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Thread: Tuff Luck

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    Atomic Punk japeape's Avatar
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    Default Tuff Luck

    I rented this off of Amazon not expecting much, but the story/documentary was fantastic.
    You learn, right from the beginning, something very bad will happen later in their
    career, and then you notice quickly that the drummer is the only guy not being
    interviewed in the present sense.

    The guitar player was/is an absolute monster.
    The drummer & bass player were also monsters.
    Two of them were featured in Mike Varney's spotlight column, and Varney is
    also interviewed.

    But the story is great because you learn everything about these guys as young kids
    learning to play, to headliners at their local clubs.
    Coulda been, shoulda been....
    https://www.amazon.com/Tuff-Luck-Ken...ords=tuff+luck

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    Nice find.

    LOL. It seems so sad I don't know if I wanna watch it.

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    From a Facebook forum I just heard of this local band that used to be around here in the `80's called Redd Threat. Their singer had an unbelievable range, and the two guitar players could absolutely destroy. Jay Jay French got together with the president of Kramer Guitars and succeeded in getting these guys signed to MCA Records. But then the A&R guy they were working with at MCA got fired, and all the bands he was working with went in the trash can. And that was the end for Redd Threat!

    The Blonz were another one. Got signed to Epic Records, released an album and single, and through a fluke got a chance to open an arena show for Poison in New Jersey. Then the next thing I knew one of the guitarists was back here working in a rinky dink used guitar shop, the band was done, and grunge was king. What happened?

    For some reason as sad as they are, I love stories like these.

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    The story kind of mirrored my friends in local band, Tin Pan Alley.

    When i moved to Boston, these guys were the kings of the local metal/hard rock scene.
    The guitarist, Dave, was like a hero to me.
    He just ripped on guitar & looked so cool.
    Plus, i really loved the songs.

    I went to so many of their shows, even while i was underage.

    Then Grunge hit, the band changed singers, and Dave took his life.

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    These are the REAL rock n' roll stories!

    Here's Redd Thrett. I remember the name, but it looks like they were peaking when I was in 8th grade so I never saw them. Like Van Halen, they played a lot of covers and threw in a few originals. The originals I found sound a lot like Overkill. This is the best clip on YouTube where they cover Rush. There's another where Jay Jay French shows up to jam with them, and he really sounds like shit. You'd never guess they were the "amateurs" and he was the pro. Not exactly my style, but they sound like they had the goods to be on Headbanger's Ball at midnight, at least.



    This is the Blonz. These guys were huge here for a time. A girl told me girls would hang out outside these guy's apartments just waiting to be called in. I remember picking up a Musician magazine with a full page color ad for their debut album, and I thought, "Holy shit! They're really going big time!" Then only about a year and a half later my band was playing a college battle of the bands, and the guitarist with the Tele in this clip was there setting up the mics! I thought, "Uh...why are you here? Aren't you famous now?" A little after that I saw him working in a guitar shop that sold Hondo guitars. He said, "We're taking a break while we wait for this grunge thing to blow over." Still waiting, I guess!


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    I remember another Hard rock Boston band, Sweet Cheater.
    They looked the part & were all great players with some strong material.

    They were doing well on the local scene and finally got a CD together, that got
    airplay on some local metal shows.

    Things were going great, then suddenly the Bass player drowns!

    (Have the Blonz video playing as i type....Ripping guitar work! Damn.
    Gotta say those were the days when bands really woodshedded).

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    Yep! These days I'll think about going out to see a band, and I look up some YouTube clips to see what I might be getting into. What passes as "rock n' roll" these days is something I don't even recognize. I stay in.

    I haven't seen the Tuff Luck movie, but these local bands' stories seem similar, and I think about them just about every day, probably more than the bands themselves, wondering what happened.

    The one time I saw Blonz live was at a "talent showcase" with four or five other bands. The Blonz closed, but the third band up was...Hootie & the Blowfish. They were by far the lamest, and nearly put the audience into a coma. But about five years later, long after I saw the Blonz guy was back selling Hondos, I turn on VH1 one day, and there's Hootie! They hadn't changed one iota, but were in the process of going multiplatinum. Now Hootie & the Blowfish have actually sold more albums in the United States than The Who!

