GYNGER LYNN formed in 1989 when bassist Jim Stuppy paid a visit to Dean Pressley, the lead singer and guitarist for Chicago-based band Cheri Lane. Jim and Dean spent the entire afternoon talking about collaborating. Over the course of the same day, Jim would eventually introduce Dean to Will Hair, who in turn called drummer Frank Paul that same evening. The four musicians spent the next two weeks writing and playing in Frank’s basement.
Within a month, the newly formed GYNGER LYNN had hit “The Windy City” like a ferocious storm. Local management companies and producers began to take notice. After recording two demo cassettes at The Playroom with Joe Bader at the helm, building the perfect road crew, and continuously writing new material, GYNGER LYNN was off to conquer the Chicago music scene. The band played six to eight shows a month and rehearsed five days a week.
The band CHARLEMAGNE was formed during 1987. Scott and Raymond had moved to Hollywood, California in September of 1986 when Scott was scheduled to begin the 1986 - 87 sessions at MIT (Musicians Institute of Technology). It was during that time that Scott met Ken Kowalski who was attending PIT (Percussion Institute of Technology) and Lee Brian who was attending BIT (Bass Institute of Technology). While it was common practice for students from all of the schools to play together during Live Playing Workshop, Scott, Ken, and Lee never actually played together during those times. Scott had observed Ken and Lee playing with other players at various times and after hearing the both of them, he approached them on different occasions to discuss the possibility of forming a band outside of school. Several rehearsals were scheduled to explore this possibility after which it became obvious to all this was to be a great fit indeed.
After a year of three practice nights per week, the band felt ready for the Los Angeles club scene. One interesting side note was the rehearsal space that the band used. In the middle of the industrial district of Los Angeles in a city called Vernon was a lockout rehearsal facility named “Francisco’s Studios”. Francisco’s consisted of two buildings with a total of 117 rehearsal rooms all rented by the month. On any given night throughout the week, literally 90% of the rooms were filled with many local rock acts rehearsing their shows. Since these rooms allowed 24-hour access, bands rehearsed at all hours of the week. It was not uncommon for 25 bands to be rehearsing at 7:00am on a Sunday morning. Another interesting tidbit was the Purina Chicken Feed factory located about a quarter mile from Francisco’s. During the summer, the odor produced from that factory was unbelievable heavy.
In 1987, a hard rock band trying to scratch and claw their way into the scene had two choices: they could either cash in on the popular trend by going the glam-rock route that was burning up the charts, or they could come up with something fresh, something new, something invigorating in its refusal to follow others like a blind little lamb.
CHARLOTTE cast their lot with the second option and forged a heavy blues-drenched metal sound that conjured up the kind of restless rock and roll magic that roars and roams and slithers dangerously through dark, swampy, smoky places. In other words, they said the devil be damned and decided to do their own thing, march to their own drum.
Many teenage diaries have been filled with rock and roll dreams, but when a guitar instructor introduced Dave Schafer to Nick Panos, thinking their styles would complement each other, they decided to turn those teenage dreams into reality. They jammed together for a couple of years, writing songs and hooking up with a string of vocalists, drummers, and bass players, but nothing really stuck. With not much happening for him in the Chicago scene, Dave seized an opportunity to relocate to the City of Angels and hook up with a band that was supposedly building a tidal wave of buzz; unfortunately, the tidal wave turned out to be more like a ripple, and as the ripple faded to nothing, so did the band. With his Los Angeles experiment behind him, Dave returned to Chicago where he and Nick decided to take another shot at the rock and roll dream that had thus far eluded them.
Like so many other commercial hard rock acts, COLD SHOT was formed in the seething cauldron of excess and decadence that was the L.A. metal scene in 1988. While they achieved a modicum of moderate success during their rock ‘n’ roll journey, they had dared to dream of rock stardom. While success at the big league level eluded them, it wasn’t for lack of trying; these hard rocking hell-raisers laid it all on the line, left their blood on the arena floor, and gave it their best shot.
COLD SHOT was a band that came about through pure chance. Guitarist Anthony Gallo had been banging around the L.A. scene for quite some time, his disillusionment growing exponentially by the day. But that all changed when he heard vocalist Adam Murray sing at a show. The power of Adam’s voice destroyed all of Anthony’s disillusionment like a dandelion in a dust storm. Realizing destiny was staring him smack in the face, Anthony vowed right then and there that he and Adam would record music together.
David, a resident of Port Angeles, WA, threw himself into life as a drummer before the early age of eighteen years old. He was willing and determined, and this led him to an atmosphere of bars, where he dedicated his time to playing a classic rock genre he had never before heard, let alone played. The "B-room classic rock band" resulted in good money. However, he was unable to consume alcohol, or stay inside of these establishments during breaks, a common setback to engaging in the music scene as the youngest member. An original project was created with friend and guitar player John Tippens. The duo recruited another friend, guitar player Tom Moore. Together the trio formed several bands in the Port Angeles area and wrote and developed future songs. Eventually, both John and Tom re-located to New Mexico.
A year or two later, Dave decided to make some changes. He made a call to John and Tom, decided to explain his ideas, try to take advantage of the Seattle music scene, and together become a name in a soon to be booming industry. The idea of a "super group" was born.
