and overseas while holding live auditions down at their rehearsal studio up till 3am 3-4 times a week. Then, one day, while going through the usual live singer "torture" auditions, which usually would end after 1 song. The band got back to playing originals with Gash on lead vocals and Raci and Cristi on backing vocals. When in walks a guy, where all members agreed had the right look and sound, but also the potential for something bigger.
He basically just came off the streets of North Jersey with a flyer in hand and said he was ready ready to rock, and the Lead Singer spot was handed over to Britt Ne' Wilde. Soon enough, by late 1991 word of mouth was beginning to spread quickly about this hot new band from New Jersey. Wherever the boys went together, you'd be sure to catch female admirers surrounding them for dates, drinks, numbers, autographs, taking pictures with them and as club VIP's.. With all this, the boys entered Trax East Recording Studios to record their first EP.
A few months after the EP release a showcase was set up and the band was also headlining their first live show in New Jersey as well. . A string of scheduled tour dates for all over the east coast than had to be canceled due to a major label wanting more songs. The band had showcased, but the band asked the label to fund the 3 songs to be recorded.
Meanwhile, as the band held out with the record company over the song recordings, all of a sudden Penny Lane appeared in Metal Edge magazines Anniversary 1992 issue and thousands of fans from all over the world, started writing with pictures, gifts, and anything you can just about imagine. Fans inquired and purchased Penny Lane tapes, shirts, hats, merchandise, posters, thongs, etc...overwhelming the band. Especially because of the shifting musical climate where grunge was just coming in and Pop/Rock was said to be of the past and of a dead genre. Keeping up with supplies was becoming impossible.
All together the band then decided to fund a whole new tape, in late 1992. The band entered Trax East Recording Studios again, working with Eric Rachel to bring out a fuller sound to the band (something that was missing from the first EP). When the 1992 recording was done the band than combined that with the EP as one product to sell which brought about confusion with fans leaving many to think there were two EP's out on release. Once again, with the release of this new effort saw Penny Lane doing another filmed showcase with more record and mgt.
interest. But noone wanted to make a full commitment with the changing music scene. Metal Edge magazine once again featured the band in its 1993 issue with another photo which brought in thousands more fans from all over, including Fanzines and underground street teams who were spreading the word like wildfires. Fans were becoming ecstatic and beginning to show up at band members houses, getting their private home numbers, even to the point where some had become serious stalkers.
It was getting totally crazy for the band, having to duck out back alleys, hopping over back fences to get to their car, hiding in cars, and such, not to be seen! Penny Lane also had countless runaways from all over the country too, further involving them with legal and law enforcement issues. Indeed, those were some wild days for the band. There was no shortage of able and willing gorgeous women around the boys during this period of time. But with Penny Lane, there was no talking outside of the band.
ssshhhhhhhhh...... Rip Magazine than featured the band in its 1993 issue saying "Penny Lane sound somewhat like early Mötley Crüe which only fueled fan interest. It was becoming a full time job selling tapes and merchandise and responding to letters while writing music. So the band continued to write and record with a focus on record company showcasing, because writing, the fan mailing responsibilties, merchandise and such was just to time consuming.
P.L. saw playing live shows as a waste of time in the New York and New Jersey area where most record executives weren't willing to venture a few blocks from their Manhattan offices or go out past their 9pm curfew. LiveWire magazine next featured the boyz in its early 1994 issue (full page in color) and the fans were once again not only hooked on their striking image, but the wild review given by Kelly Barbieri. The potential of this North Jersey band was known all over.
The Aquarian Weekly/E.C. Rocker even wrote....."there is no way anyone in this area could not have heard of North Jerseys very own Penny Lane!" Another showcase was set, but once again, there was a change in personel at the record label. It seemed Penny Lane were caught in the middle again. With the growth of the band, brought a change within the writing as well.
As new shows were being laid out, another appearance in, yes you got it, .....Kerrang magazine 1994 issue was released. ..The band was overwhelmed with the publicity! And than it was Metal Forces magazine next! All the publicity was working for Penny Lane in sales, but holding them down in other ways. Still the band didn't know what to make of the music scene, to do a short tour seemed too iffy, so they continued to work on writing a new style of songs... Penny lane than appeared in Los Mejores magazine in the late 1994 issue and things were just crazy.
The mailing lists were close to 8,000 people, with tape sales between 5000- 6000 sold worldwide! Constant songwriting, mail, orders,and just plain doing the business end of things in a degenerative music scene was beginning to take it's toll. In March 1995, Penny Lane enters Future Sounds Studios. There they record live pre-production tapes for five really cool songs with a new edge. Plans for a spring EP release were intact when the band decided to take a well needed mental break.
Somehow what was suppose to be a short break, turned out to be time off with members pursuing other creative interests. Billy and Raci each pursued seperate solo ventures. Raci also co-wrote, produced songs, and performed with the band Wild..., which also featured Penny Lane members Cristi and Britt Ne'. With the release of the Wild...
EP in 1996 also brought into affect a name change for guitarist Cristi Layne. He would now take the name Billy Layne......The funny thing is that 6 months after everyone went seperate ways, Penny Lane appeared in, you got it --once again Metal Edge magazine ....and recieved more mail!!!!!!!! In Spring 1998, Raci decided to pursue his solo career in Los Angeles, CA. Coincidentally, Billy (Cristi) and Britt Ne', in an effort to recreate the good old days of P.L., also had their sites set on California. It was inevitable that the three would come together once again.
Immediately, Raci got thrown into writing and producing their EP. "Tails" was released in summer 1998 in very limited quanities. Shortly after the release, the three decided to part ways to pursue personal and seperate endeavors. Where are they now??? In 1998, Britt Ne' immediately put all musical endeavors aside and moved back east to raise his new child.
Please visit Britt's myspace page for more info. Cristi (Billy Layne) continues to play music, but since the end of Penny Lane has kept a low profile. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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