Eric Bazilian: Lead Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, String/Wind Instruments
Rob Hyman: Lead Vocals, Hammond Organ, Accordion, Keyboard.
John Lilley: Guitar, Background Vocals
Fran Smith: Bass Guitar, Vocals
David Uosikkinen: Drums, Percussion
Bobby Woods (1980 - 1982): bass guitar
John Kuzma (1980 - 1982): guitar, background vocals
Bond Collard (1982 - 1983): drums, percussion, background vocals
Rob Miller (1983 - 1984): bass guitar, background vocals
Andy King (1984 - 1987): bass guitar, background vocals
Mindy Jostyn (1991 - 1993): violin, guitar, harmonica, background vocals
The Hooters were formed in 1980 and played their first show on July 4 of that year. They took their name from a nickname for the melodica, a type of keyboard harmonica which is German in origin and made by Hohner. Two of the members, Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman, had originally met in 1971 at the University of Pennsylvania and had played in a band in the late 1970s, based in Philadelphia, called Baby Grand, which also featured local singer, David Kagan. Baby Grand released two albums on Arista Records. In addition, producer/friend of the band Rick Chertoff also had a significant role during these album sessions, and he would later produce several Hooters albums as well.
During the 1980s, The Hooters played on the Philadelphia club scene, boosted by airplay on WMMR, the major rock radio station in Philadelphia at the time. They soon became a huge success along their native East Coast, playing everything from clubs to high schools, while appearing on local television shows. The original versions of "Man in the Street", "Fightin' on the Same Side", "Rescue Me", and "All You Zombies" were released as singles in this time period.
On September 25, 1982, The Hooters opened for one of The Who's farewell tour concert shows at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia on a bill that also included The Clash and Santana. After this, the group separated after two exhausting years of playing practically every club and high school on the East Coast. Hyman and his girlfriend, Betsy Berlin (of the Plastic Fantastic record shops), had been managing and booking the band during this period, which had begun to cut too deeply into Hyman's writing and rehearsal time.
In 1983 Bazilian and Hyman got together to write once again and decided to give the band one more try. Steve Mountain, owner of several of the clubs in Philly where they played, was approached to manage the band and he agreed. And the band's booking was taken over by others, leaving Hyman and Bazilian to concentrate solely on the music.
Besides Bazilian and Hyman, only drummer David Uosikkinen was retained from the original grouping. John Kuzma (guitar) and Bobby Woods (bass) had already joined another group, Youth Camp. They were replaced by John Lilley (guitar, backing vocals) and Rob Miller (bass, backing vocals), two former members from another local popular group, Robert Hazard and the Heroes.
In 1983 The Hooters began working at last on their first album. The result, Amore, was released on the independent label Antenna and sold over 100,000 copies. Amore included songs like "All You Zombies", "Hanging On A Heartbeat", "Fightin' On The Same Side" and "Blood From A Stone", all of which would reappear in different versions on later albums. Although a studio album, Amore captured the same energy and spirit that made The Hooters admired for their live performances.
That same year, Bazilian and Hyman were asked to write, arrange and play on the debut album of a relatively unknown singer named Cyndi Lauper, She's So Unusual, who was being produced by their former producer and unofficial bandmate from Baby Grand, Rick Chertoff. Hyman co-wrote the song "Time After Time", which would go on to hit Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
After the immense popularity of Cyndi Lauper's debut, The Hooters presence, as performers and as songwriters, was significantly boosted. On July 26, 1984, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, Columbia Records signed them to their first major recording contract. Just before the band were about to make the leap to the big time, Rob Miller was seriously injured in an automobile accident and was replaced by Andy King, from a rival Philly band, Jack of Diamonds.
The Hooters' 1985 Columbia Records debut album, Nervous Night, achieved platinum status around the world, selling in excess of 2 million copies and included Billboard Top 40 hits "Day By Day" (No. 18), "And We Danced" (No. 21) and "Where Do The Children Go" that featured accompanying vocals from Patty Smyth (No. 38). There was also a drastically different version of the live crowd favorite "All You Zombies" that was now laden with a dramatic keyboard arrangement. This song also made the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #58. Rolling Stone named The Hooters the Best New Band of the Year.
