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October 19, 1982 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-19

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, October 19, 1982

Page 7

Local shows; notable and not-so

1 to

By Rob Weisberg

Can you spot the real Tommy Tutone?
Tommy Tutone calls
*the right number

M ANY THINGS of note have
occurred on the local pop music
scene in the last few days, with the
threat of even more lying ahead of us.
Most notable was the benefit perfor-
mance given at Joe's Star Lounge Sun-
day night by the bands It Play and Non-
Fiction for the Michigan Alliance for
Disarmament (M.A.D.); a rather
unheralded performance by the band
D-Section at the Union on Friday was
also interesting if a bit disappointing.
The M.A.D. benefit was noteworthy
in that it brought out a lot of people on a
Sunday night-no mean trick in this
town, while showcasing two pretty
decent bands. The experiment of the
evening was singer Chris Schuller,
formerly of the Confessions (apparen-
tly no longer with us), who came out to
do his Roger Daltry for the last couple
of songs in Non-Fiction's first set. He's
just got 'a little too much ham in him
and too little voice, and when you put
the two together you decide that you
were better off hearing the composed
Miller brothers. Otherwise, Non-
Fiction were hot once again, especially
in their second set. They may be the
only band around with a decent grasp
on modern pop.
Another experiment was the addition
of tapes to It Play's live show. Bassist
and songwriter Victor Cruz warned me
beforehand that it was a bit of a "risk";
a justifiable conclusion, as things tur-
ned out. Once the band had to stop a
song completely in midstream when
things got fouled up; throughout the two
sets there were abnormally long breaks
between songs as guitarist David Zin
adjusted both the tape machine and the
drum box the band uses in lieu of a
human. It was also kind of funny to
watch Zin running around at the end of
each song turning everything off.
Proceeds from Sunday night's show
will go to MAD, which member and
University of Michigan associate
physics professor Dan Axelrod called
"an alliance or coalitionof community
groups in southeastern Michigan
created for the purpose of publicizing
and advocating anti-war and disar-

mament stands." Axelrod said that
MAD funds, which are raised via
benefit shows, annual dues, bucket
drives, t-shirts, and bake sales ("the
usual stuff") are used to sponsor even-
ts, demonstrations, and publicity
drives.
S* * *
RIDAY NIGHT'S D-Section gig at
the Union didn't really benefit
anyone. Vocalist Robin Lisnov termed
it a "disaster" and doubts she'd ever
bring the band back to town. The
reason: only a handful of people showed
up, and by the last of the four sets vir-
2 NDIVIDUAL THEATRES
5th A~e of lberty 761-0700
"BRILLIANT ...
it's terrific."
-ROGER EBERT
Tues-4:50, 7:10, 9:30
Wed-12:20,2:30,
IT'LL MAKE'
YOU FEEL 10FT. '
Richard Gere - Debra Winger
"AN OFFICER AND
A GENTLEMAN (R)
R n
Tues-5:20, 7:40, 9:55
Wed-12:40, 3:00, 5:20, 7:40, 9:55

tually everybody was gone. Unfor-
tunate, too, because D-Section is an in-
teresting if not amazing band that com-
bines funk and rock and roll with a sen-
se of humor personified in the colorfully
robed and flamboyant leader. Some of
their covers, thoroughly rearranged
from the originals, were quite good, and
the originals-silly little things like
"Necrophilia Celia" were OK. Lisnov
was just a bit too silly for my taste,

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tnougn, teetering on the border or true
inanity. And the concept as a whole was
pretty worn out by the end of the second
set, despite some nice rock and roll
guitar solos. Too bad a few more people
didn't get a chance to check out this
band, though (the gig was severely un-
derpublicized), because they're dab-
bling in a kind of music-essentially
warped pop-that few local musicians
have challenged.

.R

By Susan Makuch
N 0, TOMMY TUTONE is not a man.
Although a majority of the listen-
ing audience tend to think of the pop
group's lead singer as the namesake,
they are wrong. "Tommy Heath is not
Tommy Tutone," the vocalist
vehemently stressed in a recent inter-
view.
Tommy Tutone is the name of a duo,
actually. Heath and lead guitarist Jim
Keller are the foundation of the top-
selling group of "867-5309/Jenny"
fame. They are doing very well now,
but it wasn't always easy. First of all,
they, had to come up with a name.
"Something catchy," Keller rem-
bmers. Even though Heath "likes two-
tone cars," he laughs, that had nothing,
to do with the title they settled on. "I
had a group when I was young called
Tommy and the Teen Tones," he
reveals, "so we worked from there and
came up with Tommy Tutone."
With the success of the band's second
album, Tutone-2, Tommy and Jim have
reached a peak many artists only
dream of. "We didn't become a 'super
band' until this year," Heath points out.
They opened for other groups' and
played record shows (where record
executives look for new talent) before
CBS Records finally signed them. After
the first critically-acclaimed album,
Tutone began breaking nationally. "As
a matter-of-fact, we broke everywhere
else but home (San Francisco),"
Health laments.
, Since that first album, it has been
their practice not to have a permanent
back-up band. The reason Heath gives
for this unusual practice is because "we
know nwre of how it feels to play 'em
(the songs) right-Jim and I both
0 write-and we can go crazy in the
studio and know where it's gonna lead."
The third Tutone album is in the
studio right now, Heath says. "We have
no album title, no concept, but lots of
songs," he says. The duo, who also
produce their own LPs, has time to
decide on these things because the
album isn't due out until February.
"It'll come together-right under the
wire, maybe, but it'll come together,"
Keller says.
Keller is the primary songwriter,
with Heath contributing a few tunes. "I
write songs for other people; soul
songs, country-and-western stuff,"
Heath reveals. "Don't get me wrong,"
he adds, "I love rock 'n' roll, but I leave
those songs for Jim to write." Keller is
the author of the teen anthem "867-
5309/Jenny," one of this summer's
biggest hits. "Yes, Jenny is a real girl,
but it was all a scheme," Heath says.
"Some of Jim's friends put that number
=on the bathroom wall and then dared
Jim to call it," he continues. The rest,
as they say, is history. By the way, Jen-
ny no longer speaks to Jim.
iALTHOUGH TEENS all over the
country tried calling 867-5309, both
W R IF Welcomes:

Heath and Keller refuse to be typecast
as teen idols. "We're not any one
style," Heath stresses. He points out
that a song like "Which Man Are You"
is very different from "Jenny." "Even
'Teen Angel Eyes' is different from
anything we've ever done before,"
Heath says, referring to their theme for
the new film, The Last American
Virgin.
Neither of the duo wants to personally
get into movies, however. "Our movies
are our videos," Heath says. Their first
video, to accompany the song "Which
Man Are You," was an original Tutone
concept, according to Heath. "I hate
those videos where they just stand
there and mouth a song," he admits.
"So we did a story along with the song,
we acted it out." There is a special ap-
pearance in the scene by Larraine
Newman of "Saturday Night Live"
fame, "She is a friend of our genius of a
producer, Mark Robinson, and she
agreed to do it," Heath says.
They will do a few videos, Heath says,
but will concentrate on their rock 'n'
roll. "Singing is my bag," Heath
claims, so I'm sure wt=..:aven't yet seen
the best of Tommy Heath, Jim Keller,
or that elusive music entity, Tommy
Tutone.

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A Major Events Presentation.

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