144 Hollywood bands that never made it big – and why!
Alley Cat Scratch had a song called "Fuck Her in the Ass"
The G-Spot Column
By Gerry Gittelson
147 Hollywood bands that never made it big – and why!
1. Adonnis – No surprise, the band looked great, but the group disbanded before making the next step,.
2. Alley Cat Scratch – ACS possessed lots of the qualities you’re looking for but they had a somewhat politically incorrect song with “Fuck Her in the Ass.”
3. Alligator Soup – Name was a bit too weird, and so was the band
4. Ana Black – The manager and three of his homies jumped me one night in front of the Roxy, but I think they thought I was someone else. Never apologized.
5. B.B. Chung King – Huge following but an overweight Asian singing rock just didn’t work.
6. Baby Dolls – Cool glam image, but the band did not have enough staying power and quickly split up.
7. Back Alley Sally – Graham Cross, the bass player, was among the most popular guys on the Strip, but there was a lack of professionalism.
8. Bad Angels – Very musical with a great singer named Val Grant, but it was hard to shake the 714 stigma.
9. Bad Attitude – Bad songs, too
10. Bad Blood – There was lots of interest and singer Jeff Blood had a great look, but the drummer Marky was a total prick.
11. Bad Influence – See Bad Attitude.
12. Bad Johnson – My zany next-door neighbor actually wasn’t half bad, but his time had come and gone.
13. Blackboard Jungle – The band is still popular to this day with annual reunion shows, but the songs just did not grab me.
14. Blood Brother – The group had a nice draw and was rising up ranks before disappearing.
15. The Brats – A very professional band with good vocals and good songs, but offstage the guys did not behave properly.
16. Big Bang Babies – This is where the great guitarist Keri Kelli got his start. Great songs, great image, bad timing.
BIG BANG BABIES
Freddie Ferrin, Tweety Boyd, Kit Ashley, Keri Kelli
17. Belgium – A very musical group with strong material featuring a nice keyboard backing, Belgium was good but no one took them seriously.
18. Biloxi – Like most bands named after a City or state, there was lots of musicianship, but they never found a big audience.
19. Black Cherry – Fronted by former L.A. Guns singer Paul Black, this band was great but never got a break.
Black Cherry fronted by original LA Guns singer Paul Black (center)
20. Bootleg – The singer, Suzie Bootleg, was hot as hell and knew a lot of people, but the band lacked did not have the it-factor.
21. Brunette – The band was supposed to follow in Poison’s footsteps and had the same publicist, Debra Rosner, but the timing was not right.
22. Captain Crunch – A formula of Bon Scott-era AC/DC covers almost paid off, but it would have never worked in the long run.
23. Cartoon Boyfriend – This band could have been huge under the right circumstances but the colorful image was too much, and everything took too long.
24. Children – Had this band not given up, they could have made it. Singer Wade Williams and bassist Jungle Jim were well-liked.
25. Celebrity Skin – Very avant garde in a Jane’s Addiction kind of way.
26. Cherry Street – The band featured Tom Mathers, who would later found Perris Records, but he would not have signed his own band.
