only 850 copies were pressed. It was immediately deleted and became a collectors’ item overnight.Despite this setback they now had Stevo on their side and he was beginning to build up a coterie of weird and unusual acts through his club DJ’ing. His masterplan was to release a compilation album featuring the best of these.B-Movie played their first London gig at The Bridgehouse in Canning Town with Blancmange as support but this new music had not filtered through to the masses as yet and this birth of futurism was witnessed by a privileged few. Afterwards Stevo presented them with a management contract and they signed it there and then as they knew Stevo was their passport to better things.This new relationship with Stevo caused friction in Lincoln and the Dead Good chapter in the B-Movie story was brought to an abrupt & somewhat inconclusive end. Stevo had big plans for B-Movie and the other band he managed – Soft Cell from Leeds. He’d decided to call his record label Some Bizzare after a Frank Zappa quote and thus the compilation album he had planned would be called The Some Bizzare Album.Stevo began talking to several major labels about what was to be the most gloriously brazen demo of all time. The A/R fraternity began to fall for Stevo’s outrageous self-confidence and eventually he sorted out a licensing deal with Phonogram.Twelve acts were assembled and they each sent in one track. The B-Movie offering was a newly recorded song called Moles which had become a live favourite. It was by far the rockiest track on the album and had very little in common with the other acts except maybe a willingness to experiment.The Some Bizarre Album was scheduled for release in February 1981 and would feature the vinyl debuts of Depeche Mode, The The, Soft Cell & Blancmange. All of these acts went on to considerable success so the album could be viewed as the musical equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls!Stevo created enough of a buzz about B-Movie within the music industry for Phonogram to offer them a small advance leading on to a bigger deal. Tracey Bennett, the head of A & R at the Phonogram owned Deram label, had heard the Nowhere Girl EP and he really liked Remembrance Day. Bennett felt that the band had real potential and he suggested that they re-record it with a top producer in a London studio.B-Movie were completely oblivious to the business side of things & were totally unaware that Stevo had made it a condition of the B-Movie deal that Phonogram would also have to sign his other band – Soft Cell!The band found themselves booked into Scorpio Studios with the neo -legendary Mike Thorne as producer. His remit was to turn the overlong Dead Good version of Remembrance Day into three and a half minute pop song!Basically the song was re-arranged with a new, almost improvised ending, guitars were overlaid in a completely different pattern to the original and new piano & synth lines devised. The result was breathtaking and totally beyond the band’s wildest dreams.As things stepped up a gear Paul Boswell became their agent and he sorted out some support slots with new EMI signings Duran Duran. The gigs went well and the band received good reviews from both the NME and Sounds.Remembrance Day was released following the tour and a week later it had entered the UK chart at No 96. The single was receiving unanimously good reviews but was being ignored by daytime radio – it seemed that the record company did not have a strategy to get the record into the upper reaches of the chart.B-Movie then headlined the Some Bizzare event at The Lyceum in London after Soft Cell, Blancmange, Depeche Mode & The The failed to make an appearance although they had been billed! Playing to an audience of 3000 people, B-Movie delivered a blinding set.Two days later they were in the BBC Maida Vale studios recording a session for the BBC Radio 1 John Peel show. They laid down four of their favourite live numbers Polar Opposites, Welcome to the Shrink, Escalator & All Fall Down.On 2nd April 1981 the band recorded a further BBC Radio 1 session , this time for the Richard Skinner show. As the broadcast time of the show was early evening the band decided to go for a more pop sound. The band recorded Nowhere Girl, The Devil in Me, Love Me & Disturbed (which had echoes of the darker Peel session tracks).The result of these sessions, gigs & media interviews (NME, Sounds) was to push Remembrance Day to No 61 in the UK chart. Unfortunately the momentum the band had built up stalled at this point and their label failed them by not giving that extra push needed to get the single into the Top 40. The next week the single dropped to No 65 and that was the end of that!Undeterred B-Movie demoed a new song Ice, which they wanted to release as a double