LaTour in 2011
|Birth name||William LaTour|
|Genres||Electronica, Dance, Industrial, pop, punk, parody|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, songwriter, voice over actor, production director, voice over producer and engineer|
|Instruments||Piano, keyboard, drums, guitar, bass, programming|
Smash Records (1989 – present)
|Website||LaTour YouTube Channel videos|
William LaTour, better known by his stage name LaTour and also known as "Bud" Latour, is an American singer, songwriter, and voice over artist. His musical genres span electronic, house, glam, rock, dance, punk, and parody.
"Blue" was featured during the club scene in the motion picture film Basic Instinct, as well as being featured on the ABC television series Alias. He was a producer of house music when he released his first album, titled LaTour. He released a second album, Home on the Range, in 1993.
LaTour is a co-founding member, keyboardist, writer, and musical director for the legendary punk band The Squids, who formed in Chicago in 1989. The Squids continue to remain active with their music video release of "Get Off My Cloud" which debuted on YouTube, and Funny or Die in 2013. The "Get Off My Cloud' video reached #1 in the music video category on Funny Or Die for four consecutive weeks in September of 2014, and eventually climbed back to #1 again Christmas week of 2014. "Get Off My Cloud" has since become the highest rated music video ever on the Emmy winning website which was founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay in 2007.
The Squids remain a favorite among mid 90's indie alternative.
His initial single climbed to number one on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, and became a Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hit (#35). In the UK, the song became a Top 20 hit in the UK Singles Chart (#15) after he performed on Top of The Pops alongside Bette Midler and Cher. He has also had other hits on the U.S. Hot Dance chart, including the songs "Cold," "Hypnomania," "Craziaskowboi," and "E."
- 1 The Squids
- 2 The Squids Chart Positions
- 3 The Squids Discography
- 4 Muzloh
- 5 L&B Project
- 6 The LBM Experience
- 7 Studio musician
- 8 Parody and novelty musician
- 9 Radio career
- 10 Discography
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
|Years active||1989–2005, 2013|
|Labels||Squid Music Productions
Hot Dog Water Records
LaTour was co-founder, keyboardist, and composer for the Chicago-based punk band The Squids from 1990–2002. The original line-up included co-founder Joey Spatafora who is a Chicago-born vocalist and lyricist.
Other band members included Bolander Davis on guitar, Judy Johnson on bass, and Jimmy Vass on drums. The band's more noted line-up changes include the replacement of Davis (who died of liver cancer in 1996) by Bob Fesus, Dave Hunt on drums in 1996, and keyboard player Scot Bahry who would sit in for LaTour when he was on tour to promote the LaTour albums. The Squids toured and recorded 5 cassettes, 1 vinyl EP called RUSH 2112, which was released in 1995 from Squid Productions, and a greatest hits CD, which was released in 2000 on Hot Dog Water Records.
When LaTour launched a crossover solo career for himself in the dance music genre, he charted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the Billboard Dance charts. American Top 40 host Casey Kasem would give mention to The Squids as Latours launching pad and would refer to The Squids as "a very influential and popular punk band from Chicago", while announcing Latour's hit recording "People Are Still Having Sex" which climbed to number 35 on the American Top 40 in 1991. American radio broadcaster Dr. Demento would play The Squids single "Every Time She Calls" during this period in the early 90's on his Westwood One Radio Network nationally syndicated radio broadcast which would feature popular novelty songs.
The Squids were created in 1989 in the Chicago basement of LaTour after LaTour and Spatafora attended a Dead Milkmen and Ramones concert at Metro Chicago. They decided to re-record all of the demo-songs they had been working on with their prior group Shock Radio in a Ramones/Milkmen/Shaggs like punk style that they humorously referred to as "Squid Music".
They eliminated the drum machine which they used in their previous band and opted to enlist drummer Vass who lived next door to the LaTour household on Montrose Avenue. Right before the band's first public performance (April 1, 1990 at The Sanctuary on Rush Street in Chicago) they chose to name the band The Squids as they thought it was a name that would represent homage to The Shaggs, and would be as memorable as The Beatles. The Squids were then invited to play on the stage of The Metro September 26, 1990, and played there regularly thereafter. The band auditioned hundreds of musicians in the spring of 1990 before hiring former Barbie Army bassist Judy Johnson and Bonk Nobles bassist Bolander Davis to play guitar for The Squids. This was the line-up that recorded the band's first release Bingo City.
The Squids first rehearsal hall was Dress Rehearsals at 1610 W. Wood Street in Chicago in the early '90s, and they would go over new material in the studio across from another famous Chicago band named Styx who has been popular in Chicago in the late '70s.
In 1995, the first annual North by Northeast Music Festival and Conference (NXNE) in Toronto Canada, selected The Squids and heavy metal band Cutlass, to represent Chicago. The Squids performed on the closing night of the festival in the Cabana Room at the Spadina Hotel on Saturday June 17, 1995.