Before FELONY was officially united as a band in 1989, Tommy, Johnny, and Shawn met through the local Indy music scene and began to collaborate on writing original music, with the goal of creating an all-original songwriting band, and subsequently building an archive of original music suitable for soliciting a recording contract with a national record label. Following a few interim carnations with various local guitarists, they came across Dale during an audition for the band, and the resulting musical bond of the four secured the original lineup.
HIGH NOON was formed in early 1989, when childhood friends and California natives, guitarist Ken Hitsman and bassist Sam Persons, left their previous bands to form one more to their liking. Ken was working at a local guitar repair shop, “Music Works”, when drummer and New Jersey native Mike Patterson came in one day. “I noticed Mike was wearing a Drummers Collective t-shirt,” recalls Ken. He then asked if he wanted to jam and the core was born. The three core members, along with friend and soon to be band manager Jim Foote, came up with the name "HIGH NOON". An ad was placed seeking a vocalist in a local music magazine called “Music Connection” and the audition process began.
In June of '89, vocalist and recent Buffalo, New York transplant, Jim Zappa, spotted the ad, liked the name and made the call. Jim, unlike many others who auditioned, came in and started improvising on the spot. "I remember them running all over the rehearsal studio like it was a show" recalls Jim. “In addition to saying to myself 'who does this at rehearsal?’ I said, ‘this could be fun’ and started singing. That was how I came up with ideas anyway so it was a natural thing for me to do.” It was that skill and great range that landed Jim the gig. The band quickly wrote a set worth of tunes and booked the first of many HIGH NOON gigs on July 31st 1989.
Christian metal. The merging of the messianic message with loud, raucous, rowdy, rock ‘n’ roll. To some, this sounds oxymoronic. It is the mismatched mixing of the sacred with the profane, but to the born-again mousse-abuse mavericks in LEGACY, Matt Rice (guitars), John Rice (bass), John Jenkins (drums), Fred Blanchard (guitars), and Doug Meacham (vocals) - it sounded like a match made in, well, Heaven.
The band’s creation began on September 17, 1987, in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Eric Adams, a youth minister, felt called to build and manage a band that could not only rock your face off, but also share the love of God while doing so. With John Rice, Matt Rice, and Matt Reedy already on board, Eric reached out to Fred Blanchard, the younger brother of a friend of his, wondering if he knew of any singers seeking work. As divine providence would have it, Fred’s band had just broken up that day, so he and Doug Meacham were both available to join.
MURDER BAY was one of the top unsigned rock bands of the late 80's and early 90's, packing clubs all the way from their hometown in the East Bay (San Francisco) to Los Angeles. With heavy grooves, killer hooks, ass-kicking vocals and screaming guitar work culminating into a high-energy live show, the band wasted no time in developing a large fan base.
In 1990, MURDER BAY took that live energy into the studio with a young Eric Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Good Charlotte, Third Eye Blind, All-American Rejects, Slash, and more) to lay down six tracks. The results came in as expected; big songs and a big sound. The press took notice. Along with, a now rabid fan base, MURDER BAY received numerous accolades such as BAM magazine's #1 Rock Band of 1990, Metal Edge's "Band on the Rise", and Music Connection's "Top 100 Unsigned Acts." Add in a few radio interviews, and MURDER BAY was a force to be reckoned with.
Formed in 1988, PISTOL DAWN had been touring the earth since they were conceived. They had a natural appeal to with the young ladies due to there dirty power pop songs with a heavy sleaze factor stage presence. They always took care of their fans and consistently delivered a high-energy rock show.
Definitely not for the faint hearted, these boys were loud, proud, and got around. The entire band spent their lives writing, recording, and touring the globe, with such acts as Cheap Trick, Dangerous Toys, Enuff Z' Nuff and Lillian Axe, to name a few. All members hailed from the Midwest and pulled their own weight with blazing solos from Scotti Ryan, combined with their harmony hooked vocals. The band was often featured on Chicago's best Rock radio.
Hard rock bands are not created to play music that could pose as a cure for insomnia, hard rock bands are created to blast speakers and peel the plaster right off the walls. RATTLESHAKE were no exception. The nucleus of the band formed in the late 80’s when bassist Bryan Lujan and guitarists Ralph Longo and Mark Freseman played together in the popular San Francisco Bay Area band called Mad Anthony. Bryan then brought in his friend Steve Fletcher for beat-keeping duties and a few weeks later, fellow Bay Area rocker, vocalist Don McBee (Flame) was added to the mix.
The band name RATTLESHAKE was randomly rolled out by Ralph and for no reason other than it sounded cool, it stuck. This inspired Ralph to design the band logo, a rattlesnake wrapped around an “R,” sporting a nose ring, Mohawk, and cigarette dangling from forked tongue. This “RATTLESHAKE Rattler” avatar perfectly captured the cool, head-banging, bad boy vibe the band wanted to exude.