On July 13, 1985 they were the opening band at the Philadelphia Live Aid benefit concert, gaining international recognition for the first time. Their first major overseas tour came later that year when they played throughout Australia.
On May 18, 1986, The Hooters participated in America Rocks, the concert portion of the 1986 Kodak Liberty Ride Festival that celebrated the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The three-hour concert was broadcast via satellite to 100 cities and also featured The Neville Brothers, Huey Lewis and the News, and Hall & Oates.
On June 15, 1986 The Hooters participated in A Conspiracy of Hope, a benefit concert on behalf of Amnesty International, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
On September 5, 1986 The Hooters appeared on the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, where they were nominated in the category of Best New Artist in a Video for "And We Danced." They performed two songs on the show, "And We Danced" and "Nervous Night."
At Billboard's 8th Annual Video Music Conference on November 22, 1986, The Hooters won two awards: Best Concert Performance for the "Where Do the Children Go" video and Best Longform Program for the full length Nervous Night home video. They also placed in five categories in Billboard's Top 100 of 1986: Top Pop Artist, No. 41; Top Pop Album, No. 23; Top Pop Album Artists/Groups, No. 16; Top Pop Album Artists based on one album, No. 27; and Top Pop Singles Artists based on three singles, No. 3.
In 1987 The Hooters experienced their first major commercial success in Europe. After heavy airplay in the United Kingdom, "Satellite," from the album One Way Home, became a hit single, reaching No. 22, with the band performing on the popular British television show Top of the Pops on December 3, where they would meet one of their musical idols, Paul McCartney. The song itself proved controversial however as it was widely seen as a satire on the excesses of Christian TV 'Televangelism'. "Satellite" was also featured in an episode of the television show Miami Vice titled "Amen...Send Money", which first aired on October 2, 1987, dealing with two warring televangelists. The accompanying video went even further depicting a young girl and her parents (who resemble the couple from Grant Woods' famous 'American Gothic' painting) attempting to watch 'The Three Stooges' interspersed with The Hooters performing, but being constantly interrupted by transmissions from a Christian show. Although never officially confirmed, the video contained barely concealed parodies of famous Christian Televangelists Tammy Faye Baker, Jerry Falwell and Oral Roberts. On the tour supporting One Way Home, Fran Smith Jr. (bass, backing vocals) was brought in to replace Andy King.
On November 24, 1987, Thanksgiving night, The Hooters headlined the Spectrum in Philadelphia for the first time. The show was broadcast live on MTV and the Westwood One radio network simultaneously, the first time the two networks had ever joined forces in producing a concert for one artist.
1989 saw their final release for Columbia Records. Zig Zag introduced a politically-oriented theme, with Peter, Paul and Mary providing background vocals for an updated version of the 1960s folk song 500 Miles, which became an international hit that led the way to another international success for the band.
International success (1990 - 1995)
As the 1990s dawned, The Hooters' success in the United States began to wane, while their popularity overseas, especially in Europe, reached new heights.
Following a show at The Town & Country Club in London, England in March 1988, the band had met Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, who told them that he was a big fan of theirs. This eventually led to their appearance in Waters' staging of The Wall Concert at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin on July 21, 1990, with Sinéad O'Connor in "Mother" and three former members of The Band (Rick Danko, Levon Helm, and Garth Hudson) providing backing vocals.
Violinist/guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Mindy Jostyn (formerly with Joe Jackson, Billy Joel and others) joined the group for a short period during 1991-1993.
1993 saw their debut album for MCA Records, Out Of Body. While not a commercial success in the United States, the album found a large audience in Europe, especially in Sweden and Germany.
The Hooters Live, recorded over two nights in Germany in December 1993, was released in Europe and Asia in 1994, but never saw a release in the United States.
The Hooters continued to tour throughout Europe until 1995 before deciding to take a hiatus to pursue individual projects.
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