CHECK OUT THE 'APRIL FOOL' SITES ON MySpace: www.myspace.com/aprilfoolphilly
& Rock Detector: ROCK Detector 'APRIL FOOL'
'Playin' To Win' is now available for digital download through various sites like iTunes, Napster, etc..
Cover Girls (Lombardi/Kaye/Stradling/Rocus)
Playin' To Win (Kaye/Rocus)
Take Away The Heartache (Lombardi/Smith/Kaye/Stradling)
Bahama Mama (Lombardi/Kaye/Stradling/Rocus)
Help Me Understand (Kaye/Stradling/Rocus)
Next Time Around (Lombardi/Smith/Kaye/Stradling)
Steppin' Out (Lombardi/Kaye/Stradling/Rocus)
Sleepless Nights (Lombardi/Smith/Kaye/Stradling & Rocus)
Bad Boy Willie (Kaye/Stradling/Rocus)
Can't Stop Rockin' (Lombardi/Kaye/Stradling/Rocus)
Above songs from "Playin' To Win" released 1989 (c) April Fool Productions
The Goddess (Lombardi/Kaye/Smith/Rocus)
Ain't No Doubt About It (Lombardi/Smith/Kaye)
Chain Of Love (Lombardi/Smith/Kaye/Stradling & Rocus)
Hey Molly (Lombardi/Smith/Stradling/Rocus)
Rock Tonight (Kaye/Rocus)
The Way (Lombardi/Kaye/Stradling/Rocus)
Love Games (Kaye/Rocus/Stradling/Mock)
"Tucci Live" Theme (Lombardi/Smith)
Snake Bitten Man (Lombardi/Smith/Regan/Kaye)
Hold On (Lombardi/Smith/Regan)
Nothin' To Lose (Lombardi/Smith/Regan)
Do You Feel Alright (Lombardi)
Down With Me (Lombardi/Smith)
Songs (c) 1988 - 1992
Chris Rocus: Guitars, Songwriter
After Chris was fired in 1988 I never saw him again! Great songwriter...
Jay J. Regan: Lead Vocals, Songwriter
After "April Fool", Jay went on to form the very successful "Dezire", toured up & down the east coast, got tons of airplay (& sang back-up on the 1st "Rage" cd!). A really nice guy that I am still in touch with & Is now living down south. Check the links section for Jay's website.
Joe Bisbing: Bass
After "April Fool", Joe joined Michael Kelly Smith of "Britny Fox" in a band called "Razamanaz". They were really cool & did originals, covers and "Britny " songs as well. Joe is in California now and has a cool website. Check the links for that site. I am still in touch with Joe.
This recording, "Playing To Win", was recorded in the summer of 1989 at "Galaxy" studios where bands such as "Cinderella", "Britny Fox", "Heaven's Edge" & "Tangier" all recorded upstairs and played live at the club downstairs. It was produced by myself (with the band contributing) & engineered by Robert Leese, the house engineer & soundman. We sold a ton of these tapes and there are very few left in existence. We released 2 singles/videos from this album which got a lot of regional airplay, with the videos making the rounds at clubs from New York to Maryland. If you were into hard rock / heavy metal in the Philadelphia area in the late 1980's, then this would be a collectors item for you!!
"April Fool" was born out of the ashes of "World War III", a band that drummer Walt "Wiggy" Kaye had been in. "Dizzy" Dean Davidson & Johnny Dee were both drummers in that band & I'm pretty sure Walt briefly replaced Johnny. Of course both of them went on to be in "Britny Fox". At any rate, Walt was working with World War III vocalist Tipa Sparrs. Walt then wanted to start his own band & jump on the rising Philly club scene that everyone was getting record deals on! Walt hooked up with guitarist Chris Rocus & bassist Chris Mock and a singer that I don't remember the name of! Anyway, the first singer didn't last long due to creative differences - read: they hated him! Enter vocalist Dave Stradling, a really unique sounding singer. Smooth when singing low, raspy as hell singing high. They recorded a 4 song demo at Dave Ivory's studio "Iris Sound" & started playing the circuit. The song "Bad Boy Willie" was getting decent airplay and the bands following really started growing. It's strange that Chris Mock decided to leave the band at this time! He wound up joining a great band by the name of "Sioux City" and that's where I entered the picture. Walt & I had known each other since he auditioned for my last band "Brat". Turns out he was auditioning me for "April Fool" also. So I joined the band in the fall of 1988 and 3 weeks later we were out playing again. We had interest from CBS records around this time, so - once again, I found it strange that Chris Rocus became uninterested in the band. That led to him being fired and, after a seeming eternity of horrible guitarist auditions, we found George Smith. If you want to talk flashy, talented 80's guitarist to the maximum, that's George. This time we took 2 months off and just rehearsed the music, the show, the look....(well, it was the 80's) and did some promo shots and re-introduced the band on June 8, 1989 at the famous "Empire Rock Club". We were a hit...I mean BANG right out of the box!! We had also added the beautiful Samantha & Shannon Stiles to our show as The "Cover Girls". (Later Shannon left to go to California to film "Bikini Island" (1991) for Prism Entertainment / Curb/Esquire Films and was temporarily replaced by a girl named "Erica" & then "Margie" before she returned). We had a huge following, "Bad Boy Willie" was still on the air and management companies started sniffing around. So, in the summer of 1989 we started work on an 11 song recording at the "Galaxy" studios with Robert Leese. Recording went pretty smooth and we were mixing in no time. We were tight & rehearsed...vocals and all. The cassette was released in the fall of 1989 and sold like crazy! We were opening shows for bands like "Heaven", "Britny Fox" & "Heaven's Edge" plus headlining our own shows at the "Empire", the "Galaxy", "Bonnie's", the "Velvet Lounge", the "Trocadero" and other venues from New York to Baltimore. We would charter busses for fans, you name it we did it. At this point we were getting interest from McGee Enterprises (Who managed "Bon Jovi", Motley Crue", "Scorpions" & "KISS" to name a few). So we decided to venture into the video market. We hired 2 film students to film our shows & we began working on videos for our singles: "Cover Girls" & "Next Time Around". We appeared on New York City cable show "Tucci Live" several times, plus George & I wrote the music for the Intro / Theme Song to the show which featured actress Lin Tucci as host. The 2 videos were being played everywhere and our 2 singles were on mainstream & indie radio alike. Fan letters, radio interviews, autographs, 2500 screaming fans in York, Pa. - We were even part of the benefit shows for "Heaven's Edge" bassist G.G. Guidotti after he was shot outside of one of their shows... We thought we were in!! That's usually when the bottom drops out...and it did!
