Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Who were they? Antix

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These guys were a bit of a mystery to me for years and still sort of are as information on them is sketchy in some areas. In late 1984 I bought my first Hit Parader and there in the back was an ad for an album by Antix called "Get up, get happy" and I always wondered who they were. Antix were from LA and formed in 1982 when bass player BJ Norris and Ian Evans left a band called Pax and joined with singer Greg Clewley and guitarist Jace White who had been in aband called Jailbait. Antix signed with Great White manager Jeff Gordon shortly after that. In 1984 the band had managed to secure a deal to do an ep on Gordon's McDon records, but have it marketed by Enigma records. On top of that they got Don Dokken and Jeff Pilson to produce it. Apparently Dokken were recording "Tooth and nail" during the day and Don and Pilson would work with Antix in the evening. Antix's ep came out in late 1984. A few months later their song "Daze gone by" appeared on Hit Parader's cassette only compilation "The wild bunch" along with such bands as Slayer, Lizzy Borden, Megadeth and Grim Reaper to name a few. It gets a little murky from that point on. Apparently in 1986 the band announced that guitarist Jaye Paul and guitarist/keyboard player Jesse R. Curtis had joined the band. Which likely means Jace White was out of the band at this point. Then in 1987 a 12 inch single "I'll take your love" came out. However the band had changed logos, record labels, their look (they became more glam) and most of the band line-up. Drummer Ian Evans was the only member left from the 1984 ep and the band now contained five members instead of four. Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo guests on one song on this single. I know nothing of the band following that so presumably they disbanded not long after that. The only member that did much afterwards is original singer Greg Clewley. At some point shortly after being out of Antix he began going by Greg Darling and later Gregory Darling. He played piano and did backing vocals on Faster Pussycat's debut in 1987. After that he formed a band called Darling Cruel that released an album on Polygram. My best guess is the music here was far more pop oriented. Later Darling sang back-up with Julian Lennon and he has released a number of solo album over the last say ten years. On his biography Darling admits to having played on the Sunset strip scene, but never mentions Antix by name. That's the history and it was difficult to find out that much.

Here's the lowdown on their sound and this took a while too. The problem with the "Get up, get happy" ep is that it lacks an edge and a direction. It's almost like polite hard rock which means whimpy. I always liked "Daze gone by", but out of the other songs I would say two are fair and two are very hard to take. Greg Chewley's vocals are the best thing here. It's hard to believe these guys played in the Sunset strip scene. They sound like some band the administration at a high school would hire to play at an assembly because they sound "safe". The "I'll take your love" single has a very different sound. It's obvious that second singer Mic Brandon liked Motley Crue because he tries to sound like Vince Neil to some extent. The music here sounds like a mix between Motley Crue and Poison. It's decent, but nothing special.

"Get up, get happy" was released on CD in 2005 by Retrospect record. You can also find a used copy on vinyl at almost any given time on ebay. Not a real special band, but the thing for me was it took a long time just to piece together this much of their story. It was a while before I realized Greg Clewley was Greg Darling and it was just last month that I managed to nab the 1987 single on eBay after several failed attempts. For a band who played where they did for at least five years and had some connections, there isn't that much information out there about them.

Here is a hilarious review I found on their ep. http://www.sleazegrinder.com/flashmetalantix.htm


Blogger David Amulet said...

Great research, Mark. I can't believe these guys were put on the same compilation at Slayer and Megadeth!

-- david

3:05 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I remember that song from the Wild Bunch. It was decent as I recall. I think I may have that cassette around somewhere, but I'm not sure. It seems to be Abatoir did a good Motorhead cover on there as well. It was a weird comp since it ran the gamut from hard rock to speedmetal.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...


bob-It was all over the place as far as styles. I think I did a post a long while back about what each band on the The Wild Bunch compilation went on to do. It's also a shame that it was cassette only because I would love a copy if it had been released on vinyl. It had some good stuff and a lot of songs if I remember right.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Allyson said...

Good work.
That was a good read and your research makes me want to dig up some more dirt on this band.

11:11 AM  
Blogger captain corky said...

I never heard of these freaks. You know your stuff that's for sure!!!

11:37 AM  
Blogger aXe mAn said...

Great work Metal Mark. I've never heard of them before, but if Don Dokken & Jeff Pilson produced some of it, then it should be ok at least!

12:09 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

allyson-Please let me know if you find out anything else about them.

captain corky-Thanks, it comes from wasting a great chunk of my time reading metal magazines and websites.

axe man-It's okay, I was surprised it wasn't a little better.

7:26 PM  
Blogger BeckEye said...

Never heard of 'em, but it's funny that Don Dokken produced the record. I was just thinking that the guy on the far right looks like Don. Actually, from far away, I would say that they are (l-r) George Lynch, Jon Bon Jovi, Rick James and Don Dokken.

1:21 PM  
Blogger jace said...

Dear Metal Mark,

Lo and behold, my name is Jace White the guitar player on the Antix album "Get Up Get Happy". I just happen to stumble on to this cause my nephew had called me and said he found this review. I'm currently a working musician in Las Vegas. I found this all very interesting being that the album is over twenty years old, two wives and three kids later. ha ha. Although, very insightful, there are a couple things that are inaccurate. If you would like any more info. e-mail me, or not, whatever. Just the same, it was nice to relive the past for 2 seconds.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Loretta said...

