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The story of ... 8084


The American band 8084 was formed in the State of New Hampshire in the spring of 1982 by Keyboardplayer Charlie Hawthorne, Vocalist Randy Smith and Drummer Gary Spaulding. In the beginning the band was just performing covers of popular rock hits of the day on the local bar circuit to make a living and to provide a platform from which to launch an original album project. In the fall of 1982,Bassist Frank Barnes and Guitarist Andre Maquera joined the group,which completed the line-up of 8084. From 1982 through 1985,the band performed throughout the northeastern US and Canada. They became one of the hottest bar bands on the New England circuit.

In 1986,the band moved from their home in northern Vermont into a house in New Hampshire. There they would write songs for their upcoming debut album. In the meantime they would perform on the Boston circuit. At the same time they were discovered by BOSTON-producer/former NEW ENGLAND-drummer Hirsh Gardner. With him,the band would produce their self-titled debut album. Finally, in the fall of 1986, 8084 released their debut-album. The album was released on a small independent recordlabel called Swinesong. But soon the band released their debut in Europe through the Dutch recordlabel Semaphore Records. As soon as the album was released in Europe,the band would receive fan mail and press from magazines,fanzines and fans throughout Europe. The band became popular in the AOR-circuit of Europe,which was pretty underground back then.

Their debut contained A.O.R./Melodic Rock that had similarities to bands like NIGHT RANGER,HONEYMOON SUITE and some influences of early BON JOVI at times.

The music sounded very cheerful with lots of harmonyvocals and a very high energy and radiofriendly commercial melodic rocksound. The album contained 8 tracks,including 1 track that later ended up on a compilation of the AOR Basement-magazine.

The best tracks were “Bad man”,”Lover’s feel”,”Hold on”(3 uptempo A.O.R.-rockers) and the beautiful AOR-ballad “When I think of you".
At the time of release of the debut of 8084 in 1986, A.O.R. and Melodic Rock was very popular in the USA with bands like JOURNEY, NIGHT RANGER,SURVIVOR,HONEYMOON SUITE ... being on top of the charts,which meant that the AOR of 8084 would also easily make it. The band had built a large reputation in the USA, and so they were taken under the wing of Richie Havens,who was a famous artist in the Sixties. Havens worked with the band as an advisor and mentor, teaching them the ins and outs he had learned in his musical carreer.

In April of 1987,the band performed at a music competition for bands from all over North America. This Rock Search International Competition was held at the Olympic Stadium Vellodrome in Montreal,Canada. It took four days of competition, and 8084 emerged victorious,taking first place and they received a standing ovation of the 10,000 attendees at the end of their performance. This was a very important step for the band,because the judges for the competetion they had win,included important people from major recordlabels such as CBS Records,Virgin Records ... So it was only a matter of days before the band began receiving offers for management and recording contracts.

8084 signed a management and recording contract with MCM, a CBS affiliated management company. The band started to work on their second album with ALDO NOVA as the producer. 8084 moved to Montreal in Canada and started writing and recording their 2nd album the next five months. But for legal reasons the project was put on hold,the album was almost finished and now they had to move to The States to produce the songs again.

They also wrote some new material and reworked some of the tracks that were recorded in Montreal. After many struggles,8084 released in 1989 their long-awaited second album. The songs that were produced by ALDO NOVA in Montreal,were re-produced by HIRSH GARDNER again, this is side-A of their 2nd album which was titled ‘Love and war’. Side-B was produced by the band theirselves.

Again only 8 tracks were on the album. Opener “Too late for love” is definitely the best track 8084 ever recorded. The song was written by Vocalist Randy Smith and ALDO NOVA. So,the co-operation with Aldo Nova had resulted in at least 1 great song. "Too late for love" has that typical 80’s-sound,which is-uptempo A.O.R.-rock with a fantastic chorus that includes repeated harmonyvocals and also some fluid keyboards.

Other highlights on their 2nd album are “Lonely at the top”, “She comes to me” and “Love and war”, 3 great A.O.R./melodic Rocksongs. The album is not a classic,but still nice to hear if you’re into AOR.
After the release of this second album,the band received many press and was able to tour with some of the major label touring acts such as WARRANT,HENRY LEE SUMMER and BLUE OYSTER CULT.
8084 seemed to be headed for the major leagues when tragedy struck.

On Christmas Eve 1989, something terrible happened. Keyboardist and founder Charlie Hawthorne was killed in an automobile accident while driving home from a local performance. Charlie was the leader of the band,and so it was not easy for the band to continue. But the band returned on the scene in 1991 with the release of their 3rd album. This self-produced album was titled 'Satisfaction guaranteed’ and released only on tape.

Charlie Hawthorne,who passed away,was not replaced. Vocalist Randy Smith was and still is handling the keyboards. Original Drummer Gary Spaulding was replaced by Andy Hanscom. The third album included 5 tracks. 2 nice melodic rockers titled “Satisfaction guaranteed” and “Animal logic”,l acoustic ballad titled “Fade away” and 2 very good AOR-songs.

Those 2 songs are “Call me”(a fantastic uptempo AOR/Melodic Rocker like their first album) and “Surrender” (a sublime, midtempo A.O.R.-song).
These songs make 8084 sound at their best.

It is now 6 years later and it has been a bit quiet around the band,but I can inform you that the story of 8084 is not over yet,because in next issue of Strutter'zine (issue 13) there will be an interview with the band and they promised me they are working on some new material to be expected soon. We will wait and see if the band still rocks! Visit our LATEST AOR NEWSPAGE  for the latest news on 8084.


8084  SwineSong Records 1986
Love and war SwineSong Records 1989
Satisfaction guaranteed SwineSong Records 1991


Frank Barnes                        -Bass on 1,2 and 3
Randy Smith                         -Lead Vocals on 1,2 and 3 +Keyboards on 3
André Maquera                    -Guitars on 1,2 and 3
Charles Hawthorne              -Keyboards on 1 and 2 
Gary Spaulding                    -Drums on 1 and 2
Andy Hanscom                    -Drums on 3


47 Bank Street
VT 05478


(A special thanks goes out to Randy Smith and the other members of 8084)



We also had an interview with 8084. You can read it soon on this WebSite!
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