LOUNGEFLY was a rock band active in Hollywood, CA from 1992-1995, and consisted of myself on lead guitar/backing vocals, RYAN LAMBERT on lead vocals/rhythm guitar (movie actor and later singer for Elephone, and Kill Moi,) DUANE RAKESTRAW on bass (later in Robot, and The Signal Hill Transmission,) SCOTT “Horse” BUSHKIN on drums (later in Agnes Gooch,) and briefly KATURAH CLARKE on percussion (later performed with Oingo Boingo.) This band almost made it to the big leagues, but broke up while on the verge of success. How close were we? Between 1992-94 we had received record contract offers from EMI/Chrysalis, Warner Bros., RCA, and Priority (in that order), each of which fell through during negotiations due to its own unique set of circumstances. Other labels that we talked with who were interested in us at the time were Capitol, Elektra, Polygram, Interscope, and Maverick. We worked very hard, practicing 2-3 nights a week every week, and performing at least once a month, often 2-3 times a month. Being a part of this band was an incredible experience.
Listen to Loungefly HERE
Many people have asked me about the story of this band, so I will attempt to lay out here what I can remember. In November of 1992 I started to keep a journal, which I have copied onto this page when I get to that point. I didn’t write everything down in it but there’s still a lot there, and I think it’s an interesting read, or at the very least it’s fun to look at the flyers that I posted alongside it.
This is the ad that started it all in late 1991 or early 1992, I can’t remember when exactly:
I called up Duane and the vibe was right, so I made plans to meet him and Ryan, whom he had recently joined forces with. Later that week I made the drive over to the house where Ryan, his girlfriend, and their infant son were temporarily staying to play guitars and see if we would be interested in making music together. It turned out that the house was in Bel-Air, and was being rented by their friend Martika, the pop singer.
Everything clicked and the three of us immediately got to work writing songs and looking for a drummer. Soon we answered an ad put out by a percussionist looking for a project and Katurah joined the group. We still weren’t sure exactly what direction the band was going to take, but we liked the idea of percussion and we liked the idea of having female energy in the band.
Next we had to choose a name for the group. Of course we tossed around a lot of ideas, including ripping off “The Electric Mayhem” from the Muppets. But Ryan came up with “Loungefly” and talked the rest of us into it, without much trouble. He was a big fan of U2 at the time, and they had just released their album “Achtung Baby” in 1991 with its first single “The Fly.” On the CD single for that song was a remix called the “Lounge Fly mix.” And that’s where the name came from.
We were now a four piece, but still needed someone to play a drum kit. We auditioned several drummers, with some comedic results, but no one seemed to work out. Then Jon Pikus, a friend of Duane’s, recommended his friend Scott, and the band was complete.
Our first show was May 25, 1992 at Club Lingerie, a popular rock venue on Sunset Blvd. Danny Elfman, a friend of Katurah’s, was there by way of her invitation.
Our third show was at the Melting Pot Music Festival, located on a ranch in the hills about an hours drive outside of Los Angeles. It was so much fun and a big success. I remember that right before we were to begin our 9pm set, I couldn’t get any sound to come out of my guitar. I called the sound guy over and he checked the mics, cords, power, but everything seemed to be OK. Then I looked down and realized that my guitar wasn’t plugged in. Ha! I never made that mistake again because he really made fun of me.
On July 25, 1992 we organized an art show/rock show/party in a downtown L.A. artist loft and called it “The Liquid Velvet Jamboree.” The place was packed, had a great time.
July 28, 1992 we were invited to play an ASCAP showcase at the Coconut Teazer, our only time ever playing there. This was the one and only show where I threw my guitar on the ground and kicked it across the stage for dramatic effect. Fortunately I didn’t mess it up, it’s a damn good guitar. Later I thought, what the heck was I doing?
We played some more shows in the next few months, and worked on demoing several songs at Electric Landlady studio located in a backyard in Hollywood. They were recorded by our friend Jon Pikus, the drummer for El Magnifico (a few years later he got a job as an A&R guy for Colombia records.) Two songs from these sessions made it onto the “Keep On The Grass” compilation record which he produced. Later that year Katurah left the band and we became the traditional four piece rock group, which tightened up our sound quite a bit.
“KEEP ON THE GRASS” compilation record from 1992:
Mustard Side: ….. Cough up’n Die ~~ Transcendental Hayride ….. Kenny ‘n Cleo ~~ Black Market Flowers ….. Buzzkill ~~ El Magnifico ….. Overrated ~~ Further ….. Greener Than Green ~~ Loungefly ….. Nobody Gets What They Want ~~ Tom Coburn
Mayo Side: ….. Mindset ~~ El Magnifico ….. Boxes ~~ Transcendental Hayride ….. Smudge ~~ Further ….. Anthem ~~ Loungefly ….. Pink Heavy ~~ Black Market Flowers ….. Living Room Floor ~~ Christian Stone
Now from my journal, a deeper glimpse into the Loungefly days, I wish I had written everything down instead of pieces here and there…
11-4-92 Recorded third Loungefly demo at Virgin Records’ Convent Studio in Beverly Hills
11-5-92 Mixed demo at same place, wasted money on overpriced and overrated Chinese takeout
11-9-92 Loungefly show at Club With No Name with “Mercury recording artist” Greta and For Love Not Lisa , both of which are on the cover of this week’s BAM magazine – “hooray” I say (somewhat sarcastically)
(This show was a big success. We packed the place, and that combined with Ryan and Duane’s charm instantly made us one of the promoter Dayle Gloria’s favorites.)
