BLACK 'N BLUE - Back in Blue Page 2
By Martin Popoff
As I recall, looking back all those years, there indeed was quite the buzz about Black 'n Blue leading up to the band's tougher-than-it-looks debut. "We were probably signed based on how successful we were doing in the Los Angeles club scene," agrees St. James, a guy who looked, at the time, like a late teen version of Dee Snider, leader of a band that in context was a good a template as any, less the garish stage gear. "Wherever we would play, it was just packed out. They were lined up around the block trying to get in; we were really doing well. But we were signed after about six months. It only took a couple of months and it was starting to pack out. And basically there was a big buzz about the band and before we even got signed, there were people from Geffen who came out to see us and there were a lot of other labels calling saying, 'Don't sign, don't sign, we want to talk to you.' So there was a lot of interest and Geffen made a point to really try and snag us up quickly as they didn't want to lose us. It was an exciting time down there with all the bands that were going on. Technically, we were the third band out of that whole L.A. scene to get signed. Quiet Riot was first, then Motley Crue, then Black 'n Blue."
So what was the Black 'n Blue sound? You were there at the right time, and yet, were somewhat heavy, at least within the context of the debut...
"I don't know, man. I was always influenced by '70s stuff: Aerosmith, AC/DC, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Bowie. But in the late '70s, very early '80s, we were influenced by some of the British stuff that was going on, Maiden, Def Leppard. I would have to say it was kind of a cross between the rock from the '70s and the metal that was coming out of England at that time."
Along the way, the band worked with Dieter Dierks, Michael Wagner, Mike Fraser, Jim Vallance and the now deceased Bruce Fairbairn. Lots of stories all around (but that's for another time and place). But, most definitely setting the stage for Tommy's work with Kiss, Black 'n Blue also first toured, then recorded, with Gene Simmons.
BLACK 'N BLUE - Back in Blue Page 3