Parthenon Huxley

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Parthenon Huxley
Birth name Richard Willett Miller
Also known as P. Hux
Rick Rock
Rick Miller
Born (1956-01-19) January 19, 1956 (age 58)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Years active 1980–present
Associated acts P. Hux
The Orchestra
Electric Light Orchestra
Part II

VeG
E (Mark Oliver Everett)
Website parthenonhuxley.com

Parthenon Huxley (born January 19, 1956) is an American musician, singer, songwriter and producer who is known for his solo albums and for his involvement in ELO Part II and The Orchestra, both of which are latter-day offshoots of the 1970s-80s orchestral rock band Electric Light Orchestra. He has also made several cameo appearances in several films including The Flintstones.

Biography[edit]

The Blazers, Early Solo Career, P. Hux and VeG[edit]

Huxley was born Richard Willett Miller in Baton Rouge, LA and grew up in New Jersey and Athens, Greece before moving to North Carolina to attend UNC-Chapel Hill. His stage name (now legal name) honors two of his varied interests - his love for Greece, and the British writer Aldous Huxley.[1] He began his recording career as guitarist on Matt Barrett's EP The Ruse (Moonlight Records) produced by Don Dixon and Mitch Easter. His touring career began as a member of the Chapel Hill, NC rock band The Blazers, which consisted of Huxley (credited under his original name Rick Miller), Sherman Tate (lead & harmony vocals, rhythm guitar), Ronnie Taylor (drums & percussion) and Lee Gildersleeve (bass). The band recorded one album, How to Rock: Ten Easy Lessons (Moonlight Records, 1980) again produced by Don Dixon.

His first solo recording (released under the pseudonym "Rick Rock"[2]) was the self-produced, self-financed single "Buddha, Buddha" / "Sputnik" (Big Groovy, 1983). Despite its modest recording budget of US $400[3] "Buddha, Buddha" was named one of the ten best records ever made in North Carolina by the Greensboro Record. During this period Huxley also toured as guitarist with Don Dixon under the name Me & Dixon. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1987 and signed with Columbia Records; the following year he recorded his first solo album, Sunny Nights (Columbia 1988), produced by Huxley and Paul McCartney producer David Kahne. Three of its tracks ("Double Our Numbers", "Guest Host for the Holy Ghost" and "Chance to Be Loved") were released as singles during that year. Although the album received favorable reviews (Rolling Stone Magazine called it a "monumental debut"), it did not sell well[4] and this ended his association with Columbia.

It was five years before Huxley's next album; in the intervening period he co-produced the two solo albums by Eels frontman E, 1992's A Man Called E and 1994's Broken Toy Shop. The first single from A Man Called E ("Hello Cruel World" – co-written by Huxley) reached #8 on the Modern Rock chart. Huxley also produced an eponymous album with power pop singer Kyle Vincent (Carport/Hollywood Records).[5] The album's first single, "Wake Me Up (When the World's Worth Waking Up For)" reached #101 on Billboard's singles chart and stayed there for eight weeks, setting a curious record for "bubbling under" the Hot 100.

Huxley's next album, Deluxe, was credited to P. Hux, a power-pop trio comprising Huxley, Gordon Townsend (drums, vocals) and Rob Miller (bass, vocals). The album was released in the US in 1995 on the Black Olive label, and was also released in Japan, Australia and France (where it was retitled Every Minute).[6] The songs on the album were largely inspired by Huxley's recent marriage to screenwriter Janet Heaney. The album was well received by critics and was voted as 1995 Album of the Year by Audites Magazine.[7] A single from the album, "Every Minute" appeared on the Rhino Records compilation Poptopia! Power Pop Classics of the '90s.

Huxley's next recording was the self-titled album recorded by Huxley's side-project VeG (1997), another three-piece group with Winston Watson (drums, lap steel) and Paul Martinez (bass, background vocals). Watson was Bob Dylan's drummer for five years in the '90s.