A-side with Polar Opposites, at Stanhope Place. Deram rejected this idea so the band headed back into a cheap studio in Mansfield and made a demo of Marilyn Dreams & a cover of Pink Floyds’ Julia Dream.Again Deram still weren’t convinced but Stevo was in a strong bargaining position. Soft Cell were beginning to pick up favourable live reviews and there was talk of them covering an old northern soul record. Deram saw they could kill two birds with one stone and get Mike Thorne to produce two singles at the same time. Recording took place at Advision Studios, with the b-side Film Music Pt1 written in the studio, Rick exploiting the use of Mike Thornes’ synclavier on both B-Movie tracks to get those weird sounds. As strange as it may seem both Marilyn Dreams and Tainted Love were mixed almost simultaneously!A session was recorded for Capital Radio including Polar Opposites & Ice (the whereabouts of the master tapes are unknown and this session is presumed lost forever) a week before a sell-out show at The Venue.Stevo however seemed more interested in Soft Cell who had a real buzz going around Tainted Love. He wasn’t convinced about Marilyn Dreams but supported the band on their decision and kept right out of the creative process.B-Movie were more alarmed about Deram’s marketing of the band as pretty boy types – both Steve & Paul gracing the pages of teen magazines Oh Boy & Jackie. Everyone in the band felt that the label were totally missing the point of what B-Movie were about.More UK dates came & went with the usual mixture of bad sound and the odd disaster. The 10th July 1981 saw the release of Marilyn Dreams but the patent lack of enthusiasm from Deram was clear to see. The national reviews in NME & Sounds were not good but the regional papers were much more upbeat – “chirpy electronic nostalgia destined for the charts” quoted one.The following month was a nightmare for B-Movie as the single only reached a dismal No 99 in the UK chart whilst Soft Cell hit the dizzy heights of No 1 with Tainted Love. They had to swallow their pride and take their place as the number two act in Stevo’s stable.B-Movie had to shake things up a bit and fight back. They had got a name for themselves in the business despite one near miss and one flop single. The first step was to get a bass player in so Steve could concentrate on being the frontman. God knows why but the band plumped for an Italian waiter called Lou Codemo – who it later materialised couldn’t play bass!Next up, the band were booked to play the Futurama 3 Festival at Stafford Bingley Hall. B-Movie were surprised to find themselves fourth from the top of the bill below Simple Minds, Bow Wow Wow & Martian Dance. They went down really well and the reviews of the gig were good.Songs were being written thick and fast – Steve & Paul even found time to do some more recording at Chris Cook’s 4-track back in Mansfield. Though never actually played live by B-Movie the three songs recorded – Deep Sleep, Trash and Mystery & They Forget – still retained a certain charm and an eagerness to experiment.The band continued to tour visiting Norwich, Manchester, Torquay and Derby before playing The Days of Future Past Festival in Leeds with Classix Nouveau & The Gang of Four.By December Remembrance Day had been voted onto John Peel’s Festive Fifty and the bands’ student following continued to grow with more gigs at universities and polytechnics across the UK.Meanwhile Soft Cell were No.1 in just about every country in the world with that song – this meant that things at Some Bizarre had changed – Stevo handing the task of looking after B-Movie to his secretary Marion!B-Movie were now rehearsing in Nottingham where they wrote a new song Scare Some Life Into Me which reflected the increasing apathy and despair felt by everyone in the band. Thoughts turned to the next single and Nowhere Girl along with some new songs (of which Scare Some Life Into Me was the best) were demoed at Wragby. Lou’s bass playing being replaced by a sequenced bassline as he could not play in time.On a cold dark December morning they embarked on their first European tour – Amsterdam, Lieden, Hemstede, Nijmegen & Apeldorne in Holland, Koningshukte in Belgium, Paris & Lyons France and Barcelona & Madrid in Spain. The news came through whilst on tour that Deram had agreed that the next single would be Nowhere Girl. On their return from tour B-Movie met up with producer Steve Brown and got to work at Trident Studios in Soho. It was decided to sequence the bass line so Lou’s playing was not required but he did come in useful when he was sent out to find a girl to do some manic laughter on the intro. He returned with an Italian tourist who did her bit – other strange sounds like the bashing of ashtrays and synthesised explosions were added in this spontaneous atmosphere. The drums were played live and the piano track on the extended version was one of B-Movie’s greatest moments – a real pianist on a Steinway grand. A friend from Nottingham called Maria provided the sweet harmonies in the middle section whilst Paul eventually got to play the delightful Spanish guitar solo. The end result was a brilliantly crafted pop song that Stevo declared would break B-Movie. 