My name is Loretta Patton (formerly Miss Elgin 1980 - Elgin Illinois) Grimes and I was a backup singer for Antix for a very short while in 1984 with that girl named Bekka. I met you guys on SUnset right after meeting David Lee Roth the same night and BJ listen to my tapes and I was the high voice. I remember Jace, BJ, Ian and Greg. They had a good clean sound but personalities clashed. I rode my motorcycle to rehearsals on Van Nuys blvd every night around midnight and listened to them argue 50% of the practice session. One day I made the "mistake" of showing my disgust on my face (a big LA no-no) and BJ told me if I didn't like then walk... bye bye, I did. Jace, I'm the one that taught BJ how to recognize when his bass was out of tune which it was for most practices. One husband and two kids later... I'm glad I walked. I'm happy you continued your music. You were a great guitarist and Ian was an excellent drummer. Best of wishes. Remember the poem I made you guys laugh over.. I wrote it about David Lee Roth. Greg Clewly or Darling was a great singer.. just a little too free with his hands.

3:06 PM  
Blogger zsa said...

my uncle ian was in this band,,,i just saw him at xmas and as always, bugged for antix stories...supposedly there demo tape before get up get happy was really awesome...im trying to get it...the band history is really interesting... they were apart of the original hollywood scene from the late seventies early eighties.... night ranger even tried to buy some songs off them which they turned down


9:03 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

My dad lived in the same appartments as one of the guys in this band. They were great frineds and my dad has the recond Get Up, Get Happy and had everyone autograph it except for Ian Evans because he wasn't there at the time but he still loves the songs and has been trying to catch up to how they have been. His name is Jason so if someone sees this and knows please contact me.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Michele said...

Hey, I think these are the same guys who lived in my apartment, right next to me in 1985. If any of you lived in Reseda, in the Sherway Villa Aparments (the entire band!) in one little apartment, we were neighbors.

I just remember a sweet guy named Jace who always invited me to hear the band play. He'd knock on my door at about one in the morning to talk about his old girlfriend, who he said I looked just like.

If it's not the same band and the same Jace... never mind. If it is, Jace, write to me and say hi. You were the sweetest person I met in LA that entire year of '85.

(I just finished watching a VH1 show about metal bands in the '80s and thought to Google Jace. But is it the same one?)

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember seeing them perform in 1984 on the strip at the Roxy. I thought they were great. The Roxy is a great venue and we were right up front. We all had a great time that night and the band was really cool to us.


8:46 PM  
Blogger jacelore said...

dear michele
i hope u can get this...
i am the same jace white that u knew in la. i don't know how long ago u posted this(my e-mail was changed)i'd love to talk with u,i do remember knowing u back then(1985)and yeah, u were quite a cutie.my new e-mail is jacelore@yahoo.com give me a holler

3:48 PM  
Anonymous VBass said...

This mini review of Antix is brilliant, I laughed myself silly. I was the bass player for the “I’ll Take Your Love” era of Antix. I agree with the review of the original line up; they couldn’t decide if it was a funk band, a pop band , or a hard rock band. I saw them at The Country Club in Reseda after Get Happy was released. It was a good band, but their image was too unfocused. By the time I joined, that was all sorted out, it was definitely a harder sound, I certainly wasn’t playing any slap ‘n pop. The song writing was happening thanks to J Paul and Mic Nasty. Ian and his girl friend were first rate people, and we played some very big shows. Not my favorite band, but I don’t regret the experience. The project died in late 1988, thanks entirely to the drug and women problems of key members of the band. I think Ian and I just got tired of bearing the burden of keeping the train on the tracks.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous jace said...

very nice...but the only thing i could remember is after BJ, Gregory, & myself had quit that band, we went 2 see the new line up perform @ gazzaries on da strip, & all they played were the old songs that we had wrote,but they did sound very polished,& i have 2 totally agree w/Mr. Vbass...the orig line up couldn't decide what da hell our identidy was ..y'know it shouldn't really ever matter because it will eff up ur creativity but as we found out da hard way it's all about "scumbag industry peeps"...outside of the fact that Ian was still in the band, i really don't look at that other line-up as even being "antix"
more like some other "glam slam thank u maam"type of band ...i did go on 2 make friends w/ JR, one of the guitar players who replaced me,he actually wanted to quit their band ( new antix?) & join the new band that i had formed ,Serious Pleasure, but it never panned out...thanx 4 da flashback ,dude, & good luck 2 u & yours !!

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IM Bert, Ian's only tech through out his entire time as drummer for Antix. The first Antix was the real Antix. The second band was playing music that the first band wrote. Just wasn't the same without Jace, Ian,BJ and Greg.
It's funny to read all the wanna=bees put down a band they never seen LIVE before. Probably because they weren't even born. Antix sold out the same venues that Poison did. Same record label too. Antix was on top, till the band broke up.
There 1983 DEMO was amazing. God Bless ANTIX!

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh My God! I remember this band! They were good musicians and I like their songs but they were all over the map so to speak. In 1985 I was living in Reseda California and someone in my apartment complex knew one of the band members. I didn't know any of them personally but they gave me free tickets to their debut show for Get Up get Happy. I believe the show was on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks at a place called the Country Club or something like that. A band called Queen Bee opened for them that day. Dokken was seen there at this place that day too, not on stage though. That's about all I remember.

1:07 PM  

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