    We made fun of the Blonz, but actually they were pretty intimidating, because they were a total MTV-ready band in the Warrant/Skid Row mold, right in your backyard, with a massive stacks, matching clothes and everything.

    Here's another one. These guys' style doesn't fit this site so much, but when I first heard them I was truly hooked in 10 seconds: The Urban Shakedancers. They used to play every weekend, and always packed the bars, and it was pandemonium: dance floor packed, beer bottles being kicked around, girls dancing on the tables. They got to tour as a side stage act on a H.O.R.D.E. tour with Blues Traveler, and then Chris Robinson heard them and they were the opening act on the Black Crowes' Southern Harmony and Musical Companion tour. I first saw them in a small bar on a Sunday afternoon in front of 12 people, and then I saw them at the Fox in front of 5,000! I thought, "This is it! This is just like the Van Halen story!"

    BUT...then I didn't see their name for awhile, and the next time I saw them, they had a new drummer and lead guitar player, who were good, but didn't fit visually and vibe-wise. Then a little after that...they were done! I was tuning past HGTV one day and a couple in Charleston were picking up their custom kitchen cabinets, and ther was the Urban Shakedancers' singer! He works at a cabinet shop now! WHAT HAPPENED?

    The singer was one of the best slide players I've ever heard, and could change a broken string while singing, which was even more impressive than pyro. Really funny guy. Seemed like they could've fit in the Bonnie Raitt/Lyle Lovett kind of world easily.


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    If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em?
    Pass...
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

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    Quote Originally Posted by japeape View Post
    I remember another Hard rock Boston band, Sweet Cheater.
    They looked the part & were all great players with some strong material.

    They were doing well on the local scene and finally got a CD together, that got
    airplay on some local metal shows.

    Things were going great, then suddenly the Bass player drowns!

    (Have the Blonz video playing as i type....Ripping guitar work! Damn.
    Gotta say those were the days when bands really woodshedded).
    I remember those guys.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

    Hurricane Halen - Let's all gingery touch our sword tips!!!

    DONATE TO THE LINKS YA CHEAP BASTARDS!!!!

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    Yeah, i guess they put an album out on Enigma or something.

    Was looking on youtube, and they are still performing in clubs.
    They all look middle-aged now, LOL!

    When i used to watch Tin Pan Alley in the very early 90's, there was another big
    local band, Jealous Dogs, that were usually on the same bill.

    Years later, we get a new building supor, and the guy notices all the VH & Joe Perry
    memorabilia in my apartment.
    He immediately says, "Eddie Van Halen, man. Remember the flanger?"

    We start talking about bands & he says, i used to play non-stop back in the day.
    What band?
    I was the singer in a band called, Jealous Dogs.
    Holy shit, i used to see them play!

    Then he says he's still good friends with the singer from Tin Pan Alley.

    The funny thing is the guy, even today, still bangs different chicks on a nightly basis.
    He was fixing something in my apartment once, and he had incoming texts every
    ten minutes.

    He showed me one of them & it was this girl exposing her boobs.

    He's like, "Aww fuck, i just met her at some Superbowl party.
    She seems fucking nuts..."

    The girl was hot!

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    Quote Originally Posted by japeape View Post
    I remember another Hard rock Boston band, Sweet Cheater.

    Things were going great, then suddenly the Bass player drowns!
    How did the bass player drown?

    I don't know how much audience there would be for it, but I'd love a TV or YouTube series about these bands that seemed to have the package, the fans, the right people on their side, who may have even gotten a record deal, but somehow still wound up working at Walmart. I think it would be an educational thing for aspiring young bands to watch.

    If Van Halen's story happened to anyone else, it would've ended when Bill Aucoin said he didn't see the potential. If word got around Gene Simmons was personally mentoring you and producing your demo tapes, and a record STILL didn't materialize, you'd be finished. "If Gene Simmons couldn't make them happen you KNOW they suck!" They dodged a gigantic bullet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtyBoy View Post
    How did the bass player drown?

    I don't know how much audience there would be for it, but I'd love a TV or YouTube series about these bands that seemed to have the package, the fans, the right people on their side, who may have even gotten a record deal, but somehow still wound up working at Walmart. I think it would be an educational thing for aspiring young bands to watch.

