“Best remembered for a string of mid-‘80s hits including the MTV staple And We Danced, Philadelphia rockers the Hooters were led by singer/keyboardist Rob Hyman and singer/guitarist Eric Bazilian, whose longtime creative partnership also yielded hits for artists including Cyndi Lauper and Joan Osborne.” JA
The Beginning (1980):
“Hyman and Bazilian first teamed in the group Baby Grand, which also included future producer Rick Chertoff; after a pair of LPs for Arista, the band dissolved in 1978, with the Hooters forming” JA “in 1980 and played their first show on July 4 of that year.” WK “Also including guitarist John Lilley, bassist Rob Miller, and drummer David Uosikkinen, the group honed an eclectic blend of rock, folk, and ska.” JA The band “took their name from a nickname for the melodica, a type of keyboard harmonica which is German in origin” WK and “lent their sound its distinctive edge.” JA
“During the 1980s, The Hooters played on the Philadelphia club scene, boosted by airplay on WMMR, the major rock radio station in Philadelphia at the time. They soon became a huge success along their native East Coast, playing everything from clubs to high schools, while appearing on local television shows.” WK
First Album & Cyndi Lauper (1983-84):
In 1983, the “Hooters released their first independent album Amore, which sold over 100,000 copies…[and] introduced the original versions of songs like All You Zombies, Hanging on a Heartbeat, Fightin’ on the Same Side and Blood from a Stone, all songs which would reappear in different versions on later albums. Amore was re-released on CD in 2001 and is available on the band's website.” HM
“While the Hooters earned a devoted cult following at home in Philadelphia, Hyman and Bazilian also enjoyed busy careers as composers and session players, most notably contributing extensively” JA to “the debut album of a relatively unknown singer named Cyndi Lauper.” WK Her “1983 blockbuster She’s So Unusual…album was produced by Chertoff, who co-wrote the oft-covered ballad Time After Time with Hyman.” JA The song “would go on to hit Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year.” WK
Mainstream Success (1984-87):
The Hooters landed “their first major record deal in 1984 with Columbia Records. Their 1985 debut release Nervous Night quickly achieved Gold and Platinum status all over the world. Rolling Stone magazine named the Hooters the ‘Best New Band of the Year’ in 1985. That year just kept getting better as The Hooters were chosen as the very first band to perform at the historic Live Aid concert in Philadelphia. With unforgettable songs such as Day by Day, ‘And We Danced,’ Where Do the Children Go and ‘All You Zombies’ the Hooters were quickly becoming a household name.” HM
“On July 13, 1985, they were the opening band at the Philadelphia Live Aid benefit concert, gaining international recognition for the first time. Their first major overseas tour came later that year when they played throughout Australia. On June 15, 1986, The Hooters participated in A Conspiracy of Hope, a benefit concert on behalf of Amnesty International, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.” WK
The Hooters also “appeared on the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, where they were nominated in the category of Best New Artist in a Video for ‘And We Danced.’ At Billboard's 8th Annual Video Music Conference…, The Hooters won two awards: Best Concert Performance for the ‘Where Do the Children Go’ video and Best Longform Program for the full length Nervous Night home video.” WK
The Follow Up (1987-89):
“In 1987 The Hooters released One Way Home, again achieving gold and platinum status in several territories across the globe; with songs like Johnny B, Satellite and Karla with a K.” HM The album brought the Hooters “their first major commercial success in Europe.” WK “David Fricke, from Rolling Stone magazine said, ‘the Hooters have made airwave magic with unconventional ingredients.’” HM
On Thanksgiving night 2007, “The Hooters headlined the Spectrum in Philadelphia for the first time. The show was broadcast live on MTV and the Westwood One radio network simultaneously, the first time the two networks had ever joined forces in producing a concert for one artist.” WK
Zig Zag and Roger Waters (1989-90)
“In 1989 The Hooters released their third major label album Zig Zag which introduced the world to a slightly more mature Hooters sound, while still maintaining those infectious pop hooks for which the Hooters are so well known. With Peter, Paul and Mary on backing vocals, 500 Miles became a worldwide hit that lead to another double-platinum success for the band.” HM
As the 1990s dawned, The Hooters’ success in the United States began to wane, while their popularity overseas, especially in Europe, reached new heights. On May 14, 1990, following a show at the Town & Country Club in London, England, the band met Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, who told them that he was a big fan of theirs. This eventually lead to their appearance in Waters’ staging of The Wall Concert at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin on July 21 of that year, with Sinéad O'Connor in ‘Mother’ and three former members of The Band (Rick Danko, Levon Helm, and Garth Hudson) providing backing vocals.” WK Also present were “music legends such as Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, …and Bryan Adams.” HM