11-13-92 …drove by myself to the Palladium and saw Sugar, incredible show—rather fun being by myself actually—after the show I went to the Dreamtime office (our management), hung out with Ryan, Duane, Denise, then we all went to the 1:30am premiere of Dracula at the Chinese theater. Got home at 4:30am.
11-20-92 …went home, had dinner, then jammed up to Virgin studios where the rest of the Loungefly cast was remixing our demo all day. I’m not 100% satisfied with the final result but overall it does sound better than the first mix
11-21-92 …went to the Alligator Lounge with Ryan, Duane and Denise to see El Magnifico, Weezer, and Joyride—it was the “Big Crazy Show ’92” Cool place but the sound system sucks.
11-29-92 went to rehearsal, we listened to ourselves played on the KNAC 105.5 local show at 11:00, they played “Rejoice in Confusion”
12-1-92 Scott, Ryan, and Duane came over at 11:30, we went to school (CSULB) to play our gig at “The Nugget” at 12:15, when we got there they really didn’t want to do it because of their (perceived) bad vibe of the place. There wasn’t a huge amount of people and it is kind of a fast food/restaurant type thing. But once we started playing it wasn’t so bad. Actually we sounded very good, I thought. We were mentioned in the Daily Forty-Niner (CSULB paper.) We played five songs and then they all bailed, but I stuck around and hung out with Nancy for a while.
12-3-92 Met Nancy at the Nugget and saw El Magnifico play there at 1:30. They kicked ass! Best I’ve ever heard them.
12-4-92 Today we finally got Loungefly stickers, they are cool.
12-5-92 …picked up my gear and went back to San Pedro by 3:00 for the L.A. Undergroove soundcheck at the Warner Grand Theater (this was a show with 10 local bands on the bill which was being filmed as a documentary for eastern European television. Everything was very professional including several cameras and security guys but there was one problem — they forgot to promote it, so no one showed up and there was virtually no audience outside of a handful of friends. Woops.) Our sound check was one song, then we went to Guitar Center in Lawndale so I could buy a longer cable and Duane could buy strings. Went back to Long Beach, hung out at my place with some beer for a while, went to the show at 9:00. Saw Mutilage, a lame death/thrash band. We played great—Glass, Bomb, Acoustic, Fast Guy. I stayed for the rest of the show.
12-12-92 …then to Nomad’s in West L.A. for the soundcheck at 5:30. Me and Duane then got some Subway, and went to Ryan’s for a while. Saw the Undergroove video and warmed up. We had a very successful show—great vibe and a lot of people. We made $70.00. Nomad’s is a very cool place, probably my favorite so far.
12-15-92 …I jammed up to Hollywood to Denise’s and me, Duane, Denise, and this guy Alex went to see Alice in Chains. We missed Screaming Trees who were the opener, but Alex got us balcony passes which was cool. Nice ‘scenery’ everywhere.
12-19-92 I went up to L.A. to see Wood n Smoke at Nomad’s with Ryan, Duane, and Denise. It was Nomad’s last night. That sucks because I think it is the coolest club in L.A. right now. Wood n Smoke was OK, not that great.
12-31-92 …ate dinner, then picked up my buddy Doug and headed for the show. Brian was sick so he didn’t go. We picked my gear up from the rehearsal studio, went to Ryan’s, then over to the Park Plaza Hotel for Club With No Name’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. We went on at 12:10, opposite Green Jello (there were two stages in two separate rooms) who had the big crowd for the evening. It was lots of fun, but a big flop as well. We were all drunk, I broke a string on the first song, we were out of tune, the sound sucked, and there were maybe 30-50 people watching, if that many, compared to the several hundred watching Green Jello in the other room. I hung out with a girl that used to be in the band Nip Drivers. It was a fun night, a heck of a party.
1-4-93 …after rehearsal we went to Club Lingerie and saw Big Elf. A waitress spilled a beer on my shoulder. We passed out flyers.
1-5-93 …Penny Dreadful’s played the Coconut Teazer but I skipped it because I’m broke and I have to get up early tomorrow.
1-7-93 After work I drove surface streets up to Hollywood. The band had a meeting with Ian (our manager) to discuss how to go about getting signed. We had rehearsal after that, then everyone went to Club Lingerie to see Black Market Flowers and Muzza Chunka and to flyer for our show next week. But I was too tired so I came home.
1-8-93 After rehearsal we went to the Cinema, a hole in the wall dive bar in Culver City, and saw Sonny Nelson play lounge songs on a piano and drum machine to an audience of about 8-10 people. It was crazy but fun. I even sang “Stand by Me” with him, and I hate that song. Sonny is this cool older lounge singer/actor who is a fan of the band. We would occasionally have him come on stage during a show and do something like recite a poem, or juggle or dance, in exchange for taxi fare and drinks.
1-12-93 …went up to Club Lingerie for a 6:00 soundcheck. Went and saw Duane’s new apartment then we ordered a pizza and had some beer at Denise’s. We went to the show, and a lot of people showed up. It went really well, except that I was so tired that I didn’t have much energy. After the show we went to Ryan’s and had a small party to celebrate my birthday. Dierdra gave me a bottle of 97 proof Jamaican Rum. Very nice. I got home at 4:00am.
