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Frijid Pink in 1970
|Origin||Brighton, Michigan, U.S.|
The initial line-up of the band included drummer Richard Stevers, guitarist Gary Ray Thompson, bassist Tom Harris, lead singer Tom Beaudry (aka Kelly Green), and later added Larry Zelanka as off-staff keyboardist. On their album, All Pink Inside, the line-up was Craig Webb, guitar, Larry Popolizio, bass, Rick Stevers, drums, and Jo Baker harp/vocal, with the addition of Rockin' Reggie Vincent, vocals, and David Ahlers, piano. Over 35 years would pass before the next album would be released.
Frijid Pink formed when local Detroit-area cover band the Detroit Vibrations, which featured Stevers and Harris, were joined by guitarist Gary Ray Thompson and singer Tom Beaudry, who later took the stage name Kelly Green. Thompson convinced Vibrations' manager Clyde Stevers (Richard's father) that he was a better musician than the Vibrations' current guitarist. The group spent their first two years touring throughout the Southeast Michigan/Detroit area and eventually signed with Parrot Records. Their first two singles, "Tell Me Why" (#70 Canada) and "Drivin' Blues" (both released in 1969) failed to attract much attention, but their third 1969 effort, a distorted guitar-driven rendition of "House of the Rising Sun," reached the Top Ten on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1970. This disc sold over one million copies, thereby receiving a gold disc. The track also peaked at No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart and #3 in the Canadian RPM Magazine charts. The song was a "filler," using up time at the end of a recording session. The band was popular in their native Detroit area. A fledgling Led Zeppelin once opened for them at Detroit's Grande Ballroom. Frijid Pink often shared billing with the likes of the MC5, the Stooges, the Amboy Dukes, and other local groups.
Frijid Pink's self-titled debut LP followed in 1970, as did their second release Defrosted, with virtually all of the album's writing being provided by the duo of Beaudry and Thompson. Subsequent singles including "Sing A Song For Freedom" and a cover of "Heartbreak Hotel" failed to match earlier successes, and after Beaudry and Thompson bailed in an attempt to reform the group, a new lineup was created featuring David Alexander (later Jon Wearing) on vocals, Craig Webb on guitar, and Larry Zelanka on keyboards. This version of the group recorded 1972's Earth Omen. The group would have another lineup in place before re-entering the studio to record 1975's All Pink Inside with Jo Baker on vocals and Larry Popolizio playing the bass.
In 1981 Stevers and Harris joined forces with Arlen Viecelli, lead singer/guitarist of Salem Witchcraft, and Ray Gunn, guitarist of Virgin Dawn, to record an album at Sound Suite studio in Detroit. The music was written by Viecelli and Gunn and was set to be released in the summer of 1982. However, after failed negotiation attempts with various record companies by the group's manager (the aforementioned Clyde Stevers), the group disbanded and the material was never released.
Another version of the band (featuring no past members) formed in 2001. They recorded one album, Inner Heat, which was set for release in 2002. After a single show, which did not feature the band's biggest hit, the album was pulled by the record label, Dynasty Records. In 2005 yet another lineup formed featuring most of the original members; drummer Stevers had succeeded in getting bassist Tom Harris and vocalist Tom Beaudry together with guitarist Steve Dansby (from a late 1970s line-up of Cactus) and unknown keyboardist Larin Michaels.
In late 2006, after another failed attempt to reunite the original members, Stevers began auditioning guitarists for the reformation of Frijid Pink. A keyboard player was also recruited. Over the course of the next five years, this new lineup would play a dozen or so gigs, such as local venues and street fairs, but, without proper management, never had any steady work or did any touring. The focus shifted to basement recording and piecing an album together, which was released in March 2011 on the Repertoire label. This album, available in the U.S. as an import, is composed of re-recorded renditions of songs from the group's previous albums and new original music. In late 2011, the lead singer/guitarist/engineer and the keyboard player were replaced, thus ending the longest contiguous line-up in the band's history. Recording and performing continued in a similar fashion with this latest lineup, and an EP was released in late spring of 2012. An EP, entitled "Taste of Pink" was released in early 2017, featuring 3 new songs and a newly recorded version of House of the Rising Sun. The three new songs featured on the EP are tracks to be included on an upcoming album.
- "Tell Me Why" / "Cryin' Shame" (Parrot 334) 1969; No. 70 in Canada
- "Drivin' Blues" / "God Gave Me You" (Parrot 340) 1969
- "House of the Rising Sun" / "Drivin' Blues" (Parrot 341) 1969; No. 7 on Billboard Hot 100 (February 1970), No. 3 in Canada, No. 1 in Germany, No. 4 in UK
- "House of the Rising Sun" / "Drivin' Blues" (Deram 17044); 1970, France
- "House of the Rising Sun" / "Crying Shame" (EPDM 1014); 1970, Portugal
- "Sing a Song for Freedom" / "End of the Line" (Parrot 349) 1970, No. 55 on Billboard Hot 100 (July), No. 22 in Canada
- "Sing a Song for Freedom" / "End of the Line" (DM 309); 1970, France
- "Heartbreak Hotel" / "Bye Bye Blues" (Parrot 352) 1970, No. 72 on Billboard Hot 100 (December), No. 38 in Canada
- "Heartbreak Hotel" / "Bye Bye Blues" (SDM 117); 1971, Portugal
- "Music for the People" / "Sloony" (Parrot 355) 1971
- "We're Gonna Be There" / "Shortly Kline" (Parrot 358) 1971
- "We're Gonna Be There" / "Shortly Kline" (DM 336) 1971 France
- "I Love Her" / "Lost Son" (Parrot 360) 1972
- "Earth Omen" / "Lazy Day" (Lion 115) 1972
- "Go Now" / "Lazy Day" (Lion 136) 1972
- "Rainbow Rider" / "Earth Omen" (MGM 2006130); 1973, Germany
- "Big Betty" / "Shady Lady" (Lion 158) 1973
- Frijid Pink (Parrot 71033) 1970 No. 11 in U.S.
- Frijid Pink (Deram SML-R 1062); 1970; France, UK
- Defrosted (Parrot 71041) 1970 No. 149 in U.S.
- Defrosted (Deram SML-R 1077); 1970; France, UK
- Earth Omen (Lion LN-1004) 1972
- All Pink Inside (Fantasy 9464) 1975
- Frijid Pink Frijid Pink Frijid Pink (Repertoire) 2011
- Made In Detroit (Dynasty) 2014
- Taste of Pink EP (Dynasty) 2017
- The Beginning Vol. 5 (Deram) 1973. German compilation; rare import
- Hibernated (2002) 3-CD Box Set that includes first three albums plus non-album singles
- Dave Thompson (1 September 2010). Bayou Underground: Tracing the Mythical Roots of American Popular Music. ECW Press. pp. 248–. ISBN 978-1-55490-682-6.
- Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (17 October 1970). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 38–. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Jason Ankeny. "Frijid Pink | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 279. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 215. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Taste of Pink - EP". Frijidpink.com. Retrieved 2017-07-02.
- "Frijid Pink Homepage". Frijidpink.com. Retrieved 2015-08-25.