The Storm (band)
|Origin||San Francisco, California|
|Associated acts||Giuffria, 707, Survivor, Journey|
|Past members||Gregg Rolie
The Storm is an American rock group, formed in the Bay Area of San Francisco during the early 1990s. The band is best known for their first single, the power ballad "I've Got a Lot to Learn About Love", which peaked at #6 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The band featured three of Journey's former members (two of whom were founding members) - Gregg Rolie as keyboardist, Ross Valory on bass, and Steve Smith on drums. Kevin Chalfant, who had a #12 rock chart hit in 1982 as lead vocalist with AOR band 707, was lead vocalist (Rolie also shared lead vocalist duties), and Josh Ramos (who cited Journey founder and guitarist Neal Schon as a major influence) was lead guitarist.
Rolie was the most instrumental in putting The Storm together. He had collaborated on material with Kevin Chalfant and sent the track "Show Me the Way" to producer Beau Hill, who with Jimmy Iovine had just begun Interscope Records as a hard rock/AOR label for Atlantic Records president Doug Morris. Interscope became seriously interested in the project and signed the band, now known as The Storm, in 1990.
The Storm's debut album, self-titled and released in 1991 by Interscope, was produced by Beau Hill. It rose to #133 on the Billboard album chart, scoring two Mainstream Rock radio hits with the #6 “I’ve Got a Lot to Learn About Love” (which also reached #26 on the Hot 100) and the #22 “Show Me the Way”.
In March 1992, the band embarked upon a US tour supporting Bryan Adams in arenas all over the country. They followed that up with a tour supporting Peter Frampton and did additional dates with Eddie Money, Tom Cochrane and others, in addition to several headlining dates.
Dissolution and subsequent work
Their follow-up album, Eye of the Storm, was recorded for Interscope Records in 1993 but never released by Interscope. The previous year, the label—founded by Iovine (a producer, who began his career as a sound engineer for John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen) and Hill (noted for his success producing hard rock bands Ratt and Winger) as a rock label—had struck a deal to distribute releases by Death Row Records. Hits by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg convinced the label to shift its focus from Mainstream Rock to Gangsta Rap. Eye of the Storm was eventually issued through the major UK independent label Music For Nations in Europe, Avex Trax (Bareknuckle) in Japan and Miramar Records in the U.S. The album also appears on the iTunes Music Store with the release date of 1995, "Copyright 2006 - The Storm".
Despite the release of Eye of the Storm, the individual band members had moved on to other things. Gregg Rolie (keyboards) played with Abraxas Pool (featuring most of the original Santana members - himself, Chepito Areas, Michael Carabello, and Michael Shrieve - as well as Neal Schon and Alphonso Johnson), Ross Valory (bass) went on to a reformed Journey, Ron Wikso (drums) went on to play with David Lee Roth, Foreigner and Richie Sambora, Kevin Chalfant (vocals) and Josh Ramos (guitar) formed another band called Two Fires, who released two albums so far, and pursued solo careers, Chalfant making lead vocal stints in The Alan Parsons Project (2003) and Shooting Star (2006).
In 1999, Gregg Rolie and Ron Wikso co-produced a solo CD for Gregg called Roots - released in 2001 on 33rd Street Records in the US and Sanctuary Records in Europe - and have since been touring together as part of the Gregg Rolie Band, which also features Michael Carabello, Adrian Areas, Kurt Griffey, Alphonso Johnson and Wally Minko. Ron Wikso occasionally rehearses with REO Speedwagon guitarist Dave Amato, and Styx bassist Ricky Phillips. Styx drummer Todd Sucherman occasionally joins them as well.