    If Van Halen's story happened to anyone else, it would've ended when Bill Aucoin said he didn't see the potential. If word got around Gene Simmons was personally mentoring you and producing your demo tapes, and a record STILL didn't materialize, you'd be finished. "If Gene Simmons couldn't make them happen you KNOW they suck!" They dodged a gigantic bullet.
    You need to watch that Tuff Luck movie (i bought it for streaming, but i think it's on youtube as well).

    Jason Flom, the big gun from Atlantic, see's them & likes them.
    He works out a development deal with them, since they have no manager, and the band is stoked.
    Time passes, nothing happens.
    The singer calls & says, "Jason, it's us, what's going on with our development deal?"
    So they cut to Flom, present day, saying, "I was juggling so many bands at the time, and in my
    defense, everyone of these bands looked the same."
    So he was into them, then got side tracked by other talent a week later.

    Then they get interest from the legendary Tom Dowd when they relocate to NYC, but they
    have no idea who he is & blow him off.
    The band says, "He looked like a hippie, not the kinda guy we wanted hooking up with our sound,
    but we had no idea who he was, and today, we could kill ourselves for being idiots."

    As for Sweet Cheater, i believe he died in a boating accident.
    I remember he fell backwards & no one realized he went under.

    I just remember listening to local metal show on WERS, Nasty Habits, and they played
    "Time Bomb", the best Sweet Cheater tune, and the DJ solemnly said, "Sadly, the band
    was visited by tragedy last week...."

    When Dave from Tin Pan Alley died, my buddy, Paul, told me first & i was in total shock.
    Grunge had taken over, but Dave got a new singer and the band went way heavier.
    I remember seeing the new lineup at the legendary Rat in Kenmore Square, by myself, and
    it was different, but i still really liked it.
    Dave was playing less flash in the solo's, more pentatonic based & longer bends, but the
    riffs had groove & were lethal.
    I remember his new singer sported a mutilated hand, as there was an accident earlier
    in his life.

    But Dave seemed unhappy after the original band fell apart.
    I got to go to his house in Chelsea once, because my friend Paul knew him since the
    school days, and that was when Dave told me i sounded like Dave Murray from Maiden.

    Paul also told me that in Junior High, dave was into rap & break dancing.
    Very hard to picture.
    At some point he got his hands on Paul Gilberts "Intense Rock," skipped school
    every day, and just practiced.
    Dave also told me he was really into George Lynch & Led Zeppelin.

    When he took his own life, it just blew my mind.
    He just stayed home all day & practiced, then went to band rehearsals at night.

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    Good news for Sweet Cheater fans! The bassist is still alive! I was looking at their Facebook page and it lists the original and current members, and it's the same guy: Mark Rahilly. Looks like the only original member not currently playing with them is one of the guitarists, Charlie Leger, who's in a band called the Fighting Cocks now. Maybe it was some other band.

    Since I'm on this tangent and mulling over who made it and who didn't, sort of like how Hootie & the Blowfish bored everyone to death, then went platinum, I'd never heard of Jackyl until they had a major label album out. I would read the band listings in the Saturday paper religiously trying to find out who was who, and I don't remember ever seeing their name. Then one day on the local music show played that "Lumberjack" song, and I thought it was the dumbest thing I'd ever heard in my life, and then they say, "That was Jackyl -- now on Geffen Records!" And the next thing you knew they were on MTV and opening for Aerosmith. Where did they come from? Jesse James Dupree supposedly graduated from my high school back in the `70's. But I never, ever saw their name around here until they were big time (for a month).

    I'd really love for an A&R guy to explain to me how these decisions are made.

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    Man, i was sure i remembered correctly, so i texted my building supor, the former singer for
    the aforementioned Jealous Dogs.
    His message response was:

    No, you were right.
    The guy's name was Jimmy Arigo, and he was with SC.
    Good dude.

    I'm heading to work now, but i might google the name when i get back.
    I'm pretty sure it was a drowning.

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    Their site makes no mention of it, and their Facebook page doesn't either. It seems like this guy would be their Cliff Burton, or Berry Oakley. When I looked at their `80's-`90's videos, it was the same guy I see in the current videos.

    www.sweetcheaterband.com

 

 

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