A couple years ago I encountered a rock-n-roller who, like countless others, had just arrived from some far-away state. Considering that the odds against success were so high I asked him why he'd come. The rocker replied, "Because Hollywood is like a drug." He went on to say that the mere vision of becoming a rock star had the same appeal as heroin to an addict. I never got the rocker's name, but, I did remember the name of his band. They were called "Rock City Angels."
A few months later, at the insistance of a fellow journalist, I attended an after-hour gig where "Rock City Angels" were playing. Having seen "Guns And Roses" a few nights earlier, I could not help observing obvious similarities. At that time, Geffen had just inked a mega-bucks deal with "Guns And Roses." However, after seeing "Rock City Angels," both myself and my friend questioned whether Geffen had signed the wrong band!
New to Hollywood, the "Rock City Angels" had caused heads to turn when they appeared on the scene wearing not only eye-liner, but lipsrick, too. Several "Guns And Roses" members had previously sported eye-liner, but Axel Rose is said to have started wearing lipstick after observing a crowd of teenage females following RCA's lead singer, Bobby Durango.
The bands had many similarities. Both singers were blonde and sure-fire teen-idol material. And, both bands had dark-haired guitarists whom appeared to be made from the "Jimmy Page mold." In short, both seemed to be taking advantage of the same approach used by Mr. Plant and Mr. Page years prior.
However, in comparison to "Rock City Angels," "Guns And Roses" were dull on stage and needed gimmics to keep the crowd's attention. (Following Motley Crue's lead, GNR hired a pair of strippers.) Many of my male friends also frequently complained about Axel's very femenine voice and appearance.
"Rock City Angels" wore more make-up than "Guns And Roses" but their presentation was somehow different. Bobby Durango's rough Jim Morrison-type vocal style was pure-male and, despite the lipstick, RCA was a favorite of many local motorcycle gangs. "The Angels," as their biker-fans often called them, needed no strippers or other distractions.
A couple months later I got a very bad feeling when my journalist-friend (I'll call her "Trish") announced that RCA had signed with Geffen. Trish had meanwhile become friends with the band and bad also become privy to insider information. The more I heard, the more suspicious I became. For starters, Trish said Geffen execs had told RCA's members that they no longer should wear make-up and demanded that they must find another image. Secondly, Geffen execs didn't like the name "Rock City Angels." Geffen, I am told, even did not like the band's songs!
Within days following their signing, the "Rock City Angels" were flown to Memphis where they were told to "write songs." While "Guns And Roses" were climbing the charts, RCA remained in a hotel Room. One must ask if it is a "coincidence?"
After more than two years, however, Geffen has finally released RCA's debut, "Young Man's Blues." Sadly, whatever spark the band once possesed has vanished. And, from the appearance of the promotional packet, it does not take a rocket-scientist to know this is a "low-priority" release.
Rock fans, however, are not as clueless as record execs would like to believe. Just yesterday I overheard two teenagers discussing how several GNR songs sounded almost identical to live recordings of RCA's early shows. One can't help wondering?!
Rivalries between bands are "nothing new." And, it is also "nothing new" for a record company to sign an act which might compete with "a priority" for the sole purpose of shelving them! It doesn't take a genius to see that this is exactly what happened with the "Rock City Angels!"
Heavy As Hell Banner Exchange
My Favorite Web Sites
MY MAIN PAGE