Field Guide to Blacklight Chameleons
BLACKLIGHT CHAMELEONS. Wasting no time from the breakup of the Mad Violets in late 1984, guitarist and now vocalist Dino Sorbello grabbed Andrea Mathews on drums from the recently broken up Outta Place, and added Noreen Lewis on bass and located Bill Ebauer for keyboards in a Village Voice ad. After a quick gig or two at the Dive they set about recording their first self-titled Ep (released on Voxx Records March 1985) which continues to sell to this very day. An article in Vanity Fair magazine in June 1985 about the big 60s style resurgence featured a two-page color photo by Mary Ellen Mark, and some copy about the band, so instead of a kit, the band showed the mag around town to score some prestigious gigs. By1986 the group had new drummers, bassists, and finally decided to add a lead singer,former Ford model Sharon Middendorf. They were featured in a High Times cover story about the 'Minds Eye' shows happening at the old Tramps Club (where Joey Ramone, after seeing them, is quoted as as saying:' I was transported...'). Spring of 1987 saw the release of 'Inner Mission' (USA : NBC Records, Europe : Semaphore Records). Two tours each to Florida and California, a fair amount of US airplay on college stations, and quite a lot of airplay in Europe, especially Greece(!?) let a lot of folks hear their brand of psychedelically inflected 60s pop originals. A few months after playing the Mind Circus event at Temple Universty in Philadelphia during spring 1988 the group was disbanded by Dino after certain members failed to commit for the next tour. Now you can hear all the previous vinyl-only releases along with a couple of previously unreleased studio and live rehearsal cuts combined on a brand new CD release from Tripwave! Records entitled 'A Field Guide To Blacklight Chameleons' (TWR 002).
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