The version of the band that recorded the "Playin' To Win" album (pictured below in the purple section) is generally the line-up that people remember because it was the one that was around during all that supposed "hair band" madness in the 1980's! Even though George and I got along great. Walt was kind of a loner and didn't hang out with the band too much and Dave, well, Dave was a total loner!! He disappeared right after every show & only showed up for practice & gigs....we never saw him otherwise. But there was no denying the songs & the onstage chemistry between the 4 of us.... Luckily I have a lot of video of the band, so I'll try to get some of that on here. It's shame we didn't make it... Read on above right for the dirt...!
BAND BIO - CONTINUED:
The first thing that happened was that McGee Enterprises passed on the band. They wanted us only if we fired one of the band members...No I won't say which one, but it wasn't me! At the same time, "Dizzy" Dean quit "Britny Fox" & I think Dave wanted to be their new singer. He quit the band & did audition, but obviously Tommy Paris got the job. So, again, auditions. We brought in vocalist Jay J. Regan and had an incredible 1st show, a decent 2nd show, an ok 3rd show, you get the picture. We did start writing for the 2nd album, but our audience started to dwindle (it was now 1991 and "grunge" was starting to break big). I don't think the audience knew what to do with Jay. He was so different from Dave and it really changed the sound of the band. At this point I started to lose interest in the band. So after a show at the newly opened "Cell Block", I decided to move on. An argument over playing a "fixed"" band competition led to me refusing to play it & them giving me an ultimatum (I don't respond well to those!) and that was it....They replaced me with Chris Mock for the remaining show and then they packed it in. Around 1992, Dave rejoined the band and they brought Joe Bisbing in on bass (more "Britny Fox" connections here!) and played for a while, mostly at the "Cell Block" before they finally called it quits. In 1994 while I was in "The Rage" recording that bands 2nd cd. I got a call from a guy named Jerry Mihalcik who claimed to be the singer for "April Fool" & would I be interested in playing with him, George & Walt at some outdoor shows. I said "ok" and played with the guys for a few months, did a photo shoot, a cable show interview and promptly went back to my own band when it was done! Jerry is in the process of releasing the cassette on cd and the band is pretty much all his now.
Jerry Mihalcik: Lead Vocals
Jerry always wanted to be the lead vocalist of this band. He keeps the name alive & would love to put the band back together....
This band is my biggest regret!! We should have been signed!! We should have been HUGE!! We were as good or better than everyone who was hot in the 80's. I was very proud to have been a part of this great band. I still have people stop me from time to time today and ask if I was the bassist of "April Fool"....
INFO NEEDED on the original Vocalist & photo's prior to 1988!
Bass, Background Vocals, Percussion, Songwriter, Producer.
When I joined the band my first major contribution was to re-write parts & streamline the songs, plus add harmony vocals to give us the "right" sound. I have always been good at arranging music. When George came in, we really found our sound. That's why there are so many writers on these songs! Go Figure!
Walt "Wiggy" Kaye:
Drums, Percussion, Songwriter.
Walt is a heavy hitter! Nobody ever expects the drummer to write songs, but Walt was never content to just sit there and play. He was a big part of the business end too. I don't know what he's up to now, I haven't seen him since 1994. He's probably still loaning Johnny Dee his drums!
Guitars, Background Vocals, Songwriter.
George was the best choice for this band. He & I got along great onstage & off!! Great chemistry, his songwriting was complex, yet commercial. I am still in touch with George today & he is doing great things in music. Check out his band "SPLINTER'. They are great. Look in the Links section for more info on George.
Lead Vocals, Songwriter.
I know Dave was in another original band before this one & that he auditioned for "Britny Fox", but that's all I know..!! I haven't seen him since Jay J. Regan & I went to see "April Fool" live in 1992 or 1993.
These are all of the promotional pictures that I have for "APRIL FOOL". There are two versions of the band prior to the first line up on the left that photo's either don't exist or I don't have copies of.
These pictures are from the years 1988 to 1994.