Eyes (band)

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Eyes
Origin New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Genres Rock, Hard rock, Pop rock, Progressive rock
Years active 1977–1986
Labels Quiet Cannon Records
Associated acts Jasper Wrath, L.A. Rocks, House of Lords, James Christian
Past members Jeff Batter
Richie Catalano
James Christian
Jerry Green
Phil Stone
Michael Solak

Eyes was a rock band from New Haven, Connecticut that was active throughout the 1980s. The band was founded by James Christian, who would later go on to front the notable hard rock band House of Lords.

History[edit]

The first incarnation of Eyes formed in New Haven, Connecticut in 1977. The band was a spinoff of the very popular Connecticut-based progressive rock band Jasper Wrath, which disbanded in 1976 due to commercial and non-commercial musical differences. Vocalist/guitarist James Christian, bassist Phil Stone, and keyboardist Jeff Batter decided to stick together and form a new project. The lineup was later completed with the addition of drummer Richie Catalano and keyboardist Jerry Green. Eyes released their first LP, We're In It Together, in 1978 through Quiet Cannon Records. Most of the keyboards on the album were done by Jerry Green; Jeff Batter was credited as a special guest rather than a member of the band.

Eyes developed quite a following during their first few years of existence. In addition to new original material at live shows, they continued to play the Jasper Wrath hit song "You" every night as the crowd demanded it. Sooner or later, the band started adding a few cover songs to their set, which increased the size of their audience. James Christian recalls, "We started doing Journey songs as well as Led Zeppelin's classics such as "Kashmir". I must say when we covered a song, it was amazing. We did as close as possible to the original."[1]

In the early 1980s, bassist Phil Stone and keyboardist Jerry Green left the group. James Christian switched to bass and Michael Solak was brought in to fulfill the guitar duties. After a while the group got so popular that they never had to ask for any money from club owners. James Christian recalls, "We would just tell the club owner, just book us and we will charge a cover charge for people to get in. Whatever we collect will be ours, so you the club never had to guarantee us anything. We were cleaning up. We were making about $2500 per night and we worked 6- night a weeks. In 1985, that was a lot of money for a club act to make. There were literally lines around the club to get into an EYES performance."[1]

In the mid-1980s, James Christian was called to do some session work in Los Angeles. He originally intended it to be a one shot deal, but after doing some work and making contacts for a few weeks, Christian became addicted to the Los Angeles music scene. Christian later accepting an offer to become the lead singer of the group L.A. Rocks} who renamed themselves EYES upon James Christian's suggestion and recommendation.

James Christian received an offer to become the lead vocalist of the group House of Lords, and quit the Los Angeles based band EYES formerly LA Rocks, giving up the name of the band as evidenced no legal dispute. Upon James Christian's walk out to join House of Lords, EYES subsequently replaced him with the returning lead vocalist Jeff Scott Soto to record a debut album for the Curb/EMI distributed Pasha Records, the home of Quiot Riot.

EYES went on to record three full length albums and two music videos which debuted on MTV's Headbangers Ball, namely "Calling All Girls" which entered the Billboard AOR top 40 charts. EYES releases which were licensed throughout Europe via BMG Music and other independents, performed over one hundred and twenty five shows over five years opening for Cheap Trick, Poison, Slaughter, Kansas, Ratt, Bad Company among many others selling in excess of 200,000 SoundScan records.

Band members[edit]

  • Jeff Batter - keyboards, vocals (1977–1986)
  • Richie Catalano - drums, percussion (1977–1986)
  • James Christian - lead vocals, guitar, bass (1977–1986)
  • Jerry Green - keyboards (1977–1982)
  • Phil Stone - bass, flute, vocals (1977–1982)
  • Michael Solak - guitar, vocals (1982–1986)

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Christian, James, James Christian: The Whole Story 

External links[edit]