Rock City Angels
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Rock City Angels were an American glam metal band from Florida. They started out in the early 1980s as the punk rock band The Abusers, founded by singer Bobby Bondage and original bassist Andy Panik's who met at a screening of the documentary The Decline of Western Civilization. They found only limited success, and are perhaps best known for having Johnny Depp as a guitarist before he launched his acting career.
Later evolving into Rock City Angels, their hair got longer, Bobby Bondage became Bobby St. Valentine, and the band began wearing eyeliner, lipstick and nail polish. It was during this time that they developed what would become their signature "glam" sound. The music was an aggressive mixture of punk and glam rock, which spoke of rebellion, failed relationships, and the underground culture that they epitomized. Songs such as "Cinderella in Black", "Hush Child", "Dark Angels" and "Teenage Lipstick Boys" were power chord driven and defiant, yet also hook- centered and melodic. However, the band regularly suffered setbacks in their pursuit of becoming a known quantity, as they developed a reputation of having a revolving door when it came to membership. According to Bobby, "The true Rock City Angels that first became popular in South Florida, opening for out of town bands like T.S.O.L., Tex and the Horseheads, and finally headlining our own shows, was me, Andy Panik, Davy Lightning, Brad Shaw and Billy Starr."
Although the band developed a large local following in South Florida, they were ready to call it quits by the mid-80s. At what was to be their farewell show, Ann Boleyn of New Renaissance Records offered the act a recording contract. The band then relocated to Los Angeles where they became fixtures into the 90s. Bobby St. Valentine changed his name to Bobby Durango, and actor Johnny Depp, also from South Florida, joined the band and played guitar with them before getting a part on 21 Jump Street.
After signing with Worldwide Media, and under former manager Grace Reinbold, Geffen Records took notice and bought their contract from New Renaissance Records in 1986. Geffen offered Rock City Angels a contract. Eventually Young Man's Blues, produced by Joe Hardy, was released in 1988. The band toured in support of the album with such acts as Joan Jett and Georgia Satellites.
In 1990, the band began the process of recording demos for a follow-up to Young Man's Blues that was to be called Lost Generation. They recorded approximately eighty songs, all of which were rejected by Geffen. Frustrated by Geffen's lack of interest, they went to London and recorded six songs with Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson, which Geffen also declined to support. Eventually, Geffen dropped the band. Many other theories circulated as to why they were dropped including drug use, a desire to keep Depp in acting, as well as fear of lawsuits concerning wrongly credited songs. According to the band's own website, the song "Hush Child", which allegedly got them their deal with Geffen, was written by former lead guitarist Davy Lightning (Gregg), but was not so credited on the album.
New Renaissance Records released Rock City Angels (often referred to as "the glam CD") in 2000. This would have been the Angels' first release if Geffen had not bought out their contract. In 2001, the band reunited and recorded a third album titled Use Once & Destroy, which is said to be a return to the band's more punk-blues roots. The album remained unfinished for several years, but was finally completed in 2007 and released in November 2008. In 2010, FNA Records released a compilation of songs meant for the second record called Midnight Confessions.
After releasing Use Once & Destroy, Bobby Durango put a new version of the band together. The 2009 version of Rock City Angels played shows in the Southeast from June 2009–May 2012. During this time, Durango produced and sold a significantly different version of Young Man's Blues that he called the "Jim Dickinson Mix". It featured alternate recordings of eleven of the songs from the original release, plus one new song called "Tin Drum" and an intro and outro of street noise and dialogue. He also formed a new band called Mondophonics, which released one 45 single.
Early on June 4, SleazeRoxx.com reported that Bobby Durango had died. Later in the afternoon the band released a statement: "The Rock City Angels are no stranger to rumors. There is no shortage of outlandish tales attributed to the band that, while entertaining and bizarre, are just patently untrue. We wish we could tell you all that the most recent story circling around was just another fabrication... another rock n' roll tall tale. We can't. Yesterday we received the shocking news that our founder, singer and beloved brother Bobby Durango passed away."
Dirty Dave Johns
John Patrick Mahoney
Glenn Stock Miller
- Young Man's Blues – Geffen Records – 1988
- Rock City Angels – New Renaissance Records – 2000
- Young Man's Blues – Gott Discs (re-release) – 2005
- Use Once & Destroy – CD Baby – 2008
- Lost Generation – Geffen Records – Unreleased
- The Florida Explosion (compilation)
- The Sweet Sound of Rock N Roll (compilation)
- Scream – a Geffen compilation (as The Delta Rebels)
- Hollywood Rocks – a four-disc compilation
- Midnight Confessions – FNA Records – 2010
- MTV Video of "Deep Inside My Heart"
Toured with: Joan Jett
- "Gold Coast Live" August 1985
- "婚活小説". Rockcityangels.com. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
- "Bobby Durango". SugarBuzz Magazine. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
- "Rock City Angels Vocalist Bobby Durango Passes Away". Sleaze Roxx. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2014-08-01.