Squids Musical style and influences
LaTour led the musical direction of the band. The Ramones, Dead Milkmen, The Shaggs, Kiss, Rick Springfield, Cheap Trick, The Cars, Spinal Tap, and "Weird Al" Yankovic were all influences in the development of The Squids. Spatafora's first inkling to sing in a rock and roll band started when he received the first self-titled album by the hard rock group Kiss on his 9th birthday. During the first two years of The Squids, Joey Spatafora ate nothing but peanut M&M's to maintain his unique punk vocal style on The Squids recordings and live performances.
In the summers of 1988 and 1989, LaTour and Spatafora would bring a Casio keyboard, a boom box, and cassette tapes of Billy Joel songs that they liked like You May Be Right (song), Movin' Out (Anthony's Song), and A Matter Of Trust, and sing and play along with them on the El Train platform at the "Clark and Division" stop in Chicago, Illinois, while sneaking in their own original material like "Bingo City" and "Dirt" which eventually were recorded for the band's first cassette recording "Can You See The Squids Standing In Front Of Bingo City?" while passerby tossed loose change into LaTour's keyboard case. Spatafora would take his cut of the change and buy his peanut M&M's (in the long defunct 5 pound bag packaging) up the stairs from the el tracks at Jewel Food Stores.
Historical Squids lyrics in recording of "Unstable Girls"
In 1995 The Squids recorded the very first rock/pop/punk single using the then taboo lyric "bi-polar" in their recording of the song "Unstable Girls" from the 1995 E.P. 7-inch titled "RUSH 2112". It wasn't until 2008 when Katy Perry released her single Hot N Cold that the lyric "bi-polar" was again used on a recorded rock single.
The Squids Chart Positions
|Every Time She Calls (LIVE at Metro Chicago 1993) (Chart 2016)||Peak
|U.S. Funny Or Die Music Video||1|
|Get Off My Cloud (Chart 2014)||Peak
|U.S. Funny Or Die Music Video||1|
|U.S. Funny Or Die Parody Video||1|
|U.S. Funny Or Die Nostalgia Video||1|
The Squids Discography
- 1990: "Can You See The Squids Standing In Front Of Bingo City?"
- 1991: "Smooth Down There"
- 1992: "The C Word"
- 1993: "Lesbian Slumber Party"
- 1994: "Bloody Eye Of Satan"
1995: "RUSH 2112" from Squids Productions
2000: "4 Floors Of Whores - The Squids Collection" from Hot Dog Water Records
1995: "The 6th Annual Free Fest Chicago Compilation CD" - "15 Seconds Doesn't Count" by The Squids (disc 1, cut 9)
YouTube Only Exclusive Single Releases
- 2005: "Weeeee!! A KISS Concert!!"
- 2005: "Weekend In A Mexican Prison"
2012: Goats (film) The cd that Ellis (played by Graham Phillips (actor)) purchases at Smash Records and gives to The Goat Man (played by David Duchovny) as a Christmas gift is The Squids "4 Floors Of Whores - The Squids Collection".
- 2013: "Get Off My Cloud"
- 1990-2005: "Bad Haircut", "Bingo City", "Don't Turn Around", "Dumb Books (live at Metro Chicago], "Every Time She Calls (live at Metro Chicago, and live at Freefest)", "The Harmonica Song (live at Metro Chicago, and live at The Avalon)", "Heartbreaker Saltshaker (live at Freefest)", "My Favorite Shirt (live at Metro Chicago)", "Snack Cakes (live at Freefest)", "Spaghetti Sauce (live at The Avalon, and live at Freefest"), "Weeeee!! A KISS concert!!", "Weekend In A Mexican Prison"
In 1997, LaTour wrote a rock album. He called the band Muzloh and conceived the demos in his home recording studio, Chateau LaTour Studios. He enlisted Squids drummer Dave Hunt, Don Batryn on lead guitar, and Pete Shorner on bass to formally record at Chateau LaTour and play live. In the Chicago area, Muzloh played The House of Blues, The Metro Chicago club, Gunther Murphy's, The Chicago Free Fest, and many others. Muzloh released an album in 1997 titled Supersonic Gold on Spoon Records.
During the 1990s when LaTour was most recognized for creating dance music, he teamed up with fellow house music producer, Terry "Housemaster" Baldwin sometimes only known as Housemaster Baldwin to create a number of Chicago House singles for the underground house scene. The L&B Project was aptly named for the letters of both artist's last names.
The LBM Experience
LaTour performed as a studio musician for many House music record labels in Chicago during the '90s and musicians including Ralphie Rosario, White Knight[disambiguation needed], Terry Baldwin, Frankie Hollywood Rodriguez, DJ International Records, SOS Records, Underground Construction Records, and Trax Records.
Parody and novelty musician
As a child, LaTour found a talent in writing parody songs. He recalls his first parody song being conceived at the age of five. Working at a radio station created the environment to record comedy songs and feature them on the air for skits. Like many parody songwriters, The Dr. Demento Radio Show played a large part in showcasing the early talents of LaTour. A parody version of Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus" entitled, "Rock Me Jerry Lewis" was credited to Bud Latour and fellow Phoenix, Arizona disc jockey, Mike Elliott. To the dedicated parody community, LaTour is mostly only known as 'Bud LaTour'.