1981 had been a phenomenal year, a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, which had ended on a real high.Nowhere Girl was scheduled for release in March 1982 and a tour was planned to coincide with this. In keeping with the more sophisticated sound the band decided that Lou needed replacing – his bass playing being much too limited and not fitting with their ambitious plans. A replacement was spotted playing with a band called Everest The Hard Way – an Edinburgh based outfit who were on the verge of splitting. His name was Mike Peden – both Steve & Paul thought he was the best bass player they had ever seen. Steve asked Mike if he fancied coming to a rehearsal and for all intents and purposes B-Movie had a new bass player. Mike Peden approached B-Movie with caution – it was a job to him, he wanted paying and he would not join the band on a permanent basis. He was an expensive luxury – one B-Movie couldn’t really afford and with his fluid fast finger bass style the band’s sound would change. A new song Mediterranean came together over an incredibly complicated bass part – the band were swimming in new waters and were in danger of getting out of their depth. Graham struggled with this new arrangement, his simple drumming style contrasting unfavourably with Mike’s complex basslines. The rest of the band made the mistake of seeing this as a sign of weakness on Graham’s part and the seeds of doubt about his technical ability took flower. Nevertheless a new set was ready by March including further new material like Amnesia, The Great Divide & The Promised Land. During late March these four new songs were recorded as a session for the BBC Radio 1 David “Kid” Jensen show.The tour followed with gigs in Stoke on Trent, Bath, London, Canterbury, Brighton, Leicester, Manchester and Retford. Nowhere Girl began to pick up airplay and receive some great reviews – joint single of the week in Sounds. Following the week of release it debuted at No 90 in the UK chart, the week after jumping up to No 70.More gigs followed – Durham, Coventry and Birmingham – reviews came thick and fast, even daytime play on radio stations was achieved.When the chart positions were announced everyone was shocked – No 68. Up only two measly places – all that effort, all those hopes dashed. They had given their best shot but it had not been good enough.The following week it was all over as Nowhere Girl dropped two places – the only solace being reports filtering through from America that the song was beginning to pick up significant airplay. Even when the single shot up three places to No 67 the next week nothing could shake the band out of their despondency. A USA tour was booked and the band flew to New York. The band played Philadelphia and Washington before returning to New York for a gig at The Danceteria. More gigs followed in Buffalo, Toronto, Montreal, and Detroit. Returning to New York the band played The Peppermint Lounge before heading to the beach resort of Margate. Two more gigs followed but it had not been the great experience they had hoped for. So what now for B-Movie ? Band moral was at an all time low and something had to change. Back in Mansfield after a period of reflection it was decided that the only solution was to oust Graham Boffey. It was a cruel and wrong decision made without much common sense. The real B-Movie died with the unjust sacking of Graham – all the momentum had stopped. Things with Stevo were not good, the band existing in name only – they still had a record contract but very little else. Managing to somehow pick up the pieces an all new Mansfield rhythm section of Martin Smedley (aka Winter) on bass and Andy Johnson on drums were recruited.Rehearsals commenced, Steve went back to college and Rick was working on a solo project with his girlfriend Cindy Ecstasy who had sung on the Soft Cell hit Torch.The band appeared on the Yorkshire TV show Calendar performing Remembrance Day but their relationship with Stevo was coming to an end. The last straw being the demo the band had recorded at The Point Studios in London. The tracks were like The Doors in their Soft Parade period – watered down pop. Stevo listened to the tape for less than twenty seconds, took it out and threw it against the wall – in his mind the band were finished.They were in Rick’s mind too – he’d been