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POP EYE

October 04, 1987|PAUL GREIN

L.A. LAW: Concrete Blonde seemed to be one of the most upwardly mobile young L.A. bands. The trio's self-titled debut album cracked the Top 100 in April and spawned three videos. The band also received enthusiastic reviews and was profiled in such top publications as Rolling Stone.

That's why it was surprising when the band declared bankruptcy last month under Chapter 7 in L.A. Bankruptcy Court. Under bankruptcy law, all executory contracts are automatically rejected 60 days after the filing. In Concrete Blonde's case, this would include record, publishing and merchandising deals with I.R.S. Records, a booking agency contract with Premier, and a management pact with TwisT Mgt.

Even before the band is free of those deals, other record companies are taking a closer look at the band. Manager Dave Lumian noted that several labels were represented at a Concrete Blonde show at the Roxy last week held to commemorate lead singer Johnette Napolitano's 30th birthday. "It's a small town, and word gets around fast," he said.

Concrete Blonde's lawyer, Peter Paterno, denied that the band is using the filing just to get out of its existing record deal. "This really wasn't just filed to gore I.R.S.' ox. It was filed because the band decided they were tired of being broke and wanted to start a new life."

The first Concrete Blonde album sold about 60,000 copies in the United States and 90,000 worldwide. "For a demo that got pressed up, that's very successful," said Lumian, who also manages the Untouchables, Dream Syndicate and Phranc.

An I.R.S. spokesperson said, "Concrete Blonde has a long-term recording contract with I.R.S. We're aware that they have filed and we're doing everything possible to help them recover."

I.R.S. lost another of its key acts earlier this year when Belinda Carlisle--former lead singer of the Go-Go's--signed with MCA Records.

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