ELO Part II and The Orchestra[edit]

In January 1997 Huxley's wife Janet died from cancer, aged only 38,[8] and it was several years before he resumed his solo career. In the meantime, he joined Electric Light Orchestra Part II in January 1999, replacing singer-guitarist Phil Bates, and he toured with them through the year. In November that year Bev Bevan played his last show with the band; in early 2000 he issued a press statement announcing that the group had dissolved, and he then sold his 50% share of the rights to the ELO name back to the group's founder, Jeff Lynne. The remaining members then recruited drummer Gordon Townsend and, following legal action by Lynne, renamed itself The Orchestra. Later in 2001 year he recorded with The Orchestra for their album No Rewind, which featured four songs written or co-written by Huxley:[9] "Jewel and Johnny", "Can't Wait to See You", "Over London Skies" and "Before We Go." The band continued to tour with this lineup until 2007, when Huxley left the band to spend more time with his family. Huxley was replaced by Bates, who rejoined The Orchestra after a nine year absence.

In October 2011, Phil Bates again left the band and the revolving door saw Huxley return as Orchestra guitarist and singer. With Huxley back on board, The Orchestra completed a successful 17-date tour of Eastern Europe in December 2011.

Meanwhile, Huxley had restarted his solo career in 2001 with two albums. The second P. Hux studio album, Purgatory Falls, was a deeply personal and sometimes harrowing song-cycle that chronicled the devastating experience of his wife's untimely death. This was followed by a solo live album, Live in Your Living Room. Later in 2001 year he recorded with The Orchestra for their album No Rewind, which featured four songs written or co-written by Huxley:[10] "Jewel and Johnny", "Can't Wait to See You", "Over London Skies" and "Before We Go."

Huxley followed No Rewind with another solo acoustic live album In Your Parlour (Nine18 Records) in 2003 and then began work on Homemade Spaceship, an album of ELO covers commissioned by Lakeshore Records of Hollywood, CA. Homemade Spaceship: The Music of ELO as Performed by P. Hux was awarded 2005 Tribute Album of the Year by Just Plain Folks, the world's largest online musicians community.

Recent career[edit]

Huxley moved to Maryland in 2005 and began work on the third P. Hux studio album, Kiss the Monster. It was released in 2007 by English label Voiceprint in conjunction with Nine18 (Huxley's imprint) and BeanBagOne, a label owned by Huxley's American manager David Bean of Carmel, CA. Kiss the Monster was nominated for 'Album of the Year' by Just Plain Folks.

In 2011, Huxley released Tracks & Treasure Vol. 1 a collection of songs that had appeared on compilations as well as previously unreleased master recordings. T&T Vol. 1 featured performances by McCartney guitarist Rusty Anderson, Go-Go's drummer Gina Schock and ELO/ELO Part II/The Orchestra violinist Mik Kaminski among others. The album's title was a pun, referencing "trash and treasure" days in Maryland.

April 2, 2013 saw the official release of Thank You Bethesda, Huxley's latest album of new material. Four years in the making, TYB is a lush collection of rock songs that Huxley considers some of his best work. A successful Kickstarter campaign in the fall of 2012 aided in the album's release. The CD booklet contains names and pictures of Huxley's Kickstarter supporters.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Sunny Nights (1988)
  • Deluxe (1995)
  • Purgatory Falls (2001)
  • Homemade Spaceship: The Music of ELO as Performed by P. Hux (2005)
  • Mile High Fan (2006)
  • Kiss the Monster (2007)

Singles[edit]

  • "Buddha, Buddha" (1982) (as Rick Rock)
  • "Chance to Be Loved" (1988)
  • "Double Our Numbers" (1988)
  • "Guest Host for the Holy Ghost" (1988)
  • "It'll Be Alright" (1995)
  • "Every Minute" (1995)
  • "Here Comes the Savior" (1995)

Live albums[edit]

  • Live in Your Living Room (2001)
  • In Your Parlour (2003)

References[edit]