club scene as glam rockers Rogue, and enduring the Hollywood Pay To Play club promoter rip-off, Benny and Drew quit their original Seattle band. The two formed Young Gunns and recruited 2nd guitar player Brent Woods from the pop-metal strip band Alrisha, and super glam bassist Marc Simon from St. Valentine. The guys searched for a permanent drummer and dominated the Sunset Strip and The Whisky A Go-Go on Monday Night "No Bozo Jam" nights.
After a year and a half of "false starts and flakes", they found ex-NRG and "no non-sense" drummer Jimmy D. from San Bernadino, CA. With a solid line-up, the band began an all out assault on Hollywood. Sold-out shows followed at The Roxy, Whisky A -Go-Go, Gazzari's, Xposure 54, and Spice On Sunset.
Front page covers on all the L.A. rock press arose, and record labels began to take notice. Famed Sunset Strip entertainment attorney Dennis Rider sought out the band after a show at The Whisky and offered his brokering services. Rider had successfully negotiated the Love/Hate record contract with Columbia a year prior.
Wildside retained Rider's services, and he would ultimately pay off in spades and get the band their Capitol Records deal through his label connections. The guys needed a decent band name. They were known as Young Gunns from '88 to '90, but the movie company quickly sent out "cease and desist" letters. After another late night Sunset Strip debaucle at the Rainbow Bar, "Wildside" was thrown around by Benny Rhynedance, and it fit their lifestyle to a tee.
They had their name. (But so did another local band!! They received a check and went away quietly.) Through Dennis Rider, Capitol Records came calling in August of 1990, and a bidding war between Capitol and Polygram ensued, with Capitol winning the bid for 7 figures and 5 albums. It was the biggest signing of a Hollywood rock band since W.A.S.P. back in 1984.
Eyebrows were definitely beginning to raise in the industry. This band was destined for success and the buzz on the street was growing. With legendary Led Zeppelin record producer Andy Johns at the helm, Wildside recorded their debut CD in secret at Eddie Van Halen's personal home studio, and also at the renowned A&M studios in Hollywood throughout 1991. Master metal mix-meisters Steve Thompson and Michael Barbierio mixed the CD to near perfection.
They had mixed and produced many big hair rock bands in the 80's. Capitol Records had a slick package to market to the metal masses. How could they lose? With a release date of May 1992, music was quickly changing to a new sound. One that was raw, less polished, and stripped down.
Nirvana led the charge of this new "Grunge" sound, and "hair bands" were quickly deemed "uncool." Amazingly, Kurt Cobain destroyed 10 years of "Pop-Metal" in six months. It was actually quite a feat for a guy who wrote "radio hit songs" as a clinically depressed, homeless heroin addict who shunned the spotlight, hated mass-marketed corporate pop music, and at the time, lived under a bridge outside of Seattle. RIP Cobain. Before their CD release, the boys hit the road with The Four Horsemen in January of 1992, and got their tour chops.
Wildside's Under the Influence debut CD was released worldwide on May 22, 1992 to little fanfare. After the release of UTI, they immediately hit the road with Babylon A.D. and Roxy Blue throughout the summer on a packaged summer rock tour. Sales bumped up at a brisk pace throughout the tour, and into the fall of 1992.
Wildside headlined their own tour December 1992 through March of 1993. This was the highest Wildside would ever climb. In late 1993, after an "upper management shake up" at Capitol Records, all the execs that signed Wildside were "no longer with the company", including then Capitol President Hale Milgrim. New management at Capitol immediately called it quits for the band in the fall of '93.
Regardless of an iron clad contract and a 5 album deal, new Capitol execs ripped up the band's contract and said, "Good luck guys, it was nice knowin' ya!". All in the name of Grunge. Wildside continued to tour into 1994 and write new songs for a new disc on a new label. Following the dismissal from Capitol, and the recent shift in music tastes, Brent Woods left the band to join Vince Neil's solo project, as a "hired gun." Benny Rhynedance was next to exit the sinking ship.
Wildside, minus Benny and Brent, continued on and recorded a new CD for a privately owned small entertainment company. Releasing a "Grunge" CD in 1995 as a foursome, with Bruce Draper from ex-Geffen Graveyard Train handling the guitar chores. The album sold very poorly, and fans were shocked to hear a "jump on the Grunge bandwagon". The remaining members disbanded shortly after for regular day jobs.
Bassist Marc Simon is now a successful ticket broker at a very popular L.A. ticket company. Brent Woods was fired from the Vince Neil band in 2002 (replaced by Mandy Moore's guitarist Jason Hook) after years of touring and axe slinging. Jimmy D.
and spouse run a family-owned San Bernadino flower shop. After a brief stint in 1995 at the Las Vegas Treasure Island Hotel as a pirate/stuntman, guitarist Benny Rhynedance went into Investment Banking in L.A. in '96 and ended up on Wall Street with a known firm in 1998. Singer Drew Hannah is now in the adult film industry working on background music for adult films.
Wildside had the sound, the talent, the looks, and the attitude to be a HUGE band. What they didn't have was the luck of timing, band camaraderie, and the proper management team making the band's critical business decisions. Capitol Records had said many times, "Wildside is the next Poison!". Today, Under the Influence by Wildside is no longer made, but can be found on auction sites.
2. Wildside is an Italian eurodance act that was produced by the SAIFAM Group, owned by Mauro Farina and Fabio Turatti. The project started in 1993 with the release of titles like Give Me Your Love, My Body or Love Makes Me High. In 1995 appeared the singles I Wanna See the Sun, Dance Into the Light and One of Us, followed by the album 2 Become One. Since 2000, Wildside turned into bubblegum style with songs like Heaven Is a Place on Earth, Queen of Love, and Speed Japan, released as singles under the label Speed Records. 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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