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Thread: Piper

  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Piper

    all this talk of Billy Squier brings us to...

    In the summer of 1975, Billy Squier, Danny McGary, and Richie Fontana got together at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York, where they would record the first demos of Billy's latest songs. Although Richie loved to rock on the heavy side, he has always been much more concerned with the 'song' - good playing with good melodies was, and still is, of the utmost importance.

    Piper, which released a couple of albums in the mid '70s, ( "Piper" and "Can't Wait" ) but broke off soon after. Upon reviewing the debut release entitled "Piper", "Circus" magazine touted it as the greatest debut album ever produced by an American rock band. He then pursued a solo career. Piper was managed by the same management company as Kiss, and opened for Kiss for some of their most memorable performances during their 1977 tour, including a three night sold out run at New York's Madison Square Garden.

    interview with Richie Fontana
    How did you end up with Aucoin Management, did the fact that Billy Squier was from Boston like Bill Aucoin play a role or was Sean Delaney looking for new talent?
    "It was more the Billy-Bill-Boston thing. As I recall, Billy Squier had met Bill Aucoin on an plane flight. At that point we weren't really Piper yet. It was only Billy, Danny McGary and myself. Billy had developed a name for himself out of the Boston scene, so Aucoin already knew who he was. We had already cut some tracks in Woodstock, New York, that I guess Billy was hawking around at that time. Anyway, Bill Aucoin was interested, and so from there we acquired Alan Nolan and Tommy Gunn. That's when we became Piper and eventually signed with Aucoin Management. We were put into a rehearsal studio for six months where we just worked and worked and worked, until we started doing private showcases for various record execs, including Clive Davis. We signed with Aucoin and A&M Records before we ever did a single gig."

    In 1977 you recorded two albums with Piper, please tell me about those days. How was it to be a young musician, with things seemingly going well for you, establishing a career and all that..?
    "It was fantastic, ya know, 'foot in the door' as they say. Knowing that you've finally reached your first goal, and that you've just become a major league player, and that you're about to make a record for a major label; yes, it was very exciting. Of course I never took anything for granted, but deep down somehow I knew that it would happen for me, I just didn't know when. I was driven. I was very much into the music that Piper recorded. I've always liked hard-hitting melodic rock 'n' roll. When I met Billy Squier and heard his songs for the first time, I said 'Yes! This is perfect'. Everything just fell together nicely. Piper was a special event in my life, after all, it started everything for me."

    What's your fondest memory of Piper?
    "There are many but... If I had to mention one I'd say it's when we received an encore from 20,000 people on my birthday at Madison Square Garden in my hometown of New York City. That was one of the first shows that we had opened for KISS. Oh, one more: still on the KISS tour; when we played at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Again, an audience of about 20,000, probably the most electrifying show that we ever did. The crowd in that arena was borderline berserk that night. We got a reception that was so intense, it was kinda scary, but wonderful. Phily audiences were known for their enthusiasm. In fact, before the show, KISS came to us backstage to make sure we weren't afraid. Sounds wild but it's true. It was a fantastic show for us. Ok, that's two fondest memories."

    Before disbanding, Piper toured as opening act with KISS on the Love Gun Tour, their biggest tour to date back then. How many shows did you do and how did you experience it all?
    "We did about 10 or 12 shows with KISS. Playing on their stage was amazing. Of course the rigging was very involved with all the pyrotechnics and the hydraulics they were using on that tour. Getting onto that stage was like boarding the space shuttle. Every show was mega."

    audio...
    Sail Away
    Who's your boyfriend?

    It was "welcome to the machine" time. After lots of radio air-play, and their first major/national tour, it was back to the studio to record the second album titled "Can't Wait", this time at Electric Lady Studios in NYC. After another tour with many different headlining acts, including KISS, Piper disbanded in 1978, as Billy Squier was at the beginning of his career as a solo artist.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Eruption lal5150's Avatar
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    i thought you were talking this piper.
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  3. #3
    Eruption
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    Default

    Hard to believe Aucoin passed on VH for Piper.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    Default

    Might have been for the best...
    Piper, Starz, Virgin, New England, Toby Beau and Spider WHO???


    From '76 - '79 the sky was the limit for Aucoin Management, signing new acts such as Piper, Starz, Virgin, New England, Toby Beau and Spider. But in 1980 Aucoin almost went bankrupt and had to cut back on things, close down offices and fire a lot of people. Suddenly there were no longer breakfasts served on silver trays, no masseuses coming into the offices. Were Aucoin's (financial) problems in a way the reason why all these bands disbanded sooner or later?

    "Piper had already broken up before all that hit the fan. I'm just not sure about the other bands. Some of them may have folded on their own anyway. It may not have been the Aucoin financial thing because it still went on for a while through the Billy Idol years... things fell apart after that."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  5. #5
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    I have that New England album!

  6. #6
    Baluchitherium mistere's Avatar
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    Default

    That's cool.
    But the Verve Piper is better.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistere
    That's cool.
    But the Verve Piper is better.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007
    I have that New England album!
    Oh you must MP3 it... Imagine, hey we need to name our band... How can we be bigger than Boston, OH I KNOW let's call the band NEW ENGLAND!
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  9. #9
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod
    Oh you must MP3 it...
    Uh, no - that would require listening to it, and it didn't age well with me - really only liked one song after awhile - maybe 1.5. The only reason we paid them any attention is because Paul Stanley's name got attached to them, much as Gene Simmon's name got attached to some other band at the time, but I can't recall who that was...
    Last edited by billy007; 02.26.06 at 06:44 PM.

 

 

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