1-27-93 Went up to Hollywood for our show at English Acid with Boo-Yaa Tribe, El Magnifico, and Manson Family Treehouse. It went well, but not great. Ryan’s guitar cut out and was out of tune, but everyone said it was great. We know we could have done better, too bad the set was so short, we could only play five songs. Boo-Yaa kicked ass, they were great. The place was crowded, but I still had expected more people to show up. Scott Weiland was there. (I saw Scott Weiland at at least two more shows after this. When Stone Temple Pilots released their album “Purple” in June 1994, we thought it was interesting that it had a track called Loungefly on it.)
1-29-93 Went up to Ryan’s and we all watched the Club Lingerie video from the 12th, it turned out great.
2-1-93 Went with Duane and Ryan to Club Lingerie to see Weezer and Big Elf—it was a free show.
2-9-93 After rehearsal a couple of guys who were producing the L.A. Undergroove video documentary stopped by our studio to redo our interview—it lasted way too long, about an hour and a half.
2-13-93 Had a show at Club Lingerie, it was all right—not that great. A cheezy Skid Row-type band called Native Tongue played before us. One of the guys in that band started clowning around on stage with my lamp (our stage prop) and broke the shade and smashed the bulb and socket. I was pissed. They really sucked on top of it. I don’t know why they were playing at Club Lingerie. For Love Not Lisa played before them. After the show I went over to Horse’s house and hung out for a while with him and Debbie and a friend of Horse’s named Kirk.
2-14-93 Got up at noon. Debbie came down at about 4:00 and we went to the Bob Marley Day reggae festival at Long Beach arena. We saw Maxi Priest, who I didn’t really like, Wailing Souls, Half Pint, the Wailers.
2-19-93 We had rehearsal—it went great. I played my trombone for the guys tonight for the first time. I think they were impressed. Our new song “Frank—the Mighty Warrior” will be great.
2-20-93 Went to rehearsal then Ryan, Duane, Brian, and I went to Naja’s at the Redondo Beach marina for a pitcher of Mamba beer. Then off to Frog’s in Hawthorne for an incredible Imperial Butt Wizard’s show. They had an “Al Jolsen ’93” contest and destroyed a piano with pickaxes and sledgehammers. Also plenty of pyrotechnics, and they lit an actual hog’s head on fire in a portable BBQ. Dozens of stuffed animals of all species and sizes were thrown around and torn apart. There was a guy in a full zip-up tiger costume wrestling with a fat trumpet player in diapers in a baby crib. The singer wore his usual Mrs. Santa Claus outfit and sunglasses. It was great.
2-21-93 Went up to L.A. for our show at the Gaslight. It was a great show—one of our best. The place was packed. I tried the trombone out on “Frank the Mighty Warrior” live for the first time, it went over great.
2-23-93 Went up to Hollywood for a band meeting with Ian. Afterwards saw the movie Army of Darkness, it was pretty good in a twisted sort of way.
2-24-93 Went to English Acid to flyer for our upcoming show there and saw Spade Ghetto Destruction who rocked!
3-3-93 Played a show at English Acid, which was a success. We played with Coat, and Hammerbox, who are signed and from Seattle. They’re OK but not great.
3-5-93 We spent this weekend starting to record our new demo at Track Record in North Hollywood. It is really cool recording in the same room where Ritual de lo Habitual and Mother’s Milk were recorded. Originally this was the weekend that we had planned to play a show in San Francisco, but we decided against it.
3-11-93 We played a show at Club Dump. It was ok but not that great. We decided, especially me, that we don’t want to play there anymore because the vibe is bad, no one goes there, and we always have less than great shows there. We played with Big Elf who rocked. Jennie Garth from 90210 was in attendance with her fiance.
3-17-93 Spent tonight (and the next week) mixing our new demo at Studio 56 on Santa Monica Blvd.
3-21-93 Played a very successful show at the Gaslight. It was packed and there was a line outside. Part of this may have been because we got a small writeup with a picture in the LA Weekly the week before. Ava (other manager) spent this weekend at the South by Southwest convention in Austin TX telling people about us but made it back for the show. People said John Mellencamp was there but I didn’t see him.
(To clarify: the writeup mistakenly says that we were from Chicago. Actually Duane was a transplant from Chicago, but the rest of us were from Los Angeles. Obviously we never relocated to L.A. like the article states because we were from L.A. But perhaps that helped draw a crowd to the show, who knows?)
3-27-93 Was supposed to go out with Mary tonight but it didn’t work out, so instead me and Russ went to a rave in downtown L.A. called Toe Jam. It was raining but 3000 kids showed up anyway. Tickets were ten dollars. Unfortunately before it could get started the cops shut it down, just as we got there. Five warehouses, 25 DJs. It would have been awesome, but we lost our money and our evening thanks to the LAPD.
4-2-93 Left for Lake Havasu, AZ with the Boo-Yaa Tribe on a tour bus to play a spring break show there. Originally MTV and Fox TV were going to be there but they pulled out. We stayed at the Pioneer motel.
