Aleka's Attic

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Aleka's Attic
Aleka's Attic.jpg
A band photo of the Aleka's Attic band
Background information
OriginUnited States
GenresAlternative rock, folk rock, garage rock revival
Years active1987–1993
Associated actsPapercranes
WebsiteAlekas Attic at Myspace
Past membersRiver Phoenix
Rain Phoenix
Tim Hankins
Josh Greenbaum
Josh McKay
Sasa Hasid Raphael

Aleka's Attic were an alternative folk/rock band from Gainesville, Florida, formed by River Phoenix and his sister Rain.


The original line up of Aleka's Attic included River as lead singer and played guitar; his younger sister Rain sang, but, contrary to many incorrect reports, did not play keyboards in the band (although she did play various percussion, such as tambourine); Tim Hankins played viola; Josh McKay was the bass player; Josh Greenbaum, a friend of River’s from Florida, was the drummer.[1]

About choosing the band's name, "Aleka's a fictional poet philosopher who gathered friends in his attic to discuss his ideas, when Aleka dies they form a band to share his beliefs with others through music".[2]

River was offered to sign a two-year development deal with Island Records to develop the band and record a marketable album, which was not accomplished in the time allotted due to River's ongoing film work schedule. So Island, retaining the option to continue or not, opted out of the deal based on the non-marketability of River's newer material. River then decided to record an album independently for the band.

The group disbanded in 1993. River Phoenix later started the new band Blacksmith as shown here in a performance[3] as an opening act for the Bill Clinton / Al Gore campaign in Gainesville, Florida in October 1992

The unreleased album[edit]

The release of the album, with the proposed titles Never Odd Or Even and Zero, was postponed due to River's death. Though Rain spent two years weeding through unfinished tracks and mixing what was a slew of performances, no finished product was ever completed. The reason is that there has been communication problems between the Phoenix family and former members Tim Hankins and Sasa Raphael. Josh Greenbaum and Josh Mckay had readily signed a release form allowing their tracks to be used, hence the early enthusiasm about the potential release of the record. According to Greenbaum, "The reason River signed with Island in the first place was because he obviously wanted to get his music out to the world. I just want to see that happen, even if I never see a penny from it. That would make the investment of five years of my life worth it."

In 1997, Phoenix's friend Michael Stipe of R.E.M. bought the rights to all of Aleka's Attic's material from Island Records.[4]

Homemade versions of an album and many other songs by the band can be found on various sites throughout the internet.

In the film Sneakers, whose cast includes Aleka's Attic member River Phoenix, the character played by Dan Aykroyd wears an Aleka's Attic T-shirt[5] in one scene.

In December 2018, Rain Phoenix announced on Instagram that Aleka's Attic singles would be released in 2019 with the album being released eventually.[6]

Released tracks[edit]

  • The group sold tapes between 1989 and 1990 with the songs "Goldmine", "Too Many Colors", "Across The Way" and "Blue Period".
  • "Across The Way", which was written by River and Josh McKay, was included on the 1989 PETA benefit album, Tame Yourself.
  • "Note To A Friend", featuring River's friend Michael "Flea" Balzary of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass, was released on the 1996 compilation 'In Defense Of Animals: Volume II'
  • The song "Too Many Colors", was featured on the unreleased soundtrack of "My Own Private Idaho", a 1991 film starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves, directed by Gus Van Sant.

Other tracks[edit]

  • Goldmine
  • In The Corner Dunce
  • Blue Period
  • Popular Thinks
  • Where I'd Gone
  • Where I'd Gone (solo version by River Phoenix)
  • Scales and Fishnails [7]


  1. ^'s+Attic/+wiki. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Sky, Phoenix. "manager Alekas Attic". YouTube. Alekas Attic/SPinc. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Phoenix's fan site". River Phoenix fan site. Retrieved 2007-03-16.
  5. ^ Phoenix, Sky. "Dan wears Alekas Attic T-Shirt". YouTube. Alekas Attic/SPinc.
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links[edit]