OUT NOW!! (Dyamond Roxx Series Release)
DR01: WHITEFOXX-Come Pet the Foxx CD £12
WHITEFOXX is known as one of the pioneers in the rise of the Philadelphia Metal scene in the mid 80s. Formed originally as PRECIOUS METAL in 1982 as a cover band, the group’s first incarnation comprised of vocalist Tony Harnell, guitarist Barry Bennedetta, keyboard player Mark Soma, bassist Mike Regina and drummer Craig Soma. As the cover scene started to go sour, Harnell quit the band and eventually winded up fronting Norwegian outfit TNT. Bennedetta went on to play briefly in the band WAYSTED with UFO’s Pete Way.
In 1984 vocalist / guitarist Mark Chasen joined PRECIOUS METAL and began writing songs with Mike Regina where they traded off lead vocals. They recruited drummer Billy Sipp and in 1985 started playing out as a power trio. As the band gained notoriety in the Philadelphia / South Jersey metal scene, guitarist Jeff LaBar was added to the fold which propelled him into the local spotlight where he was quickly recruited to fill the void left by Michael Kelly Smith with Polygram recording artists, CINDERELLA. emaining good friends with PRECIOUS METAL, LaBar recommended fellow guitarist Jimmy Maropoulos to take his place. Shortly thereafter, drummer Billy Sipp was replaced with new up and coming skin beater, Jimmy “Feek” Ferraioli. Feek was young, had some monster “chops” and he brought his own special brand of humor to the band. Soon PRECIOUS METAL had to change their name when an all-girl band with the same name landed a major label record deal. This is how WHITEFOXX was born.
Although Feek helped with the transition from PRECIOUS METAL to WHITEFOXX, he only stayed with the band for about a year before moving on to other projects. He was responsible for creating many of the signature drum parts in the early WHITEFOXX material, some of which remain to this day. In 1986, with a new name and new attitude, WHITEFOXX entered the studio and cut a strong, four song demo with temporary drummer Jim Drnec. This first foray featured the impressive anthem “Beverly Hills” which gained them attention in HIT PARADER magazine in the US as well as KERRANG magazine in the UK. Soon “Metal” shows on local radio stations picked up on this and started playing tracks from the WHITEFOXX demo. Shortly after this, WHITEFOXX found their missing link in drummer Rik Anthony and enjoyed the stability hey had been looking for. With this lineup of Chasen, Regina, Maropoulos & Anthony, the band went on to become one of the strongest contenders in the Philadelphia Metal scene. With catchy songs, a flashy stage show and a growing army of followers, it seemed they were destined for stardom! But, as with any group of talented individuals, it’s not always easy to stay on the same page let alone the same stage.
Chasen, Maropoulos & Ferraioli went on to form the band CHASEN with new bassist Donie Bufalo while vocalist Rob Zucchi and guitarist Reggie Wu joined WHITEFOXX. Wu later went on to form the band HEAVENS EDGE. In 1987 WHITEFOXX seemed to stabilize again when WORLD WAR III frontman Tipa Sparrs joined Regina & Anthony along with guitarist / keyboardist Tucker Michaels and guitar wizard Dave Lord was recruited to fill the void left by Reggie Wu. In 1988 WHITEFOXX signed a production deal with Denny Somach Productions. The plan was for Somach to get WHITEFOXX signed to a major label to take the band’s career to the next logical level. The song “Starry Eyes” caught the attention of several labels and some showcases were set up so the record company execs would get a chance to see the band play live. At least one deal was put forth but unfortunately, Somach didn’t feel any of the offers were strong enough to produce a competitive enough product. Eventually, WHITEFOXX disbanded in 1989 when Anthony and Regina, this time as frontman, went on to form the band LIGHT YEARS with guitarist Larry Campanella & bassist Slater Clifton.
In 1992 Regina, Anthony & Zucchi went back on the road again as WHITEFOXX with Larry Campanella on guitar. Chasen declined the invitation to join this incarnation due to another project he was already involved in. The plan was to play only a few shows but it lasted for a full year.
In 2004 Chasen reformed WHITEFOXX for a series of shows that featured Philadelphia / South Jersey bands from the 80’s. He recruited guitarist Barry Bennedetta , drummer Jim Drnec, and a local bass player to do the show as Regina was involved in other projects. WHITEFOXX came full circle when co-founders Chasen and Regina got back together to appear onstage for the first time in over 20 years for a reunion show in New Jersey in 2012. This lineup also featured former WHITEFOXX guitarist Larry Campanella and drummer Chris Nerone. At one point in the show they were also joined onstage by Reggie Wu to perform “Beverly Hills."
File Under: Hair Metal, Melodic Metal, Melodic Hard Rock.
For fans of: Dokken, Stryper, King Kobra, Metalwolf, Shire, etc.
OUT NOW - SECOND PRESS!!
PROGAOR02: WHITE WING-s/t CD £12
Released for the very first time on CD, this American Hard Prog Rock rare LP finally sees the light of day! WHITE WING were the band pre-ASIA (U.S.), formed by the multi-talented Mike Coates. This reissue was carefully remastered by himself and will fill the gap in many 70s Prog and Hard Rock collections. Released originally in 1976, we can already see the band into the musical territory that ASIA explored specially on the first album.
Features a 12-page booklet with archive photos, lyrics and band history.
(BIO by Mike Coates):
Lead vocalist/bassist Mike English and I had long been members of a Rapid City art rock band called WhiteWing (1968-1976) and had recorded an eponymously titled album with a Minneapolis- based record company called ASI in 1975. ASI released a single entitled, "Hansa," off that album, which received spotty national and international airplay and made the BILLBOARD Top Singles Picks list. Album sales were weak, however, because distribution to the hundreds of small Midwestern towns we typically toured were very poor and difficult to coordinate with airplay. ASI also chose rather foolishly to promote us as "the next Moody Blues," when, in fact, we were much heavier, much to the surprise of many promoters, booking agents, and club owners. After considerable album promotion touring and countless radio interviews, ASI chose not to pick up the contract option for our second album (which was fully composed and in demo form) primarily because they were in the midst of a belt-tightening stage after the mid-Seventies recession. However, company president, Dan Holmes (left), who had produced our album, strongly encouraged me to release the WhiteWing rhythm section, hire guest vocalist Larry Galbraith (from another Rapid City band called FREE FLITE), and to stay in close contact with ASI for future recording projects. I took his advice and made those hard decisions, although leaving WhiteWing and my old friends was very painful and I questioned that move and my motives for many years to come. Those same ex-band members were reluctant to sell the WhiteWing name (which was a corporate holding), so Mike, Larry, manager Mike Chambers, and I set out to form a totally new band and image. After a series of auditions we landed Nebraska- based drummer John Haynes and the new line-up was complete. Larry coined the name ASIA, and, because we all loved the mystical, exotic and expansive implications, the name stuck.
File under: Prog, Hard Rock, Pomp, AOR, Rush, Kansas, Styx, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Yes.