4-3-93 We got $75 per diem for the weekend which was great since I was flat broke. We went to the lake and played for about 300 people, a far cry from the thousands we were told to expect. We went on at 3:00pm, after the Fluid, and before the Boo-Yaa Tribe, who rocked.
Listen to a track from this show HERE. In fact, my guess is that it’s the song we’re playing in the above photo. It’s a bit sloppy (for instance you can hear me step on the wrong pedal near the beginning) but I like it because it does a good job of capturing the energy of our live performances, and my solo sounds pretty cool too.
4-4-93 Spent the afternoon by the pool, then drove back to L.A.
4-6-93 All this week we are recording and mixing at Boulevard Sound studio at Hollywood & Cahuenga.
4-9-93 The cops came to my apartment this afternoon to tell me to turn down my guitar after practicing in the living room for two hours. Haha!
4-14-93 Went to English Acid to flyer, saw Carnival Art, El Magnifico, Stanford Prison Experiment.
4-15-93 I skipped class today and took a tour of south bay record stores to drop off flyers for our show on the 21st instead. Later I went to the Soul Asylum/Meat Puppets show at CSULB. It ROCKED!
4-17-93 Spent the night smoking out in the living room, listening to Dark Side of the Moon, and then watching SNL. Hey, don’t tell me you’ve never done it.
4-21-93 Played our show at English Acid with Stikkitty. Even though we went on first we blew everyone else away. It was a good show. Gave out some tapes.
4-24-93 Went to a weak party with Duane and Ryan, then to New Thai Ice to see Floor Thirteen play. They were good. The Imperial Butt Wizards were playing tonight at Raji’s but we had to miss it.
4-25-93 Tonight we all went to the Gaslight for some free beer from Dayle Gloria and to see the Penny Dreadfuls play.
4-26-93 Today we met with Ron Moss from Rondor publishing at the Dreamtime office. He offered us a publishing deal and it sounds good. (We later decided to decline the offer, as part of our strategy for getting signed to a label.)
5-10-93 Went to Club Lingerie to see the Penny Dreadfuls, I actually survived it there without buying a beer.
5-11-93 Today is the day of the “big show.” I didn’t have time to go to class today because I had to be at the Whisky by 4:00 for a soundcheck. Did that stuff then off to Ryan’s for a few hours. Steph from Boulevard Sound studio where we recorded a demo helped us out a bit as a roadie, he’s a cool guy. We made it over to the Whisky in time to see El Magnifico, who went on before us. The show went well, there were a lot of people there—most left after we were done, which makes us look good. We had the largest crowd. Afterwards me and Debbie went to Dragonfly and hung out with Ryan and Ava for awhile.
5-15-93 Cynthia, our friend from Polygram records, drove me, Ryan, Duane, and Denise to the Palladium to see Sugar, Medicine, and Grant Lee Buffalo. Sugar kicked butt as usual, the other two bands were good but not too great. Afterwards I hung out at Ryan’s for a bit and then split.
5-16-93 Tonight we went to the Gaslight to play an unannounced acoustic show under the name of Justice for Janitors. Dennis from Floor 13 played violin and it was awesome. Mediocre crowd but it was fun. The Blue Bonnets were the headliner before us. I found out that Dennis played in the LA Junior Philharmonic Orchestra the same year that I did.
5-30-93 Matt, Scott, and Brian came up from Huntington and we went to the Gaslight for our show. It went well but the stage there is so cramped it sucks sometimes, but the vibe there is cool.
6-4-93 Went with Duane to the Strand in Redondo Beach to see El Magnifico and Stan Ridgway.
6-5-93 Went to Duane’s, then we all went to Raji’s to see Coat. Also playing was Daisychain. I was given a free copy of the new Coat 7″ single, they rock.
6-6-93 Today we would have been playing a show with Boo-Yaa and Fishbone, except it was cancelled. Today was the Porno for Pyros show that everyone went to except for me because I couldn’t get a ticket.
6-7-93 Went to Club Lingerie to see El Mag, Black Market Flowers, Weezer.
6-9-93 Had a show at Dragonfly, it was OK. We played well but went out of tune and the sound was bad. The bill was great—Coat, Penny Dreadfuls, Loungefly, Weapon of Choice, Kingstone. 550 people were there.
6-13-93 Went to the Gaslight with Duane to hang up a poster for our upcoming show there, saw Head play, had a hotdog.
6-20-93 We played a show at the Gaslight. It was supposed to be with Thelonius Monster but they flaked.
7-11-93 We played a show at the Gaslight for EMI records boy from New York. The vice president dude. It was a brilliant show, probably our best yet.
7-12-93 We went out for drinks with Fred “New York boy” and Karen Dumont of EMI to discuss stuff. They wanted to offer us a demo deal and we said no way. Now the president of EMI wants to see us. That will happen on August 4th.
7-23-93 Tonight we went to Glam Slam in L.A. (another one of our manager Ava’s nightclubs, this one she co-owns with Prince) to see Boo-Yaa Tribe and ICE-T with Body Count. Had a delicious free meal of New York steak and free drinks in the Glam Slam restaurant, and had our own V.I.P.table on the balcony to watch the show. I can handle this life.
7-28-93 We played a show at English Acid. It was packed. The show was all right, good but not great. Thelonius Monster played after us. They were cool but not great. Perry Farrel played drums with TM and sang on a few tunes. Evan Dando from the Lemonheads did the same. Perry made it a point to flash his dick to the crowd. Hooray (subtle sarcasm.) It was a cool evening all in all.