27. China Blue – This band didn’t have any good songs
28. Circus – See China Blue
29. Cyclone Sound – See Circus.
30. Damsel – The chick singer was a looker, and my good friend Hot Rod Long loved this band, but I didn’t get it.
31. Desperado – The band had a good plan but lacked resources.
32. Daddy Ray – Despite connections to early Warrant, the band never quite drew enough attention.
33. Dancer – This band quickly rose to headline status and had a great image but went away quickly.
34. Dorian Gray – What a singer Willie D. was. Signed with start-up label Polaris as Wild Boyz, and that was a mistake.
35. East of Gideon – The alternative rock band was big on the Strip but not my cup of tea.
36. Electric Love Hogs – Even the heavy support of Tommy Lee during Motley’s prime could not make a difference.
37. Freight Train Jane – Band featured ex-Black N’ Blue frontman Jaime St. James but something was missing.
38. Frienzy – There was a cute female singer, but like a lot of girl bands a poor work ethic.
39. Friction Addiction – What a great name. If a band can’t make that name work, something is wrong.
40. Elektrik – Band had a great look and was strong pushed by a cute young manager named Tiny Lisa, but no one bit.
41. Flesh – Fellow rock critic Katherine Turman was the manager but these days barely remembers the band.
42. Foolish Pleasure – I recall a huge advertising budget but a lack of musicianship to follow it up.
43. Glamour Punks – Definitely a legendary band, but attitude-wise, the town was only big enough for one Guns N’ Roses.
Glamour Punks made Guns N’ Roses seem like Nelson!
44. God Zoo – A super-talented band featuring ex-Queeny Blast Pop guitarist Lil’ Dee, but God Zoo always had an underground vibe.
45. Happenin’ Harry — Still going strong after all these years, Harry is the best
46. Hanky Panky – The guys looked great and had a great hang-out spot at a rehearsal studio in the Valley, but the songs were not there.
47. Hans Naughty – Slick, Sweet-influenced band had a great song power balled entitled “You,” but they faded away.
48. Hardly Dangerous – A great all-female band featuring singer Tomi Rae who would go on to marry soul legend James Brown, but there was no big break.
49. Hell’s Kitchen – Culled from the ashes of Tempest, this band really sucked, and the bass player could not hold his liquor.
50. High Noon – Lots of the elements were there including a great image and financial backing, but the material was iffy.
51. Hyde – Good songs and a cool manager named David Crowley, but the planets did not align.
52. Hysteria – The singer Wagner was among the best looking on the Strip, but the band never quite reached headlining status.
53. Imagine World Peace – Singer Theadore Love had a great image, but you can’t make shit songs taste like chocolate.
54. Juicy Miss Lucy – This band actually had talent but wearing lipstick and skirts was just a bit too much.
JML wore skirts, carried purses making Poison look like lumberjacks
55. Julliet – Singer Kenny McGee was great, and the songs were there, but an Enigma CD bombed.
56. Jungle Alley – A Warrant-style band with terrific songs and a good following, Jungle Alley was a sad case of no lucky break.
57. Kaiser – The band was huge in Phoenix but never made much of a splash in L.A.
58. Lace – Best memory: I spent a wonderful night of passion with the singer’s future girlfriend. Otherwise, a forgettable band in every aspect.
59. Lash – A Chippendale’s image set singer Bernie Tavis and the band apart, but they could have used songwriting help.
60. Lesley – Hard to be objective about this one because the band still owes me $200 from 1989.
61. Keli Raven – A black glam artist was a novelty then, and Raven is still around now – at about the same level.
62. Landslide – I remember the band had a great logo, but nothing struck me about the performances.
63. Legs Up – A cool image and a good following wasn’t quite enough to compensate for iffy material.
64. Lickity Split – If you liked cocaine, you loved this band.
65. Liquor Sweet – I remember the bassist Crystal Roxx looked like a rock star, but I was never in love with the songs.
66. Lixx Array – With tons of financial backing and a good image, Lixx Array had a jump on the competition, but there was no originality.
Lixx Array, a Sludge staffer called them Hollywood’s answer to Firehouse.
67. Loud & Clear – Wow, Jess Harnell could really sing. He and guitarist Chuck Duran are still together in heavily hyped Rock Sugar.
68. Lypswitch – The band got a demo deal with MCA, but there were some financial indiscretions and the group went away quietly.