thinking about leaving for some time and after a rehearsal he announced he was leaving to work full-time on his solo project Six Sed Red.Paul turned to Steve and said to Steve the moment Rick walked out of the door “the show goes on – with or without Rick”, B-Movie were still alive.In October the band did a mini-tour – Paul was now on keyboards and a new recruit – Ady Hardy installed on guitar. The gigs – Hull, Coventry, Aberystwyth, Retford & Salisbury – were surprisingly well attended, with the band being practically mobbed at the last date.This it turned out would be their last UK gig for sometime. Whilst at home everything looked bleak, some very encouraging noises were being made abroad. Nowhere Girl was in danger of becoming a hit across Europe whilst in America it was No 1 in the Rockpool Charts.As 1982 ended there were still grounds for hope. Whilst the band had all but disintegrated, belatedly their music was winning them fans in the most unlikely places and when Paul Boswell told them he had booked them a tour of Israel they began to believe anything was possible in the music business…
Animotion is a New Wave synth pop-rock band from Los Angeles, California. The group first formed in 1983. The original founding members were: singer Astrid Plane, keyboardist Paul F. Antonelli, bassist Charles Ottavio and drummer Frenchy O’Brien. Lead singer/guitarist Bill Wadhams and lead guitarist Don Kirkpatrick subsequently joined the band. Animotion released their self-titled debut album in 1984. The group scored a substantial international smash success with the supremely funky and hard-thrashing scorcher, “Obsession”, in 1985: The song peaked at #6 in both America and Canada, #5 in Britain, #8 in Germany, #9 in South Africa, and #17 in Austria. Alas, the worthy follow-up single, “Let Him Go”, barely cracked the US Top 40 pop charts at #39 in that same year. Animotion released their second album, “Strange Behavior”, that same year. At the height of their fame in the 80s, Animotion toured with such popular acts as INXS, Depeche Mode, Phil Collins, Genesis and Eurythmics. The band underwent a significant line-up change in 1988: Plane, Wadhams and Ottavio all left; among the new members were singer/actress Cynthia Rhodes and singer Paul Engemann. This particular incarnation of the group scored a Top 10 hit with the bouncy, “Room to Move”, in April, 1989. Animotion eventually broke up in 1990. On February 8, 2001, original members Astrid Plane, Bill Wadhams, Don Kirkpatrick and Charles Ottavio relaunched the band. Animotion still play occasional live gigs around the Los Angeles area with such fellow 80s New Wave acts as Berlin and Missing Persons.
As a pioneer with the legendary Beserkley Records, Greg Kihn helped write the book on revolutionary west coast rock and roll. He’s toured the world, had hit records, and has won several awards for his hit songs “Jeopardy”, “Break Up Song” and “Lucky”. Greg has lived the Rockstar lifestyle to the hilt and Kihntinues to rock on!
Greg recently obtained the rights to all his old recordings and has re-released his entire catalogue. In support of these releases and his soon to be released new album “ReKihndled”, the iconic San Francisco Bay area rocker, radio personality and author will be going out with the Greg Kihn Band across the country. Starting Spring 2016, the GKB will be looking to play Theaters, Festivals, & select Clubs.
Top Hits include:
“WORKING WITH FIRE AND STEEL”
“BLACK MAN RAY”
“KING IN A CATHOLIC STYLE”
“YOU DID CUT ME”
China Crisis are an English pop/rock band. They formed in 1979 in Kirkby, near Liverpool, Merseyside with a core of vocalist/keyboardist Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie Lundon. Their output was pop music similar in style to that of New Wave but with strong similarities to the post-punk movement of the early 1980s, namely inclusion of a broader range of musical influences and occasional flirtation with political commentary. Throughout their career, China Crisis has seen moderate success in the United Kingdom with ten hit singles between August 1982 and January 1987 and six albums, as well as commercial success in Western Europe, Australia and the Americas.
Sharing an affection for Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, David Bowie, and Brian Eno, Daly and Lundon played with various Knowsley post-punk groups. Daly then spent time tinkering with synthesizers and a drum machine. Along with Lundon, Daly began writing songs. The pair eventually asked drummer and percussionist Dave Reilly to join them, and in 1982 they released their debut single “African and White” as China Crisis on the independent record label, Inevitable. In June 1982, they supported the former Television guitarist, Tom Verlaine, at London’s Venue.
