Public AffectionJanuary 1987 - June 1991York, PA This modest alternative rock band hailing from York, PA consisted of four childhood friends that formed a talented high school band with a passion for music and honest, heartfelt expression. In a few short years, Public Affection found success and signed to MCA/Radioactive. The band changed its name to Live, going on to achieve international stardom. The story of Public Affection is the prelude of a young band on their way to multi-platinum success.
Ed "Zedd" Kowalczyk - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Chad Taylor - Guitar, Vocals
Patrick Dahlheimer - Bass, Vocals
Chad Gracey - Drums, Percussion
Other names included:
Body Odor Boys
The Gracious Few
December 1, 1985 - Edgar Fahs Smith Middle School Talent Show - First Aid debut
January 1, 1986 - "Great York Talent Hunt," Cable 4 York - First Aid's second performance
Memorial Ice Rink - Band's first performance with Ed
June 3, 1988 - Saint James Academy (Maryland), Prom
January 23, 1989 - Band showcases for Media Five Entertainment, David Sestak, and Greg Epler at DJ's Pub in Bethlehem, PA. Lana Gracey and Steph Crim waited in the family van in the parking lot (unknown to Media Five) following the audition. A meeting occurred at a Perkin's table to discuss exclusively managing the band.
February 1989 - Meeting at Media Five Entertainment with David Sestak who takes on management and creates a game plan to do a professional recording
April 18, 1989 - First performance at Chameleon Club
April - May 1989 - Band records Death of a Dictionary in Saylorsburg, PA at Red Rock Recording with Producer, Benji King and Engineer, Kent Heckman
June 9, 1989 - Band members graduate from William Penn High School in York, PA
August 17, 1989 - Album Release Party and Press Event for Death of a Dictionary at Big City Nightclub in York, PA
September 28, 1989 - Band plays a show supporting the Pixies at the Chameleon Club
1991 - Signed to Radioactive Records after a show at CBGB NYC
The Death of a Dictionary
1. "Saviour for a Day"
2. "Who Put the Fear in Here?"
3. "Good Pain"
4. "Morning Humor"
5. "Paper Flowers"
6. "The Hands of a Teacher"
8. "Raising a Man"
10. "Ball and Chain"
MIKE COUCH SESSION, 1986 (York, PA) band age, 15 yrs.
MEDIA FORMAT: AUDIO CASSETTE
Our very first recording was a session with engineer Mike Couch in his parent's basement. My mother paid for it and I think the budget was $400. We hadn't adopted the name Public Affection, so we were most likely called First Aid, Rattle Box or Paisley Blue. We recorded Pretty In Pink (Psychedelic Furs), Begin The Begin (R.E.M.) and Boys Don't Cry (The Cure). Mike Couch remains my friend and an amazing guitar player and we've talked about trying to restore the cassette demo (which is still in my possession). The audio quality on the "original master" is bad at best but you can hear the band that would become Live within.
TEMPLE BETH ISREAL, "TEMPLE DANCE" 1987 (York PA) age, 16 yrs
MEDIA FORMAT: DVD
For nearly two hours, Public Affection entertained several hundred teenage kids with new wave cover material. The lighting on the video is poor and the camera work (by my cousin) is so-so. Regardless, this is the earliest know video footage of all four members performing together. Highlights include seeing Adam Kowalczyk sitting at the foot of the stage rocking out to his older brother, oh and lots and lots of hairspray!
PROVERBS OF THE COMPANY, 1988 (Baltimore, MD) age, 17 yrs.
MEDIA FORMAT: AUDIO CASSETTE & 1/8" MASTER
The bands next recording session took place in Baltimore, MD. We recorded 8 original tracks and titled the demo "Proverbs Of The Company." The songs included; The Return, Not Ready To Go, Father To Rain, With Love, A Brick In The Works, A Backwards Lullaby, Hold (A Tribunal Tribute To Hope) and In The Hands Of A Teacher. Frankly, this is my favorite collection of early material. It showcases the bands creativity and highlights just how young and innocent we really were.
DEATH OF A DICTIONARY, 1989 (Saylorsburg, PA) age, 18yrs.
MEDIA FORMAT: AUDIO CASSETTE & 2" MASTER
Nearly every die-hard Live fan knows about this cassette. We picked up the final mix and drove to Ocean City, MD to celebrate our graduation and had in hand the product to help propel us into a record deal (or so we thought). I met our producer, Benji King (Patti Smyth and Scandal) on a plane flight to Europe the summer prior and he put us in contact with our soon-to-be manager, David Sestak. This is the first product that took an entire team to put together. We sold junk bonds to our close friends and family and hit the studio with a well rehearsed set of songs. Kent Heckman engineered and Ed took his vocal performances to a new level with Bengi's guidance. Saviour For A Day opens the album and highlights include Paper Flowers (a drum machine driven track), Who Put The Fear In Hear and Good Pain. Our clean cut, hairspray happy image was captured for the cover with careful art direction from Sestak. We were becoming a "real" band who would soon leave the comforts of high school for a stab at the big apple's CBGB's.