8-4-93 Today was the showcase/party for EMI/Chrysalis records at Maxx in Hollywood. It was very successful, about 200 people packing into this hot sweaty bar. A good show. The Penny Dreadfuls opened for us. Since this show was by invitation only, we knew everyone there. The president of EMI flew in from New York to see it. He dug it, and gave contract talks the go ahead. (Show photos below by Blake.)
8-8-93 Played at the Gaslight for Dayle Gloria’s birthday party. Great show.
8-9-93 We had a meeting with our lawyer today. Chysalis wants to talk contracts, and I’m excited. We played a show at Club Lingerie. It was good, a pretty full crowd.
8-27-93 Went to the Spin Doctors/Soul Asylum/Screaming Trees show at the Greek Theater. It was all right but not great.
9-4-93 Went to Bogart’s in Long Beach with Susan to see Full Tilt Gonzo, Engines of Aggression, and Dirt Clod Fight.
9-9-93 Went with Eric and Russ to the Pacific Amphitheater to see Neil Young with Booker T & the MGs. It was great but he mostly played a greatest hits type package. Opening was Blind Melon (missed ’em) and Social Distortion (boring.)
9-12-93 Tonight was our first show after a four week hiatus. We played at the Gaslight (where else?) with Magpie, it was an ok show, rather average. Couldn’t hear a damn thing on stage. The audience was there, but not very responsive.
9-18-93 Went with Susan, Duane, Ryan, and Horse to a loft party in downtown L.A. which was very cool. Bands playing were: Bottom 12, Full Tilt Gonzo, Chalk Circle, Red Temple Spirits.
It was around this time that our manager Ava introduced us to a friend of hers, a popular disc jockey in Portugal (I forget his name.) Whenever he was in Los Angeles, which was often, he would record his Portuguese radio show there. He went to several of our shows and became a fan of the band, and began playing the song “Acoustic” on his program. It started getting a lot of requests from his audience so he had us on his show once for an interview. Everything we said, he translated into Portuguese. It was a great feeling having a hit song in Portugal for a while.
9-20-93 We met with Barry Squire of Warner Brothers records. He is a big fan of the band and wants to sign us but has to get approval from others first. This is cool because Chrysalis didn’t work out. They weren’t being reasonable about certain things and wouldn’t give us much money. Warner Bros. is 50 times cooler than Chrysalis in every way, people that work there, image, roster, vibe. I hope this works out because this guy understands what we’re about, and has seen about ten shows over the last year, even those at the Central and Nomads. I’d much rather work with these guys than with Chrysalis.
When we were in his office, we noticed thousands of cassette tapes stacked floor to ceiling along a couple of the walls. We asked him what that was about and he replied something to the effect of, you know how the Chili Peppers are looking for a new guitarist and placed an ad in the L.A. Weekly for cassette auditions? Here are the results. We asked him if they were going to listen to all of those and he laughed and said no way.
9-22-93 We played a show at English Acid with Coat, Too Many Joes, and Nudeswirl. We had the most people there. It went well even though I didn’t think I played as well as I could have.
10-6-93 Tonight was supposed to be a Loungefly “showcase” for Warner Bros. and we were also supposed to go to Tony Berg’s house (the producer) but both were postponed. (We met with Tony Berg in his office a few weeks later. He thought we had potential but didn’t like the way our demos were recorded.)
10-15-93 Tonight I went with Susan to Bogart’s to see Cake (from Long Beach) and Dig. Since my neighbor works there she got us in free which was cool. Cake was great except the guitar was too loud (and you know it must have been because I never say that.) Dig was good but I wasn’t as impressed as others there. (Later, after I got Dig’s cd, they became one of my favorite bands.)
10-20-93 Went to Bogart’s and saw Motherhip and Busface. They were all right. The South Bay Surfers stole the show though. Four old men playing incredibly bad cover songs. It was wonderful.
10-25-93 Played a show at Club Lingerie at 11:30. We played with Coat, Spindle, 12&Counting. Ron Fair, a vice president of RCA and well-known record producer, saw us for the first time and talked to us after the show, he seems to be blown away.
This show was reviewed in the L.A. Village View:
10-26-93 Went to Bogart’s to see Wax. They were pretty good, kind of punk rock.
10-27-93 Had a band meeting with Ron Fair of RCA records at his office, he is very interested in signing us. The meeting went well.
10-31-93 Played a show at the Gaslight. I borrowed my buddy Doug’s overalls, donned my welding goggles and torch lighter, and had an instant halloween costume (I never seem to think about these things until the last second.) The show went great, I played really well, and could hear well on stage for a change. After the show I learned that Anthony and Flea of the RHCP had been there. There were rumors floating around that they were checking out local bands looking for a guitar player, as they hadn’t had any luck finding one through other channels. Interestingly, it wasn’t very long after this that they recruited Jesse Tobias from Mother Tongue as their new guitarist after seeing him play in a local club. So in a way, there’s a good chance I had an audition for the Red Hot Chili Peppers without even knowing it at the time.
11-93 Strobe magazine ran a short article about us.
