New England (band)

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New England was an American rock band that was mainly active from 1978-1982. The group was best known for the song, "Don't Ever Wanna Lose Ya", which received heavy radio exposure on Album-oriented rock (AOR) stations and reached #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1979. "Hello, Hello, Hello" also received some airplay at the decline of the first single.

Career[edit]

John Fannon, Jimmy Waldo (Alcatrazz), Gary Shea (Alcatrazz) and Hirsh Gardner formed the band in the Boston area, discovered by legendary Kiss manager Bill Aucoin. Paul Stanley helped the band record and produce their debut album, along with famed producer Mike Stone, best known for his work with Queen and Asia. The band describes their sound as "power-melodic-song-oriented rock"[1]

The group had a live stint supporting Kiss, but New England slid between the cracks of other Aucoin projects. The group's success stalled when their record label Infinity Records was absorbed by its parent company, MCA Records in 1980. The group moved to Elektra Records for their second album, Explorer Suite. That album garnered almost no notice however the first single was the album's title. Apparently, the powers that be at Elektra wanted "Explorer Suite" released as a single since Queen had their monster hit, "Bohemian Rhapsody". However, their songs, "Living In The Eighties" and "Converstation" received more airplay than did the intended single. "Explorer Suite" has since become a sought after CD by AOR fans.[citation needed] Todd Rundgren's production on the slightly harder-rocking third album, Walking Wild, also did not improve sales. The perfect choice of a song to release for radio would have been, "Don't Ever Let Me Go" however that was not the case on this third album. New England then dissolved with Gary Shea and Jimmy Waldo joining Alcatrazz.

After the break-up, all of the members remained in the music industry. In late 2002, New England reunited to record "More Than You'll Ever Know", a song from the Hirsh Gardner solo album, entitled Wasteland For Broken Hearts. It marked the first time the group recorded together in 20 years. In recent years, the band has reunited for a few live shows in the Boston area. Gary and Jimmy guest appearances at various musical instrument conventions such as the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in places like Anaheim, CA.

The reissue label Renaissance Records has released a CD version of the first album, New England. GB Records has released the other two albums on CD, plus a live album and an album of early recording studio/studio sound recordings and reproduction/recordings made before the debut album.

In 2009, Wounded Bird Records reissued Explorer Suite and Walking Wild on CD.

Reunion[edit]

While occasionally doing single reunion shows for charity, in May of 2014 John Fannon discussed New England having new studio work and a possible full tour for 2015 during his solo appearance on the Concert TV series, On Stage with Mantis. Work is progressing and details are expected by Spring 2015.

Discography[edit]

Year Album Billboard Top 200
1979 New England 50
1980 Explorer Suite -
1981 Walking Wild 176

Singles[edit]

Date Title US
05/1979 Don't Ever Wanna Lose Ya 40
09/1979 Hello, Hello, Hello 69

Personnel[edit]

  • John Fannon: guitar, vocals
  • Jimmy Waldo: keyboards, vocals
  • Hirsh Gardner: drums, vocals
  • Gary Shea: bass

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kaminski, Adam. "New England, Old Sound". Sound of Boston. Sound of Boston. Retrieved 26 June 2014.