The band was signed to Virgin Records and recorded their debut album, Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, Some People Think It’s Fun To Entertain, which was released in December 1982. A re-release of “African & White” became China Crisis’ first hit in the United Kingdom, reaching #45 in the UK Singles Chart. The follow-up single, “Christian”, made UK #12 in early 1983 and brought them to national prominence. By this time, Reilly had left the band, but was still credited on the record sleeve as a guest on the single, along with new member Steve Levy playing oboe and saxophone. The album peaked at #21 in the UK Albums Chart. During this period the band toured supporting Simple Minds (as discussed in interviews on the DVD Live in Concert at the Paul McCartney Auditorium Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts).
Adding Gary “Gazza” Johnson (bass) and Kevin Wilkinson (drums) to the line-up, a second album, Working with Fire and Steel – Possible Pop Songs Volume Two, was released in November 1983. Tracks included the singles “Tragedy and Mystery” (released six months earlier) and “Hanna Hanna” as well as the title track, “Working With Fire & Steel”, which became a hit single in Australia. The album was a Top 20 success in the UK, and China Crisis spent 1984 and 1985 making their biggest chart run, beginning with their only UK Top 10 hit single, “Wishful Thinking”, which peaked at #9.
Their third album, Flaunt the Imperfection, was produced by Walter Becker of Steely Dan fame and reached #9 in the UK Albums Chart in May 1985. According to the album credits, China Crisis was now officially a quintet consisting of Daly, Lundon, Johnson, Wilkinson, and Becker. However, Becker never appeared with the band, and the subsequent tour featured new keyboard player Brian McNeill.
Johnson was now credited as co-writer with Daly and Lundon.
The album was previewed by the #14 UK hit single “Black Man Ray”, which also enjoyed critical acclaim and international success. The follow-up, “King In A Catholic Style (Wake Up)”, was a Top 20 UK single at #19. A third release from the album, “You Did Cut Me”, reached #54 in the UK. They simultaneously released a video compilation, Showbiz Absurd.
In 1986, the band returned with What Price Paradise, which included “Arizona Sky”, the album’s first single release, and another Australian hit, “June Bride”. All the band were now credited as songwriters. A second single from the album, “Best Kept Secret”, made UK #36 in early 1987.
The five-piece band worked with Becker once more on 1989’s Diary of a Hollow Horse, which earned critical acclaim though little commercial success. It spawned the singles “St Saviour Square” and “Red Letter Day”, both achieving the lower reaches of the UK Singles Chart. Becker produced of most of the album’s tracks, but this time was not credited as an official band member.
The band’s last studio album, Warped By Success, was released in 1994, following the band’s parting of ways with the Virgin label. The album produced their final UK hit, “Everyday The Same”. Although Johnson and Wilkinson both made small contributions, the band was now listed as comprising Daly and Lundon. In 1995 they released a live unplugged album and video entitled Acoustically Yours, which proved to be their recording swansong. This featured one last single, a live version of “Black Man Ray”, and also saw a return for Johnson, Wilkinson and McNeill.
Since 1992, there have been four compilation albums of their work for the UK and US markets and three live DVDs.
“Never Say Never”
“A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)”
Debora Kay Iyall ( born 29 April 1954), best known simply by her professional name Debora Iyall, a Cowlitz Native American, is an artist and was lead singer for the new wave band Romeo Void. Debora got her surname from her family adopting their ancestor Iyallwahawa’s “first” name written at the time as Ayiel.
She was born in 1954 in Soap Lake, Washington, but grew up in Fresno, California. In 1969, at age fourteen, Iyall joined the Occupation of Alcatraz and stayed for six days. (The Occupation lasted nineteen months.) She had hoped to connect with the Native American activist community there, but felt “out of place”.
While attending the San Francisco Art Institute, she joined Frank Zincavage and Peter Woods to create Romeo Void in 1979. Inspired by Joy Division, the band was remarkable for their modernization of the punk sound, and for Iyall’s forceful, half-spoken delivery. They reached hit status on college radio stations with the suggestive and multi-leveled song “Never Say Never” in 1982. Their song “A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)” landed them in the top 40 of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and an appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in 1984.