11-5-93 Went with Susan to the Pearl Jam show at the huge polo field in Indio (now the site of the Coachella Music Festival,) even though I am pretty sick with a bad cold and sore throat. We left my apartment at 3pm. It took two hours to drive out there, then we waited two hours for the opening band, then we stood in the same place for the rest of the show. Opening bands were Weapon of Choice, Eleven (II), and American Music Club. They were all pretty boring although Weapon of Choice was the best of the three. Finally at 9:00 Pearl Jam went on and played for two hours. We could see well but my back was killing me and I was freezing. And Susan was being rather annoying. I guess I was just in a generally bad mood. Pearl Jam was good but I still think they are overrated. They weren’t that good. Made it home at 3:00am.
11-10-93 We played a showcase for Warner Bros. at some sound studio in Burbank. It was kind of a bad buzz, we played all right but the atmosphere sucked. We didn’t want to do it but got talked into it. It was us on a big stage playing a show to about 10 A&R idiots, plus our managers and the sound guy Carlos. Turns out they loved it and voted unanimously to sign us but it took them about two weeks to tell us that, how considerate of them. Meanwhile we were wondering what the heck was going on.
11-11-93 We went into Ocean Way studio on Sunset Blvd. with Ron Fair and he recorded about ten of our songs “live” at RCA’s expense. (He has produced about 15 albums including Slayer, Armored Saint, EMF, Natalie Cole, Dianne Reeves, ASWAD) He rented us great equipment (I chose a high-end Marshall to play through, Ryan got a Vox, Duane chose an Ampeg) and we even had a guitar tech for the day, Brett Allen, so we got some great sounds. It was awesome recording here as it is one of the premier studios, all the big names have been here, including the Rolling Stones and U2. Unfortunately Ryan happened to lose his voice so we couldn’t finish any tracks.
11-12-93 We were supposed to play a show at Dragonfly but had to cancel because Ryan’s voice was still awol.
11-18-93 Went into Music Grinder Studio with Ron Fair to lay down Ryan’s vocal tracks and then do a quick mix of the RCA demos.
11-24-93 Played a show at the Gaslight.
11-30-93 Played a show at Club Lingerie with Weezer and Floor 13. It went very well. All the RCA people were there including some from New York. They all loved it—Ron wants to sign us. But (you know there’d be a “but”) he is having some kind of disagreements with his boss, and is thinking he might leave to work somewhere else. So in the meantime, we have to wait. It also turns out that Electra records was at the show and loved it, and will be talking with us soon.
12-1-93 Went with Tasha to Kelbo’s polynesian themed restaurant in West LA to see the “Joey Cheezhee and the Apostles of Lounge” lounge act, which was great! He has a full sized big band, and croons while riding around on roller skates with a cape on. And as a bonus, he had special guest Korla Pandit play a couple songs on the organ. We got some kind of rum drink that was lit on fire. My favorite tunes of his: “What Sweet Child ‘o Mine is This” — a combination of the Christmas carol and Guns ‘n Roses, and “Whole Lotta Love Boat” which you can probably figure out.
12-17-93 Today was my last day of college. Whew! What a great feeling to finally be through. It took 5 ½ years but I’m finally done. I am now a Bachelor of Arts.
12-28-93 Now it seems that Warner Bros. can’t sign us until at least the end of Jan./Feb. because the new president/CEO guy is restructuring the company and dropping all of their sub-labels or some such thing. Because of this house-cleaning (as I understand it) he would only allow one new band to be signed before the end of the year. It came down to us or Green Day, and they went with Green Day.
12-31-93 Played Dayle’s “traditional” New Year’s Eve extravaganza show, this year it was at the Roxy and the Whisky simultaneously, 20 bands for 20 bucks. We played at the Roxy at 10:30 or so, after 1000 Mona Lisas, but before Green Thumb, Black Market Flowers, and El Magnifico. The show went great, the place was packed with a few hundred people, and the beer was free for the bands, even though it happened to be Meister-Brau. After El Mag we all went to a party in Silverlake, made it home at 4:00am.
1-16-94 We played a show at the Gaslight, it went well. I drove back home to Long Beach with Tasha in fog so dense that we had to go 30mph on the freeway. Fortunately I know every inch of that road well, since you couldn’t see more than ten feet in any direction. When we made it back, there was a little party going on at my apartment, and Tasha’s sister fell while dancing and broke her thumb. Eventually we all fell asleep, and at 4:30am, the shaking began. It was the beginnings of what would come to be known as THE MEDIUM ONE, or 6.8 on the richter scale. Since we were far enough away from Northridge there was no damage except a couple broken dishes that had fallen victim of precarious counter ledge stacking.
1-19-94 Played an acoustic show at the Gaslight, it went well.
1-26-94 Played a show at the Gaslight for Maverick records, it went well.
2-94 We were reviewed in Crossroads Magazine. It reads:
“Loungefly has garnered much attention around town for their captivating live show and their unique brand of pop alternative music. Filled with raw energy and emotion, their demo tape resonates with all the intensity of their live show. Vocals one minute passionate turn into rage against the pounding rhythm section that drives this band. Loungefly is playing what is “happening” here and now. Out of the overwhelming (number of) bands playing commercial alternative rock, Loungefly excels where the others are left behind as posers. You can’t help but step on some A&R toes while at a Loungefly gig so don’t forget your combat boots.”