New Label and Live Album (1992-94):
“Despite their initial success, the Hooters’ fortunes continued to dim. After 1989’s Zig Zag failed to reach the Hot 100, Columbia dropped the group.” JA The band “signed with MCA and welcomed a new band member. Mindy Jostyn, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist extraordinaire, Mindy’s energy and talents took the Hooters to yet another level of musical excellence.” HM
The Hooters released “the little-noticed Out of Body” JA in 1993. “Recorded in Memphis, Out of Body included a duet with Cyndi Lauper entitled Boys Will Be Boys and resulted in yet another world tour, and their first as a six piece band.” HM “While not a commercial success in the United States, the album found a large audience in Europe, especially in Sweden and Germany.” WK
It was during the Out of Body tour that the band recorded their Live in Germany album” HM which was “The Hooters Live, recorded over two nights in Germany in December 1993… [and] released in Europe and Asia in 1994.” WK In 1995, “Sony released…a collection entitled Hooterization – A Retrospective.” HM “The Hooters continued to tour throughout Europe until 1995, before taking a hiatus as a band.” WK
“Rob and Eric continued to contribute their musical and songwriting talents to projects with other artists, including Taj Mahal, Mick Jagger, Willie Nelson, John Bon Jovi, Sophie B Hawkins, Amanda Marshall, The Band, Carole King, Willie Nile, Robbie Williams and many others.” HM
“Most notably, in 1995, their work with producer Rick Chertoff again rocketed another relatively unknown female artist into superstardom. Rob and Eric contributed much of the material and instrumentation for the debut album Relish for Joan Osborne. Eric’s masterfully penned One of Us, shot up the charts. Once again, just as ‘Time After Time’ was nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, including Song Of The Year in 1984, Eric achieved the same prestigious nomination for ‘One of Us’ in 1996. ‘One of Us’ was also nominated for Record Of The Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Relish was nominated for a total of six Grammys.” HM
“In 2000, The Hooters were honored to have Ricky Martin cover their song Private Emotion on his Grammy nominated multi-Platinum self-titled debut album.” HM
In addition, Rob “co-produced, written and performed on several albums with Dar Williams,” HM while Eric “worked with artists such as Jonatha Brooke, JC Chasez, Meatloaf and…The Scorpions along with multi-Grammy winning producer Desmond Child. Eric co-wrote six songs on The Scorpions…[2007 release] Humanity-Hour 1.” HM
Uosikkinen “launched an independent record label, Moskeeto Records, while also working as a drummer for various artists including Patty Smyth, Cyndi Lauper, Rod Stewart and Alice Cooper. In 1999, he joined a group of technology experts who created an online music portal, MP3.com, which subsequently contributed to a change in the music industry's distribution and consumer listening habits.” WK
“Guitarist John Lilley started his own landscape gardening business” WK while Fran Smith Jr. appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway theatre while also producing other artists from his own recording studio and releasing a solo album, For No Apparent Reason, in 1995. In addition to the aforementioned work above, Eric also released two solo albums: The Optimist in 2000 and A Very Dull Boy in 2002.
In 1998, Hyman spearheaded the Largo project, which was a mini-Hooters reunion of sorts. Along with Rick Chertoff producing, Bazilian was a featured player amongst the many guest musicians who also included Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, The Chieftains, Taj Mahal, and members of The Band.
“Except for …Largo in 1998, The Hooters did not play together again until November 21, 2001, when they performed at the Wachovia Spectrum in Philadelphia for a one off show to celebrate disc jockey Pierre Robert's 20th anniversary at local rock radio station WMMR, the first major station to ever play The Hooters back in the early 1980s.” WK The Hooters then “played extensively in Europe in 2003, 2004, and 2005.” HM
“June 2006 finally saw The Hooters play their first official shows in the United States in over a decade…Following these shows, The Hooters entered Hyman’s Elmstreet Studios to record their first album of new material since 1993.” WK “Time Stand Still was officially released on 14 September 2007 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria through Neo with Sony BMG distribution.” HM The album features “ten new songs written primarily by Rob and Eric, along with a powerful and ‘Hooterized’ cover of Don Henley's Boys of Summer.” HM
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Last updated July 21, 2011.