The Hooters - Biography
Bursting onto the Philadelphia music scene in 1980, the Hooters quickly became a huge success along their native East Coast. Their unique blend of ska, reggae and rock n roll was a fresh and powerful sound that could not be ignored.
In 1983 the Hooters released their first independent album “Amore”;, which sold over 100,000 copies. An essential part of any true Hooters fan’s collection, “Amore” introduced the original versions of songs like “All You Zombies”, “Hanging On A Heartbeat”, “Fightin’ On The Same Side” and “Blood From A Stone”, all songs which would reappear in different versions on later albums. Although a studio album, “Amore” captured the same raw spirit and energy that made the Hooters so well loved for their great live performances.
And perform is what they did, night after night after night. It seemed they never stopped playing and their fan base never stopped growing. One Hooters show and you were hooked ! Their hard working ethics and determination to succeed were soon to pay off, not only as a band, but also as songwriters and musicians for other emerging talents. Rob and Eric got a call from their longtime friend Rick Chertoff, asking them to write and play on the debut album of a relatively unknown artist named Cyndi Lauper. No one could know how wildly successful this project would become, with Rob and Cyndi co-writing one of the world’s most successful songs ever, “Time After Time”.
The Hooters strong and powerful presence, as performers and as songwriters was shouting to be heard and in 1984 Columbia Records signed the Hooters to their first major record deal. Their 1985 debut release “Nervous Night” quickly achieved Gold and Platinum status around the world selling in excess of 2 million copies. Rolling Stone magazine named the Hooters the Best New Band of the Year in 1985.
As the year just kept getting better, The Hooters were chosen as the very first band to perform at LIVE AID in Philadelphia. This monumental and historical event that was televised around the world, introduced the band to millions of people. With unforgettable songs such as “Day By Day”, “And We Danced”, “Where Do The Children Go” and “All You Zombies” the Hooters were quickly becoming a household name. In 1987 the Hooters released “One Way Home”, a slight departure from “Nervous Night”, introducing their fans to a new sound of exhilarating, cross-cultural textures that were starting to characterize the bands ever-evolving sound. Again achieving gold and platinum status in several territories across the globe; songs like “Johnny B”, “Satellite” and “Karla With A K”, “One Way Home” was only further proof that the Hooters were here to stay. David Fricke, from Rolling Stone magazine said, “the Hooters have made airwave magic with unconventional ingredients”. Indeed, “One Way Home” blended the rich use of mandolin, acoustic guitar, accordion, melodica and recorder with big beat percussion, vibrant electric keyboards, solid bass and scorching electric guitar.
In 1989 the Hooters released their third major label album. “Zig Zag”, introduced the world to a slightly more mature Hooters sound, while still maintaining those infectious pop hooks the Hooters had become so well known for. With Peter, Paul and Mary on backing vocals, “500 Miles” became a worldwide hit that lead the way to another double-platinum success for the band.
It was also during this time that the guys were honored with an invitation to participate in Roger Waters’ multimedia extravaganza “The Wall”. The Hooters joined music legends such as Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, The Band and Bryan Adams for an unforgettable musical experience. Changes were not only happening around the world, but also professionally for the Hooters. The band parted ways with Columbia and found a new home with MCA Records.
Along with the excitement of a new record label came the excitement and honor of welcoming a new band member. Mindy Jostyn, instrumentalist and vocalist extraordinaire, Mindy’s energy and talents took the Hooters to yet another level of musical excellence.
1993 saw the release of “Out Of Body”. This album boasted songwriting collaborations with John Bettis, Jerry William and Wendy Waldman and the masterful production skills of Joe Hardy. Recorded in Memphis, “Out Of Body” included a duet with Cyndi Lauper entitled “Boys Will Be Boys” and resulted in yet another world tour, and their first as a six piece band.
It was during this tour that the band recorded their “Live In Germany” album. Released in 1995, this album truly captures the raw energy the band creates every time they hit the stage. Following up on the success of the “Live” album, Sony released the long-awaited and much deserved recognition of their Greatest Hits, a collection entitled “Hooterization – A Retrospective”
During their years with the Hooters, Rob and Eric have also continued to contribute their musical and songwriting talents to other artists, including Taj Mahal, Mick Jagger, Willie Nelson, John Bon Jovi, Sophie B Hawkins and many others.
Most notably, in 1995, their work as the ultimate ‘dream team’ once again developed another relatively unknown female artist into superstardom, contributing much of the material and instrumentation for the debut album “Relish” for Joan Osborne. Eric’s masterfully penned “One Of Us”, shot up the charts. Once again, just as “Time After Time” was nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, including “Song Of The Year 1984”, Eric achieved the same prestigious nomination for “One Of Us” in 1996. “Relish” was nominated for a total of 7 Grammys, largely due to Eric and Rob’s songwriting contributions.
Following up on the heals of this success, Rob and Eric found themselves playing and lending their songwriting skills to another upcoming artist who would soon take the world by storm !
This time the artist was Ricky Martin, who covered their song “Private Emotion” and whose debut album was Grammy nominated for “Pop Album Of The Year 2000”.
Even though the Hooters were taking a break from touring and working together as a band for a few years, Eric and Rob never stopped creating musical magic around the globe !
Eric has written worldwide hits for artists such as Billie Myers/ “Kiss The Rain”, Robbie Williams / “Old Before I Die”, Amanda Marshall / “Believe In You” and more.
In 2000 he released his long awaited debut solo album “The Optimist” followed up by his sophomore effort “A Very Dull Boy”, which was released in May 2002.
In 1998, Rob and Hooters producer Rick (Chertoff) gathered an all-star cast of musicians and friends, such as Carole King, The Chieftains, Taj Mahal, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne and members of The Band to record the album “Largo”, a truly creative exploration of American music, which is currently being developed as a possible Broadway musical.
Last year, Rob co-produced and played on the latest Dar Williams CD “The Beauty Of The Rain” as well as co-writing the album’s second single “Closer To Me”.
Finally, in 2001, the Hooters reunited for a one off show in Philadelphia to celebrate DJ Pierre Robert’s 20th Anniversary at the radio station WMMR, the first major station to ever play the Hooters back in the early ‘80’s.
Even the band themselves could not believe the magic that was created that evening when they hit the stage after so many years. The Hooters knew it was time to get back out on the road again !!
2003 saw the long-awaited reunion of the Hooters in Germany where they completed a successful and exciting 17-city tour.
The summer of 2004 will see the return of the band to Europe for another dose of Hootermania and no one could be more pleased than ROB, ERIC, JOHN, DAVE AND FRAN !!!!!
• Amore, 1983 (independent--Antenna Records)
• Nervous Night, 1985 (Columbia Records)
• One Way Home, 1987 (Columbia Records)
• Zig Zag, 1989 (Columbia Records)
• Out of Body, 1993 (MCA Records)
- The Hooters Live, 1994 (MCA Records; BMG in Europe, MCA in Japan, from 1993 December Germany shows)