SANDRA DEE formed in November of 1989, arriving toward the tail end of the pop-metal party but still believing their particular brand of dark-tinged, metallic-edged hard rock deserved a shot in a market glutted by glam. Vocalist Chris Kamykowski, guitarist Jason Bowman, and bassists Geoff Matson initially formed the nucleus of the band, eventually recruiting drummer Nicky Bernardi through some mutual friends and then rounding out the first incarnation of the band with guitarist Gino Buonamici. About a year later Nick and Chris departed and the band added drummer Erik Youmans and vocalist Lance Thomason to fill the gaps, resulting in the band’s second incarnation.
In 1990, the Chicago Rock Scene was drunk on Metal and fast becoming a major breeding ground for new bands on the rise. It was also a renewed point of interest in the industry, drawing a record number of major recording labels back to Chicago to open offices and set up shop in the race to scout and court the best the area had to offer. New bands formed faster than “. Com ” businesses and many faded just as quickly, but a few …the strong …laid out a mission and saw it through, delivering to Chicago fans the ride of their life and to the world yet another piece of Rock ‘N Roll history.
The year was 1987. Hair-sprayed, high-octane, hook-drenched hard rock ruled the radio. It was also the year SHAKE CITY was born.
SHAKE CITY’s formation owes a debt to Warrant. In Warrant’s young, hungry, club-blasting early days, talented singer named Adam Shore fronted them, but by the time Warrant started climbing the ladder of mainstream success, Adam was persona non-grata and Jani Lane had taken his place.
Cue guitarist Don E. Sachs, alerted to Shore’s powerful vocal prowess by a mutual friend. A meeting took place in Hollywood in late 1986; the two guys hit it off really well, and the band Hot Wheelz was born. Hot Wheelz eventually evolved into SHAKE CITY, a name chosen in part because of the group’s location on the earthquake-prone west coast. Rounding out SHAKE CITY’s roster was guitarist Michael Blair (who happened to be Erik Turner’s cousin), bassist Ray Bailey, and drummer Jaycee Cary. In 1992, at the tail end of the band’s all-too-short career, guitarist Ethan Gladstone from the band TAZ replaced Blair.
In 1985, STRIKE TWICE lead vocalist Michael Hayes and guitarist Rob Luv met through a guitar instructor named Steve Amend. At the time, Mike was working at a boatyard and Rob was working odd jobs, but music was their passion, their band the thing that truly got their blood pumping. Various members came and went as the band cycled through multiple lineups, but through every permutation and evolution, Mike and Rob remained the heart and soul of STRIKE TWICE.
Hoping to solidify the band’s roster, Mike and Rob reconnoitered various clubs, including Sparks in Deer Park, NY. They spotted bassist Chaz Domino slinging drinks behind the bar and immediately noted that he had a great looks about him. Turned out that Chaz was hooked up with drummer Randi Price and guitarist Trixx and the trio was seeking a singer, so it looked like fate had smiled on them all. Chaz played STRIKE TWICE’s early demo for Randi and Trixx and a jam session was then arranged at Chaz’s house. One rehearsal later and everyone agreed that they were now the new incarnation of STRIKE TWICE.
In September of 1988, founding members, guitarist Michael Parker and vocalist Sam Carava, recruited bassist Jimmi Nolan and brother Shawn Nolan on drums, for their new project entitled Fontalis. Within a month the newly formed band had written nearly a dozen songs, including "#69" and "Sweet Sybil," both of which would prove to be significant and prophetic to their future.
TNA began to roughly form circa 1985, cobbled together from the dissolution and remnants of other local acts. Parts of the line-up rotated a few times, a revolving door of musicians, including Todd Poole who auditioned for the drummer slot before moving on to minor commercial success as the front man for Roxy Blue. Apparently some of these auditions were accomplished with the help of Wild Turkey, because back in hair-metal’s halcyon days, the ability to sing or play while your blood bubbled on the brink of alcohol poisoning was pretty much a mandatory skill-set. Anyway, after a few years of fluctuating rosters, TNA solidified into a serious, like-minded, cohesive hard rock band.
UZI was formed on Chicago's south side in late 1986 by childhood friends and co-founders, singer, songwriter, bassist Nicholas Flynt and guitarist Keith Johnson.
A decade earlier their friendship was forged on a school playground by their equally unquenchable thirst for musical classics like KISS Alive!, Aerosmith's Rocks, and Van Halen’s 1978 self-titled release. They each bought guitars and formed a band and as the 70's gave way to the 80's, they became influenced by the metal rock wave ridden by bands like AC/DC, Judas Priest, and Motley Crue.
They recruited local monster drummer Dan Parker and soon after Kenny Shattuck was enlisted to take over the bass. Gary "Vail" Vaillancour was brought into the band as the 2nd guitarist and the original lineup was complete. Under the name "Dillinger" the band recorded early 16-track demos at Hair Bear Studios and played to packed venues on the south side.
WANTED burst onto the Indianapolis music scene in '89 with a blend of memorable hooks and in-your-face vocals. Sharing the stage with such talented local acts as Sweet F.A., Schoolboy Crush, Ma Kelley, Snakeskin Cowboy, Felony, and Nova Rex, WANTED became an instant Midwest favorite.
WANTED was made up of five very talented musicians from all over America.