69. Lyric – A terrific band from the San Fernando Valley that was one break away from stardom
70. Jailhouse – Perhaps the closest in this batch to making it big, Jailhouse needed that one last break.
71. Lancia – An off-shoot of Pair-a-dice that featured bass player Rob Crane (Ratt); it just wasn’t happening.
72. Mad Moxie – The band had a terrific singer and lots of attention but seemed to come and go rather quickly.
73. Madwhip Thunder – Kind of a Latin version of Angel, the band had a great look but never capitalized after getting a buzz
74. Adam Marsland – I was never impressed, but you have to give Marsland points for still being around
75. Masquerade – The band did not have an ounce of originality but was able to draw a good crowd
76. Mirror Image – Kind of like Nelson with twin, blond singers, but nobody cared
77. Mondo Kane – Band consisted of some really cool guys, but alas there was no showmanship
78. Motorcycle Boy – Francois was a really cool sleaze-style musician but the band was all hype
79. Mozart – A very special band that sounded like Queen, Mozart signed with SBK but the CD never came out.
80. Murder Bay – This band had a nice buzz but management issues spelled the end
81. Mystery Girls – Really cool look, really bad songs
82. New Haven – This band had a great pin-up image and superb song in “Rocking Chair” but just couldn’t get a break.
83. New Tribe – Big on the alternative scene, this band could draw a lot of people, but it was too 80s-sounding
84. Noize Toys – The singer, G.G. Spot (sound familiar?), looked just like Vince Neil
85. Orphan – Big Valley draw, particularly FM Station, but there was something missing
86. Paradise – Singer Adam Gifford had a great look and a great personality, but the band could have used some songwriting help.
87. Pair-a-dice – Girls used to go crazy for this band, but singer Paul Lancia kept coming and going, and that was a momentum killer.
88. Psycho City – This band was willing to pay for advertising but never worked its way to headliner status
89. Queeny Blast Pop – The band had million-dollar songs and tons of talent but the members were too out of control.
90. Radio Free Europe – Band featured drummer David Seven, now a multi-millionaire dot-com guy, but material was weak.
91. Rattlesnake Shake – There was strong material and a good buzz, but the band lacked a true identity.
Rattlesnake Shake was led by a blond bomber named Jimmy Thrill
92. Rated X – A lot of people really liked this band, but the drummer was stricken with cancer
93. Raw Flower – The singer was a hot blonde who used to hang with MCA A & R man Bret Hartman, who signed Pretty Boy Floyd
94. Razmataz – After a good buzz, the band never recovered when drummer Keith Allen left to join Big Bang Babies.
95. Razzle Dazzle – The band made all the right moves and had a nice following but never rose above support status.
96. Red Square – One of the top alternative bands on the Sunset Strip, Red Square was too 80s-sounding
97. Revlon Red – The Anvil of the Hollywood rock scene, Revlon Red keeps plugging away. The sad part is there is some real talent.
98. Revlover – Strongly influenced by Warrant, Revlover looked just like them in custom clothes, but there was a lack of musicianship.
99. Rings of Saturn – Blessed with a great name, Rings of Saturn never took advantage and was often unrehearsed
100. Risque – Singer David Brooks was a dear friend of Warrant’s Jani Lane, who lent a big push
101. Rozy Coyote – Managed by Jerry Landreth, who also oversaw Byte the Bullet/SouthGang, but the songs were not as catchy.
102. Rozzi Lane – A candy glam band that was big in the Inland Empire east of L.A. but never a huge Hollywood draw
103. Rude Awakening – The drummer Tiny Bubbles is still around in TSOL and formerly hed (pe)
104. Sam Mann and the Apes – Sam Mann was a really cool who had natural charisma as a singer, but the buzz did not last
105. Savage Grace – Another female-fronted band that simply did not have what it takes
106. Scratch – Everyone loved the way this band looked – girls used to scream for the lead singer – but in the end it all fizzled out.
107. Shake City – Singer Adam Shore was previously replaced in Warrant by Jani Lane
108. Shock – Cool band that used to use a horn section, but the band was caught in a numbers crunch
109. Shock Opera – Great hair, but there is little else I remember about this band
110. Shrinky Dinx – The launching pad for super celeb Mark McGrath, who got his start in this band
111. Sister Shotgun – Like a meteor, this band came and went very quickly, but for those lucky to see them, Sister Shotgun will be long remembered.
