The Four Horsemen (band)
|The Four Horsemen|
|Origin||Hollywood, California, United States|
|Labels||Caroline/ILL, Def American, Magnetic Air|
|Associated acts||Zodiac Mindwarp
Frank C Starr
Ken "Dimwit" Montgomery
The Four Horsemen were an American blues band, who enjoyed a brief popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their style was Blues influenced Hard rock, but their fame was both fleeting and marred by tragedy.
The Four Horsemen were formed in the late 1980s by the Welsh-born guitarist Haggis (a.k.a. Stephen Harris), who had been a member of Zodiac Mindwarp and a touring bassist for The Cult. Haggis formed the band in Hollywood, California, when he decided to leave the Cult, switching from bass to rhythm guitar. He had previously worked with Rick Rubin, the producer of the Electric album for the Cult, who introduced Haggis to the vocalist Frank Starr. Rubin also suggested the drummer Ken "Dimwit" Montgomery to Haggis. Dimwit was the brother of Charles Montgomery, aka Chuck Biscuits, then drummer with Danzig who were also working with Rubin.
Their debut full length album, Nobody Said it Was Easy, produced by Rubin, was released in 1991, following a two-year delay when Starr was arrested on drug charges and spent six months in jail. The album generated the title track as a single, followed by the hit "Rockin' Is Ma' Business". However, Starr was arrested again and this time spent a year in jail on a drugs charge. This, combined with poor album sales as the grunge scene started to take over from traditional rock, caused the record label to drop them in 1992.
In 1994, the band reconciled their differences and started to put together a third release which was to become Gettin' Pretty Good... at Barely Gettin' By. But the first of two tragedies struck on September 27, 1994, when their original drummer, Ken Montgomery, died of a drug overdose. The band continued with production of the album, dedicating it to Montgomery and with Chuck Biscuits taking over on drums for the album's completion. But the band then split further, when Haggis and Ben Pape decided to leave, having had enough of Starr's behaviour.
Then in November, 1995, Starr was hit by a drunk driver, while driving his motorcycle down Sunset Strip. Starr suffered a severe head injury which left him in a coma. Dave Lizmi carried on with the band as the sole remaining original member, releasing Gettin' Pretty Good... at Barely Gettin' By in 1996 on the Magnetic Air label, and embarking on a tour with vocalist Ron Young, formerly of Little Caesar, replacing Starr. Though it was initially hoped that Starr would recover, he eventually died on June 18, 1999. Following Starr's death, the band broke up.
In 2005, Haggis and Lizmi assembled as much archive footage of the band as they could gather, and released a two disc retrospective, Left for Dead. Disc one was a DVD featuring all videos from the Nobody Said it Was Easy CD, plus rare interviews, live performances, and behind the scenes footage. Disc two was a live album.
The song, "Back In Business Again" was featured in the G.I. Joe: Retaliation soundtrack.
Original members (1989):
- Frank C. Starr (vocals)
- Dave Lizmi (guitar)
- Haggis (guitar)
- Ben Pape (bass)
- Ken "Dimwit" Montgomery (drums)
- Ron Young (vocals)
- Tim Beattie (vocals)
- Pharaoh (bass)
- Chuck Biscuits (drums)
- Randy Cooke (drums)
- Mike Valentine (guitar)
- Mike Lavoie (guitar)
- Rick McGee (guitar)
- Derek Young (bass)
|Year||Song||U.S. Mainstream Rock|
|1991||"Nobody Said it Was Easy"||16|
|1991||"Rockin Is Ma Business"||38|
Albums and EPs
- The Four Horsemen (EP) (1989) - Caroline/ILL labels
- Nobody Said it Was Easy (1991) - Def American
- Gettin' Pretty Good... at Barely Gettin' By (1996) - Magnetic Air
- Left For Dead (Box set) (2005) - Self-released DVD, live CD and booklet
- Sleazeroxx article http://www.sleazeroxx.com/bands/fourhorsemen/fourhorsemen.shtml
- Interview with Haggis http://www.uberrock.co.uk/interviews/56-may-interviews/866-stephen-haggis-harris-the-four-horsemen-interview-exclusive.html
- Chuck Biscuit Interview http://misfitscentral.com/darticle/flip84.html
- Sleaze Grinder article http://www.sleazegrinder.com/teensleaze4horsemen.htm
- The music's over https://themusicsover.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/frank-c-starr/
- Billboard album charts, Allmusic