2-7-94 Played a show at Club Lingerie. Unfortunately Ryan was losing his voice, we almost cancelled but decided to play anyway, it was a kind of mediocre show.
2-11-94 Eric, Russ, John, and I went to Al’s Bar deep in downtown L.A. to see the Imperial Butt Wizards who were truly amazing as usual. Unfortunately a flying Evian bottle pegged Eric in the forehead and a firecracker landed on the top of my head, melting a patch of hair away. Ouch!
Al’s Bar is the best punk rock bar out there. In the industrial/bad part of downtown, it has a few dark, dank rooms, and every inch of the place is covered in graffiti. It’s one of the few places where the IBW can do their thing and make a huge mess without consequences (like being banned. Which they have been from several venues because they are so awesome.)
2-17-94 Played a late acoustic show at On the Rox. It was fun even though we had a small audience of about 20 people.
2-22-94 Went to the Troubadour to see Black Market Flowers and pass out flyers, but not too many people were there.
2-24-94 Went up to L.A. early for a 5:00 soundcheck at the Troubadour, then hung out at Duane’s and watched the Simpsons. We played with Gilt Lily and the Miss Alans, it went well.
This show was reviewed in Music Connection magazine. I think it’s funny when the writer says about Ryan “…no sober person can honestly be that unconcerned on stage.” I can guarantee you that Ryan was not sober (or any of us for that matter.)
3-13-94 Got our name mentioned in a Los Angeles Times article titled, “In Search of the Hottest Music in Town”
3-15-94 Left work early and drove up to Hollywood for a meeting at Capitol records. I already forgot the A&R guy’s name. It was an alright meeting, same old B.S. though. He wants to see more shows, where did everyone meet, blah blah. Afterwards we went to Bar Deluxe and I got ripped.
3-20-94 Played a show at the Gaslight, it was average, not great but at least it didn’t suck.
3-29-94 Left on our trip to Lake Havasu, AZ for the second year in a row. Ian rented a large motorhome so we could all travel out together (us, Floor 13, Ian, Ava, and Cheryl plus equipment made for a crowded vehicle.) We arrived at the Nautical Inn at about 5:00pm, we were originally going to play then but decided to wait until the next day.
3-30-94 Had lunch, then Floor 13 played at 2pm and we played at 3pm. It was actually a pretty good show, people were listening even though they were doing their own thing.
4-8-94 Today at work I found out that Kurt Cobain blew his head off. That bummed me out all day and pretty much set the stage for another normal trippy day. I guess part of the reason that this had such an impact on myself and my friends is that this is the first rock n roll hero of our generation to die, and then it wasn’t even an accident. Oh well, the stuff legends are made of. What else is trippy is that Wed. night at rehearsal we spent a lot of time working on covering Pennyroyal Tea, something we never do (cover songs), and that was around the time they think he shot himself.
4-11-94 After work I jammed up to Hollywood for soundcheck at Club Lingerie, it took me one and a half hours to get there because of traffic. Got psyched for the show, it was great, and there were a lot of people there. We of course played Pennyroyal Tea, which we were planning to play anyway, but now it had a new meaning and was actually kind of an emotional moment there in the club.
4-20-94 Played a show at the Gaslight, it went pretty well. When I got there at 10pm there were about seven people in the place, when we went on at 11 it was packed. Dave Navarro and Eric Avery of Jane’s Addiction were there, Eric is a longtime friend of Ryan’s. I had always pictured Dave Navarro to be taller for some reason.
4-30-94 We played Beachfest at Shoreline Village in Long Beach. Somehow Steve Zepeda (the promoter) convinced us to play this show and be the first band on at 11:00am. What a farce. The only people watching us were about the ten friends we scored tickets for. Plus it was freezing cold, the stage was slanted back at an angle (we were practically sliding off into the water,) and there was no free food or beer as promised. The crowd didn’t show until later in the afternoon, plus I had to listen to Duane and Ryan and Horse’s complaining. At least we got our name advertised well.
5-3-94 Played a show at Maxx’s/Hellsgate, don’t really remember it very well to be honest. Rob Rule is a new band from one of the guys in Mary’s Danish. We commissioned the TAZ guys to make a poster.
5-13-94 Played at Bob’s Frolic Room III
5-29-94 We played a show at the Roxy with several other bands for Dayle Gloria’s Memorial Day extravaganza or something but we got an early slot and were pretty pissed at her for it for the rest of the summer.
6-18-94 We were supposed to play Raji’s but it got closed down due to earthquake damage. That sucked because I had always wanted to play there, it’s a really cool place, we just never did for some reason. Instead we played at Hell’s Gate.
7-1-94 We recorded two songs at Sandbox Studio in L.A. “Lie to You” and “Magazine.” I think they are sonically the best recordings we’ve made so far. Jon Pikus recorded us again, and was assisted by some guy who used to be in Lions & Ghosts, and the guy who used to play guitar in the Nymphs. Then that evening we jammed over to the Frolic Room III for an 11:30pm set. A couple of guys in the biz who know Horse saw us there and now they want to manage us. (The next week they took us out for dinner and drinks at a beachfront restaurant in Malibu to talk about their management proposal, which was fun, but we declined their offer.)
7-25-94 Played at Club Lingerie. (The picture on the flyer is a funny souvenier photo of me taken when I was 18. It’s with the queen of the Medieval Times restaurant in Orlando.)
