Monday, October 13, 2008

In Praise of Pablo Cruise

Yeah, yeah, I know...light weight pretty dudes from California. I got it. But, from about 1977 to 1979, they were on my turntable and cassette player a lot. My first exposure to them was when I was putting together an "underground" radio show from the radio school I attended. We broadcast the audio on the local access channel (ala Wayne's World), we were very top 40 during the week except for a short time where we would feature "album rock". We had a trade deal where Co-op Tapes and Records would sponsor the show and in lieu of money, we'd go through the shop and pick out LPs to play. "Lifeline" was one of those. "Crystal" and "Zero to Sixty in Five" were the big songs from his one. Then, stardom happened...

"Whatcha Gonna Do?" hit the top 40 airwaves. Great tune, nice hook. Being a semi fan, I kind of got interested in their career and took interest in this release. It remains to this day, one of my favorite releases. The album and the title track happened right around the time of my divorce and I needed some positive reinforcement. It didn't have the chops of a lot of other bands, but the songs were catchy, the licks were played well and with enthusiasm. Then after seeing them open for The Eagles at Comiskey Park in Chicago, I was convinced that these guys had the goods. Which lead to...

..and huge stardom, right when I hit KC. Although KY didn't play anything from this release, I thought their great pop songs were all the rage. One of the very first women I met in KC loved these guys and that was my "in". Good solid tunes again and then... that was it. They were done. I didn't care for "Cool Love" or whatever it was . I lost interest and I think they did, too. favorite PC tunes include these gems...

1. "A Place In The Sun"...certainly needed this one. One of my favorites of all time.

2. "Can't You Hear The Music?" before, how true.

3. "Whatcha Gonna Do?"..when she says goodbye, just about the time I said goodbye

4. "El Verano" of the nastiest killer guitar works ever, great instrumental

5. "Worlds Away"..rock em sock em great song

6. "Don't Want To Live Without It"...perfect top 40 disco(gasp) song

7. "Crystal"...early genius hidden here (had a crush on a girl named Crystal)

8. "Ocean Breeze"...12 minutes of a nice workout jam

9. "Family Man"... for some, very trite lyrics, for me, a lesson

10. "Love Will Find A Way"...killer top 40 song

Yeah, most of this stuff is from two LPs, I find their other stuff very intriguing, too. May be worth a trip to to get caught up. From the website...

