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Heavy Bones

1992 Warner Brothers Reprise Records

Heavy Bones

Produced by Richie Zito and released on Warner Brothers Reprise Records in 1992. The self-titled debut had heavy hitting singles such as, "4AM TM" as well as inspirational epics like, "Turn it On" which would be used to promote the 1992 Olympics. If ever there was a super-group for the 80's this was it. Featuring Joel Ellis on vocals, Frankie Banali on percussion, and Rex Tennyson on bass, this album needs to be in every hard rock and metal fan's playlist!

The project that would become Heavy Bones started immediately after the breakup of Cats In Boots when Stephen Pearcy and Joel were roommates in the notorious “Fuller House” Hollywood Hills apartment. In Joel's words, "It was the height of Hollywood heyday, and I was used to being a co start touring artist so that energy became very contagious among many many friends and found a home in that apartment, most of which I captured on my TASCAM 388 conveniently positioned in the center of it all… along with a video camera ;)"

"I went through several initial players for the band including Jerry Best (bass Lion), James Kotek (drums Kingdom Come, Scorpions), Jim. Cregan (Guit Rod Stewart), Barry Brandt (drums Angel), Pete Camita (bass Cheao Trick), Tom Peterson bass (Cheap Trick), Denny “Mykals” Holman guitar (The Hoaxx), Mitch Perry (guitar Edgar Winter Group), Randy Meers (drums Cats In Boots), Brian ONiel (keys Bus Boys), so many guys were dropping to write and demo new stuff in the midst of a fairly “wild fun” environment that started with serious writing but generally transitioned into every night all-nighters with good friends. and several more during the formation of Joel’s new band."

"I carried that humble gesture into my search for a manager, my friendship with Mark Torien and The Bullet Boys brought me to a young upcoming manager named Dave Kaplan. Dave was fairly persistent with his recommendation of a very good player with a lot of theory knowledge who was a guitar teacher at GIT at the time, his name was Gary Hoey, and he lived conveniently in the apartment building next door with his very sweet wife Laurie who he sadly divorced after signing on my contract with me.
I was truly impressed with Gary’s playing talent and his extensive knowledge of music theory was a very exciting element for writing new music and expanding away from the everyday basic rock music formats of those times that lacked innovation, here was a player and co-writer who understood music and allowed my imagination to take off into the recordings. I would throw out an idea and he would pick it up immediately, if my ideas were unorthodox he could make sense out of it with his in depth knowledge of musical structures .. I was convinced Gary would be very key to taking the new music to a new level beyond the mundane.. that was exciting for me and it proved to be true as you can hear in the Heavy Bones recordings."

"We began writing in my apartment on the TASCAM 388 tape machine, Stephen Pearcy was always there to offer inspiration and support, he was a great indicator of a great track because he would get goosebumps up his arm telling us that we nailed it. This was at the time RATT was down the street making their “Detonator” studio record, there was an amazing creative synergy passing through us all during those very special early days in Hollywood and the new band’s formation."

"After working on a couple of new ideas together, I knew that with Gary and I together we would raise the bar a great deal to fill the other spots in the band. Gary would come to the house with an acoustic guitar and follow me around from room to room just playing riffs and when something caught my ear I’d stop and “what’s that you just played ?? Play it again and we’d be off crafting that riff into a new song, the first song was a takeoff of a song originally called Love on the Buyou.. which became our first song Summers In The Rain.. the next two were Anna then Beating Heart .. all written on acoustic guitar, we knew we were in to something really good and decided to break out the heavy sounds and seek out the perfect players to compliment our chemistry."

"We k ew we needed the very best… and I immediately thought of one of my closest musician friends who just happened to be the very best I could imagine .. so I called my friend Frankie Banali and as fate would have it he was available and very passionate about joining forces with me, that passion grew after hearing what Hary and I were recording and jumped in to put drum parts in even the home demos playing with his fingers on a small Alesis drum machine but still being able to give it his signature heavy hitting Frankie B style."

"My attorney Peter Lopez had worked out a deal for the new band directly with Michael Ostin the then VP of Warner Music. I remember the call with Pete and Michael saying “Joel you don’t need a band or manager come over the the (Warners) offices and I’ve got a great solo artist contract ready for you on the table”.. it seemed like an enormous blessing far too great to bestow on one solo artist, so I saw an opportunity to create something timeless at a time when everyone else was breaking apart going solo, Eddie Van Halen kept telling me it was LSD (Lead Singer Disease) that was killing off great bands.. and he wasnt wrong. So I made the decision to find the greatest band line up and turn that solo deal into a classic united “band” deal with my ideals for great bands being instilled in me from my years growing up with the legends of the 1970s “great bands”… I was naive I suppose unaware of how distorted that ideal could become and regretfully should have listened to my faithful attorney Peter."

—/ next chapter will begin at the early phase of the final band lineup and beginning of our live rehearsals where those rehearsal recordings are captured live on my TASCAM 388 again and finally reproduced here in these first two volumes of this special box set.

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