DIVIDED MIND, DIVIDED PLANET, 1990 (Philadelphia, PA) age, 19yrs.
MEDIA FORMAT: AUDIO DAT, AUDIO CASSETTE & 2" MASTER
Jay Healy had been the engineer on several huge albums by artists including Michael Jackson, R.E.M., John Mellencamp and Billy Joel. Giant records asked for us to record a demo of new material with the up-coming producer. We jumped at the chance to work with a true industry veteran who could help us further showcase our musicianship and maturing songwriting skills. Jay found a recording studio just outside of Philadelphia, PA in an old bullet factory. We could only afford to record the "midnight" sessions, which went from 11pm until 9am. We literally worked through the night to record early versions of Pain Lies On The Riverside, Operation Spirit, Waterboy, Good Pain and Peace Is Now (10,000 Years). Giant passed on the demo deal and soon after, Gary Kurfirst would sign us to his new imprint, RadioActive Records where he was busy managing Jane's Addiction, The Talking Heads and The Ramones.
FOUR SONGS/MENTAL JEWELRY, 1991 (Milwaukee, WI) age, 20yrs.
MEDIA FORMAT: VINYL, CD, AUDIO CASSETTE, DAT, 2"& 1/2" MASTER
Our producer, Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads/Modern Lovers) had a budget to record 12 songs but he loved all 15 of the tunes we had played him. He called Gary Kurfirst for help on deciding which tracks to cut and the plan was hatched to release an EP before the album. Negation and Heaven wore a shirt would find their place on Four Songs. The only outtake from that session was a track titled Born Branded. The other tracks make up Live's debut album. Additionally, we have hundreds of hours of rehearsals, video footage (some truly hilarious stuff) and writing sessions recorded from this era. I can also recall one of the band name suggestions; Jumna. Mirror Song was originally called Mental Jewelry and we borrowed the song title for the name of the album.
"Great York Talent Hunt," Cable 4 York (York, PA)
9:30 Club (Washington, D.C.)
Big City Nightclub (York, PA)
Brooklyn Alley Depot (York, PA)
Cambria County Fair (Edensburg, PA)
CBGB (New York, NY)
Chameleon Club (Lancaster, PA)
Club Met (Harrisburgh, PA)
DJ's Pub (Bethlehem, PA)
Edgar Fahs Smith Middle School, Talent Show
Granfalloons (York, PA)
Harrisburg Forum (Harrisburgh, PA)
Memorial Ice Rink (York, PA)
Montana Sound Stage for Seymore Stein Sire Record Showcase (New York, NY)
New Music Festival (Harrisburgh, PA)
Nightingale Bar CMJ Conference (New York, NY)
Northeastern Middle School (York, PA)
Olde York Street Fair (York, PA)
Saint James Academy, Prom (St. James, MD)
Scenic River Days (Reading, PA)
Stardust Nightclub (Wildwood, NJ)
The Barn (Bensalem, PA)
The Coyote Club (Wilmington, DE)
The Dutch Club (York, PA)
The Funhouse (Bethlehem, PA)
The Patriot (Harrisburgh, PA)
The Silo (Reading, PA)
Woody's (New York, NY)
York Fair Grounds (York, PA)
York Fairgrounds-Memorial Hall (York, PA)
York State Fair (York, PA)
Members Ed Kowalczyk, Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer and Chad Gracey first played together at a middle-school talent show in York, Pennsylvania. They remained together throughout high school, playing new wave covers under band names such as First Aid, Club Fungus, Paisley Blues, Action Front, and Body Odor Boys. The group eventually settled on the name Public Affection and recorded a self-released cassette of original songs titled The Death of a Dictionary produced by Benji King and oversaw by David Sestak, their manager. The album was released in 1989, after the band members graduated high school, via their own label, Action Front Records. Only 1,000 copies of the album were manufactured, all on cassette and is considered a highly prized collector's item. In 1990, they released an EP of demos produced by Jay Healy, titled Divided Mind, Divided Planet, via their Black Coffee mailing list. The band performed regularly at CBGB in New York City, where they were noticed by New York City record labels and publishers. They were eventually signed by Radioactive Records at a 1991 CBGB show.