July 9, 2008
By David Huff
Jetboy - Rocklahoma 2008 - July 9-13
The Glam Years
Jetboy was one of the more unappreciated bands of the 80’s hard rock/glam metal era. Then again, they only had themselves to blame for the missteps that befell them.
When guitarists Billy Rowe and Fernie Rod got together in 1983 to form a band, they wanted to merge elements of punk, glam and traditional hard rock into their own unique sound. The models they used for their project were the New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks and Girl. Naming themselves Jetboy, the two recruited Todd Crew (bass); Ron Tostenson (drums) and a spiked-hair vocalist named Mickey Finn. After an intense year of rehearsals, songwriting and playing shows in the Bay Area, the group decided to relocate to Los Angeles and make a name. Playing on the Sunset Strip for the first time in 1985, it didn’t takeA long for Jetboy to get noticed. In late 1986, the group signed their first major label deal with Elektra.
The band’s excitement was short-lived. Jetboy was dropped by the label before they could even record their first album. MCA Records stepped into the picture almost immediately and gave the members some hope. Todd Crew was replaced by former Hanoi Rocks bassist Sam Yaffa.
Very few of the 1986 recordings (later to surface on A Day in the Glamorous Life) were released on the debut. Pressure from MCA stripped Jetboy of their creative freedom, and the band’s sound was changed from street punk glam to radio friendly pop rock. Their debut, Feel the Shake, managed to hit #135 on Billboard’s Top 200 charts, but things were about to turn south once again.
Just prior to the release of their sophomore album, Damned Nation, Yaffa walked away from Jetboy to rejoin his former Hanoi Rock’s cohort, Michael Monroe. Lackluster sales of Damned Nation led to their dismissal from the label. Jetboy finally stripped away all vestiges of their former selves when Rick Davis replaced Tostenson and they renamed themselves Mindzone.
Reuniting in 2007 for the DVD/CD package, Jetboy: The Glam Years, the group consists of Rowe and Rod on guitars, Michael Butler on bass; Jeff Moscone, drums; and the still spiked-hair vocalist Mickey Finn
Mickey Finn - vocals
Fernie Rod - guitar
Billy Rowe - guitar
Michael Butler - bass
Jeff Moscone - drums