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Steve One and the Shades
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play hi-fi  Once In A Lifetime
play hi-fi  Stay Away From Me
play hi-fi  You Can Run
play hi-fi  Change My Mind
play hi-fi  Turn And Walk Away
play hi-fi  Tell Me What Its Like
play hi-fi  Big Girl Now
play hi-fi  Sorry Someday
play hi-fi  Say Goodbye
play hi-fi  After All
Steve One and the Shades, the quintessential 80's power-pop, rock band from the San Francisco Bay Area, disbanded in 1990. They released one 5-song E.P., produced by Scott Mathews, on cassette in 1987 and a 7-song vinyl album and cassette, produced by Dave Denny, in 1988. (Two of the songs were repeated, so there was no reason to include both versions of the same songs here.) These recordings were primarily to be used as demos to "shop" to the major labels, but after numerous requests from fans and media, they printed two limited runs of product...albums and tapes...and were distributed throughout northern California. The two pressings sold-out almost immediately. These songs were produced on an extremely tight budget with minimal overdubs. In fact, for the lead vocals, Steve was given only one take per song. And in rapid succession. All the vocals were cut in one quick 2 hour session.
These MP3's were copied from a CD which was a copy of the 18 year old, well-worn cassette tapes found in a box just last month...hiss, dropouts and all! (A search is on for the masters, but no one seems to know where they are, or what happpened to them.) As a live performance band, they headlined and opened literally hundreds of shows in northern California, sharing the stage with many of the decades' notable performers, including Huey Lewis and the News, Chris Isaak, Greg Kihn, Night Ranger, Ronnie Montrose, Eddie Money, Starship (KBC), and more. They received local radio airplay, great reviews and performed live on the radio, sometimes in a semi-acoustic format...long before the term "unplugged" was coined. Sadly, the lack of a real record deal and the "usual band stuff" broke them up around 1989-1990.
Why this name?
Steve was the lead singer's was the original keyboard player's and the soundman's, so, to avoid confusion, Steve (the singer) was nicknamed Steve One. In the 80's, it seemed that every band was called "somebody and the somebodies". (This, plus the fact that Steve had a habit of wearing sunglasses (shades) on stage, and was always losing them. Steve One was constantly searching for his shades!) In fact, "Uncle Charlie's", a club in Northern California, had Monday nights with "Huey Lewis and the News" and Wednesday nights with "Steve One and his Shades" (which eventually became "Steve One and the Shades"),at the same time. Although Steve was the front-man, lead vocalist and songwriter, it was very much a "band" in the truest sense of the word. The contributions of TK, Skip and Dave were what really made these songs come to the absolute solid, slammin' drums of Gary to keep the rhythm section tight and driving. A great band!
Do you play live?
They played virtually every club with a stage throughout Northern California. San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties were the home base, but they played in just about every county north of Kern county. They played a very few times in Los Angeles, mostly showcases for major labels and a few regular club dates, just prior to disbanding. Steve One and the Shades "expired" in 1989-90.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
In just the past few weeks on the internet, Steve One and the Shades has more possible exposure to new ears than they did in 1988, when every recording band was at the mercy of the record companies as far as getting any kind of wide-spread release or promotion. In today's market, young bands starting out can really get a feel for what kind of market there is for their particular type of music and go after it. They can also get feedback and instant reviews form numerous sources, which should be a tremendous help. I don't know how this affects the major record companies "bottom line", but who cares. They never did much for developing acts anyway.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Moot point. The band no longer exists, although some of the members may still be active in the music biz in some way, i.e., Steve Waddington, who has some of his recent stuff on Soundclick as "Mr. Majstyk".
Band History:
Steve One and the Shades was/were:
Steve "One" Waddington: lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Skip Reilley: backing vocals, bass
Terry Kincannon: backing vocals, lead guitar
Gary Craven: drums
Dave Hirsch: keyboards.

There were a few other very talented musicians who flowed through the band throughout the years, they are:
Joost Vonk: drums and amazing backing and lead vocals
Steve Robbins: keyboards and backing vocals (the 'Cheesy Farfissi")
Geoff Stich: lead guitar
Russ Golub: lead guitar, backing and lead vocals
Bill Costa: Lead guitar, backing vocals
Kurt Keown: lead giutar, backing vocals

Steve One and the Shades 1982-1990
Your influences?
The usual suspects...the Beatles, the Stones, T-Rex, INXS, the Romantics, and the whole 80's "new wave" thing that was going on.
Favorite spot?
Their very favorite club was "New George's" in San Rafael California. They held their record release party their and did the first live stereo radio broadcast on KRQR FM from there.
Equipment used:
Steve One used a collection of vintage Gretsch, Vox and Fender guitars through a Roland Jazz Chorus amp and a Gallien Krueger Pre-amp with various Alesis rack mount effects and a Nady wireless set-up.
TK used a custom made Mighty-Mite Strat through a Mesa-Boogie stack and various foot-pedals.
Skip played a number of self-designed basses, usually through a Gallien Krueger amp and custom cabinets, with various pedals for effects.
Gary had an awesome yellow drum set, very expensive at the time. (Forgot the brand name)
Dave Hirsch played various hi-tech keyboards and workstations.
Anything else...?
These songs, and this "album", are posted here as a more-or-less archival history of a band that was actually pretty damn good back in the 80's.
Although their album never came close to illustrating what an awesome live show they were, it still serves as a document of a bunch of guys who were playing out 5 nights a week for years, hoping for that "break". Too bad they never had a major-label budget to really explore the studio or for promotion. Who knows what might have happened. By today's standards, the songs are pretty "poppy", but taken in context of their time, they were pop, yet rocking, dynamic and adventurous, with some dramatic touches and some cinematic influences. And this was their first and ONLY record! They should have been signed, because its a shame that these talented musicians never had the chance to really develop in the studio. (After all, the Beatles "Love Me Do" never even hinted at what THEY would become.)
But this is what was happening in the 80's. LOTS of great bands never got their due.
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