Thirty years ago, in 1975, Pablo Cruise released its first A&M album simply entitled Pablo Cruise. The album cover was shot in the tropical gardens of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and it featured a huge gorilla standing front and center. The band, David Jenkins (guitars & vocals), Cory Lerios (keyboards & vocals), Steve Price (drums) & Bud Cockrell (bass & vocals) was nowhere in sight. At that point there was a bit of a mystique as to who Pablo Cruise really was. When asked, "who's Pablo," the band, which is a quartet, would answer, "he's the guy in the middle." When asked what Pablo Cruise meant, the well-rehearsed answer went something like this,"Pablo,represents an honest, real, down to earth individual; and Cruise, depicts his fun loving, easy going attitude towards life." In essence that's what Pablo Cruise's music is all about. Honest, real, down to earth vocals, accompanied by fun yet elegant, infectious grooves. To hear Pablo Cruise on record is one thing, but to experience the band live is an exhilarating event.
From 1975 to 1985 the band toured the United States, Canada and Japan extensively, welcoming fans to "Climb Aboard The Good Ship Pablo Cruise." Reaching the top 10 with mega hits like "Watch Gonna Do When She Says Goodbye" and "Love Will Find A Way," and several other radio hits, the band went on to sell several million albums and singles collectively and established themselves as well respected writers and performers within the industry. They appeared on numerous TV shows, including Dick Clark's American Bandstand, The Merv Griffin Show and in 1979 they broke Elvis Presley's attendance record at The Sahara Tahoe in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, becoming the first rock band to play a Casino Showroom. They also became the first rock band to grace the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, but by 1986 after completing several national tours and releasing 7 albums in all, the band seemed to have lost its focus and just stopped. It seemed like Pablo needed some time to think. Cory Lerios and David Jenkins the bands' principal songwriters, along with Steve Price decided to take a hiatus. A hiatus that has lasted nearly 20 years...
Throughout the late eighties, original vocalist David Jenkins continued touring and garnered acclaim in the country markets with the slightly ahead of their time country-rock band Southern Pacific. As they racked up hits like "Midnight Highway," the chart topper "New Shade Of Blue" and "Honey I Dare You" (co-written by Jenkins) the band toured all over the U.S. In 1992 Dave connected with Hawaii's native son, Kapono Beamer, and in '95 the duo released the album "Cruisin' On Hawaiian Time," that became a critics' favorite as well as being nominated for Hawaii's prestigious Hoku Award for "Album Of The Year." Since '99 Jenkins has joined forces with the Classic Voices of Rock, a composite group that includes some of the great singers of the '70's and '80's.
Pianist and Vocalist Cory Lerios decided to turn his writing and producing abilities to Film and Television. In 1986 Lerios landed his first network series, scoring ABC's critically acclaimed "Max Headroom." ABC's "O'Hara" and "Police Story" immediately followed. Writing to "picture" became Cory's newfound passion and in 1989, Cory and partner John D'Andrea landed the theme and underscore for NBC's "Baywatch." Scoring 11 seasons of "Baywatch," garnering several Emmy Nominations, Cory won the coveted award in 1998 for his participation in the music direction of "Days Of Our Lives." Aside from composing music for Film and TV out of his Westlake Village, CA studio, Cory has intimated that he would love to perform live again, so the Pablo Cruise Reunion is a welcome addition to his busy schedule.
In June of 2004, original drummer and groove master of Pablo Cruise, Steve Price was married in Sacramento, CA. For his wedding gift to his wife Nancy, he wanted to throw a concert featuring the original Pablo Cruise, calling Cory and Dave and asking them if they would be up for it. The night of "The Concert," the band did more than just perform, it was reborn. Immediately following the show, Dave, Cory and Steve were so excited to play again; they decided right then and there they were going to make a concerted effort to raise "The Good Ship Pablo Cruise." So .. The search began for a singing bass player.
In 1999 Lerios met composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist George Gabriel. For the last 6 years Lerios and Gabriel have been writing underscore and songs together for all the major networks. Their first effort entitled "Call Me, Beep Me," performed by Christina Milian, was written specifically for what has become one of Disney Animations" most successful series to date, "Kim Possible." While working in NYC last summer, Cory mentioned to George that Pablo Cruise was planning to play live again. George immediately responded, saying he would love to be involved. Cory asked Dave and Steve if they would be interested in meeting George and perhaps running through some of the Pablo repertoire. The rest is history. Joining original members, Cory, Dave and Steve is George Gabriel on bass and vocals.
The fact that Pablo Cruise took 20 years to decide whether they wanted to work together again may be the best thing that ever happened to them. The guys are approaching this whole thing like it's the first time they've ever played together. The point being is that this reunion is generating a lot of excitement within the quartet, and the beauty of it is, is that its coming from the guy in the middle.. PABLO CRUISE.


Anonymous said...

Hey RadioRandy,

Your knowledge of music is still as astounding as ever....I have to admit though, that the first album cover above is quite disturbing. Different times I suppose. Keep on pumping out this good stuff here on the site and stay in touch. Been a while. God Bless.


Brian Holland said...

Interesting--"A Place In The Sun" is my favorite PC tune ever, too, even though I don't remember hearing it when it first came out. I discovered it years later on their greatest hits CD, and I made sure it was one of the first songs I added on to my iPod specifically for my California trip in August because it seemed so appropriate for the occasion...

Wes said...

Damn man....I forgot all about these guys....I am going to go get my vinyl and xfer to my IPOD this weekend.

Ken Dillon said...

Another cool post, RR...I REALLY liked these guys, too. They did a cover of "Rio" that was kinda interesting, but (even though you panned it) the song "Cool Kinda Love" had some REALLY immense meaning for me when it came out.

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