Gregg Alexander's Personal Information
Gregg was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan to a plumber father, Tony, and a Jehovah's witness mother, Sharon. Gregg had one sister, Caroline, and one brother, Steve. Snubbed by the neighbors, Gregg at school alternated between gifted student and juvenile delinquent. He was known as the school revolutionary because he was the only kid tall enough to stand up to his teachers. "When I was twelve I saved up for an electric guitar and had a teen epiphany," says Gregg, who then made a band with his brother. As soon as he got a fake ID he was off to sneaking into Detroit's house and punk clubs dancing by night, to listening to R&B and working class rock radio by day. At fifteen he lived large and bought a three hundred dollar four-track recorder from money made shoveling snow and stealing from the churches donation box. He then started recording original songs. "I couldn't afford guitar lessons, but my uncle taught me the 0chords to the Who's "I Can't Explain", immediately, I started switching the chords and making up my own songs. Elementary... On my four track I'd bang the drums first, a bit of piano, loud guitars next, a one take vocal and BOOM! I gave cassettes to my friends who'd play them at the school dance." Gregg was getting restless, he then decided to plot his endless summer.
Gregg talked his mom into a "vacation" in California to visit an ostracized aunt. He had it all planned, he took a bus downtown to the Shrine Auditorium to sneak into the Grammy's to sniff out the beast known as the record business. He walked right past security. Dazed, he began approaching rock icons such as Eddie Van Halen, Little Richard and Rick James. "It was such a bizarre experience, I know that once summer returned I had to run away." When he returned home, his grades descended drastically, his clubbing doubled, and he shoveled snow nonstop until the journey began.
Landing in Los Angeles, and crashing on the floor of a brother/sister gospel group he met at the airport, things started to roll. He began his habit of going to random sunset strip offices, waltzing past securities and secretaries, and literally jumping on startled executives desks to howl his songs acapella. "It was funny as s***, the reaction was usually 'get this freak outta here now' or 'you dont have a lawyer yet do you?'" Within months he had a record deal, "we made this bombastic, Phil Spector monster", "Save me from myself", but the record company was sold the month of he album's release, which promptly "tanked". Greggs reaction was to drive cross-country twelve times. "It was the beginning of a long lost weekend of adventures and song writing that continued for a couple of years. I found my self in every situation in the book.... Religious kooks, gang fights, white witches looking for three ways, and state police who confiscated and lab tested my extensive vitamin and applesauce collection... basically I had the time of my life." Forced to abandon his trashed convertable in Memphis, he headed for Europe.
The journey continued between NYC, London, and LA where he began slowly assembling the New Radicals. In NYC he lived the downtown life, sleeping on floors, doing pep pills and dancing all night while simultaneously spending entire days in Central Park writing songs and busking. "I was starved for new information and experiences, trying not to let what should be joyous occasion... a state of limbo in near poverty, stress me out."
Eventually the new songs took hold. "Occasionally, I enter a near trance when I sing, I was at Thomson Square Park and the crowds reaction to "Someday We'll Know" and "You Get What You Give" was scary and fanatical."
New Radicals, were born over night. "Music is the most immediate medium mankind has. We need to use it for something useful instead of just making money for the man." Such as? "Ready for a run-on sentence? making closed minds, sexism, corporate greed, economic and educational separtion of the races, homophobia, and fat people phobia of the past." In this event this album get recognized, do you have any other message to all the film, music and media creatures who may be watching your ascent "No.. oh why not, I'll take the bait. WAKE UP BENIGN CREATURES! Businessmen too, a selfish ego and money driven life without a pro-human agenda is a pathetic thing. The innocent trusting eyes of future generation are watching, don't let us down corporate ass kiss phonies!..." okay Gregg, now that we've covered music, the world, and everything else, let's talk about love....were these songs written about anyone in particular? "Just being in this world is Roman performance art; I'm selectively private and single." oh come on, "everybody that knows me knows anyway... I've had an on-again, off-again magical/dyfunctional girlfriend for the last several years. Shes amazing-wild-profound- and to say it's an open relationaship is an understatment." Lot's of drug references in the songs, do you have any dark secrets? "Course I do, I'm a rock'n'roll singer, but nothing I'm not proud of. Who cares anyway, but yeah I've tried most drugs, most positions under the guise of most religions with most genders on most continents whilst on a speaker phone with my mom and dad listening intently, but I always come back to one thing... life and love" BUT WAIT! There's really only one thing we were told stricktly off the record: "I pop lots of odorless garlic pills- it's to offset the crazy hours. Odorless garlic is the ultimate flu fighter, six of those f***ers and you can get loaded all week." So maybe he's right, the 90's are cynical and politically correct, maybe he should spare the ap, maybe he should escalate it, who knows? but listen to the record. It has a life force of it's own. "Some of these tunes are based on experience, for better or worse, theres definitely some strong similarities between fact and fiction. Some of the songs are really dark." Says Gregg.
I have recieved countless e-mails from people who grew up with Gregg, and they have all said that Greggs REAL last name isn't 'Alexander", but that it is Aiuto (pronounced "eye-OO-dough)... they all have said that he wasn't poor and that he always had money although he has said that he was a poor kid in a good neighborhood....hmmm...