Solo albums and art career
Romeo Void parted ways in 1985, and the following year Iyall released her debut solo album Strange Language on Columbia Records. After a lukewarm reception of the album, Iyall returned to her first love, as an artist and art instructor. Throughout the 1990s she taught art at the 29 Palms Cultural Center and for the Arts Council For San Bernardino. She also led hikes and made presentations for the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum as a paid docent, and in 1995 she started Ink Clan, a print shop dedicated to teaching screen printing and other arts to young Native artists. Ink Clan was once housed in the South of Market Cultural Center in San Francisco. She presently resides in Sacramento, California, with her husband, audio engineer and instructor Patrick Haight.
Since late 2009, Iyall has been performing new material written with Peter Dunne at a variety of local venues in Northern California. In 2010 Iyall’s second solo album, Stay Strong was released, and in January 2012, an EP, Singing Until Sunrise was released.
Blade worked as a DJ known as “The Young Dick Sheppard” in the United Kingdom and Europe before moving to Los Angeles and starting work as a DJ at KROQ-FM in 1982, briefly working at KNAC before a music format change. He took a new name from the Sci-Fi film, Blade Runner. Within a few months of working in Los Angeles, Blade had become the #1 Arbitron-rated radio personality on the West Coast, and in 1982, he began to host a daily television program on KCAL-TV called “MV3,” which later became Video One.
In 1984, he created, produced and hosted “VideoBeat” for KTLA. The weekly series ran for two years. Blade appeared in Square Pegs, Hunter, Divorce Court, and appeared as a contestant (as “Dick Sheppard”) on Card Sharks among other shows. He appeared in the 1985 film Girls Just Want to Have Fun.
Between 1991 and 2003, Blade hosted several music-related television programs, including “America’s Top Ten”, which he took over from Casey Kasem. He hosted several “Flashback” radio programs on KROQ-FM, and was a frequent host at Los Angeles dance clubs on their KROQ Nights, including the famous Palace Theatre in Hollywood. He appeared on the cover of a six-volume set of 1980s music compilations called Richard Blade’s Flashback Favorites. In 1998, he wrote for the UPN TV Sci-Fi series “7 Days” including writing the second season’s finale, “The Cure”.
In April 2000, Blade moved to St Maarten in the Caribbean and took a two-year break from the industry to work on several writing projects.
Returning to Los Angeles in 2002, Blade returned to his career in radio and television. In June 2003, he consulted for MTV Networks on the television program “Bands Reunited”, then worked for VH1 as a writer and producer on both seasons of the series. In 2004, he returned to radio on Los Angeles station KYSR (Star 98.7), originally as host of a Saturday night “Totally 80’s” program and short features in the afternoon drive-time period. In 2006, when the station became more 90s and current-based, the Saturday night program ended.
Today he has gained a national audience in North America where he is a host for the Sirius Satellite Radio channel First Wave, a 1980s new wave music channel. He hosts his own signature show “First Wave Rewind”. He also hosts a twice-daily short feature on Sirius’ The Big 80’s channel called “Behind The Big ’80s”. Recently, Blade has taken over for Ray Rossi on The Pulse on weekends.
In April 2006 Richard co-starred with Gabrielle Anwar and Craig Sheffer in a film he wrote, Long Lost Son. The film, which was shot on location in the Caribbean, premiered on Lifetime in August 2006. In August 2007, Blade made an appearance on the reality show, Rock of Love. Blade has made regular cameo appearances on Glory Daze, set at a college frat house in 1986. Blade plays the DJ at the College Radio station known as “The Voice”.
Currently, Richard Blade also serves up 80s music on “Flashback Lunch” every weekday at noon on Jack-FM (KCBS) in Los Angeles.
