|Nobody quite knew what to think of these longhaired, tattooed bikers singing such
soulful, yet ballsy, rock music when they arrived on the scene in Los Angeles in 1987.
They stood out amongst the "Hair Bands" that populated the music scene at the time....
a distinction the band wore as a badge of honor.
Much hype surrounded the band as they were managed by music legend Jimmy Iovine,
guided by legendary A&R man John Kalodner and produced by Bob Rock. It seemed like a
formula for success, yet the band met an unfortunate set of circumstances that left
many scratching their heads shortly after the release of their self titled debut
album. Many were to speculate why the band never acheived the level of success that
their legendary team of backers took as inevitable. Many were to speculate that it
was due to the dichotomy between the band's gruff appearance and their sound. The
truth was that the band fell prey to an unfortunate set of circumstances that
occured in the limited window that bands get to produce sales in, or get exiled in
the music business. Three weeks into the bands initial release, Geffen Records was
sold, their label Manager left the company, accountants took over, and their
records where lost in transit to their new distributors. As sales dropped off
due to the lack of product availability, the accountants shut the project down.
And so, another band dies....there's always more where they came from in the rough
and tumble world that is the music business.
Little Caesar, featuring Ron Young (vocals), Jimmy Hayne aka. Apache (guitar), Loren
Molinare (guitar), Fidel Paniagua (bass) and Tom Morris (drums), first appeared on
Metal Blade’s “Street Survivors” compilation. The band then released a four song EP
titled “Name Your Poison” (produced by Joe Hardy of ZZ Top fame), which subsequently
led to a deal with Geffen Records. Little Caesar’s eponymous 1990 Geffen debut was
produced by the infamous Bob Rock (producer of Metallica’s self titled 1991 multi-
platinum release, Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood”, and The Cult’s “Sonic Temple”
among others). The album was a no-nonsense collection of hard rock in the vein of
’70s giants like Bad Company and Humble Pie, and was also brimming with classic
R&B influences, garnering widespread acceptance and positive reviews from the rock
media. It also featured two Motown covers, including a ballsy rendition of the
classic Aretha Franklin track, “Chain of Fools,” which hit the Billboard Top 100
chart and received strong airplay nationwide on both rock radio and MTV. The group
toured extensively opening for such legendary acts as Jane’s Addiction, KISS,
Social Distortion, Iggy Pop, Billy Idol, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. They also headlined
their own club tours, and appeared on TV’s popular “Arsenio Hall Show”, “The Rick
Dee’s Show”, and MTV’s “Sex in the 90’s”. Vocalist Ron Young was also featured in
the movie “Terminator 2” as a tough talking biker that gets into a fight with
the film’s star, Arnold Schwarzenegger. 1992 would bring the second full-length
album, “Influence”, which would have Earl Slick (of John Lennon, David Bowie,
and Ian Hunter fame) replacing Apache on guitar. The “Influence” album was p
roduced by the well respected Howard Benson (who has recently produced releases
for platinum artists like Daughtry, Papa Roach, and P.O.D. among others). The band
completed its first tour of Europe after the release of the album and drew rave
reviews and sold out crowds across multiple countries including a sold out
headlining performance at the famous Marquee club in London.
As the band slowly recovered from the shock and lessons learned in the nasty world
of the music business, they always remained close, as they are a family way before
they are a band. They started to do local shows and remember why they loved music
and each other. Since the reformation, the band has played high profile shows at
venues as House of Blues, California Speedway for NASCAR, and the Rock The Bayou
Festival in Houston TX.
In 2010, Little Caesar moved forward with a vengeance on a worldwide level with
new release titled "Redemption" as well as touring in the US, Europe and the UK.
They also introduced new guitar player Joey Brasler (Etta James, Bob Welch,
Cherie Currie) as a welcomed addition to their musical line up.
In 2012, Little Caesar now releases their latest effort entitled "American Dream".
Produced by Bruce Witkin, it's a powerful, no nonsense, guitar driven group of
songs, that takes the band to that same warm R&B driven Rock and Roll Universe
they call home. They embark on a tour of Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium
mid June and will be performing at the Hard Rock Hell festival in Wales in
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