"Rock Me Jerry Lewis" climbed to Number 1 on The Dr. Demento's Funny Five chart and grew to a notoriety that prompted mentions and airplay on Casey Kasem's Top 40 Radio Show as well as a call from Jerry Lewis himself. Furthermore, Jerry Lewis would begin to use the song at his personal appearances and stage shows. While in Phoenix, Arizona for a muscular dystrophy benefit at a bowling alley, Jerry Lewis invited 'Bud' LaTour and Mike Elliott to bowl with him. He was kind enough to sign 500 copies of the 'Rock Me Jerry Lewis' 7" record.
Since most of the recordings were done on cassette tape, many of the releases were thought to be lost but recent digital copies of the parodies have been found on The Mad Music Archive. These include "Wrapping the Bear" (1985 Mike Elliott and Bud LaTour doing a Teddy Ruxpin parody), "Hit Me Baby" (original), "School's Back" (1986 parody of School's Out by Alice Cooper), "Nightmare on Sesame St." (1986 original by Mike Elliott and Bud LaTour), "Puka" (1987 parody of Suzanne Vega's "Luka" by Bud LaTour and Chicago radio deejay Scott Childers), "The Way You Make Me Squeal" (1988 parody of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel"), and "You Always Poke My Eye" (1989 parody of The Pet Shop Boys "You Are Always On My Mind").
When not creating solo parodies, LaTour often created his work with a tight-knit group of radio personalities and satirists that would include Mike Elliot and Mark Davis to create a group they called 'Tri-5'.
LaTour's radio work began at an early age, spending many hours at Trevor Browne High School's high school radio station in Phoenix, Arizona. The station was broadcast into the school's lunchroom and quad area. During those high school years, at the age of 16, LaTour became licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and secured a job at KUPD 97.9 in Phoenix. He joined as their weekend on-air personality from 1979–1983 and would begin to hone his skills as a voice over actor, parody music songwriter, and musician.
In 1983–1986, LaTour joined KZZP as their weekend on-air personality on the FM station and did the midday shift on their AM frequency. It was at this station that on-air personality, Chris Shebel coined him William "Bud" LaTour.
After leaving KZZP, LaTour, now known primarily as "Bud" LaTour went on to Mesa, Arizona's KDKB as their morning show personality while also the station's Production Director. Only there for the year, LaTour moved to Phoenix's KSLX as the evening personality and then joined Chicago's WRXR. Climbing the ranks of radio, LaTour secured a position at a larger station, WBBM-FM also known as B96 as their weekend personality and Production Director from 1987–1992.
From 1998–1999, LaTour joined WXXY as their evening personality using the name Bill LaTour. He later moved to one of Chicago's only dance-format radio station, WKIE otherwise known as Energy 92.7. The station released two full-length music CD's due to their popular format. He was their Production Director and midday personality, where he went only by the name LaTour.
When the station changed formats, LaTour joined Chicago's CBS Radio station WJMK, otherwise known as Jack FM, and continued as their Production Director. In the middle of 2009, LaTour acted on a lifelong goal to work in the Los Angeles radio market. He resigned from WJMK and moved to Los Angeles in June 2009 to pursue radio and voice acting while still handling voice over spots for WJMK. He is heard in Chicago daily.
In January 2010, LaTour was offered the position of Production Director for KSWD 100.3, The Sound.
- 1991: LaTour
- 1993: Home on the Range
- 1997: Supersonic Gold Muzloh
- 2000: 4 Floors Of Whores - The Squids Collection The Squids
- 1996: The Project E.P.
- 1996: RUSH 2112 The Squids
- 1991: "People Are Still Having Sex" No. 1 US Dance Chart; No. 15 UK; No. 17 Australia; No. 30 New Zealand; No. 35 US Hot 100
- 1991: "Blue"
- 1991: "Cold" No. 25 US Dance Chart
- 1991: "Involved"
- 1991: "Every Time She Calls" The Squids
- 1992: "Blue"
- 1993: "E"
- 1993: "Craziaskowboi"
- 1993: "Hypomania"
- 1995: "Bad Haircut" The Squids
- 1995: "Unstable Girls" The Squids
- 1996: "Don't Turn Around" The Squids (cover of Der Kommissar (song) by Falco (musician)
- 2013: "Get Off My Cloud" The Squids
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- Music of Chicago
- List of Chicago hardcore punk bands
- Culture of Chicago
- "Youtube.com". Youtube. December 3, 2010. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "People Are Still Having Sex: Chart Listings". Billboard. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- "Soundtracks for Basic Instinct (1992)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 314. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Last.fm". Last.fm. March 22, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "The Squids- Spaghetti Sauce - Live at the Avalon". Youtube. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
- Centerstage Media, LLC. "Centerstagechicago.com". Centerstagechicago.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- Centerstage Media, LLC (February 24, 1998). "Centerstagechicago.com". Centerstagechicago.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
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- "Classmates.com". Classmates.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "Mich.ideatown.com". Mich.ideatown.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "DRdemento.com". DRdemento.com. December 28, 1986. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "Energychicago.com". Energychicago.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "Energychicago.com". Energychicago.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012.