7-30-94 Saw the Rollins Band, Helmet, and Sausage (Les Claypool) at the Olympic Auditorium with Eric and Russ. The sound wasn’t that great because it is so reverby in there, but the show was pretty good. Too bad Rollins only played songs from the new album (Weight), nothing from End of Silence.
8-6-94 Played the Troubadour, had an amazing show, one of our best ever. The place was packed.
9-2-94 Played the Alligator Lounge.
9-15-94 Went to the Palace to see Pavement with Eric, Russ, and Janet, which was great. Drive like Jehu opened, they were cool at first but then got boring fast.
9-19-94 Played Club Lingerie.
Today we got our name mentioned twice in a Los Angeles Times article about the monday night rock scene in Hollywood.
9-22-94 Well now it looks like Priority records wants to sign us. they gave us free tickets to see the Fall and Magnapop at the Palace. Pretty weak show.
10-2-94 Played the Gaslight—first time we talked to Dayle since the Memorial day show, it was pretty good.
10-14-94 Cancelled a show at Bob’s Frolic Room III.
10-16-94? Went with Jenn to Al’s bar to see the Imperial Butt Wizard’s and Three Day Stubble. IBW were great as usual, but weak compared to the other shows I’ve seen, TDS were amazing.
10-27 through 11-2-94 Spent in New Orleans for the first time, AMAZING!
11-6-94 Played the Viper Room (used to be the Central, which housed Club Dump many moons ago.) The show was alright but sloppy. The crowd was great, it was packed, and it wasn’t the same normal crowd at the other clubs, but a lot of new faces, which was cool.
11-17-94 Played a show at the Troubadour, opened for Fretblanket who I thought were pretty weak. Our show was great, much better than the Viper Room show. Traci Lords was there, who hung out with Ryan a bit after the show, and I got a hug from actress Joyce Dewitt (!) who it turns out has known Horse for years.
11-18-94 Saw Giant Sand and Grant Lee Buffalo at the Roxy. Brilliant, both bands were awesome.
12-2-94 Went to Dragonfly with Amy to see her friend’s band Elephant (who we’ve played with at Club Lingerie once.) Had a great time, the band is an exact clone of Pearl Jam however. But they had the place packed.
12-9-94 Went to the Palladium to see Sugar. Magnapop and Lifter opened but we missed them. Great show, didn’t play anything off Beaster though. This was the show we would have opened for if the Priority deal had gone through. (We recently negotiated a contract with them for a couple weeks but couldn’t come to an agreement and the whole thing fell apart.) After the show we went to Cantor’s Jewish deli/restaurant and I had an avocado and mushroom omlette, mmm.
12-31-94 Spent new year’s eve in Hollywood with the usual crowd—Duane, Jenna, Ryan, Christy, Dominique, Ian, Lori, Ava. We were at Ava’s club the Martini Lounge on Melrose, got free drinks, free admission, free buffet, no band, just dancing and goofing off. Afterwards we hung out at Ryan’s place he was staying at in the Hollywood Hills, and walked up to the Hollywood sign to welcome the new year.
1-20-95 Played a show at Martini Lounge with 12&Counting and the Imposters. This turned out to be our last show, even though we didn’t know it at the time. It was an average performance, but we had the place packed to the seams, at least three hundred people. Ron Fair and Barry Squire were there. I stayed for the Imposters, they were really good.
1-28-95 Went to go see the first show of Rom the Spaceknight, Ryan and Duane’s new band, at Bar Deluxe. It was a good show, three songs were great, everything else was mediocre, sounded like a mellower Loungefly with a keyboard.
We lost our rehearsal space because no one felt like paying rent this month.
3-95 This is the end of Loungefly: We had a band meeting sitting at the piano bar at the Dresden Room, since it was across the street from Ryan’s new apartment, and Ryan and Duane decided they didn’t want to do it anymore. I think the frustration of four failed record contracts was too much for them, and they wanted to go in a new musical direction as well. Bummed me out for a long time, I could see it coming though, so it wasn’t a surprise. We were inches away from striking gold…still had tons of major label interest and finally had a cohesive, mature sound…and we had worked so hard to get this far…
5-25-95 Went with Desiree to Dragonfly to see Horse’s new band Agnes Gooch, with Johnny Lonely of El Magnifico on bass. The usual crowd was there. The band was good but unmemorable, exactly what I was anticipating. They later got signed to Revolution/Warner Bros. and released the album “Blind” in 1997.
Ryan and Duane changed the name of Rom the Spaceknight to Loungefly, and got signed to a subsidiary of Sony. They recorded an album but it was never released due to legal complications.
Ryan later became the singer for Elephone, then Kill Moi. Kill Moi has a self-released album which is available on bandcamp.com.
Duane later helped start the band Robot, which released the album “Palm Trees” on TON Records in 1999. After Robot, he became the bass player for alt-country-rock band The Signal Hill Transmission, which released three albums.
In the summer of 1995 I started the band American Standard in which I sang and played guitar. It was a mellower rock band with a twangy country flavor, a new direction for me. We practiced a few times and then a couple of days before our first show the drummer quit. I couldn’t find another drummer that I liked and ended up scrapping the project. I never performed on guitar again until The Luddite Dance Machine in Feb 2005.