112. Slam Nation – I remember the bass player, Dave Spitz, used to live with Happenin’ Harry. A flash in the pan.
113. Slam-N-Groove – Got to give the band credit for trying, but there wasn’t enough there
114. Snarlin’ Darlin – What an image with four really great-looking guys and catchy songs, but alas no record deal
115. Spank – Really cool logo, not surprisingly, but Spank was a bit late in the coming
116. Spoiled Rotten – The singer was a blonde Jani Lane clone but without the talent
117. Spiders & Snakes – They had the glitter-glam image but never that one big hit
118. Spin Dizzy – Band came and went like lightning, but at their peak they rivaled Swingin’ Thing
119. St. Thomas – Really, really great hair. Band eventually signed indy deal but never a big seller
120. Strawberry – The starting ground for future Queeny Blast Pop drummer Pepper Sweet, Strawberry was never taken seriously
121. Stone Heart – Bunch of New York punks who thought they were next White Lion. Yeah, right
122. Stiletto – Oh my god could Debby Holiday sing, and she had a good band, too, but it was a matter of never finding the right music-industry pig.
123. Stikkitty – A lot of people loved this band, but I just didn’t get it
124. Storyteller – A truly gifted band in the vein of Styx that was better than just about anyone, but the planets did not align.
125. Sunset Holiday – Another wasted opportunity as far as good names are concerned. The name just flows off the tongue.
126. Sweet Savage — For 10 years this band was one step away from stardom, but it never quite happened
Sweet Savage was Randy, Chris, Laine & Joey!
127. Swingin’ Thing — This band had it all – talent, looks, musicianship, great attitudes – but for some reason no one whipped out their checkbook
128. Syanide Kick – The drummer, Freddie Ferrin, later co-formed Big Bang Babies, but that did not work either
129. Taz – I was great friends with singer K.K. and guitarist Ethan Gladstone, and that makes it extra tough they lucked out and never got signed.
130. Tempest – All image and style of substance, Tempest does deserve credit for consistently being able to draw hundreds to every show.
131. Temporary Insanity – With a bunch of wild personalities, there was always too much drama
132. Tick Tock Bang – Actually, this band was quite good, but with that name who would take them seriously?
133. Tragedy – A short-lived project that included legendary drummer Traci Michaelz (RIP) and a great singer named Jamie.
134. Tragic Romance – The band had a bad attitude, and that’s always a huge obstacle
135. Trash Cowboys – This Guns N’ Roses-influenced band was quite good with a superb demo before breaking up
136. Trippin – The brainchild of scenemaker Pirate Jim, Trippin’ impressed despite being instrumental only and not commercial
137. Tryx – A Pretty Boy Floyd-style band with fancy outfits, great hair and hook-filled pop anthems, Tryx could have sold millions but fizzled.
138. The Ultravoilets – This was David Bowie-style glam in the 90s. Didn’t work
139. United Snakes – A huge buzz was stomped out because of drug problems, and that was a shame
140. The Users – The band feature Valley pot king Gary Lee. Don’t remember much else
141. The Wild – An impressive and popular band that featured future Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed but never got signed
142. Wanted – The band had tons of money and a great party apartment just up the street from the Whisky, but something just didn’t click.
143. Wicked Tease – What a cheesy name, and sure enough the band did not get far
144. Wikked Gypsy – There were some great songs such as “Sad songs” but Wikked Gypsy was a little too similar to everyone else.
145. Winter Kills – Like New Tribe, a popular band with the alternative crowd but a bit limp-wristed for my tastes
146. World War III – Singer Mandy Lion was a rock god – he still looks and dresses the same, by the way – there were never any hooks.
147. The Zeros – What a loyal following this band had, but a batch of great songs like “Love’s Not Fair” never rose above cult favorites
Editors Note we give honorable mentions to…..Sykotik Sinfoney.
Sykotik Sinfoney included a Cow, a Clown & a Nun on lead guitar!