Edwin Fish “Jed” Gould III (born July 15, 1955), known to radio listeners as Jed the Fish, is a disc jockey who hosted afternoon drive on KROQ-FM in Los Angeles, from 1978 to 2012. Known for his maniacal laugh and biting humor, he interviewed seminal alternative acts such as Brian Eno, David Bowie, Sting and Elvis Costello, and is often jokingly credited as the first DJ on KROQ to play The Offspring’s “Come Out and Play”. From 1994 to July 2013, Jed additionally hosted the nationally syndicated show Out of Order. It is a countdown of the most popular alternative rock songs in the country, but, as the name implies, the songs are not played in numeric order. Out of Order is two hours long and is syndicated by Dial Global.
Awards: Gould won Billboard’s Major Market Alternative Radio Personality of the year in 1998 and 2000 (in 1999 his co-workers Kevin and Bean took home the prize). He won Album Network’s All Stars award for Virtuallyalternative Radio Personality in 1999 and 2000.
From 2012-2018 Jed the Fish was also an air personality at radio station KCSN.
In 2018, he became a DJ at Los Angeles’ KLOS.
Young Freddy Snakeskin grew up in the wilds of Arizona where he developed an early appreciation for music, and records. He even displayed an early artistic streak — by taking his crayons to his parents’ record collection. His quick-thinking mother soon discovered the best way of distracting her young vandal was by turning on the radio, where the dulcet tones of Wolfman Jack and other manic radio personalities quickly attracted his attention, and an early fascination with all things radio was born.
Quickly tiring of mowing neighborhood lawns to earn money to buy the records he heard and loved on the radio, he set about trying to get a job in the broadcasting industry (figuring that would be a really good way to get free records). After writing plaintive letters to every radio station in town, he was surprised when he actually got a reply from one of them, a low rated country music station on the opposite side of town who invited him in for a “tour,” Tours of this “facility” never took long as they broadcast from a one-room shack which barely had running water.
As he was still too young to have a driver’s license, he persuaded his long-suffering mother to give him a ride there, where he quickly impressed the manager, who also doubled as janitor, with all his pent-up enthusiasm (but not necessarily his talent) for radio, and was offered a part-time job organizing the record library. This soon materialized into his first on-air appearance when one of the regular DJs got popped for drunk driving on his way to work one afternoon. A regular weekend slot then followed, and from this launching pad young Freddy slithered his way around town — and into and out of at least a dozen other local radio stations.
It wasn’t long before the “big time” beckoned and he was offered a weekend job on a 50,000 watt Los Angeles Top 40 station, where Freddy realized his boyhood dream of broadcasting on an AM station which, on a clear night, was known for reaching halfway around the world. A succession of other LA radio jobs followed; then Freddy, always a fan of strange music, discovered KROQ (or perhaps it was the other way around) in 1980.
Over the next few decades Freddy bounced around KROQ, during which time he held down virtually every air shift at one time or another, and even served as Program Director for a few years, leaving in 1990 to found the fondly-remembered Santa Monica-based alternative/techno hybrid-formatted MARS-FM, for the entire 2 years of its existence, followed by a quick return to KROQ as well as stints in Las Vegas and Phoenix, plus 6-years with Sirius Satellite Radio’s “First Wave” channel.
Then, once again, he found himself back at good ole KROQ for several more years, coordinating music for JACK-FM and leading KROQ-HD2’s Roq of the 80s format — followed by (yet another) period of involuntary retirement, at CBS Radio’s request, before being invited back by Entercom for 2018’s big Roq of the 80s relaunch. Who says you can never go home anymore?!
Rick “Rockin’ Fig” Fignetti, is a household name here in Surf City. A pro surfer and former KROQ FM “Surfologist,” Fig’s long list of accolades range from being named a 15-time West Coast Surfing Champion to voicing dozens of pro surfing competitions. As a member of the first NSSA National Team in 1978, he also wrote surf columns in the L.A. Times and HB Independent. The homegrown surfing legend graces both the Surfers’ Hall of Fame and the Surfing Walk of Fame, and his iconic voice lent itself to the U.S. Open of Surfing for 19 years in a row. You can always catch Fig surfing at the pier, and at his shop, Rockin’ Fig Surf Headquarters, on Main Street in Downtown HB.